Carnival Cruise Line has released details of new plans for its fleet that will generate tremendous guest excitement once it resumes sailing, with a confirmed date for an additional Excel-class, LNG-powered ship arriving in November 2022, four ships either sold or put on long term lay-up status, and other ships redeployed to new homeports, as it seeks to leverage its strong network of year-round and seasonal homeports in the U.S. with upgraded offerings.
The highlights of the plan include:
- * As part of Carnival’s 50th birthday in 2022, a November 2022 delivery date for the unnamed, second Excel-class ship has been confirmed from the Meyer Turku shipyard. The sister ship to Mardi Gras will showcase many of her features, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and sail out of PortMiami as previously announced. Carnival said it will open the ship for sale this fall and guests can register to be the “first to know” about the ship’s itineraries and special open for sale promotions at www.carnival.com/ship2022.
- As part of Carnival Corporation’s recent announcement to reduce its overall capacity and focus on ships with upgraded features, Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration have been sold. Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination will move to a long-term lay-up status, with no specific timeline identified for a return to operation.
- Carnival Sensation will move from Miami to Mobile and take up itineraries previously assigned to Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination, with guests on those two ships being re-accommodated on Carnival Sensation.
- Carnival Sunrise will move from Port Everglades to PortMiami and assume the itineraries previously operated by Carnival Sensation, providing a larger, upgraded ship for short itineraries with the many new features installed during Carnival Sunrise’s $200 million transformation completed in 2019. Guests booked on the Sunrise 4- and 5-day itineraries from Port Everglades will be automatically moved to sailings from PortMiami.
- Carnival Sunrise is part of Carnival’s 50th birthday celebration and there will be no changes to her birthday sailing, which is scheduled for March 5, 2022. These special sailings have been in high demand and will feature special entertainment, at-sea ship rendezvous and onboard activities and offerings. For more information on this special group of itineraries in March 2022, please visit www.carnival.com/sailabration.
- Carnival Fascination itineraries from San Juan and Barbados have been cancelled for 2020-2021 as the cruise line focuses its return to operations on mainland drive markets in the U.S.
- Itineraries for Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration from Long Beach have been cancelled through Apr. 19, 2021. Carnival Panorama will continue to operate 7-day cruises from Long Beach while Carnival Miracle will operate shorter itineraries from San Diego to Baja Mexico.
- Carnival Radiance will now move directly from Europe after its $200 million transformation and homeport in Long Beach in April of 2021, where it will assume the short Baja Mexico itineraries previously served by Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration. Guests booked on Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration after April 22, 2021 will be re-accommodated on Carnival Radiance, where they will experience the host of upgrades and new features including Shaq’s Big Chicken Restaurant and an expanded waterpark popular with families sailing with children.
- Separately, Carnival also notified its Australian guests that it has extended its pause of operations in that country, and has cancelled six cruises scheduled to operate between Sept. 25 and Oct. 29, 2020.
Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, explained: “We have used this pause in operations to think carefully about our fleet and to build a plan that gives our guests new choices and upgrades to current ship offerings.”
Duffy continued: “We have a great variety of ships across the Carnival Cruise Line fleet and we are thrilled to have been able to confirm a delivery date ahead of what we had anticipated for our second Excel ship, which is exciting news for guests interested in sailing from PortMiami on the sister ship to Mardi Gras.
And she said that: “At the same time, we will continue to invest in the four remaining Fantasy class ships that we are keeping in the fleet. We have many guests who prefer our Fantasy class ships which work so well for shorter itineraries from smaller ports that cannot accommodate our larger ships. With a fleet that gives guests lots of choices in ships, homeports, destinations and features including a multitude of dining, entertainment and accommodation choices, we are very excited about the future for Carnival Cruise Line.”
Guests and travel agents are being notified directly about impacted sailings, guest re-accommodations and cancellations.
Duffy thanked guests and travel agent partners alike for their continued patience, loyalty and support during this unprecedented time for the cruise industry.
“With our future fleet plan resolved, we are focused on ensuring we are ready to return to operations once it is determined that the time is right to resume cruising in the U.S.,” Duffy said.