Carnival Cruise Line will mark its 50th anniversary in 2022 by taking delivery of a second yet-unnamed Excel-class ship.
Sister to Mardi Gras, Carnival has confirmed the ship is due to be delivered from Finland’s Meyer Turku shipyard in November 2022.
The LNG-powered ship It will feature Carnival’s "rollercoaster at sea", Bolt, and will sail out of Port Miami.
Its first sailings will go on sale in the autumn.
"We are thrilled to have been able to confirm a delivery date ahead of what we had anticipated for our second Excel ship," said Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy.
Duffy said Carnival had used the line’s pause in operations, owing to Covid-19, to "think carefully" about the line’s fleet, with a view to reducing capacity and focusing on ships with newer features.
As a result, both Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration have been sold, while Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination will be laid-up – Carnival has not set a date for when these ships will return to service.
Carnival Sensation, meanwhile, will relocate from Miami to Mobile, taking up itineraries previously assigned to Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination, with Carnival Sunrise relocating from Port Everglades to Port Miami, taking up itineraries previously due to be operated by Carnival Sensation.
This, said Carnival, would provide a larger, upgraded ship for short itineraries, benefiting from new features added during Sunrise’s $200 million overhaul last year.
Guests booked on Sunrise’s four and five-day itineraries from Port Everglades will automatically be transferred to sailings from Port Miami.
Sunrise will play a role in Carnival’s 50th birthday celebrations, and there will be no changes to its birthday sailing scheduled for 5 March 2022 which will feature special onboard entertainment, as well as an at-sea ship rendezvous.
Carnival Fascination’s 2020/21 itineraries from San Juan and Barbados have been cancelled to allow the line to focus on resuming operations in its mainland US markets.
Elsewhere, Carnival Radiance will move directly from Europe after its $200 million overhaul in April 2021 to homeport in Long Beach.
Duffy added Carnival would continue to invest in the four remaining Fantasy-class ships the line intends to retain. "We have many guests who prefer our Fantasy-class ships for shorter itineraries from smaller ports that cannot accommodate our larger ships," she said.
Guests and agents will be notified about impacted sailings, changes and cancellations, with Duffy stressing the line wanted to thank trade partners for their patience, loyalty and support during the coronavirus crisis.