Carnival Cruise Line sells two, lays up two

Written by Nick Blenkey
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As its cruise operations remained on hold because of COVID-19, Carnival Cruise Line today announced new plans for its fleet that it says “will generate tremendous guest excitement once it resumes sailing.”

The Meyer Turku shipyard has confirmed that the line’s second Excel class LNG fueled ship, the as yet unnamed sister ship to Mardi Gras, will be delivered in November 2022 and will sail out of Port Miami. Carnival says 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.

Meantime, as part of Carnival Corporation’s recent announcement to reduce its overall capacity and focus on ships with upgraded features, the line reports that Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration have been sold, while 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 the ship’s $200 million transformation completed last year.

In other changes, 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-to 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 a $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.

Separately, Carnival also notified its Australian guests that it has extended its pause of operations in that country, and has canceled six cruises scheduled to operate between Sept. 25 and Oct. 29, 2020.

“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,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “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 Port Miami on the sister ship to Mardi Gras! 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 cancelations.

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