In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line’s history as “America’s Cruise Line,” the line has announced it will name its new XL-class ship Mardi Gras, bringing back to the fleet the name of the first Carnival Cruise Line ship that entered service in 1972 and started the wave of cruise vacation popularity.
In keeping with its tradition of fun, Carnival revealed the name to a nationwide television audience on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune on its signature Puzzleboard at the conclusion of the broadcast.
Mardi Gras will be the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed and the first in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). At 180,000 tons, the new Mardi Gras will be more than six times the size of its namesake.
Currently under construction at Meyer Turku in Finland, the 5,200-plus lower berth vessel will offer a variety of innovations and attractions. Itineraries will be announced in JAN 2019 and go on sale later that month.
The original 27,000-ton TSS Mardi Gras, a converted trans-Atlantic ocean liner purchased by entrepreneur and Carnival founder Ted Arison, ushered in the modern-day cruise industry when it set sail on its inaugural voyage in 1972, helping transform cruising from an experience once reserved for the elite into a mainstream vacation.
“Our first ship Mardi Graswas a historic vessel, introducing a brand new style of cruising to the vacationing public. What better way to pay tribute to our company’s nearly 50-year history of creating wonderful vacation memories than by naming this ground-breaking vessel after our original and beloved ‘Fun Ship,’” said CCL president Christine Duffy.
“The new Mardi Gras will follow the trailblazing lead of her predecessor, introducing features and technological innovations that have never been seen before on a cruise ship while setting a new standard for seagoing vacations.”
Carnival previously announced that the ship will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla., which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal. A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.