Cruise line pays trib­ute to his­toric ves­sel by nam­ing ship Car­ni­val Mardi Gras

Orlando Sentinel - - BUSINESS - By Richard Tri­bou

What’s old is new again as Car­ni­val Cruise Line is bring­ing back the name of its first ship for the XL-class ship com­ing to Port Canaveral: Car­ni­val Mardi Gras.

The cruise line made the an­nounce­ment dur­ing an episode of “Wheel of For­tune” on Wed­nes­day night us­ing the game show’s sig­na­ture puz­zle board at the end of the broad­cast for the re­veal.

The first Car­ni­val ship was the 27,000-ton TSS Mardi Gras, a con­verted transat­lantic ocean liner that was put into ser­vice in 1972.

“Our first ship Mardi Gras was a his­toric ves­sel, in­tro­duc­ing a brand new style of cruis­ing to the va­ca­tion­ing pub­lic,” said Car­ni­val Cruise Line Pres­i­dent Chris­tine Duffy. “What bet­ter way to pay trib­ute to our com­pany’s nearly 50-year his­tory of cre­at­ing won­der­ful va­ca­tion me­mories than by nam­ing this ground­break­ing ves­sel af­ter our orig­i­nal and beloved ‘Fun Ship.’”

The new Car­ni­val Mardi Gras will be more than six times the size, a 180,000-gross-ton, 1,130-foot-long ves­sel with a 6,500-pas­sen­ger ca­pac­ity. The ship’s first steel was cut in midNovem­ber at the at Meyer Turku ship­yard in Turku, Fin­land.

It’s slated for de­liv­ery in mid-2020 when it will then make Port Canaveral its first home. The ship is also to be pow­ered by liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas, and will be the first such cruise ship to be based in North Amer­ica when it de­buts.

Where the ship will be sail­ing will be re­vealed in Jan­uary. Its home base will be a re­vamped Ter­mi­nal 3 at Port Canaveral.

“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,” Duffy said.

The new ves­sel will have around 2,600 state­rooms, which far ex­ceeds the cruise line’s largest ships in the cur­rent fleet, Car­ni­val Vista, Hori­zon and next year’s Panorama. Hori­zon, which de­buted this year, has 1,980 state­rooms.

A sec­ond XL-class ship will be­gin con­struc­tion in 2020 to be fin­ished in 2022.

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