Carnival Cruise Line has finally announced the name for its hugely anticipated new cruise ship due in 2022, the largest it has ever built and the first in the US to run on LNG – Carnival Mardi Gras.
While the name initially seems unusual, given that the rest of the Carnival fleet carry names based on adjectives (Carnival Conquest, Carnival Miracle etc) or nouns (Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon etc), the name for the new ship actually harkens back to the line’s very beginnings.
“Our first ship Mardi Gras was a historic vessel, introducing a brand-new style of cruising to the vacationing public,” says Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line. “What better way to pay tribute to our company’s nearly 50-year history … than by naming this ground-breaking vessel after our original and beloved ‘Fun Ship’?”
Mardi Gras was purchased second-hand by Carnival in 1972 and launched as its first ‘Fun Ship’, introducing to the North American market the concept of affordable, fun cruises targeting families and young couples.
It was a massive success and gave rise to what is now the largest cruise corporation in the world (Carnival Corporation), which owns 11 cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines being the flagship brand.
The new Mardi Gras is set to debut in 2020 as the line’s largest ever, with a passenger capacity of roughly 5,200 at double occupancy. At 180,000-gross tons she will be roughly 7 times the size of the ship from which she takes her name.
Carnival Mardi Gras’ classic navy blue hull with red and white accent stripes will reflect Carnival’s legacy as America’s top cruise line and pays homage to maritime tradition. It will therefore stand apart from the rest of the fleet not just in size, but also in livery.
Carnival Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship cruising roundtrip from North America to be powered entirely by liquefied natural gas (LNG), which produces almost zero emissions.
It will be based in Port Canaveral (Orlando) at a brand-new terminal that’s currently under construction and slated for completion sometime between late 2019 and early 2020.
Carnival Mardi Gras is the second of three upcoming cruise ships for Carnival Cruise Line. The new Vista-class cruise ship Carnival Panorama will launch in 2019, while a sister ship to Carnival Mardi Gras is due for delivery in 2022.