Carnival Cruise Line sold two ships and will place two more on long-term layup as it takes further steps to weather the coronavirus pandemic.
The cruise company also confirmed it will accept delivery of the second Excel-class ship, a sister to the Mardi Gras, in November 2022.
In providing a fleet update for when cruising does resume, Carnival also announced that numerous ships will change homeports and other voyages will be canceled.
As part of Carnival Corp.'s plans to reduce its overall capacity and focus on ships with upgraded features, Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration have been sold. 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 Fascination itineraries from San Juan and Barbados have been canceled for 2020-21 as the cruise line focuses its return to operations on mainland drive markets in the U.S.
Itineraries for Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration from Long Beach have been canceled through April 19, 2021. Carnival Panorama will continue to operate seven-day cruises from Long Beach while Carnival Miracle will operate shorter itineraries from San Diego to Baja Mexico.
The Carnival Sensation will move from Miami to Mobile to operate itineraries previously assigned to Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination; guests booked on those two ships will be moved to Carnival Sensation.
Carnival Sunrise will move from Port Everglades to PortMiami and assume the itineraries previously operated by Carnival Sensation. Carnival Sunrise is a larger ship with many new features installed during a $200 million transformation in 2019. Guests booked on the Sunrise's four- and five-day itineraries from Port Everglades will be automatically moved to sailings from PortMiami.
There will be no changes to the Carnival Sunrise's special sailing scheduled for March 5, 2022, to celebrate Carnival's 50th birthday.
Carnival Radiance will move from Europe after its $200 million transformation to Long Beach in April 2021 to assume the short Baja Mexico itineraries previously operated by Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration. Guests booked on Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration after April 22, 2021, will be re-accommodated on Carnival Radiance.
The unnamed, second Excel-class ship has been confirmed for a November 2022 delivery from the Meyer Turku shipyard. The LNG-powered sister ship to Mardi Gras will showcase many of the same features, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and sail out of PortMiami as previously announced. Carnival said it will open the ship for sale this fall. The Mardi Gras is expected to enter service from Port Canaveral on Feb. 6, 2021.
"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 PortMiami 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."
Separately, Carnival also extended its pause of operations in Australia and has canceled six cruises scheduled to operate between Sept. 25 and Oct. 29, 2020.
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