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GO CONFIGURE: Carnival reveals future fleet plan

With two of its Fantasy ships sold, two others going to long-term lay-up and a new ship on the horizon, Carnival Cruise Line has revealed the look of its re-configured post-pandemic fleet.

The plans include a confirmed date for an additional Excel-class, LNG-powered ship arriving in November 2022 and new homeports and redeployments for other ships as the company seeks to leverage its network of year-round and seasonal homeports in the US.

“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,” says Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy, who notes that the company will continue to invest in the four remaining Fantasy class ships that are remaining in the fleet.

“With our future fleet plan resolved, we are focused on ensuring we are ready to return to operations once it is determined that the time is right to resume cruising in the US,” Duffy continued.

A rendering of the yet-be-named Carnival Excel class ship due in 2022.

New fleet details include:

• As part of Carnival’s 50th birthday in 2022, a November 2022 delivery date for the unnamed, second Excel-class ship has been confirmed from the Meyer Turku shipyard. The sister ship to Mardi Gras will showcase many of her features, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and sail out of PortMiami as previously announced. Carnival will open the ship for sale this fall and guests and agents can register online to be the “first to know” about the ship’s itineraries and special promotions.

• As part of Carnival Corp.’s recent announcement 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 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 Carnival Sunrise’s $200-million transformation completed in 2019. Guests booked on the Sunrise 4- and 5-day itineraries from Port Everglades will be automatically moved to sailings from PortMiami.

• Carnival Sunrise is part of Carnival’s 50th birthday celebration and there will be no changes to her birthday sailing, which is scheduled for March 5, 2022. These special sailings will feature special entertainment, at-sea ship rendezvous and onboard activities and offerings.

• Carnival Fascination itineraries from San Juan and Barbados have been cancelled for 2020-21 as the cruise line focuses its return to operations on mainland drive markets in the US.

• 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 its $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. Guests booked on Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration after April 22, 2021 will be re-accommodated on Carnival Radiance, where they will experience the host of upgrades and new features including Shaq’s Big Chicken Restaurant and an expanded waterpark popular with families sailing with children.

Guests and travel agents are being notified directly about impacted sailings, guest re-accommodations and cancellations

First published at Travel Industry Today

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