In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line’s rich history as America’s Cruise Line, the line has announced that it will name its new XL-class ship to be delivered in 2020 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 the United States.
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), part of Carnival Corporation’s green cruising platform. 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 never-before-seen innovations and attractions.
Itineraries for Mardi Gras will be announced in January and go on sale later that same 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 to transform cruising from an experience once reserved for the elite into a mainstream vacation accessible and affordable to everyone.
“Our first ship Mardi Gras was 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 groundbreaking vessel after our original and beloved ‘Fun Ship,’” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “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, Florida, 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.
I am looking forward to seeing this ship complete as the original Mardi Gras was built in Newcastle upon-Tyne, which is where I am from. She was built as RMS Empress of Canada in 1960 and her name was changed to Mardi Gras in 1972 when she joined the Carnival fleet.