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MIAMI — Carnival’s biggest ship ever deserves a larger-than-life name with a rich history, and that’s just what it’s getting.
The cruise line announced it’s bringing back to its 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 U.S. The ship that started it all was the Mardi Gras and that’s exactly what Carnival is naming its new XL-class ship.
Times have certainly changed in the cruise industry since the original Mardi Gras first set sail. At 180,000 tons, the new Mardi Gras will be more than six times the size of its namesake, says Carnival.
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.
Currently under construction at Meyer Turku in Finland, the new 5,200-plus lower berth vessel “will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations and attractions,” adds the cruise line.
Mardi Gras will be the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed and also the first in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s green cruising platform.
Itineraries for Mardi Gras will be announced in January and go on sale later that same month.
“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,’” says Christine Duffy, President, 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, which will feature a new 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.