Carnival: Delivery of Mardi Gras Delayed due to COVID-19

Carnival Cruise Line has said that the delivery of its new ship Mardi Gras, the first LNG-powered cruise ship to operate in the Western Hemisphere, will be delayed due to COVID-19. The same goes for Carnival’s Carnival Radiance ship. The company has also been forced to cancel several itineraries between November 2020 and May 2021.

“Carnival Cruise Line will be notifying guests and travel agents on Tuesday of revisions to the delivery of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, as well as the transformed Carnival Radiance – both resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – and new itineraries for Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic that are all part of an updated deployment plan from November 2020 to May 2021,” Carnival said Monday.

Mardi Gras, dubbed the first LNG-powered ship to operate in the Western Hemisphere and featuring the first roller coaster at sea, will now enter into service from Port Canaveral, Fla. on Feb. 6, 2021. 

The 180,000-gross-ton, 5,200-passenger cruise ship Mardi Gras will be the largest in the Carnival fleet. It was previously expected to be delivered in October 2020.

Itineraries out of Port Canaveral for departures from Nov. 14, 2020, to Jan. 30, 2021 have been canceled.

Further, Carnival Radiance’s $200 million dry dock at the Cadiz, Spain shipyard was suspended this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a nationwide lockdown. 

“Carnival is now evaluating shipyard options to complete the transformation, but the ship is likely not going to be completed until the spring [2021],” Carnival said.

As a result of the delayed arrival of Carnival Radiance, Carnival Breeze will be redeployed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral and will assume the itineraries for Carnival Radiance from Nov. 8, 2020, to Apr. 24, 2021. 

Consequently, guests on 18 Carnival Breeze sailings from Fort Lauderdale scheduled to operate from Nov. 7, 2020, to Mar. 7, 2021 are being notified that their cruises have been canceled. 

Carnival Magic’s transatlantic and European itineraries from Mar. 13, 2021 to May 3, 2021, have been canceled. 

Seven sailings previously scheduled for Carnival Breeze from Fort. Lauderdale from Mar. 13 to Apr. 24, 2021 will move to Miami and those guests will sail on the same itinerary, but on Carnival Magic operating from PortMiami.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line: “We continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global commerce, public health and our cruise operations. In addition to our current pause in service, there have been many other unintended consequences, including shipyard, dry dock and ship delivery delays, and related changes to our deployment plans for our fleet.” 

“While we had hoped to make up construction time on Mardi Gras over the summer, it’s clear we will need extra time to complete this magnificent ship.  We share our guests’ disappointment and appreciate their patience as we work through this unprecedented time in our business and the lives of so many people.  We remain committed to working with government, public health and industry officials to support the response to the pandemic and to return to operations when the time is right.”

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