Published on Thursday, December 6, 2018

Carnival brings Mardi Gras back to sea

Carnival Cruise Line is to name its new XL-class ship Mardi Gras, which was the name of the first ever Carnival ship to enter service in 1972.

The name was revealed to a US television audience on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune on its signature Puzzleboard at the end of the broadcast.

Mardi Gras, to be delivered in 2020, will be the largest ever Carnival Cruise ship and the first in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas. 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 innovations and attractions, said Carnival.

Itineraries will go on sale in January and Carnival is inviting customers to register for 'first to know' alerts and special offers.

The original 27,000-ton TSS Mardi Gras, a converted transatlantic ocean liner bought 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 holiday.

"Our first ship Mardi Gras was a historic vessel, introducing a brand new style of cruising to the holidaying public. What better way to pay tribute to our company's nearly 50-year history of creating wonderful holiday memories than by naming this groundbreaking vessel after our original and beloved 'fun ship',"said president Christine Duffy.

"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 holidays."

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 Carnival's 50th anniversary.

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