March 11 marks the official 50th birthday of Carnival Cruise Line, and it’s half a century since the first Carnival cruise ship set sail on its maiden voyage in 1972. A celebration took place onboard the Carnival Conquest cruise ship with officials from the cruise line and Miami Dade, where Carnival is based.
Happy Birthday to Carnival Cruise Line!
Half a century ago, the first Carnival cruise set sail in 1972 with the TSS Mardi Gras out of PortMiami. March 11 marks 50 years later, and an event held onboard the Carnival Conquest marked the occasion.
The celebration was attended by Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, along with Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison and Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald. Local officials from Miami-Dade were also there, including Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
“On this very day, 50 years ago, history was made when the first Carnival Cruise Line ship, the TSS Mardi Gras, embarked on her maiden voyage from right here at PortMiami,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “For half a century, we have made cruising available to everyone and have provided millions of people with fun and memorable vacations. It’s an honor to be celebrating our five decades of sailing with so many of our partners. We look forward to what the next 50 years holds.”
Carnival announced a $50,000 donation to World Central Kitchen to support Ukrainian relief efforts during the event. It also comes in the name of its more than 300 Ukrainian crew members. There was also a donation of $50,000 to Carnival’s long-standing partner Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami.
We’ve seen many Carnival 50th birthday cakes these last few days, but none of them have been as big as the one featured on stage during the event. Christine Duffy and Micky Arison cut the cake to mark a significant milestone in the cruise line’s history.
Carnival Cruise Line has always been based out of Miami, the cruise capital in the world, resulting in a strong partnership with the city. Construction is already underway on the expansion of Terminal F at PortMiami to cater for the larger Excel-class Carnival ships. The larger vessels that are the first in the fleet powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) include Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee.
Terminal F also had its milestone on March 11 with the topping off of the building in anticipating the completion and the ribbon-cutting ceremony this fall. The terminal will be shore-power ready in 2023.
Since the first voyage back in 1972, Carnival Cruise Line has grown to employ over 40,000 team members across 120 different nationalities. Carnival cruise ships have carried more than 90 million passengers since its inception and six million passengers each year across its 23 vessels from 14 US homeports.