For the third consecutive year, Carnival Cruise Line has bestowed its “Spirit of Carnival” award on a contestant in the Miss Universe competition. This year the honor went to Viktoriia Apanasenko, Miss Universe Ukraine.
Ukraine Delegate Matches Carnival’s Values
Carnival Cruise Line added to the excitement at the 71st annual Miss Universe Beauty Pageant on January 14 when the line’s “Spirit of Carnival” award was presented to Miss Universe Ukraine Viktoriia Apanasenko. The award is given to those who embody the company’s values of fun, friendship, diversity and inclusion, says Carnival.
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said, “Viktoriia Apanasenko has made it her mission to remind us that the war is ongoing and people across Ukraine are working to support their military, as well as their neighbors affected by the war – especially those displaced from their homes.”
Duffy added: “I’m impressed by Viktoriia’s strength and her kind and giving character which truly embodies the ‘Spirit of Carnival.’ And through this recognition, we are also letting the people of Ukraine and especially our Ukrainian crew members know that we continue to support and admire their spirit as well.”
Miss Ukraine is a Peace Ambassador of the UN Global Compact Ukraine. She has worked to provide food and medical care to Ukrainian families since the war in her homeland began nearly a year ago. She holds a master’s degree in social work and is involved in preventing domestic violence.
Previous Contestants Won the Cruise Line Award
Carnival Cruise Line in 2021 and 2022 presented “Spirit of Carnival” awards to Miss Universe contestants. Last year the award was given to Miss Universe Bahamas Chantel O’Brian, and in 2021 it went to Miss Universe Dominican Republic Kimberly Jiménez, who also served as godmother of Mardi Gras, Carnival’s first Excel-class ship that entered service in 2021.
Mardi Gras was christened by Jiménez in October 2021 at its homeport in Port Canaveral, Florida. The ship’s inaugural sailing following the naming ceremony called at Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, the godmother’s home country.
Mardi Gras accommodates 5,200 guests and operates seven-day cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. She is named for Carnival Cruise Line’s first ship, Mardi Gras, which launched in 1972. The new Mardi Gras has six themed zones and boasts the first roller coaster at sea.
The 2023 Miss Universe pageant was held in New Orleans and broadcast internationally. It was the second time in recent weeks that Duffy had appeared at an iconic event before a global audience on behalf of Carnival Cruise Line.
She, along with Carnival’s newly named Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse, were among a small group that flipped the switch at midnight during New York’s New Year’s Eve Ball in Times Square. She and Lagasse used the high-profile opportunity to invite viewers to “Choose Fun Together,” which is the theme of Carnival’s 2023 advertising campaign.