The new Mardi Gras cruise ship operated by Carnival Cruise Line has finally arrived home at Port Canaveral, Florida. After months in Europe, the first Excel-class ship in the fleet arrived at her new homeport for the very first time on Friday morning and welcomed by hundreds of people at Jetty Park and the surrounding areas.
Mardi Gras is Home!
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said, “Mardi Gras has been five years in the making and today’s arrival is a historic milestone for our company not to mention a truly emotional moment for everyone here at Carnival Cruise Line.”
Duffy continued to say, “This ship offers so many innovations and ways for our guests to choose fun that we are certain that she will quickly become a guest favorite. And as we look forward to our restart in guest operations, Mardi Gras’ arrival is symbolic of the excitement and anticipation we have about the future at Carnival Cruise Line.”
Terminal 3 is purposely built for the larger class cruise ships from Carnival. Since being completed last year, the terminal has not welcomes any passengers but hopefully with the return of cruises this summer, that will no longer be the case.
Mardi Gras is the first Carnival ship to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Port Canaveral is ready for the environmentally friendly fuel. Recently a new articulated tug and barge (ATB) arrived at the port ready for refueling operations for the LNG-powered cruise ship at Terminal 3.
The Excel-class cruise ship was constructed at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and after some delays, she was finally delivered in December 2020. However, since then, the vessel has remained on hold mostly in Barcelona until the cruise line was ready to bring her home to the US.
The ship is 180,800 gross tons and with a guest capacity of 5,282 at double occupancy along with 1,735 international crew members.
While the Mardi Gras is in Port Canaveral, more crew members will begin to join the vessel in preparation for restarting operations. They will be trained on the new class ship, including any new health procedures.
According to itinerary information, the ship will begin cruises on July 31, starting with a seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise, including a call to Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Grand Turk. It is important to know that dates and itineraries could be altered due to the fluid situation of resuming operations.