The new Mardi Gras cruise ship will finally depart for Florida on Friday and sail to her new homeport of Port Canaveral to prepare for resuming operations later in the year.
Carnival Cruise Line has also decided to reflag the vessel. She will now be registered in the Bahamas and no longer flagged with the registry in Panama.
Mardi Gras Departing This Friday
The first Excel-class cruise ship in the fleet has been on hold in Europe since being delivered at the end of 2020. Most of that time, she has been based out of Barcelona, Spain, and now finally, the new ship will depart for Florida.
Mardi Gras will depart Barcelona on May 21 to start her transatlantic voyage to Port Canaveral, Florida, where the ship’s new home awaits at the new Terminal 3 facility.
Once the ship arrives in Florida, crew members will continue to join to be trained on new equipment and technology procedures. Mardi Gras is fully powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and is the first of her class in the Carnival fleet, so there is a lot to learn about how she works.
The port has previously said that it will be ready if cruises resume in July and the LNG refuel barge has already arrived ready to refuel the new vessel.
Mardi Gras Reflagged in the Bahamas
During construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and through delivery, the Mardi Gras has been flagged and registered in Panama but now the Miami-based cruise line has changed it to the Bahamas which is a business decision.
Carnival’s president and CEO has thanked Panama Maritime Authority for their support during the early process of the ship.
Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said:
“The Bahamas will be a frequent destination for Mardi Gras, and we are pleased to bring this new level of environmental sustainability to the many ports in the Bahamas and the Caribbean that the ship and our guests and crew will be visiting.”
This comes as the godmother was selected on Sunday during the Miss Universe competition. Miss Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jiménez will name the Mardi Gras later this year and be among the first to cruise on the ship.
Mardi Gras is over 180,000 gross tons and will feature the first roller coaster at sea.