Newest Carnival Ship’s Arrival Time to Homeport Announced

Guests eager to see Carnival Jubilee arrive to Galveston for the first time will need to arrive at the port early for the welcome party!

Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship and the fleet’s new flagship, Carnival Jubilee, will be arriving at her year-round homeport of Galveston, Texas on Wednesday, December 20, 2023 – just three days ahead of welcoming guests on board.

Port of Galveston is hosting a party to welcome the new ship, and Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald is planning a special contest as well. But exactly when will the ship arrive?

Carnival Jubilee Soon to Arrive in Texas

The new Carnival Jubilee, one of the most anticipated new cruise ships of 2023, has made her final stop before arriving in Galveston, Texas. The Excel-class vessel was officially delivered to Carnival Cruise Line on December 4, 2023, in Bremerhaven, Germany and in the two weeks since, has been making her way toward the Lone Star State.

First, the ship made stops in Tenerife in the Canary Islands and Nassau in the Bahamas, taking on additional supplies and crew members in preparation for her official debut. Her schedule while crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time has been tenuous, as weather can impact how quickly a ship can make that 3,700-mile (6,000-kilometer) journey.

Now, Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has confirmed the ship’s arrival time to Galveston for Wednesday, December 20, an event that is sure to be momentous for the ship, her crew, the Port of Galveston, the state of Texas, and Carnival cruise fans everywhere.

“The Captain will be alongside at approximately 8:00am on Wednesday morning,” Heald confirmed. “So if you are there about 7:00am you will have brilliant views of the ship arriving home.”

Welcome Home Party and Contest

Port of Galveston is hosting a “Howdy, Carnival Jubilee Celebration” event from 8-9 p.m. at Piers 20-21 to greet the new ship with a “Texas-sized welcome.”

Refreshments will be served at the party, which is sure to be a festive and exciting event. While few details have been revealed about the party, new cruise ships are often greeted by fireboat escorts, live music, and local dignitaries.

“Bring your welcome signs and don your cowboy hats to cheer the Jubilee and her crew as they arrive to dock at their new home at Cruise Terminal 25,” the event announcement said. “An airplane flying overhead with a welcome banner and a tugboat shooting its water cannon will add to the festivities.”

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship
Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship

Heald also noted that he will offer a prize for the best banner to welcome the new ship.

“I will be posting a space here on Facebook that day for all you to share photos and there will be a prize from me for the BEST BANNER so let’s see who wins that,” Heald said.

Photos will be able to be posted on Heald’s popular Facebook page, most likely in a special post dedicated to Carnival Jubilee‘s welcome. While Heald has not posted guidelines about banners for the contest – or what the prize for winning may be – undoubtedly they should be family-friendly and suitable for public display.

Setting Sail on Carnival Jubilee

The new 183,521-gross-ton ship, sister ship to Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, will be based in Galveston year-round at least through April 2026, offering 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries that will visit Roatan, Honduras as well as Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico. Depending on the departure date, the order of ports will vary.

The ship has a special connection to Texas, as the first Carnival Cruise ship with a bow decoration – appropriately, a Texas star.

Carnival Jubilee Sea Trials
Carnival Jubilee Sea Trials (Photo Courtesy: Meyer Werft)

Carnival Jubilee will welcome her very first guests for a spectacular holiday sailing departing on Saturday, December 23, 2023. The ship will be decked out in her holiday finest for the inaugural sailing, and will offer guests an amazing Christmas Gala Dinner.

Onboard, travelers will find the new Currents and Shores zones exclusive to Carnival Jubilee, as well as Emeril’s Bistro 717, the third BOLT roller coaster, and plenty of fan favorites – Guy’s Burger Joint, Cucina del Capitano, Big Chicken, the Punchliner Comedy Club, Family Feud Live, the adults-only Serenity area, WaterWorks with three spiraling waterslides and twin racing slides, and much more.

The new ship can welcome 5,374 travelers based on double occupancy, or as many as 6,631 guests when fully booked with all berths filled. Also onboard are more than 1,700 international officers and crew members dedicated to ensuring that every sailing is indeed a fun-filled jubilee.

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