Feb 13, 2024 - Business

Carnival to add new 180,000-ton cruise ship in 2027

Carnival Cruise President Christine Duffy (left) speaks to Axios' Dan Primack (right)

Christine Duffy (left) and Dan Primack (right) at Axios BFD Miami. Photo: Ledd Villamarzo, EDIN STUDIOS

Carnival Cruise Line will add a new 180,000-ton ship to its fleet that is expected to set sail in spring 2027, the Miami-based company said Tuesday.

Why it matters: Carnival has rebounded from the pandemic with great demand for cruising, Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, told Axios' Dan Primack at Axios BFD in Miami.

The big picture: Carnival Corporation said it's the first newbuild order placed in five years and the fourth Excel-class ship for the namesake brand.

  • The new ship like Carnival's other Excel ships — the Mardi Gras, Celebration and Jubilee — can carry 6,400-plus guests.
  • They are powered by liquefied natural gas, considered a cleaner burning fuel and one of Carnival's efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Yes, but: Carnival's Excel ships are smaller than Royal Caribbean's 250,800-ton Icon of the Seas, which had its first voyage with paying passengers last month.

  • "Size doesn't really matter that much," Duffy said when asked if she feels pressure to have the biggest ship.

What's next: Celebration Key, Carnival's new private island, is opening in July 2025, Duffy said, noting it is a half-billion dollar investment.

  • More cruise ships are slated in the coming years for the Carnival Corporation family, which includes Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard and Holland America Line, CEO Josh Weinstein said in a statement Tuesday.

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