Carnival Sells Two Ships, Provides Further Fleet Update

Carnival Fantasy in Mobile

Carnival Cruise Line today announced it had sold the Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration. A buyer was not named.

Meanwhile, the Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination will move to a long term lay-up status, with no specific timeline identified for a return to operation.

The company also announced that its second Excel-class ship will join the fleet in November 2022 from Meyer Turku and sail out of PortMiami as previously announced.

The Carnival Sensation will move from Miami to Mobile and take up itineraries previously assigned to the Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination, with guests on those two ships being re-accommodated on Carnival Sensation.

The Carnival Sunrise will move from Port Everglades to PortMiami and assume the itineraries previously operated by Carnival Sensation, providing a larger, upgraded ship for short itineraries with the many new features installed during Carnival Sunrise’s $200 million transformations completed in 2019. Guests booked on the Sunrise itineraries from Port Everglades will be automatically moved to sailings from PortMiami.

Carnival Inspiration

Carnival Inspiration.

The Carnival Fascination’s itineraries from San Juan and Barbados have been cancelled for 2020-2021 as the cruise line focuses its return to operations on mainland drive markets in the U.S., the company said.

Itineraries for the Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration from Long Beach have been cancelled through Apr. 19, 2021. Carnival Panorama will continue to operate 7-day cruises from Long Beach while Carnival Miracle will operate shorter itineraries from San Diego to Baja Mexico.

The Carnival Radiance will now move directly from Europe after its $200 million transformations and homeport in Long Beach in April of 2021, where it will assume the short Baja Mexico itineraries previously served by the Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration. Guests booked on Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration after April 22, 2021, will be re-accommodated on Carnival Radiance.

Carnival also said it notified its Australian guests that it has extended its pause of operations in that country, and has cancelled six cruises scheduled to operate between Sept. 25 and Oct. 29, 2020.

Carnival Radiance Cruise - Ship Review - Photos & Departure Ports ...
Carnival Radiance.

“We have used this pause in operations to think carefully about our fleet and to build a plan that gives our guests new choices and upgrades to current ship offerings,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We have a great variety of ships across the Carnival Cruise Line fleet and we are thrilled to have been able to confirm a delivery date ahead of what we had anticipated for our second Excel ship, which is exciting news for guests interested in sailing from PortMiami on the sister ship to Mardi Gras! At the same time, we will continue to invest in the four remaining Fantasy-class ships that we are keeping in the fleet. We have many guests who prefer our Fantasy-class ships which work so well for shorter itineraries from smaller ports that cannot accommodate our larger ships. With a fleet that gives guests lots of choices in ships, homeports, destinations and features including a multitude of dining, entertainment and accommodation choices, we are very excited about the future for Carnival Cruise Line.”

Guests and travel agents are being notified directly about impacted sailings, guest re-accommodations and cancellations. Duffy thanked guests and travel agent partners alike for their continued patience, loyalty and support during this unprecedented time for the cruise industry. “With our future fleet plan resolved, we are focused on ensuring we are ready to return to operations once it is determined that the time is right to resume cruising in the U.S.,” she said.

Cruise line upgrades to transform PortMiami

Norwegian Cruise Line will soon open a new Miami terminal.
Norwegian Cruise Line will soon open a new Miami terminal.

PortMiami has reached a series of long-term deals with cruise lines that will consolidate its position as the cruise capital of the world for the near future.

The agreements pave the way for $675 million in new terminal construction for Carnival Corp., Virgin Voyages and MSC Cruises, and they closely follow terminal pacts with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) and Disney Cruise Line

Together, the six cruise companies will have preferential berthing rights at all but one of the 11 terminals envisioned by the port. Each cruise company plans use the new terminals to bring bigger ships to Miami than they have previously operated there.

The latest agreement was announced by Carnival Corp., whose Carnival Cruise Line brand is the biggest tenant by passenger volume and is gearing up to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022.

“Over the last several months, we have had very constructive discussions with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County leaders about our plans for Miami and our goal to enhance and grow our capacity and operations in our hometown,” Carnival president Christine Duffy said.

Carnival’s agenda includes bringing the second ship in its 5,200-passenger Excel class to the new terminal in 2022, in time for its jubilee.

To do so, Carnival agreed to guarantee 2.25 million passenger movements a year through PortMiami for at least the next 20 years. The county, with partial reimbursement from Carnival, will commit to spending $195 million on a major makeover of Terminal F using $20 million earmarked for improvements at terminals D and E, also used by Carnival.

The agreement also commits the two parties to begin negotiations concerning the construction of a nearby 5,000-space parking garage, by far the largest at the port.

Image result for msc cruise terminal miami

The upgrade to Terminal F, which follows a $37 million upgrade in 2016 for current tenant MSC Cruises, will give Carnival a low-slung, glass-walled terminal facing Miami’s major automobile connection to Miami Beach, the six-lane Mac-Arthur Causeway, which averages 81,625 vehicle trips per day.

To take advantage of that exposure to the causeway, the expanded Terminal F will install a multimedia mesh on its north side that Carnival and the county can use to deliver electronic messages.

In keeping with its value-mindedness, Carnival is the only cruise company not building a PortMiami terminal from scratch.

Virgin Cruises, for example, won approval from the county for its new Terminal V at the far west end of the port, which will be built to remind visitors of a palm grove, according to the designers, Miami architecture firm Arquitectonica. 

The red and white Virgin terminal, budgeted at $179 million, would carry preferential berthing rights for 30 years.

MSC is also building from the ground up and is upping the ante by creating two terminals, also designed by Arquitectonica. Labelled terminals AA and AAA, they will open onto a 2,474-foot pier that enables simultaneous berthing of two megaships.

Related image

MSC Cruise new Evo Class of ship will call Miami home

“This design takes advantage of the length of the site to project a powerful shape and dimension like no other at the port,” Arquitectonica said. “The [parking] garage is thin, so it appears as a cloud over the glass spaces below.”

MSC Cruises USA will move its offices into the building from Fort Lauderdale, becoming the second cruise line headquartered at the port, after RCCL — which is finishing its new headquarters building, on the western end.

MSC’s terminals, to be finished by 2022, would join RCCL’s $247 million “Crown of Miami,” which opened in late 2018, and NCLH’s $239 million “Pearl of Miami,” which is set to open in November.

Plans for Disney’s Terminal K, on the port’s south side, were outlined in a 2018 memorandum of understanding, but details are on hold pending a dredging project to widen the channel on that side of the port.

MSC Cruises receives approval for Miami double terminal

MSC Cruises has received approval for its planned double terminal at PortMiami, the first such arrangement at the port.

Each terminal will be able to handle 7,000 guests, enabling MSC to berth two mega-ships at a time.

The AA and AAA terminals will be just to the east of Royal Caribbean’s new Terminal A that opened last year. Designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica, renderings show a ski-slope shaped building with cantilevered fins at the eastern end.

MSC plans to move in 2022, around the same time Carnival moves into its new Terminal F. MSC didn’t specify what ships will be using the terminal by then. 

This year, MSC is homeporting four ships across four different classes out of PortMiami — the MSC Seaside, MSC Armonia, MSC Divina and MSC Meraviglia. The Meraviglia will arrive in November.