When Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Mardi Gras, arrives to her new home in Port Canaveral, Fla. on June 4, she will be flying the Bahamian flag to designate the new ship registry for the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ship to operate in North America.
Mardi Gras has been the most highly anticipated new ship in the cruise industry for more than a year, with her arrival and inaugural impacted by the extended pause in cruise operations from U.S. ports. But with more and more hopeful signs of a return to guest operations and constructive discussions between the industry and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Carnival is moving the ship to Port Canaveral to get her ready for sailing.
The ship will depart from Barcelona on May 21 to start her transatlantic voyage and eventual arrival.
Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, thanked the Panama Maritime Authority for their support during the ship’s construction and registration process but said that the move to the Bahamas Maritime Authority made business sense for a number of reasons. “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,” she said.
Upon arrival to Port Canaveral, Mardi Gras will continue to bring joining crew members on board, train them on new equipment, technology and procedures, and get ready to welcome guests for her inaugural sailing. On Sunday evening during the global broadcast of the MISS UNIVERSE competition, Carnival named Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly Jimenez as the Mardi Gras godmother.
The Dominican Republic destination of Amber Cove will be among the destinations the ship will regularly visit on seven-day itineraries. Along with the new LNG technology, Mardi Gras will boast many other firsts, including the first cruise ship with a roller coaster.
(Carnival Cruise Line)