Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, announced it will launch four new cruise ships in 2020 across four of its global cruise line brands – Iona for P&O Cruises UK, Britain’s favorite cruise line; Enchanted Princess for Princess Cruises, the fastest growing international premium cruise line; Mardi Gras for Carnival Cruise Line, America’s cruise line; and Costa Firenze for Italian brand Costa Cruises.
Iona marks the first new ship for P&O Cruises since the introduction of Britannia in 2015. Enchanted Princess is designed from the ground up as a Princess MedallionClass ship. Costa Firenze is Costa Cruises’ second ship designed and built specifically for the China market.
Mardi Gras is named as a tribute to TSS Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line’s first-ever ship, which marked a historic turning point in accelerating growth in the popularity of modern-day cruising.
P&O Cruises’ Iona and Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras will be the third and fourth (respectively) of Carnival Corporation’s 11 total next-generation cruise ships joining the fleet through 2025 that can be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the industry’s most advanced fuel technology, eliminating sulfur and significantly improving overall air emissions.
Part of Carnival Corporation’s strategy of measured capacity growth, each new ship provides an opportunity to introduce new guest innovations, energy efficiencies and sustainability approaches to cruising, while creating excitement, meeting growing demand and generating consideration of cruising as an extraordinary vacation at an exceptional value. The introduction of the four new ships in 2020 is part of Carnival Corporation’s ongoing fleet enhancement strategy, with 16 new ships scheduled to be delivered through 2025, designed to continue improving the overall guest experience while accelerating demand for cruising, the fastest growing segment in the vacation industry.
These new ships build on the momentum of Carnival Corporation’s four new vessels launched with rave reviews in 2019 – Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Panorama, Costa Cruises’ Costa Smeralda and Costa Venezia, and Sky Princess from Princess Cruises.
“Each new ship is an opportunity to generate excitement and buzz among consumers around the world, whether loyal guests or new to cruising, that will continue to inspire more travelers to consider cruising as a vacation option,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. “We look forward to the delivery of four more spectacular ships, which will offer our guests the latest in onboard features and amenities – and help us continue our reputation for providing great cruise vacations that are significantly less than comparable land-based vacations.”
Below is a brief look at Carnival Corporation’s four new ships for 2020:
Iona from P&O Cruises (UK) – May 2020
When Iona joins the P&O Cruises (UK) fleet in May, it will launch as the popular British line’s first LNG-powered ship. Among the distinguishing characteristics of Iona will be the Grand Atrium, a new development for the cruise line with uninterrupted panoramic views of the sea, framed by glazed walls stretching three decks high. Located at the heart of Iona, the glazed Grand Atrium is a lively focal point that encapsulates the spirit of the ship, with each level offering natural light and breath-taking views.
Iona’s distinct “crown” will be the SkyDome, a new entertainment venue on the top two levels of the ship and capped by a glass-domed roof designed by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the team behind glass masterpieces such as London’s Embassy Gardens Sky Pool and Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique. SkyDome’s unique event space offers an ideal place for relaxation and informal dining during the day, transitioning into vibrant evening activities, including spectacular aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties.
With a choice of 30 different bar and restaurant venues, Iona’s guests will enjoy the widest ever selection of places to eat and drink on a ship built exclusively for the British cruise holiday market. Innovative and flexible dining options include a “foodie” market offering cuisine from around the world, a new gastropub concept and a laid-back cocktail lounge.
As part of the new approach to dining, Iona will for the first time offer Freedom Dining in all of its main restaurants, giving guests more flexibility for dining. As with other ships in the P&O Cruises fleet, Iona will have The Retreat, a private, open-air deck area where cold flannels, chilled drinks, snacks and al fresco spa treatments are offered in the privacy of shaded cabanas. Iona’s Retreat will also have two infinity whirlpools.
Another new offering is the spa’s variety of destination-themed treatments with locally inspired therapies incorporated into the experience. Cruise guests might choose from rejuvenating options such as the Nordic Cleanse or the Baltic & Ice Massage, inspired by the Nordic heritage of hot and cold therapies.
Upon launch in May 2020, Iona will sail from Southampton, United Kingdom, exclusively to the Norwegian Fjords during the inaugural season with departures throughout spring and summer 2020, followed by winter sun holidays to the Canaries, Spain and Portugal.
Enchanted Princess from Princess Cruises – June 2020
Debuting in Rome (Civitavecchia) in June 2020, the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess shares all of the spectacular style and luxury of its sister ships – Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Majestic Princess and the recently launched Sky Princess. Guests will discover exquisite, one-of-a-kind dining experiences, more pools and whirlpool hot tubs and world-class entertainment venues hosting dazzling performances. The ship also will feature breathtaking Sky Suites, with expansive views from the largest balconies at sea, which originally debuted on Sky Princess in October 2019.
Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite), the furnished balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer 270-degree panorama views and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more room for gathering – making them ideal for families. Before Sky Suite guests board their cruise ship, they can take advantage of a pre-cruise, shoreside concierge. Once onboard, guests will also enjoy Sanctuary services on their balcony, a private suite experience manager, complimentary access to the Lotus Spa’s Enclave, enhanced ultimate balcony dining and even a deluxe telescope for Discovery Stargazing at Sea.
Enchanted Princess will offer new entertainment experiences recently introduced on Sky Princess, including Phantom Bridge, a world’s first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room; Take Five, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz; and new one-of-a-kind production shows like Rock Opera created exclusively for Princess Cruises.
In addition, Enchanted Princess marks the second ship purpose-built MedallionClass newbuild. Featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion™ wearable device, MedallionClass vacations deliver an entirely new level of service and create a vacation that is more seamless, effortless and personalized. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES® 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the complimentary OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, while eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment.
Debuting in the Mediterranean in June 2020, Enchanted Princess will be named in Southampton, United Kingdom, and depart on its 10-day maiden voyage July 1 to Rome, where it will begin a series of Mediterranean cruises for the summer and fall before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale in November 2020 for sailings to the Caribbean for the winter season.
Mardi Gras from Carnival Cruise Line – November 2020
In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line’s rich history as America’s Cruise Line, the brand’s newest ship Mardi Gras was named in honor of the first Carnival Cruise Line ship that entered service in 1972 and played a leading role in generating widespread popularity for cruise vacations in the U.S. Mardi Gras will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by LNG, the marine industry’s most advanced fuel technology.
Carnival Cruise Line’s most innovative ship, Mardi Gras will feature groundbreaking experiences like the first roller coaster at sea, BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster. The thrill ride offers 360-degree views while guests race 187 feet above the sea with drops, dips and hairpin turns reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Guests can choose their own speed on the all-electric roller coaster so no two rides will ever be the same.
BOLT will take center stage in the Ultimate Playground, spanning Decks 18-20 and home to the largest WaterWorks aqua park in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, featuring three unique heart-racing slides designed for all-ages, an exciting zone designed specifically for kids with a 150-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and numerous water toys.
Mardi Gras will introduce Emeril’s Bistro 1396, the first seagoing restaurant by famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse that will be housed in the ship’s French Quarter, one of six themed zones on board offering a variety of food, beverage and entertainment choices.
Entertainment will be at the heart of Mardi Gras’ onboard experience with never-before-seen offerings including a first-in-fleet partnership with Family Feud, new high-tech Playlist Productions shows, a dedicated Punchliner Comedy Club, and new live music and entertainment options.
Mardi Gras is set to debut in November 2020, operating year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral.
Costa Firenze from Costa Cruises – October 2020
Costa Firenze is the second ship for Costa Cruises built specifically for the China market, where the Italian company was the first international cruise line to start operating in 2006.
Inspired by the city of Florence and representing centuries of Italian culture and history, Costa Firenze will offer guests the chance to fully immerse themselves in Italian beauty and aesthetics, which will take shape in various aspects of life on board from interior design to dining and entertainment to hospitality.
Like its sister ship Costa Venezia, Costa Firenze will offer a series of innovations designed specifically for the Chinese market, including a wide choice of Chinese food, Chinese-style karaoke and parties such as the “Golden Party” with surprises and gifts awarded every 10 minutes.
Following its delivery scheduled for September 30, Costa Firenze will head to China, offering cruising for Chinese customers beginning October 20, 2020.