Carnival Cruise Line has cut the first steel for its newest class of ship and revealed the new livery for the 180,000-ton XL vessel that will be the first-ever ship operating in North America to use liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The steel cutting ceremony was held in Finland for Carnival’s largest vessel to date at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku. It signified the official start of construction of the ship, which is due for delivery in 2020.
A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.
At the ceremony, Carnival also revealed a dramatic new red, white and blue hull design that celebrates its legacy as the first mass market cruise line in America, while also paying homage to maritime tradition.
The design builds upon the company’s iconic color scheme and is highlighted by a stately navy blue hull inspired by officers’ uniforms along with vibrant red and white accents running the entire length of the 1,130-foot (345-metre) ship.
“This new ship promises to be truly special,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line. “From its groundbreaking technology and one-of-a-kind features to its distinctive livery and hull design that is both timeless and forward-thinking while paying tribute to our nearly 50-year history of making wonderful vacation memories for our guests.”
Following the steel-cutting ceremony, construction began on the 5,200-capacity ship, which will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations and will be the first North American-based cruise ship to be powered by LNG, part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” design platform.
“The start of construction of this amazing ship is a historic day for our company as we are laying the foundation for an unparalleled seagoing vacation experience that will be like no other and take our cruise offerings to the next level,” Duffy added.
As previously reported by Cruise Arabia & Africa, the as-yet-unnamed ship will cruise roundtrip from Port Canaveral, beginning in 2020. The ship’s name has already been decided, but won’t be revealed until early December.
Details on the ship’s inaugural season are planned to be announced in January, with information on the vessel’s vast array of exciting culinary, beverage and entertainment options to be revealed later in 2019.