Canaveral Port Authority and Carnival Cruise Line have broken ground for the construction of Port Canaveral’s new Cruise Terminal 3, which will be used by Mardi Gras, the new cruise ship for Carnival.
Dubbed ‘The Launch Pad’, the terminal will have a futuristic design inspired by the US space program and the nearby Kennedy Space Centre – it will also be the largest cruise terminal the 65-year-old port has ever built.
“Today’s groundbreaking is a historic milestone for our Port and underscores the long-standing partnership we have with Carnival,” Port CEO Capt. John Murray said. “We’re building a great new terminal, for an innovative new ship, and looking forward to welcoming home Mardi Gras.”
The US $163-million terminal is scheduled for completion in May 2020 and will be ready for the arrival of Mardi Gras to her year-round Port Canaveral homeport in October 2020, according to a statement.
“We began our operations from Port Canaveral nearly 30 years go – coincidentally with our original ship of the same name,” said Carnival President Christine Duffy. “We’ve had a great relationship with Port Canaveral during that time and we’re proud, honoured and excited that our newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, will sail from the new Terminal 3.”
Port Canaveral and Carnival Cruise Line executives held a “pre-launch mission” news conference complete with a mock countdown, then grabbed shovels on the terminal construction site for the ceremonial first dig to officially kick off construction.
After a special eight-day cruise to the Caribbean on Oct. 16, 2020, Mardi Gras will commence year-round seven-day itineraries out of Port Canaveral on Oct. 24, 2020.
These itineraries will alternate weekly between the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
The Eastern Caribbean cruises aboard Mardi Gras will visit San Juan, Puerto Rico, Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos, while Western itineraries will cruise to Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Honduras.
Mardi Gras is the largest cruise ship ever ordered by Carnival Cruise Line and the first in North America to run entirely on LNG, a much cleaner-burning fuel, producing fewer emissions than heavy marine oil.