Four Carnival brands will launch new cruise ships in 2020. The new ships are Iona for P&O Cruises UK, Enchanted Princess for Princess Cruises, Mardi Gras for Carnival Cruise Line and Costa Firenze for Italian brand Costa Cruises.
These follow Carnival Corporation’s four new vessels introduced to the fleet 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 travellers 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.”
The company has 16 new ships scheduled to be delivered through 2025 and has committed to improving the overall guest experience with new innovations, while also ensuring energy efficiencies and sustainability.
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), eliminating sulphur and improving overall air emissions.
Iona, which is scheduled to enter service in May 2020, will be the first new ship to join the P&O Cruises fleet since the introduction of Britannia in 2015. It will feature 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.
The ship will also feature the SkyDome, a new entertainment venue located 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 London’s Embassy Gardens Sky Pool and Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique. SkyDome will offer guests a space for relaxation and informal dining during the day, and transition into evening activities that include aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties.
Iona will also have 30 bar and restaurant venues, offering flexible dining options that include a food market serving cuisine from around the world, a new gastropub concept and a laid-back cocktail lounge. As part of the line’s new approach to dining, Iona will for the first time offer Freedom dining in all of its main restaurants.
Iona will carry over some popular features of P&O’s other ships, including The Retreat, a private, open-air deck area where cold flannels, chilled drinks, snacks and alfresco spa treatments are offered in the privacy of shaded cabanas. Iona’s Retreat will feature two infinity whirlpools.
The spa will offer destination-themed treatments with locally inspired therapies such as the Nordic Cleanse or the Baltic and Ice Massage, inspired by the Nordic heritage of hot and cold therapies.
From May 2020, Iona will sail from Southampton, UK, 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.
Princess Cruises’ Enchanted Princess will offer up to 3,660 guests unique dining experiences, more pools and whirlpool hot tubs, and entertainment venues.
Enchanted Princess will also feature the Sky Suites, which originally debuted on Sky Princess in October 2019. Measuring 1,012ft² (94m²) on the starboard side and 947ft² (87.97m²) on the port side, these two suites will offer 270º panorama views, have sleeping capacity for up to five guests and feature private living and dining areas. Their furnished balconies will give guests a private vantage point to see the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screen. Sky Suite guests will also have an assigned pre-cruise shoreside concierge as well as Sanctuary services on their balcony, a private suite experience manager, complimentary access to the Lotus Spa’s Enclave, enhanced ultimate balcony dining and a deluxe telescope for stargazing at sea.
Enchanted Princess will offer new entertainment experiences recently introduced on Sky Princess, including Phantom Bridge, a game combining digital and physical elements in an immersive escape room; Take Five, a jazz theatre at sea; and new exclusive shows.
Princess Cruises’ Enchanted Princess is designed from the ground up as a Princess Medallion class ship. The OceanMedallion wearable device is designed to facilitate seamless, personalised service for guests.
Debuting in the Mediterranean in June 2020, Enchanted Princess will be named in Southampton, UK, and depart on its 10-day maiden voyage on 1 July 2020 to Rome, Italy, where it will begin a series of Mediterranean cruises for the summer and autumn before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in November 2020 for sailings to the Caribbean for the winter season.
Meanwhile, Mardi Gras is named as a tribute to TSS Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line’s first-ever ship, which entered service in 1972. The new Mardi Gras will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by LNG fuel technology.
Features will include Bolt, a rollercoaster enabling guests to race 187ft (56m) above the sea with drops, dips and hairpin turns reaching speeds of up to 40mph (64kph). Guests can choose their own speed on the all-electric rollercoaster.
Bolt will be a central feature of the Ultimate Playground, spanning decks 18-20, which will also house the largest WaterWorks aqua park in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, featuring three slides and other water activities.
Mardi Gras will also introduce Emeril’s Bistro 1396. This will be the first seagoing restaurant by New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse and 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 include 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.
Following a delay at the shipbuilders, Mardi Gras is now set to debut in November 2020, operating year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Costa Firenze is Costa Cruises’ second ship designed and built specifically for the China market. Its design and aesthetics, dining, entertainment and hospitality experiences are all inspired by the city of Florence, Italy.
Features intended specifically for the Chinese market will include 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 30 September 2020 – Costa Firenze will head to China, with cruises beginning on 20 October 2020.
Image: Carnival Cruise Line