Everything you need to know about Carnival's new Mardi Gras cruise ship

Carnival Mardi Gras
Carnival Mardi Gras

Carnival Cruise Line's giant new ship, the Mardi Gras, will begin sailing from Port Canaveral in October 2020, with a range of seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.

The cruise line announced today that its largest ship — now under construction in Finland — initially will offer four special cruises from ports in Europe and from New York City from late-August to mid-October before arriving at Port Canaveral, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

Following a special eight-day Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral on Oct. 16, 2020, Mardi Gras will kick off its regular seven-day sailings from the Space Coast on Oct. 24, 2020.

It will offer offering two three-port, seven-day itineraries, alternating weekly to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. 

• Eastern Caribbean cruises will visit San Juan, Amber Cove and Grand Turk.

• Western Caribbean sailings will stop in Cozumel, Costa Maya and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan).

In a statement announcing the plan, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said: “For Mardi Gras, we’ve developed some truly exciting and diverse itineraries that will provide our guests with opportunities to experience and explore top destinations in Europe and the Caribbean. These itineraries will serve as the perfect complement to the unique shipboard experience that Mardi Gras will offer."

Port Canaveral is building a two-story, 188,000-square-foot cruise terminal and 1,000-space parking garage that will be used by the Mardi Gras. It is part of the port’s largest single construction project in its 65-year history — the $163 million Cruise Terminal 3 complex. 

The 180,000-ton “XL-class” Mardi Gras will have a maximum capacity of 6,500 passengers and about 2,000 crew members

Among Mardi Gras' initial sailings are:

• A nine-day maiden voyage from Copenhagen to Southampton from Aug. 31 to  Sept. 9, 2020, calling at Kiel (Hamburg), Germany; Gothenburg, Sweden; Oslo, Norway; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium; and Le Havre (Paris), France.  

• A 14-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Southampton to New York from Sept. 9 to Sept. 23, 2020, with stops at Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; and Funchal (Madeira) and Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal.

• A six-day round-trip cruise from New York to Portland, Maine, and Saint John, New Brunswick, sailing Sept. 24 to Sept. 30, 2020.

• A 15-day voyage departing New York Sept. 30, 2020, and arriving in Port Canaveral on Oct. 15, 2020, calling at Amber Cove, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk. 

Duffy said Carnival has started releasing some of its new stateroom designs to customers and travel agents, and  plans to share additional details over the coming weeks.