Carnival Mardi Gras bow docked at Port Canaveral.

Carnival Cruise Line Orders Another Excel-Class Ship

This site contains affiliate links for which we may be compensated.

Carnival has plans to add yet another Excel-Class ship to its fleet in 2028.

Carnival Corporation has signed an agreement with Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard to build a fifth Excel-class cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Line. Delivery date is set for sometime in 2028.

Photo montage of Carnival's five Excel-Class ships.
(Photo: Carnival Corp.)

Carnival Cruise Line’s Five Excel-Class Ships 

The first Carnival Excel-class ship, Carnival Mardi Gras, was launched in 2021 and the first in the fleet to be powered by LNG; liquified natural gas. Mardi Gras also served as the prototype for this new generation of ships that feature six unique themed “zones.

Carnival Mardi Gras La Piazza
Carnival Mardi Gras Italian Zone, La Piazza. (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

In February 2024, Carnival Corporation placed the first newbuild order in half a decade. This new ship will be the fifth Excel-class ship to join the Carnival Cruise Line fleet in spring 2028. In total, this newest ship will be the 11th Excel-class ship across four of Carnival’s brands.

For Carnival Cruise Line, the other four ships in this class include the already-mentioned Carnival Mardi Gras, plus Carnival Celebration, Carnival Jubilee and Carnival Firenza

“Carnival’s Excel-class fleet will soon be a quintet of these very popular ships that provide outstanding guest amenities and tremendous operating efficiencies,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Since the introduction of Mardi Gras in 2021 and the subsequent expansion with Carnival Celebration in 2022 and Carnival Jubilee in 2023, these Excel-class ships are driving excitement, demand, and strong guest satisfaction ratings. With the arrival of Carnival Firenze in April, we are completing the addition of five ships to our fleet in less than 20 months, and then we will pivot to another phase of growth with these two Excel ships.”

A Ship Design Worth Repeating

Built on the same platform as its sisters, this fifth Excel-class ship will weigh 180,000-ton ship and be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). These ships are designed to accommodate more than 6,400 guests and 1,800 crew.

The newest ship will also have the zone concept that encourages passengers to explore more areas, try new food and visit specialty restaurants. Recreation areas are also part of the design element, with spaces that can convert to accommodate different events.

“This new order continues to balance our commitment to growth with our responsible capital approach to utilize strong free cash flow over the next several years to strategically improve our balance sheet, significantly reduce our leverage levels and continue to transfer value from debt holders to shareholders,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.

Carnival Cruise Line continues to perform at an outstanding level, and we are focused on adding capacity across the company where it aligns with demand and our position in the marketplace. This measured capacity growth strategy will result in our adding one to two ships per year beginning in 2027, and we will be identifying additional fleet plans over the coming months for our cruise lines to meet capacity demand and improve execution across all aspects of our operation, with the benefit of yielding higher return on invested capital,” said Weinstein.

What are the Zones in Carnival’s newest ships?

While not every Excel-class vessel will have the exact same six zones, it’s a way to break up the size of the ships into smaller bites. Speaking of bites, each of the zones has its own theme and eateries, with unique dining and drinking areas. For example, aboard Mardi Gras you’ll find Grand Central, French Quarter (with Emeril Lagasse’s Bistro 1396), an Italian-themed La Piazza and restaurant, relaxing Summer Landing, a spacious Lido deck and The Ultimate Playground.

This order is contingent upon financing, which is expected to be completed later this year.

You’ll Also Love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *