Carnival ships Fantasy and Inspiration depart fleet

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The Carnival Fantasy in Mobile, Alabama, in 2017. Photo Credit: Alabama Cruise Terminal

Carnival Cruise Line has sold two Fantasy-class ships and will put two others in layup.

Carnival also will bolster deployment throughout its network of homeports in mainland U.S. drive markets. 

The Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration have been sold and are headed to Turkey. The ships were sold to undisclosed buyers, but they are en route to Izmir, home of one of the world’s largest shipbreaking yards.

The Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination will move into long-term layup with no timeline identified for their return to service.

The line also made changes to its ship deployment in order to leverage its U.S. homeports. 

The Carnival Sensation will move from Miami to Mobile, Alabama, and assume the itineraries that the Fantasy and Fascination had been sailing. Passengers on those ships are being rebooked on the Sensation.   

The Carnival Sunrise will move from Fort Lauderdale to Miami, assuming the Sensation’s itineraries. The change puts a larger, upgraded ship (the Sunrise received a $200 million upgrade in 2019) on short itineraries out of Miami. Passengers booked on the Sunrise’s four- and five-day itineraries from Fort Lauderdale will be automatically moved to sailings from Miami. 

Itineraries for the Imagination and Inspiration from Long Beach, Calif., were cancelled through April. The Carnival Panorama will continue to operate seven-day cruises from Long Beach while the Carnival Miracle will operate shorter itineraries from San Diego to Baja, Mexico. 

The Carnival Radiance will go directly from Europe, where it is scheduled to undergo a $200 million upgrade, to Long Beach in April, to assume the short Baja Mexico itineraries previously served by the Imagination and Inspiration. Passengers will be rebooked on the Radiance, which will have new features including Shaq’s Big Chicken Restaurant and an expanded waterpark.

Carnival canceled the Fascination’s sailings from San Juan and Barbados this year and next and will not replace them. 

Carnival president Christine Duffy said that the line will continue to invest in its four remaining Fantasy-class ships.

“[They] work so well for shorter itineraries from smaller ports that cannot accommodate our larger ships,” Duffy said. “With our future fleet plan resolved, we are focused on ensuring we are ready to return to operations once it is determined that the time is right to resume cruising in the U.S.”

Carnival also confirmed that the sister ship to the Mardi Gras will arrive in November 2022. Under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard, the ship will sail out of Miami as previously announced. It will be the Carnival’s second ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas. 

A rendering of Carnival's second Excel-class ship, sister to the Mardi Gras.
A rendering of Carnival's second Excel-class ship, sister to the Mardi Gras.

Correction: The headline on this report was corrected. The Inspiration is leaving the Carnival fleet. The Carnival Imagination is heading into long-term layup but is not leaving the fleet.

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