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Carnival Cruise Line delays 2021 European deployment and Mardi Gras launch

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Carnival Cruise Line has delayed its European deployment plans once again, following the fall out from the coronavirus pandemic.

The cruise line planned to launch back in Europe in 2021 along with launching a new ship later this year, but both have now been pushed back.

Mardi Gras, the line’s new-build LNG-powered vessel, was meant to launch later this year but has now been delayed until February 2021.

Itineraries on the ship out of Port Canaveral from 14 November 2020 to 30 January 2021 have now been cancelled.

A $200 million refit on the cards for Carnival Radiance has also been pushed back until next spring.

In a statement shared on its Twitter page, Carnival Cruise Line revealed that the line will be notifying guests and travel agents on the revisions to the delivery of Mardi Gras and Carnival Radiance, along with itinerary changes for certain Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic sailings.

The line is informing agents today (Tuesday) that 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic’s European itineraries between 13 March and 3 May 2021, including a transatlantic re-positioning sailing, have been cancelled.

Carnival was set to host 480 UK agents on board next month aboard Mardi Gras, as it made its way from Copenhagen to New York via Southampton.

Dubbed one of the biggest cruise ship launches of the year, $1 billion-plus Mardi Gras will feature the first roller coaster at sea and hold an impressive 5,200 passengers.

The ship had been due to enter service later this year, running itineraries from Port Canaveral to Florida from 14 November. However, it will not only set sail from 6 February next year.

The changes to launches and itineraries come as a direct result of the suspension of cruises and shut down of the global travel industry, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said: “We continue to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global commerce, public health and our cruise operations.

“In addition to our current pause in service, there have been many other unintended consequences, including shipyard, dry dock and ship delivery delays, and related changes to our deployment plans for our fleet.

“While we had hoped to make up construction time on Mardi Gras over the summer, it’s clear we will need extra time to complete this magnificent ship.

“We share our guests’ disappointment and appreciate their patience as we work through this unprecedented time in our business and the lives of so many people.

“We remain committed to working with government, public health and industry officials to support the response to the pandemic and to return to operations when the time is right.”

Both passengers and agents due to sail on these ships will be notified of the changes throughout the course of today (Tuesday 7 July).

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