Coronavirus pushes Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras ship debut to February 2021

The ship will now debut from Port Canaveral, Florida, starting on Feb. 6, 2021 

Carnival Corporation will push back the debut of its Mardi Gras cruise ship until February 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"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," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a statement.  "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."

According to the announcement, all Mardi Gras sailings between Nov. 14, 2020, and Jan. 30, 2021, have been cancelled.

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Carnival's Mardi Gras is the first liquified natural gas-powered ship to operate in the Western Hemisphere and features the first roller coaster at sea.

Carnival Mardi Gras (Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

The ship will now debut from Port Canaveral, Florida starting on February 6, 2021.

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In addition, Carnival Cruise Line said that its Radiance cruise ship is also being delayed until the spring due to the pandemic after its $200 million dry dock at a shipyard in Cadiz, Span, was closed following a nationwide lockdown.

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As a result, Carnival's Breeze cruise ship will be redeployed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral to take over the Radiance's itineraries from Nov. 8, 2020, to April 24, 2021. The Carnival Breeze's 18 sailings scheduled to sail from Fort Lauderdale from Nov. 7, 2020, to March 7, 2021, have been cancelled.

Seven sailings previously scheduled for the Carnival Breeze from Fort Lauderdale from March 13 to April 24, 2021, will now sail from Port Miami where guests will sail with their original itinerary, but on the Carnival Magic. As a result, Carnival Magic's transatlantic and European itineraries from March 13, 2021, to May 3, 2021, have also been cancelled.

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Carnival Cruise Line will notify all guests and travel agents by email over the course of the day Tuesday.

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