37 YEARS OF ‘FUN’: A HISTORY OF CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
Carnival Cruise Lines is the largest and most successful cruise line in the world, carrying more passengers than any other. But “Today’s Carnival” is a vastly different company than the one started from humble beginnings more than three decades ago. Carnival was launched with a converted transatlantic ocean liner and a dream of entrepreneur Ted Arison, a pioneer in the modern-day cruise industry who set out to realize his vision of making a vacation experience once reserved for the very rich accessible to the average person. The rest, as they say, is history.
THROUGH THE YEARS . . .
1972 – Maiden voyage of Carnival’s first ship, the TSS Mardi Gras, which runs aground on sandbar outside the Port of Miami
1975 – Carnival purchases Empress of Britain, enters service as the TSS Carnivale
1978 – The Festivale, formerly the S.A. Vaal, undergoes $30 million refurbishment, begins service for Carnival as the largest and fastest vessel sailing from Miami to the Caribbean (the ship has since been retired from the fleet)
1982 – Debut of the Tropicale, the first new cruise ship the cruise industry has seen in many years; ship marks the beginning of an industry-wide multi-billion-dollar shipbuilding boom (the ship has since been retired from the fleet)
1984 – Carnival becomes first cruise line to advertise on network T.V. with the premiere of new advertising campaign starring company spokesperson Kathie Lee Gifford (then Johnson)
1985 – Debut of 46,052-ton Holiday
1986 – Launch of 47,262-ton Jubilee (the ship has since been retired from the fleet)
1987 – The 47,262-ton Celebration enters service Carnival earns distinction as “Most Popular Cruise Line in the World,” carrying more passengers than any other Carnival Cruise Lines undertakes its initial public offering on Wall Street, raising approximately $400 million to fuel future expansion; entity later becomes Carnival Corporation & plc, a multiline worldwide cruise conglomerate
1990 – The 70,367-ton Fantasy – the first and namesake vessel in the highly successful “Fantasy Class”– enters service as first new ship ever placed on three- and four-day Bahamas cruise program from Miami. Eventually, Carnival would construct eight “Fantasy-class” vessels, the most cruise ships in a single class.
1991 – Launch of 70,367-ton Ecstasy
1993 – Carnival introduces its third 70,367-ton SuperLiner, Sensation
1994 – Debut of 70,367-ton Fascination Carnival’s parent company renamed Carnival Corporation to distinguish between it and its flagship brand, Carnival Cruise Lines. Company is later renamed Carnival Corp. & plc following the combination with P&O Princess Cruises, creating the world’s largest cruise vacation group by far.
1995 – 70,367-ton Imagination enters service
1996 – Carnival’s launches sixth “Fantasy-class” vessel, the SuperLiner Inspiration Carnival debuts the first passenger vessel to exceed 100,000 tons, the 101,353-ton Carnival Destiny, at the time the world’s largest cruise ship
1998 – Carnival Cruise Lines introduces seventh “Fantasy-class” vessel, the Elation, the first new cruise ship deployed on the West Coast The eighth and last in the “Fantasy-class” series, the Paradise, enters service
1999 – Debut of the 102,000-ton Carnival Triumph, Carnival’s second “Destiny-class” vessel
2000 – A third “Destiny-class” vessel, the 102,000-ton Carnival Victory, is launched.
2001 – Carnival introduces a new class of vessel with the launch of the 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit, the first new “Fun Ship” ever positioned in the Alaska and Hawaii markets
2002 – A second “Spirit-class” vessel, the Carnival Pride, is launched Carnival’s third “Spirit-class” ship, Carnival Legend, enters service Debut of the 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest, the largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed.
2003- Second 110,000-ton “Conquest-class” ship, the Carnival Glory, begins year-round sevenday cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla., July 19.
2004 – Carnival Miracle, the fourth in Carnival’s “Spirit-class,” begins a series of 12 voyages from Jacksonville, Fla. – the first “Fun Ship” sailings from that port – Feb. 27, 2004. A third 110,000-ton “Conquest-class” ship, the Carnival Valor, begins year-round seven-day service from Miami Dec. 19, 2004, becoming the largest “Fun Ship” ever based at that port.
2005 – A fourth 110,000-ton “Conquest-class” vessel, Carnival Liberty, is slated to debut July 20, 2005, operating Carnival’s first-ever Mediterranean cruises.
2007 - Carnival Freedom, the line’s fifth 110,000-ton vessel is scheduled to enter service in February 2007.
2008 – Carnival Splendor, the biggest Carnival ship ever built with 113.000-ton. For the first time in Northern Europe.
2009 - The 130,000-ton Carnival Dream – the largest Carnival ship ever constructed – entered service in Europe Sept. 21, 2009.
2011 - The second 130,000-ton vessel of the Dream Class, Carnival Magic, is set to debut in June 2011.
2012 – Carnival Breeze, the line’s third 130,000 ton vessel is set to debut in Spring 2012.
- Carnival Breeze
- Carnival Conquest
- Carnival Dream
- Carnival Ecstasy
- Carnival Elation
- Carnival Fantasy
- Carnival Fascination
- Carnival Freedom
- Carnival Glory
- Carnival Imagination
- Carnival Inspiration
- Carnival Legend
- Carnival Liberty
- Carnival Magic
- Carnival Miracle
- Carnival Paradise
- Carnival Pride
- Carnival Sensation
- Carnival Splendor
- Carnival Sunshine
- Carnival Triumph
- Carnival Valor
- Carnival Victory