What are the newest Carnival ships? Here’s a list of all Carnival cruise ships by age

22 April 2023

What are the newest Carnival cruise ships? With Carnival Cruise Line frequently turning out new ships and adopting others from sister brand Costa, it can be difficult to keep track of the line’s more than two dozen vessels.

As with most things, the shiniest and most recently built hardware is often the most exciting. The newest Carnival cruise ships are the line’s largest, and they offer tons of activities like trivia, dance parties, bingo and nightly shows; top-deck amenities like water parks, ropes courses and even roller coasters; a staggering variety of cuisines, from steak to Italian to sushi; ample bars and lounges; and some of the biggest and most exclusive accommodations in the fleet.

As a general guide, Carnival Cruise Line’s ships are divided into nine classes, with the Excel, Venice and Vista classes being the latest to debut.

If you’re interested in sorting by the year they were built, here’s a list of the newest to oldest Carnival ships to help you figure out which is right for you.

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Carnival ships by age

1. Carnival Jubilee

Carnival Jubilee. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2023.
Size: 183,521 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 5,374.

2. Carnival Celebration

Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Celebration. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Maiden voyage: 2022.
Size: 183,521 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 5,374.

3. Mardi Gras

Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras ship docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY

Maiden voyage: 2021.
Size: 180,800 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 5,282.

4. Carnival Firenze (formerly Costa Firenze)

Carnival Firenze. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2021 (renamed in 2024).
Size: 135,156 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 4,126.

5. Carnival Panorama

Carnival Panorama. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2019.
Size: 133,500 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 4,008.

6. Carnival Venezia (formerly Costa Venezia)

Carnival Venezia. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2019 (renamed in 2023).
Size: 135,225 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 4,072.

7. Carnival Horizon

Carnival Horizon. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2018.
Size: 133,500 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 3,960.

8. Carnival Vista

Carnival Vista. ANDY NEWMAN/CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2016.
Size: 133,500 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 3,934.

9. Carnival Breeze

Carnival Breeze. DANNY LEHMAN/CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2012.
Size: 130,000 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 3,690.

10. Carnival Magic

Carnival Magic. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2011.
Size: 130,000 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 3,690.

11. Carnival Dream

Carnival Dream. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2009.
Size: 130,000 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 3,646.

12. Carnival Luminosa (formerly Costa Luminosa)

Carnival Luminosa. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2009 (overhauled and renamed in 2022).
Size: 92,720 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,260.

13. Carnival Splendor

Carnival Splendor. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2008.
Size: 113,300 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 3,012.

14. Carnival Freedom

Carnival Freedom. JODI4ART/GETTY IMAGES

Maiden voyage: 2007.
Size: 110,000 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,980.

15. Carnival Liberty

Carnival Liberty. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2005.
Size: 110,000 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,974.

16. Carnival Valor

Carnival Valor. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2004.
Size: 110,000 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,980.

17. Carnival Miracle

Carnival Miracle. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2004.
Size: 88,500 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,124.

18. Carnival Glory

Carnival Glory. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2003.
Size: 110,000 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,980.

19. Carnival Legend

Carnival Legend. DANNY LEHMAN/CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2002.
Size: 88,500 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,124.

20. Carnival Conquest

Carnival Conquest docked in Nassau, Bahamas. ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY

Maiden voyage: 2002.
Size: 110,000 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,980.

21. Carnival Pride

Carnival Pride. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2002.
Size: 88,500 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,124.

22. Carnival Spirit

Carnival Spirit. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2001.
Size: 88,500 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,124.

23. Carnival Radiance (formerly Carnival Victory)

Carnival Radiance. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 2000 (overhauled and renamed in 2021).
Size: 101,509 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,984.

24. Carnival Sunrise (formerly Carnival Triumph)

Carnival Sunrise. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 1999 (overhauled and renamed in 2019).
Size: 101,509 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,984.

25. Carnival Paradise

Carnival Paradise. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 1998.
Size: 71,925 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,124.

26. Carnival Elation

Carnival Elation. DANNY LEHMAN/CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 1998.
Size: 71,909 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 2,190.

27. Carnival Sunshine (formerly Carnival Destiny)

Carnival Sunshine. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Maiden voyage: 1996 (overhauled and renamed in 2013).
Size: 102,853 gross tons.
Passenger capacity: 3,002.

What is the oldest Carnival ship?

The oldest Carnival ship is Carnival Sunshine. The ship debuted in 1996 under the name Carnival Destiny, but the cruise line gutted it, redesigned it from bow to stern and renamed it Carnival Sunshine in 2013.

The elderly vessel now looks shiny and nearly new with an adults-only sun deck, a water park, a comedy club and several bars, lounges and restaurants, as well as a spa. Dr. Seuss characters also make appearances as part of Carnival’s Seuss at Sea programming.

Are there any new Carnival ships being built?

At the time of publication, Carnival Jubilee, the third ship in Carnival’s Excel class, was still under construction and set to be delivered to Carnival in 2023.

The vessel, along with sisters Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, was designed as a throwback to the ship of the same name, which sailed for Carnival Cruise Line from 1986 to 2004.

Although the new ships bearing the old names give subtle nods to their predecessors, they’re exceptionally modern, offering state-of-the-art shows, excellent food and jaw-dropping top-deck entertainment, such as ropes courses, water parks and even roller coasters.

Additionally, although it’s already built, Costa Firenze — which sailed its maiden voyage for Costa Cruises in 2021 — will become Carnival Firenze when the vessel transfers to Carnival in 2024.

What is the newest Carnival ship available for booking?

Both Carnival Jubilee and Carnival Firenze are open for bookings, with the former’s cruises beginning in December 2023 and the latter setting sail starting in May 2024.

Information for the ships’ first voyages is as follows:

Carnival Jubilee, Dec. 23, 2023: seven-night Western Caribbean cruise, round trip from Galveston, Texas, from $1,819 per person.
Carnival Firenze, May 2, 2024: five-night Mexican Riviera cruise, round trip from Los Angeles’ Long Beach port, from $339 per person.

Both fares are for inside cabins with no windows or balconies. Fares were accurate at the time of booking; they are subject to change without notice. Taxes and port fees are extra.

What is the newest class of Carnival ships?

Carnival’s Excel class is the newest of the line’s nine classes, comprising Mardi Gras (2021), Carnival Celebration (2022) and Carnival Jubilee, which is set to begin sailing for the line in late 2023.

Despite featuring a plethora of modern onboard amenities, all three ships are named for former members of Carnival’s founding fleet, which dates back to 1972.

What’s the difference between newer and older Carnival ships?

The biggest difference is that the line’s older vessels are considerably smaller than its newer ones. Carnival’s oldest ships carry between 2,100 and 3,000 passengers, while its newest can accommodate more than 5,000 people.

It’s a given that smaller ships don’t have as much room to offer every single amenity that the larger ones do, but Carnival has made significant investments in its vessels in an attempt to make them more uniform across the board, regardless of their age.

A testament to that is the rollout of its Fun Ship 2.0 initiative, which cost $500 million and took five years to implement. It added the Punchliner Comedy Club and passenger-favorite Alchemy Bar to most ships and also brought Guy Fieri to the high seas with Guy’s Burger Joint — a partnership that has expanded to include barbecue and microbrewed beer on the newest ships in the fleet.

Another difference is that newer vessels — those in the Vista and Excel classes — offer Havana Cabana staterooms, which include exclusive access to a dedicated bar and pool area just for people booked in the corresponding staterooms. On Excel-class ships, luxury-seeking travelers can book the biggest accommodations available: Presidential Suites, which measure 1,120 square feet and have 600-square-foot balconies.

The decor is also an easy way to tell the age of a Carnival ship. Older hardware is decked out with fun colors, neon lights and art installations by renowned architect Joe Farcus, who previously designed Carnival’s ship interiors. (He’s also responsible for the line’s iconic “whale tail” funnels.) The aesthetics of Carnival’s more recent ships are similar to just about any other cruise line — expect neutrals with pops of color here and there but nothing terribly interesting.

Finally, fares are a key differentiator. The older the ship, the more likely it is to sail shorter itineraries at a lower price point.

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