The world’s biggest ocean cruise brand, Carnival Cruise Line, currently sails with a global fleet of 25 ships. What you may not know however is that almost the entire fleet is based in the United States, with Australia and China being the only other parts of the world featuring a Carnival ship.
While Carnival Spirit spends its entire year based in Sydney, and Carnival Legend visits each summer, the rest of the fleet’s 23 ships spend their year in the United States of America, with some ships moving between ports based on demand (such as Alaska during its peak) while others serve their loyal home ports throughout the year.
Australians do not limit their experiences with Carnival Cruise Line to their two locally based ships, with thousands flocking to the US each year to sail in Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, New England and the multiple corners of the Caribbean.
The line recently released a brand new brochure highlighting which of its American itineraries are particularly popular with Australian cruisers. Here’s what you’ll find inside.
One direct flight from Australia’s east coast connects to the US West Coast and the port of San Pedro and Long Beach in Los Angeles. From there, Aussies can jump on what has proven to be the most popular of all of Carnival’s international itineraries – that being the seven-night round-trip from LA to the Mexican Riviera onboard Carnival Miracle, which will continue to sail these cruises until January 2018, when it will be replaced by Carnival Splendor.
This ship is actually a sister ship to the more familiar Carnival Spirit so the atmosphere will be similar to what a local cruiser has experienced with the brand here in Australia. During the voyage, guests visit Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan as well as experiencing all the colour and flavour of Mexico, with cabins priced from $1,283 per person twin share.
Already popular as the second member of Carnival’s Australian fleet, Carnival Legend heads back to its US heartland during the Australian winter to sail into Alaska from Seattle.
Visiting Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord and Victoria, Legend has developed a following of loyal Aussies, many of whom travel to the US to get back onboard for her Alaskan adventures, which depart from May to August each year. Staterooms for these cruises are priced from $1,715 per person twin share, but keep your eyes peeled for deals.
The Caribbean is Carnival Cruise Line’s bread and butter, with most of the fleet, some 18-20 ships during peak season, sailing to this part of the world from ports as far north as New York City, all the way down the east coast to multiple home ports in Florida and around the Gulf of Mexico to regional centres including Mobile, New Orleans, Galveston as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Carnival Vista is the line’s newest ship and recently joined the family of ships sailing from Florida, now sailing eight-night Eastern and Southern Caribbean cruises to Grand Turk, Aruba, La Romana and Bonaire, with fares starting at $1,559 per person twin share.
There is a huge variety of itineraries available here, cruising to different parts of the region and for different lengths of time. Aussies are particularly loving the seven-night Western Caribbean cruises on Carnival Magic, which visit Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize and Mahogany Bay, often combining their cruise with a visit to the many theme parks in Orlando.