For years the focus of Carnival Cruise Line has been on the introduction of brand-new ships like Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and Carnival Jubilee. These new additions mark the biggest and most advanced vessels in the fleet.
Now Carnival is adding another ship to its lineup, but it’s not a newbuild at all. In fact, it’s actually a vessel that first started sailing in 2009 — 13 years ago.
Costa Luminosa will transfer from sister-line Costa Cruises over to Carnival Cruise Line in September of this year. Previously Carnival Cruise Line had planned to add Costa Magica to its fleet. That ship will instead stay with Costa, and Luminosa will take its place.
The ship will be known as Carnival Luminosa when it makes the move later this year.
While adding a completely brand-new ship is always exciting, this move allows Carnival to add capacity without having to wait (or pay) for another new ship to be built. Instead, the plan is for Luminosa to transfer over in September and start service in November.
“With our full fleet back to guest operations and the pent-up demand for Carnival we are seeing every week aboard our ships, the chance to expand with Luminosa and then the arrival of Carnival Celebration in November provides our guests with more choices and new ways to enjoy a Carnival vacation,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Luminosa is a sister to Carnival’s Spirit class, coming in at about 93,000 gross tons. (For comparison, Mardi Gras is 182,000 gross tons.) The ship carries roughly 2,800 guests and 1,000 crew members.
When the ship starts sailing in November, Luminosa will sail from Brisbane, Australia, giving the cruise line two ships in the area. In April/May 2023, the ship will move to Seattle where it will sail the Alaskan season before returning back to Australia later that year.
One thing to know is that the experience may not be exactly what you’re used to if you sail Carnival stateside. According to the cruise line, the ship will go through some “modest updates” to change from a Costa-branded ship to a Carnival ship before it begins sailing. However, “the ship will not initially have all of the Funship 2.0 branded spaces that are seen across the Carnival fleet.”
Previously, Carnival removed some older and less efficient ships from the fleet during the pandemic.