Carnival Announces FOURTH Excel-Class Ship

In a move that confirms the popularity of these ships among Carnival fans, the cruise line announced it has an agreement to build a fourth Excel-class cruise ship. The newly announced ship is slated to arrive in 2027 as a sister to Carnival’s biggest ships, Mardi Gras, Celebration, and the newly-arrived Jubilee.

Carnival Jubilee arriving in port
Carnival Cruise Line announced a fourth Excel-class ship (the third ship in the class, Carnival Jubilee is shown here). The unnamed ship is scheduled to start sailing in 2027.

Coming in at 180,000 gross tons, this ship class is like nothing else in the Carnival fleet. They hold more passengers than any other Carnival ship (6,400, according to the cruise line) and pack more onboard. This includes more restaurants, pools, bars, and things to do, including the famous BOLT! roller coaster that is the only coaster at sea.

The new ship will be built in Germany by Meyer Werft. Carnival says it will be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG).

“Our Excel class ships have been a tremendous addition to the Carnival fleet and proven very popular with our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“As the world’s most popular cruise line, this new ship enables us to continue the growth of our incredible fleet as we welcome our loyal guests back to cruise more frequently and attract new-to-cruise guests to experience all that a Carnival cruise has to offer.”

Surprisingly, this will be the first new ship order by Carnival in five years. Despite that lull in orders, the cruise line has grown quickly following the pandemic. Previously planned ships like Carnival Celebration and Jubilee have entered service, and the cruise line has also taken on ships from sister-line Costa, which operates primarily in Europe. This includes the arrival of Carnival Venezia.

In other words, there has been no lull in fresh ships in the fleet despite the pause in new orders.

Few Details About the New Ship (But a Possible Name?)

While the announcement is big news, there’s still plenty that isn’t known about the new vessel.

First, there is no announcement yet of a name for the new ship. However, we can get an idea. Past ships in this class (Mardi Gras, Celebration, Jubilee) have all taken on the name of former ships in the fleet that had been retired.

Following in that path, there are several names that fit the bill, including Carnivale, Festivale, Tropicale, and Holiday. Notably, Jubilee and Celebration were names of Holiday-class vessels, making “Carnival Holiday” a name to watch in our opinion.

We also don’t know where the ship will homeport. Mardi Gras in Port Canaveral, Carnival Celebration in Miami, and the new Carnival Jubilee in Galveston already anchor the biggest ports for the cruise line.

So where would a fourth ship go? We could see the possibility of a second Excel-class ship sailing from Port Canaveral or Miami as they are major ports that could likely handle the capacity. As well, they have the infrastructure to handle the need for LNG fueling. However, other ports of call like Los Angeles or New Orleans may also be contenders in our opinion if Carnival wants to put new ships in new ports to grow their business there.

Finally, we don’t know any details of what features the ship will include. Previous ships in the class have all been similar when it comes to design. It’s likely that this new ship will follow that same path, but the timeline could allow for changes to be made including new or different venues or activities on the ship.

One more interesting thing to note — Carnival Corporation CEO Josh Weinstein said in the press release that the company plans “one to two ships per year beginning in 2027” that will depend on where there is most need for new capacity. In other words, it could be that even more ships could be coming to the fleet.

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  1. Carnival Holiday (great name) should sail out of Los Angeles- it’s needed on the West Coast. It could sail South, North, and to Hawaii.


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