Surprise, Carnival Cruise Line fans: You’re getting a new ship!

Jun 15, 2022

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Big news, Carnival Cruise Line fans: You’re about to get a new ship.

The Miami-based cruise giant announced on Tuesday it would soon take over the operation of Costa Luminosa, a 13-year-old vessel currently in the fleet of sister line Costa Cruises.

Carnival said the vessel would join the Carnival fleet in September and begin operating voyages for the brand out of Brisbane, Australia, in November.

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It’ll be renamed Carnival Luminosa.

In tandem with the announcement, Carnival also revealed that it would no longer add a different Costa ship, Costa Magica, to its fleet later this year — something that had been in the works for nearly a year.

Built to hold 2,260 passengers at double occupancy, Costa Luminosa is a smaller vessel than the 2,718-passener Costa Magica. That means that the net result of Tuesday’s announcements is that Carnival’s fleet will have slightly less capacity by the end of the year than originally planned.

The announcements come as cruise lines continue to struggle to fill ships at reasonable prices as they ramp back up to full operations following extended COVID-19-related shutdowns.

Like many Costa ships, Costa Luminosa has a similar design to many vessels in the Carnival fleet. Measuring 92,720 tons, it’s similar in size and shares many of the same design features as Carnival’s four 88,500-ton Spirit Class ships — Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend and Carnival Miracle.

Related: The 8 classes of Carnival ships, explained

Costa Luminosa is similar in size and design as Carnival Spirit and its three sister ships. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images for Carnival Cruise Lines Australia)

The Spirit Class ships are known for their large number of balcony cabins and a pool area with a retractable roof — something that makes them useful in destinations with inclement weather such as Alaska.

Carnival said on Tuesday the newly named Carnival Luminosa would reposition to Seattle for the summer of 2023 for weekly sailings to Alaska. It’ll then return to Australia for the following winter.

“Our Spirit-class ships are very popular with our guests, and Luminosa will be a great addition given the large number of balcony cabins which make her an ideal ship for this deployment,” Carnival president Christine Duffy said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “And equally important, this will allow Carnival to finally start our highly anticipated itineraries from Brisbane, so we’ll have two ships operating in Australia for the high season Down Under.”

Related: The ultimate guide to Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Luminosa will be the 25th vessel in the Carnival fleet. The line also has a major new ship, the 5,280-passenger Carnival Celebration, scheduled to debut in December, bringing Carnival’s ship count to 26.

On Tuesday Carnival said the line would make some modest updates to Costa Luminosa before returning it to service as Carnival Luminosa. However, the vessel will not immediately have all of the branded spaces that are common on Carnival ships.

Specific itineraries for the vessel after it begins sailing out of Brisbane will be announced shortly, the line said. The itineraries will include visits to the Great Barrier Reef and Airlie Beach in Australia and, eventually, such ports as Nouméa and Lifou Isle in New Caledonia, Port Vila and Mystery Island in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

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Featured photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line. 

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