Construction has begun on another giant of the seas.
The Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, on Wednesday cut the first steel for a Carnival Cruise Line ship that will rank among the 10 largest cruise vessels in the world.
At 180,000 gross tons, the as-yet-unnamed ship will be nearly 35 percent bigger than the biggest Carnival vessels currently at sea.
It’s scheduled to begin sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2020.
Carnival initially announced plans for the ship in 2016, saying it would carry 5,200 passengers at double occupancy – the most ever for a Carnival vessel.
Carnival at the time also said the ship would be powered by liquefied natural gas – a relative rarity in the cruise world. Carnival said it would mark the first time a North America-based ship was powered by liquefied natural gas.
Carnival has released few other details about the ship other than an artist’s drawing of its exterior, which will feature a new-for-Carnival red, white and blue hull design. The hulls of Carnival ships currently are white with small red stripes.
Carnival on Wednesday said the ship’s name would be revealed in early December. Details of its initial itineraries will be revealed in January. Details of onboard features will come later in 2019.
The new vessel will be the world’s sixth biggest cruise ship at the time it debuts. While significantly larger than any other Carnival ship, it’ll still be more than 25 percent smaller than the world’s biggest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s new Symphony of the Seas.
Christened last week in Miami, Symphony measures 228,081 gross tons.
Carnival currently operates 26 cruise vessels from more than a dozen ports.
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