Carnival Cruise Line has the first steel for its newest class of ship.
At the same time, the American cruise giant revealed the new livery for the as yet unnamed 180,000-ton XL vessel.
When it takes to the sea it will be the first-ever ship operating in North America to use liquefied natural gas.
The traditional steel-cutting ceremony, held at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, signified the official start of construction of the largest Carnival cruise ship ever constructed, to be delivered in 2020.
A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.
At the ceremony, the company also revealed a dramatic new red, white and blue hull and paint design that celebrates its legacy as America’s Cruise Line and pays homage to maritime tradition.
Developed by New York-based Bluarch Architecture, the design builds upon the company’s existing colour scheme.
Highlighted by a stately navy-blue hull inspired by officers’ uniforms, the design also includes vibrant red and white accents running the entire length of the 1,130-foot-long ship.
“This new ship promises to be truly special, from its ground-breaking technology and one-of-a-kind features to its distinctive livery and hull design that is both timeless and forward-thinking while paying tribute to our nearly 50-year history of making wonderful holiday memories for our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Following the steel-cutting ceremony, construction began on the 5,200-plus lower berth ship which will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations and will be the first North American-based cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas.
“The start of construction of this amazing ship is a historic day for our company as we are laying the foundation for an unparalleled seagoing holiday experience that will be like no other and take our cruise offerings to the next level,” Duffy said.
As previously announced, the ship will operate from Port Canaveral, Florida, beginning in 2020.
The ship’s name is scheduled to be revealed in early December.
Details of the ship’s inaugural season are planned to be announced in January, with information on the vessel’s array of culinary, beverage and entertainment options to be revealed later in 2019.