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Monday, June 30, 2008

Carnival Welcomes Splendor to the Fleet

Carnival Cruise Lines has officially welcomed a new member into its growing family. In a traditional maritime handover ceremony on Monday, the line took delivery of the 113,300-ton, 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor from Fincantieri's Sestri shipyard, just outside of Genoa. Splendor becomes the 22nd ship in the fleet.

While the vessel represents a new ship class for Carnival, it's not a complete departure for the line, and passengers will find the standard Carnival features: a large casino, flashy design schemes, a top-notch children's program, and a plethora of bars and discos. The ship's platform isn't entirely new either. It's based on Italian sister line Costa Cruises' Concordia-class ships, the first of which debuted in 2006.

After a stint in the Mediterranean, the line will reposition to the Caribbean, offering seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailings this winter out of Ft. Lauderdale. Carnival Splendor will also offer three South America cruises ranging from 14 to 18 nights, the first ever offered by the line and the voyages we're most excited about.

The ship will then head to its homeport of Los Angeles, offering year-round Mexican Riviera sailings beginning March 29, 2009.

Carnival Splendor debuts July 2 with an inaugural eight-day Western Europe voyage from Genoa to London (Dover). Once in Dover, the ship will be officially named on July 10 by British singer and celebrity personality Myleene Klass.

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