Carnival Cruise Line confirms first sailing for Mardi Gras as Heinemann prepares retail offer

Carnival Cruise Line will start operating seven-day cruises for its new LNG-powered Mardi Gras ship from Port Canaveral on July 31, with pre-inaugural sailings to the eastern and western Caribbean.

Named after Carnival’s “original fun ship” launched in 1972, Mardi Gras docked for the first time at Port Canaveral on June 4, although its specific launch schedule was not released at that time.

The ship homeports at Terminal 3, a facility built specifically for Mardi Gras, which is the first cruise ship powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas in the Americas.

“We are very excited to finally welcome guests on Mardi Gras,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “With our desire to preserve summer vacations for our Mardi Gras guests, we are going to find a later date to formally christen her so that we can operate these pre-inaugural sailings just as soon as we can.”

Heinemann Americas is the retail concessionaire for Mardi Gras. While Carnival has not released details of the new retail offer, Heinemann Americas CEO Nadine Heubel shares a preview of the concept with TMI.

“Since coming to the Americas more than seven years ago, Heinemann Americas has built successful partnerships with some of the region’s largest and most successful cruise lines, including Carnival.

“HAI was selected to be the onboard retailer for the Carnival Mardi Gras thanks to a track record of connecting shoppers with exclusive products, innovative shopping experiences, and elegant spaces that keep travelers returning to shops multiple times throughout their voyages,” she continued.

“For the Carnival Mardi Gras, Heinemann’s retail spaces and collections were carefully crafted to evoke a feeling of nostalgia, offering a nod to Carnival’s first- ever ship by the same name that set sail in the 1970s. From details like store finishes to vintage-inspired inaugural collections, every facet of the shopping experience was carefully curated to provide shoppers with spaces that leverage technology and provide access to one-of-a-kind items, all while transporting travelers to a different era in time. The shop spaces are both upscale and inviting, drawing customers in with unique experiences, products, and atmospheres.”

Duffy also noted that Carnival intends to expand its initial restart from Florida, Texas and Washing-ton to California, with the return of Carnival Panorama from Long Beach in late August. 

“We are excited to resume our West Coast operations and intend to sail Carnival Panorama with vaccinated guests starting August 21. We are working with state and local officials to finalize the necessary plans,” Duffy said.