Carnival Cruise Line is bringing two ships from European-based Costa Cruises to the United States, one of which will join the company’s growing fleet of ships that are based in Long Beach.
The Italian-inspired Costa Firenze is expected to begin sailings from Long Beach in 2024, preceded by the Costa Venezie, which will move to New York City in 2023.
The news of the additional ship was confirmed locally on Wednesday during a presentation at the Rotary Club of Long Beach by Carnival executive Chris Chiames.
In an earlier statement, Carnival President Christine Duffy said, “Carnival will operate the ships, which will marry the great service, food and entertainment that Carnival’s guests enjoy with Costa’s Italian design features.”
The Costa Firenze is a sister ship to the Carnival Panorama, a Vista-class ship already based in Long Beach. The Panorama arrived in Long Beach to much fanfare in December 2019, as the first new Carnival cruise vessel to be based on the West Coast in 20 years.
Carnival has had a home base in Long Beach since 2003, with the city now one of the country’s busiest cruise ship terminals based on passenger traffic, bringing in significant spending to the city via more tourists and passenger fees.
The Firenze was officially finished in December 2020 but didn’t launch on its first sailing until July 2021 due to the cruise industry shutdown during the pandemic.