Carnival Cruise Line will stay in Jacksonville through at least May 2021 and potentially through 2027 under a new agreement announced by JAXPORT, which also calls for improvements to the terminal building.
Right now Carnival Elation sails year-round from the North Jacksonville Cruise Terminal on Hechscher Drive to the Bahamas.
“With Carnival Elation sailing year-round from Jacksonville, we’ve seen great demand from the area,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line in a news release.
In May 2019, the recently upgraded 2,056-passenger Carnival Ecstasy will take over Elation’s four- and five-day cruises out of Jacksonville.
The two ships are similar. Both measure 855 feet in length and have a crew of 920, according to Carnival’s website.
The Ecstasy received a makeover in 2017, according to USA Today, after first going into service in 1991.
“We are pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with Carnival into the next decade,” said JAXPORT Chief Executive Officer Eric Green in a statement. “In addition to bringing jobs and economic opportunity to Northeast Florida, cruise service boosts tourism in our area and offers a platform to promote all that this region has to offer.”
The new contract announced Monday extends the cruise line’s service from Jacksonville for three years with three additional two-year renewal options.
More than 2.2 million passengers have sailed from Jacksonville during 15 years of cruise service at JAXPORT, according to the port.