If the name of Carnival's newest superliner sounds familiar, that's because it is. Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that the 110,000-ton, 2,974-passenger vessel scheduled to join the fleet in spring of 2007 will be called Carnival Freedom, just one week after Royal Caribbean released the moniker of their much-anticipated Ultra Voyager -- Freedom of the Seas.
This is the latest in an industry trend in which cruise lines are hijacking the same or similar names. Radisson Seven Seas Cruises' 2003-launch Seven Seas Voyager sounds a lot like Royal Caribbean's 1999-launch Voyager of the Seas; Carnival Spirit hit the market in 2001, just three years after NCL's Norwegian Spirit. What's unusual about the Freedom duo, however, is that Carnival chose to unveil the similar-sounding moniker right on the heels of Royal Caribbean's announcement -- and the ships' launch dates are only one year apart.
Carnival Freedom, the fifth in Carnival's Conquest class of ships, will feature an expansive health club and children's playroom, four swimming pools, four restaurants, and a reservations-only supper club. Sixty percent of Carnival Freedom's staterooms will offer either an ocean view or a balcony.
The ship will be built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri, Italy.