(12:10 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival Fantasy is staying in Mobile.
In a press conference held aboard Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Cruise Line announced it has signed a three-year extension that will keep the ship sailing from the Alabama port through November 2022.
The ship will continue to sail four-and-five-day cruises to Mexico from the Alabama Cruise Terminal. Carnival notes that the ship alone brings 170,000 passengers to Mobile annually, many of whom opt to extend their cruise vacations in the Mobile area.
"Carnival Fantasy remains a popular cruise vacation option for our guests, attracting vacationers from all over the southeast who appreciate Mobile's convenience and centralized location," said Terry Thornton, Carnival's senior vice president of nautical and port operations. "We're delighted to work with Mobile Mayor Stimpson and city and terminal officials to allow our guests to continue to enjoy this attractive and affordable cruise program."
Carnival Fantasy's four-day "Long Weekend" cruises to Cozumel depart Thursdays, while five-day voyages to Cozumel and Costa Maya (or Progreso, Mexico), depart on Mondays and Saturdays.
Full-day stops in Progreso give cruisers the chance to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza, while guests in Cozumel can visit ancient Mayan ruins or enjoy an abundance of shopping and dining experiences ashore.
Carnival Fantasy will also sail two longer "Carnival Journeys" voyages: a 10-day partial Panama Canal transit departing September 14, 2020; or a 10-day Caribbean cruise departing September 13, 2021. Each of these longer Carnival Journeys sailings offers unique activities onboard and ashore, including a '80s-themed "Throwback Sea Day" and the chance to experience authentic cuisines and cultural events.
"Carnival helped generate more than 25,000 hotel room nights in Mobile last year, supporting thousands of jobs in our restaurants, shops, hotels, and cultural institutions," said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. "Our team works hard every day to make Mobile the best possible cruise port, and this contract is validation that our labor is paying dividends. We were proud to bring Carnival back to Mobile in 2015, and we are committed to growing with them in the years ahead."