(12:10 p.m. EST) -- Carnival Cruise Line announced Thursday it was pushing the debut of its eagerly-anticipated new ship, Mardi Gras, to April 24, 2021.
It is the latest in a series of delays for the 5,200-passenger ship, which represents the first in a new class of vessel for Carnival. The ship will feature a number of firsts for the line, including the first atrium positioned on the side of the vessel, and the first-ever roller coaster at sea, BOLT.
The delivery of Mardi Gras has been delayed several times, most recently due to construction delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship was initially due to debut in August of this year, before being pushed back to November 2020. Prior to this announcement, Carnival's latest guidance was that the ship would debut on February 6, 2021.
Mardi Gras will be the first Carnival ship to use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuel.
"We apologize to our guests but we must continue to take a thoughtful, deliberate and measured approach as we map out our return to operations in 2021," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our commitment to the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is at the forefront of our decisions and operations."
In making its announcement, Carnival also announced it would cancel all voyages through February 28, 2021, including those departures previously scheduled to operate from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston.