Carnival Legend

(4.00 p.m. AEST) -- Carnival Cruise Line has officially confirmed its plans to base Carnival Legend in Melbourne for a record season of cruises in early 2018.

The 2,680-passenger Carnival Legend will sail six round-trip cruises from Melbourne during February and March 2018, offering itineraries ranging from three-night short breaks to a four-night trip to Tasmania, a 10-night cruise to the South Pacific and an 11-night voyage around New Zealand.

Carnival Legend’s maiden Melbourne season will mark the first time the cruise line has homeported in Victoria since 2013. Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke said the move was exciting for the growing number of Victorians who usually have to fly to Sydney for a Carnival cruise.

“Homeporting from Melbourne allows us to expand our offering to include more of our popular New Zealand cruises and short breaks, and also gives Victorians the chance to take a Carnival cruise direct from their doorstep, enjoying all the fun features that have made Carnival Legend such a hit north of the border,” Vandekreeke said.

The 12-deck, 293-metre long Carnival Legend has more than 20 restaurants and bars, the Green Thunder waterslide, fitness facilities, and the Seuss at Sea program.

Vandekreeke said Carnival was also preparing to launch new onboard parties, an arts and craft area and interactive games, with more details to be unveiled soon.

--By Tiana Templeman, Cruise Critic contributor