Carnival Cruise Line has signed a five-year agreement with the City of Norfolk to operate seasonal cruises from the Half Moone Cruise Center through 2025. The 130,000-ton Carnival Magic will become the largest cruise ship to ever sail from Norfolk when it launches a series of 12 cruises from the port in 2021 that will carry nearly 50,000 guests.
The announcement was made at a press conference by Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander, who was joined by Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Nautical and Port Operations Terry Thornton.
As part of the agreement, the City of Norfolk has agreed to make investments at the Half Moone Cruise Center to accommodate larger vessels and provide an enhanced guest experience, including a new boarding bridge that will streamline the embarkation and debarkation process and a host of other improvements.
“Norfolk has been a valued partner for nearly 20 years, and we’re delighted to expand upon this relationship with this five-year contract that will bring exciting new choices from the Half Moone Cruise Center,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a statement. “Our cruises from Norfolk have been very well received by our guests, and this new agreement speaks volumes about our confidence in growing this market.”
Added Mayor Alexander, “This is an exciting announcement. Carnival Cruise Line ships have become a welcome addition to our skyline. This commitment strengthens that partnership and solidifies Norfolk’s position as a true Mid-Atlantic cruise port.”
Carnival Magic introduced many of the line’s signature elements now featured across the fleet, including the Caribbean-themed RedFrog Pub, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and SkyCourse, a suspended ropes course with views of the sea 150 ft. below.
The ship also has hundreds of balcony staterooms, a complimentary children’s programs in three age groups, the Cloud 9 Spa, the Ocean Plaza indoor/outdoor dining and entertainment promenade, an adults-only retreat and a WaterWorks aqua park with two slides, a tipping bucket, and a kiddie splash zone.
Its 2021 schedule from Norfolk includes short getaways to The Bahamas and Bermuda to longer voyages to the Caribbean.
The schedule includes:
- May 16 and June 5: six-day cruises to Freeport, Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay
- May 22 and 31, June 11, and Oct. 4 and 30: five-day voyages featuring Freeport and Nassau
- May 27: four-day long weekend sailing to Bermuda returning on Memorial Day
- Sept. 29: five-day voyage to Bermuda
- Oct. 9: eight-day cruise to Grand Turk, San Juan, and St. Thomas
- Oct. 17: six-day voyage to Bermuda
- Oct. 23: seven-day sailing visiting Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau.
Before the start-up of its Norfolk schedule in 2021, Carnival Magic will offer a series of sailings in the Mediterranean and undergo a two-week dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, before repositioning to the U.S.