Carnival Cruise Line welcomed the first guests to sail on Carnival Venezia from New York City on Thursday (June 15).
The ship’s launch in New York coincides with the busy summer travel season and builds on a period of growth for Carnival, as the first of three ships to join the fleet over the next year.
A welcome event kicked off the celebration Wednesday evening for the ship’s arrival to its homeport and the festivities continued Thursday morning in the Manhattan Cruise Terminal as the ship’s first guests boarded to sail.
Carnival's first-ever godfather
Carnival Venezia received a special blessing by Father Enrique Salvo of St. Patrick’s Cathedral during the special welcome event, and acclaimed comedian and television host Jay Leno became the first godfather named to a Carnival ship.
Leno also performed a special comedy show exclusively for Carnival’s event guests.
"By highlighting his own Italian heritage, Jay is helping us celebrate the Italian theming guests will experience when they cruise on this beautiful ship," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We've heard great reviews from guests who sailed on the ship’s transatlantic crossing, and now I am so happy to welcome our first guests joining us from New York to enjoy what’s in store for them.”
The ceremony on Wednesday night also highlighted new entertainment programming and other concepts created for Carnival Venezia’s debut.
The ship is the first to introduce “Carnival Fun Italian Style” that adds Carnival’s signature fun to the vessel’s Italian theming. Carnival Venezia is architecturally styled after its namesake, the city of Venice, Italy.
Inside the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on Thursday morning, Duffy greeted guests with a special event to welcome them on board the new ship.
Captain Claudio Cupisti and some of the first guests to board from New York joined Duffy to cut a ceremonial ribbon and officially begin embarkation.
Thursday’s departure from New York will take guests on a four-day sailing that includes a visit to Bermuda.
This summer, the ship will alternate between sailing four, five, six and eight-day sailings to the Caribbean, Bermuda and ports in Canada and New England, including Saint John’s and Halifax.
Carnival Venezia’s positioning from New York builds on the popularity of Carnival’s past summer sailing deployments from the port by offering a longer deployment plan that features a more varied itinerary portfolio.
Beyond the summer season, the ship will begin a new series on Sept. 29, 2023, that alternates between eight to 12-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean, Southern Caribbean and The Bahamas, visiting popular destinations like Saint Thomas, San Juan and Aruba, along with four of Carnival's private destinations: Half Moon Cay, Princess Cays, Amber Cove and Grand Turk. In addition, select cruises will feature Miami as a port of call.