Cruise ship tours: Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Vista
For the first time in 20 years, cruise giant Carnival will base a new ship on the West Coast.
The Miami-based cruise giant on Saturday revealed that its soon-to-debut, 3,960-passenger Carnival Panorama will make Long Beach, Calif. its home.
Scheduled to debut in 2019, the 133,500-ton Panorama will take the place of the 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor, which is moving from Long Beach to Australia. Like Splendor, Panorama will sail seven-night cruises to Mexico.
Currently under construction at a shipyard in Italy, Panorama will be the third vessel in Carnival's new Vista Class of ships. The first vessel in the class, Carnival Vista, debuted in 2016 and will be followed this year by sister ship Carnival Horizon.
PREVIEW: The soon-to-debut Carnival Horizon
Like the earlier vessels, Panorama will boast an 800-foot-long sky ride around its top deck, a massive deck-top water park and other deck-top fun zones as well more than a dozen interior eateries, bars and lounges. The vessels are the largest ever for Carnival.
The Panorama deployment announcement came as Carnival officially unveiled a major makeover of its cruise terminal in Long Beach.
Photos: Carnival unveils makeover of Long Beach cruise terminall
The overhaul more than doubled the size of the terminal's facilities and brought design changes that should enhance passenger flow. The upgrades included the expansion of port-side shore power to enable larger ships to plug into the local electric grid, reducing exhaust emissions while docked.
The terminal is housed in the world’s largest, free-span geodesic dome — a structure originally built to house film and aviation tycoon Howard Hughes’ famed Spruce Goose flying boat.
In a nod to the dome’s former tenant, a model of the Spruce Goose hangs from its ceiling, and the terminal features the original model of the plane used in the 2004 movie The Aviator. The dome also includes a 1980s-style arcade that is open to arriving passengers.
Carnival on Saturday also announced a major port development project in Ensenada, Mexico, currently featured on the line’s three- and four-day cruises from Long Beach.
Panaroma's first sailings out of Long Beach will be available for booking starting in March.
USA TODAY Cruises: The fleet and home ports of Carnival Cruise Line
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