You’ll soon have a new option for an inexpensive Europe cruise

Feb 6, 2020

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Budget travellers, take note: You’re about to get a new option for a super-inexpensive cruise in Europe.

Budget traveller-focused Carnival Cruise Line on Tuesday announced that one of its biggest ships, the 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic, would head to the continent in 2021 for a series of spring voyages.

The 14-deck-high “fun ship,” as Carnival calls its vessels, will join the line’s smaller, 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend in sailing out of European ports during the spring. That’ll create a rare moment when two of Carnival’s low-cost vessels are operating in Europe at the same time.

Carnival Legend already had been scheduled to operate in Europe from April 2021 to October 2021.

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Based in Miami, Carnival is known for affordable, easy-to-reach sailings out of U.S. ports. The line typically doesn’t deploy many ships beyond North America. In most years, nearly all Carnival sailings are trips out of U.S. ports to such places as the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico and Alaska. The company also has a small Australia operation that caters mostly to Australian holidaygoers.

The new Carnival Magic itineraries in Europe still are being loaded on the line’s website.

The trips include a 14-night, transatlantic voyage from Miami to Barcelona that starts at just $669 (about £516) per person — less than $48 (£37) per night. That’s about as low a fare as you can get these days for a two-week cruise that includes Europe calls.

Keep in mind that the above pricing includes not just accommodations on the ship but meals and entertainment, too. Taxes, fees and other incidentals such as drinks are extra.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic. Photo courtesy of Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines
The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic. (Photo courtesy of Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

Kicking off 3 March 2021, the transatlantic voyage is a relatively unusual one for Carnival. The itinerary includes not just a stop at Bermuda on the way over to Europe but a call in the Azores, too. Once in Europe, the ship will visit Lisbon, Portugal; and Malaga and Valencia, Spain; before concluding the sailing in Barcelona.

After arriving in Barcelona, Carnival Magic will be taken out of service for two weeks for an overhaul in a European dry dock. It’ll then resume sailing with a short series of seven- and eight-night voyages out of Barcelona that include stops in Valletta, Malta; Marseilles, France; and Livorno, Civitavecchia (the port for Rome), Naples and Messina in Italy. Fares and specific itinerary details for these sailings have yet to be loaded onto the Carnival website.

Carnival Magic will return to North America in May via a 12-night transatlantic voyage from Barcelona to New York City. Starting on 3 May 2021, the sailing will feature calls at Cartagena and Malaga, Spain; Funchal, the capital of Madeira; and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Fares for the 3 May sailing start at $719 (about £555) per person — about $60 (£46) per day.

After arriving in New York City, Carnival Magic will operate a summer schedule of four- to nine-night voyages to Bermuda; the Bahamas; the Caribbean; and Canada and New England. The trips will take place between June 2021 and late September 2021.

Carnival Magic’s deployment to Europe for several months in 2021 is being driven, in part, by a need for the ship to undergo routine maintenance in dry dock. Carnival typically has routine maintenance of its ships performed in North American shipyards. But a lack of available space at North American shipyards has prompted the line to begin sending its vessels further afield.

Carnival is the world’s biggest cruise line by number of ships.

Featured image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

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