Carnival Cruise Lines' Cruise Ships, Build Dates, and Itineraries

Carnival Triumph cruise ship sailing from New York City on Hudson River.
••• Carnival Triumph cruise ship sailing from New York City on Hudson River. Dennis K. Johnson/Getty Images

Carnival Cruise Line is the world's largest cruise line. Carnival was founded in 1972 and currently operates 24 cruise ships.

The Carnival cruise ships primarily sail to the Bahamas and the Caribbean from several ports in the eastern and southern United States, but Carnival also cruises the Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, and New England/Atlantic Canada.

The Carnival Horizon joins the fleet in April 2018 and sails a few European itineraries before moving to New York for the summer season.

She then moves to her home port of Miami to sail through the spring of 2019.

Here is a list of the Carnival ships, along with their build date and current itineraries (as of June 2017).

  • Carnival Fantasy (1990) - Bahamas and Caribbean from Mobile, AL
  • Carnival Ecstasy (1991) - Caribbean, Bermuda, or Bahamas from Charleston, SC
  • Carnival Sensation (1993) - Bahamas and the Caribbean from MIami, FL
  • Carnival Fascination (1994) - Caribbean from San Juan, PR or Barbados
  • Carnival Imagination (1995) - Mexico from Los Angeles, CA
  • Carnival Inspiration (1996) - Mexico from Los Angeles, CA
  • Carnival Elation (1998) - Bahamas from Jacksonville, FL
  • Carnival Paradise (1998) - Caribbean from Tampa, FL
  • Carnival Triumph (1999) - Caribbean from New Orleans, LA
  • Carnival Victory (2000) - Bahamas and Caribbean from Miami, FL
  • Carnival Conquest (2002) - Caribbean and the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Carnival Pride (2002) - Bahamas and the Caribbean from Baltimore, MD
  • Carnival Legend (2002) - Alaska and Hawaii from Seattle and Vancouver, BC
  • Carnival Glory (2003) - Caribbean from Miami, FL
  • Carnival Miracle (2004) - Hawaii and Mexico from Los Angeles, CA until January 2018 and then the Caribbean from Tampa, FL
  • Carnival Valor (2004) - Caribbean from Galveston, TX
  • Carnival Liberty (2005) - Bahamas from Port Canaveral, FL
  • Carnival Freedom (2007) - Caribbean from Galveston, TX
  • Carnival Splendor (2008) - Bahamas and the Caribbean from Miami and Fort Lauderdale until January 2018 and then Mexico from Los Angeles, CA
  • Carnival Dream (2009) - Caribbean from New Orleans
  • Carnival Magic (2011) - Caribbean from Port Canaveral, FL
  • Carnival Breeze (2012) - Caribbean from Galveston, TX
  • Carnival Sunshine (2013) - Previously the Carnival Destiny, ship was significantly refurbished, modified, and renamed in 2013 - Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada/New England and the Bahamas from Port Canaveral, New York, Charleston, Norfolk
  • Carnival Vista (2016) - Sails year-round from Miami to Caribbean itineraries

Carnival Cruises is one of eight diverse cruise lines owned by the parent company, Carnival Corporation. The other cruise lines in the corporation include Aida Cruises (German), Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Seabourn Cruises. Fathom Cruises discontinued operations in June 2017. The company's one ship, the Adonia, was transferred back to P&O Cruises where it had been previously.

Carnival is known worldwide as having "fun ships," and the company's cruise ships are filled with non-stop, fun activities.

Although many of the activities are geared to younger families and couples, the cruise line has many loyal passengers over 45. The ships are also well-suited for multi-generational family groups. Carnival Cruises does not pretend that its ships are luxurious or elegant, and people return over and over because they love the constant entertainment, music, and party atmosphere.

How to Select the Right Carnival Cruise Ship

With 24 ships afloat, how do you choose the right Carnival ship for you and your traveling companions or family? When planning a cruise, determine where you want to cruise, where you want to embark/disembark, and how long you want to cruise. The ships sailing for 3 or 4 days to the Bahamas will have a much younger crowd since they are less expensive. These long-weekend sailings are often boisterous and filled with fun parties, but might not be attractive to those who want a quieter atmosphere.

The newer ships built in the 21st century have more balcony cabins, so if that's important to you, then check the destinations and prices for those ships first. Some of the older ships have a few balconies, but the prices might be higher since they are not as common.

After you do your research on the Carnival ships and destinations, work with a travel agent to book the cruise. He/she is probably well-versed in Carnival Cruises.