Carnival Cruise Line Sets Sail on First Cruise from Norfolk in More Than Two Years. Carnival Magic is the Largest Ship Ever to Depart from Port
With Carnival Magic’s sailing today, Carnival Cruise Line marks its return to guest operations from Norfolk, Va. with the first cruise to set sail from the city since 2019 on the largest ship to ever depart from the city’s Half Moone Cruise Center.
To commemorate the special day, Carnival welcomed guests with a “Back to Fun” event that included a ceremonial ribbon-cutting which cleared the way for guests to enter the terminal’s new gangway, built to accommodate larger ships, and board Carnival Magic as the ship’s crew welcomed them aboard.
“Norfolk is a key seasonal homeport for us and we are excited to have Carnival Magic based in Norfolk for our guests to enjoy and to support the local economy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “I want to thank the City of Norfolk for its ongoing commitment to Carnival and the enhancements it made to the beautiful Half Moone Cruise Center, so that we could bring the larger Carnival Magic here for our restart.”
Carnival is proud of its 20-year partnership with the City of Norfolk and the Nauticus maritime science center, which operates the city’s cruise ship program. Now, with increased capacity, more passengers than ever can enjoy a cruise vacation from Norfolk this summer and fall.
“We are especially excited to welcome Carnival Magic to Norfolk,” said Nauticus executive director Stephen E. Kirkland. “This is the largest cruise ship to embark passengers in our history and marks the return of our long-time partners at Carnival.”
Carnival Magic boasts the stunning new red, white and blue hull design running the entire length of the 1,004-foot-long ship, which has become a trademark feature of the Carnival fleet paying homage to maritime tradition and patriotic colors. The ship introduced many of Carnival’s signature elements now enjoyed across the fleet, including the Caribbean-themed RedFrog Pub, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant and SkyCourse, a suspended ropes course with breathtaking views to the sea 150 feet below.
This first cruise of the season departing from Norfolk today, a six-day sailing to The Bahamas, with stops in Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport. In total, 11 voyages with various itineraries will depart from Norfolk this summer and fall, visiting destinations in Bermuda, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Carnival became the first major cruise line to return its full 23-ship fleet to guest operations on May 2 with Carnival Splendor’s sailing from Seattle. Now, with the restart of its seasonal operations in Norfolk as well as sailings from New York City beginning in mid-June, all 14 homeports will be active, concluding an impressive and successful restart of guest operations that set the pace for the rest of the U.S. cruise industry.