When Carnival Spirit (2001/85,920gt) arrived in Sydney on 16 October she made history for Carnival Cruise Lines by being the first of the company’s ships to be deployed year-round outside the USA. From her new Australian base, she will offer a range of itineraries from eight to 12 nights, mainly to the Pacific Islands.
Carnival Spirit was built by Kvaerner Masa Yards in Helsinki, Finland as the lead ship in the so-called Spirit class. This class was particularly significant because it was the first platform within Carnival Corporation to be used across different brands, with four ships going to the home fleet and two going to Costa.
Until recently, Spirit operated summer sailings in Alaska, before moving to Hawaiian itineraries in the autumn. Carnival Spirit is too tall to pass below the Sydney Harbour Bridge, so will be based at the Circular Quay terminal for the five years that she is expected to be in Australia. She joins other ships from Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, although the latter only operates seasonally in the area, and the recently reduced fleet of P&O Cruises in Australia. Carnival Spirit has a capacity for 2,667 passengers.