(11:15 a.m. EDT) -- In a nod to the past, Carnival Cruise Line has announced it will name its second Excel Class vessel Carnival Celebration.
The ship, which will debut in 2022 in time for Carnival's 50th birthday celebrations, will be the second vessel to bear the Celebration name. The first, the Celebration of 1987, was the last of three Holiday Class ships and served in the Carnival fleet until 2008. It now sails as Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Celebration.
Carnival Celebration's name was announced by long-time Carnival partners Kathie Lee Gifford, Guy Fieri and Shaquille O'Neal and other celebrities, who each unwrapped a box to reveal a different letter of the ship's name.
Carnival Celebration will set sail in November 2022 from the Port of Miami and will be a near twin to Carnival's eagerly anticipated Mardi Gras, which debuts February 6, 2021, sailing from Port Canaveral.
In a statement, Carnival noted the addition of Carnival Celebration to PortMiami will maintain Carnival's presence as the top embarkation port for Carnival Cruise Line.
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"The name Carnival Celebration couldn't be more perfect for a ship that will be a key component of our 50th Birthday festivities," Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said. "Many thanks to our celebrity partners who helped us officially 'unbox the fun' and reveal the name of a ship that promises to be a spectacular addition to our fleet. Carnival Celebration is our 50th birthday present to our guests!"
Carnival Celebration's launch also coincides with Carnival's 50th birthday celebrations that kick off in March 2022 with a series of commemorative sailings and itineraries, including its special "Sailabration" voyages that offer cruisers the chance to meet other Carnival ships for an at-sea rendezvous.
Itineraries for Carnival Celebration will be announced in the coming weeks. Voyages will officially open for booking in October.