After a 4-year dry spell, port of Mobile will once again be the home base for a ship of Carnival corporation. Although the particular vessel, start date and itineraries have not yet been revealed, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson soon announced that the port was in the final stage of contract negotiations with the company for future voyages from Mobile AL.
Mobile port ceased operations when Carnival Cruise Line, which had homeported its ships there since 2004, relocated Carnival Elation in 2011, October. However, after Carnival Triumph was stranded at sea for 4 days during a Caribbean cruise in February 2013, the Port of Mobile opened dock to the disabled vessel so its nearly 4,000 passengers were able to disembark.
On the night the cruise ship was tugged into the port, former Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill said that he was appreciative of the efforts of those involved in bringing Carnival Triumph safely to Mobile. Stimpson, who met with Carnival's President Christine Duffy and senior vice president itinerary planning Terry Thornton, during the negotiations, verified that Carnival was very appreciative of what they had done with the Triumph.
Stimpson answered with a no when asked if Mobile was in talks with other cruise lines. He said that Carnival knew "more about Mobile market than anybody else" and had confidence in it. The contract will be finalized by the end of this month, when it will be presented to the council of Mobile city for approval. Representatives of the line will be in the port city for announcement of all details.
The move is part of the tourism initiative of Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, aiming to bring more tourists to the city. He hoped the success would create jobs in hospitality industry, grow visitor numbers and increase tax revenue. The goal of the initiative was to double the number of tourists to Mobile to 6 million by 2020. The Mobile port is the only deep-water port in Alabama.