Carnival Mardi Gras cruises include visiting the US cruise ports New Orleans Louisiana, Galveston Texas, Tampa Florida, Long Beach (Los Angeles) California, NYC New York, Mobile Alabama, and of course, Rio De Janeiro Brazil. To find such special themed cruisesm you gotta search cruise lines' itineraries in February that visit all these Mardi Gras cities.
Carnival Cruise Lines "SS Mardi Gras" ship
A Carnival Cruise Mardi Gras, or how about a double carnival - the best US carnival in a perfect combination with the biggest and most fun cruise line in the world ever? Get your double Mardi Gras Carnival Day cruise fun provided by The Fun line with the ever biggest fleet of Fun Ships.
The most fun fact of all is that the Carnival and Mardi Gras are totally related - ms Mardi Gras was the first Carnival cruise ship ever. Its original name was RMS Empress of Canada (built 1961), in service with Carnival from 1972 to 1993, then sold, resold and finally scrapped in 2003 - sad but true.
Mardi Gras Carnival
The Mardi Gras Carnival aka "Carnival season" (the name literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French) is a Catholic festival celebrated in the countries of Anglican nations. The celebrations start on Epiphany (or "the feast day" on January 6th) and culminate on the day before Ash Wednesday (called "Fat Tuesday" and "Mardi Gras Day" - positioned exactly 46 days before Easter).
When is the Mardi Gras Carnival day?
When is the Mardi Gras Carnival day? Because its timing is set according to Easter, it varies by year - between February 3 and March 9. Follows a list with the Mardi Gras dates in the next couple of years (all dates will be on Tuesdays, though - no matter the year).
The Mardi Gras Carnival dates were / are:
- in 2016 on February 9
- in 2017 on February 28
- in 2018 on February 13
- in 2019 on March 5
- in 2020 on February 25
- in 2021 on February 16
- in 2022 on March 1
- in 2023 on February 21
- in 2024 on February 13
- in 2025 on March 4
- in 2026 on February 17
- in 2027 on February 9
You probably already know this, but what the heck: the Mardi Gras New Orleans is second only to the Rio Carnival in Brazil. According to Wikipedia's Mardi Gras page, the Rio Carnival draws record numbers of day tourists in Brazil - 2,2 million for the Carnival Day in 2012. Add to this more than 5 million people for the whole week (around 70% of all annual guests to Rio De Janeiro), with over 400,000 foreigners participating in the week-long day and night activities.
Mardi Gras Carnival cruise inclusions
Basically, this is a Mardi Gras Carnival themed cruise vacation, on which if you're part of a group you can get amazing discount rates. Group booking ("Hosted Group Cruise"), besides great booking pricing, is also a travel agency's special, which generally offers:
- included by the agency: at least one Private Group cocktail party, all gratuities (depending on ship/itinerary these can be up to $100 PP), a group departure, daily and nightly group gatherings, group dining (reserved tables), and, of course, your "Mask Party".
- included by the ship (for the duration of the trip): all meals (excepting alternative restaurants), accommodations and entertainment, 24hr room-service.
- not-included: optional are the group shore excursions (again at discount prices). Also not-included in the fares are: alcoholic beverages, gift shop purchases, spa services, gambling (casino/bingo), airfare, port charges, Government taxes, local transfers to the port of embarkation/disembarkation. Remember that for US citizens a passport or certified birth certificate is always required.
- all sailings offer a special menu and all the Carnival-themed activities - good music, an exotic masquerade, a lot of booze options, good friends and super fun. As to CCL, whatever the ship, no matter the destination it sails - if it's a Fun Ship, it's always gonna be your absolutely best Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship holiday vacation, ever!
Mardi Gras cruising experiences
In 2017, the UK-based cruise company Fred Olsen offered its first-ever Mardi Gras cruise as part of an epic travel adventure to ports in Caribbean, North and Central America leaving roundtrip from the UK.
- From Southampton England, Fred Olsen’s ship MS Balmoral offered in February 2017 a 46-night itinerary as an adults-only cruise visiting 18 ports of call and featuring 3 full days and 2 overnights in NOLA (New Orleans) allowing plenty of time to enjoy the carnival atmosphere.
- This unique themed cruise (46-night itinerary, code L1703 , theme "Central America and the Mardi Gras" left Southampton on February 4, 2017. Prices started from GBP 3450 pp (based on double-occupancy twin-bed Superior Interior cabin). Pricing included accommodation, all onboard meals and entertainment, plus port taxes.
- The list of cruise ports of call included: Southampton – Funchal Madeira – Bridgetown Barbados – Castries St. Lucia – St John’s Antigua – Road Town Tortola BVI – Falmouth Jamaica – Trujillo Honduras – Belize City – Cozumel Mexico – New Orleans LA (2-nights) – Tampa FL – Key West FL – Miami FL – Port Canaveral FL – Jacksonville FL – Charleston SC – Hamilton Bermuda – Ponta Delgada Azores – Southampton.
- The 2-night stay in NOLA allowed cruise tourists to enjoy the festivities at this fabulously extravagant festival. Passengers were also provided with the opportunity to attend the "Orpheuscapade Black Tie Ball" in New Orleans – something rarely experienced by tourists. This formal event was held in the city's Convention Centre, featuring live music, dancing and the chance to get up close to the gigantic carnival floats, as a local celebrity leads the parade directly through the Centre.