Earlier today, in ceremonies at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri, Italy, Carnival Cruise Lines officially took delivery of its newest “Fun Ship,” the new 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor.

The largest Carnival Cruise Lines vessel ever constructed, the 3,006-passenger SuperLiner debuts July 2 with an inaugural eight-day Western Europe voyage from Genoa to London (Dover).

From Dover, the ship will be officially named during a ceremony on July 10 presided over by its godmother, British celebrity Myleene Klass, a chart-topping musican, singer and television personality.

Following the naming, Carnival Splendor will sail on a special three-day voyage to Amsterdam July 10-13, then launch the line’s first-ever Northern Europe cruise program featuring ports from Denmark, Germany, Russia, Finland, Estonia and The Netherlands.  The program runs July 13 - Aug. 30, 2008.

Representing a new class of vessel for the line, Carnival Splendor offers a host of innovative facilities and features highlighted by a luxurious health and fitness facility –   the two-level, 21,000-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa which houses a thalassotherapy pool, an elaborate thermal suite and 17 private treatment rooms. Adjacent to the facility will be 68 spa staterooms and suites – a first for the line.

Other features include a two-deck-high children’s play area – the largest in the “Fun Ship” fleet – along with a water park, and a mid-ship pool covered by a magradome and featuring Carnival’s Seaside Theatre, a 270-square-foot LED screen displaying movies, concerts and other programming.

“Carnival Splendor is a wonderful addition to our fleet, offering an array of innovative amenities and facilities, including specifically designed areas catering to different guests, from expansive children’s facilities to our popular adults-only retreat, Serenity,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO.  “We can’t wait to bring our guests aboard to experience for themselves all this magnificent ‘Fun Ship’ has to offer,” he added.

Following its Northern Europe schedule, Carnival Splendor will operate a 12-day Western Europe cruise departing Sept. 11 followed by “Grand Mediterranean” and “Mediterranean, Greece & Turkey” voyages through Oct. 17, and a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 29 – Nov. 14, 2008.

The ship will operate a winter schedule of seven-day Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale followed by a series of 14- to 18-day South American voyages – Carnival’s first.  These voyages will position Carnival Splendor for year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera voyages from Long Beach, Calif., beginning March 29, 2009, continuing the line’s West Coast expansion.

Carnival is currently accepting reservations for all of the Carnival Splendor’s European, Caribbean, South American and Mexican Riviera cruises.

For additional information and reservations on Carnival’s “Fun Ship” cruises, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line’s travel agent Internet portal, bookccl.com.