The Mobile, Alabama Cruise Terminal hopes to have a new articulating gangway built soon to facilitate the arrival of the Carnival Fantasy next year.

Port officials are putting the project out to bid this week, hoping to have the gangway in place by October 2009, as stipulated in their agreement with CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES, said Albert St. Clair, director of the terminal. The project is expected to cost somewhere around $2.4 million, he said.

Carnival will relocate the 1,452-passenger Holiday from Mobile on Nov. 4, 2009 – lending it to Spanish brand IBEROCRUCEROS – and replace it with the 2,044-passenger Fantasy six days later. Mobile has had test run with the larger ship since it was diverted from New Orleans after an oil spill closed the Mississippi in July. Continuing clean-up on the river has kept the ship in Mobile, St. Clair said. New Orleans will receive the Carnival Triumph – currently sailing form Miami – in November 2009.

Sheila Gurganus, operations manager at the Mobile terminal, said the test run has gone very smoothly.

“We’ve seen what we needed to do,” Gurganus said. “We haven’t had any problems at all.”