Carnival Cruise Line Sets Sail on First Cruise From Norfolk in More Than 2 Years

Stephen Kirkland Director of Nauticus

Carnival Cruise Line has marked its return to guest operations from Norfolk, Va. with the first cruise to set sail from the city since 2019 on the largest ship to ever depart from the city’s Half Moone Cruise Center with the Carnival Magic sailing on Sunday.

To commemorate the special day, Carnival welcomed guests with a “Back to Fun” event that included a ceremonial ribbon-cutting which cleared the way for guests to enter the terminal’s new gangway, built to accommodate larger ships, and board Carnival Magic as the ship’s crew welcomed them aboard.

“Norfolk is a key seasonal homeport for us and we are excited to have Carnival Magic based in Norfolk for our guests to enjoy and to support the local economy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “I want to thank the City of Norfolk for its ongoing commitment to Carnival and the enhancements it made to the beautiful Half Moone Cruise Center, so that we could bring the larger Carnival Magic here for our restart.”

Carnival said it was proud of its 20-year partnership with the City of Norfolk and the Nauticus maritime science center, which operates the city’s cruise ship program. 

“We are especially excited to welcome Carnival Magic to Norfolk,” said Nauticus executive director Stephen E. Kirkland (pictured above). “This is the largest cruise ship to embark passengers in our history and marks the return of our long-time partners at Carnival.”

This first cruise of the season departing from Norfolk today, a six-day sailing to The Bahamas, with stops in Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport. In total, 11 voyages with various itineraries will depart from Norfolk this summer and fall, visiting destinations in Bermuda, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Photo: Stephen Kirkland, Director of Nauticus

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