Carnival Returns to Norfolk, Virginia After 3 Year Absence

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Carnival Cruise Line has returned to Norfolk, Virginia for the first time since 2019. On Sunday, Carnival Magic set sail for a six-night Bahamas cruise becoming the largest ship to depart from the city’s Half Moone Cruise Center.

carnival magic crew members
Carnival Magic crew welcomed back guests on Sunday. (Photo via CCL)

To commemorate the special day, Carnival welcomed guests with a “Back to Fun” event that included a ceremonial ribbon-cutting that 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. 

ribbon cutting Norfolk cruise terminal
Melody Harris was the first guest to board Carnival Magic. (Photo via CCL)

“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.”

This week’s cruise will include 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.

Carnival Magic was launched in 2011 and after its European season, it debuted in Galveston, Texas. It recently received the new red, white and blue hull design running the entire length of the 1,004-foot-long ship, which has become a trademark feature of the Carnival fleet paying homage to maritime tradition and patriotic colors.

Carnival became the first major cruise line to return its full 23-ship fleet to guest operations on May 2 with Carnival Splendor’s sailing from Seattle.

Norfolk played an instrumental part during the cruise industry shutdown by letting Norwegian Cruise Line dock three of its ships while they were out of service. Select Norwegian itineraries out of New York City call to the port towards the end of the voyage.

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