Carnival Cruise Line and JAXPORT have agreed to extend their collaboration, ensuring Carnival cruises will continue to sail from Jacksonville, Florida, through 2026. The agreement includes options to renew through 2030.

The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) and Carnival Cruise Line have officially announced an extension of their partnership, guaranteeing Carnival Elation will continue its year-round Bahamas cruises from Jacksonville’s North Jacksonville Cruise Terminal.

The new agreement extends the service for an additional two years with the possibility of four one-year extensions, keeping the cruise line in Jacksonville through at least 2026 and potentially until 2030.

Eric Green, CEO of JAXPORT, highlighted the significance of the extension, saying, “JAXPORT has a longstanding partnership with Carnival, and we are grateful for their commitment to serving Jacksonville and providing even more reasons for tourists to visit our great city.”

The partnership’s extension includes JAXPORT committing to further terminal upgrades to improve the passenger experience. These enhancements include a new parking area, an upgraded VIP Lounge, and an improved boarding platform that allows passengers to board the ship at the Promenade level.

Carnival’s cruise operations over the past 20 years have seen more than 3 million passengers embark from Jacksonville, significantly contributing to the city’s tourism and local economy.

Carnival Cruise Ship in Jacksonville, Florida (Photo Credit: NEFLO PHOTO)

Said Green“The continued growth of our cruise program is another way we create jobs and economic impact for our region and state.”

The cruise industry’s economic contribution in Jacksonville supports nearly 800 jobs and generates over $187 million in annual economic impact for Northeast Florida. The contribution is further amplified by the city’s status as an expanding drive-to cruise market, with more than 98 million consumers situated within driving distance of the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal.

Carnival Elation currently offers 4 – and 5-night voyages to the Bahamas. These roundtrip cruises explore Nassau, Bimini Islands, and the exclusive retreat of Princess Cays, Carnival Cruise Lines’ private island.

With a capacity to host 2,130 passengers at double occupancy, Carnival Elation is a mid-sized cruise ship boasting a gross tonnage of 71,909. Despite being the oldest vessel in the Carnival fleet, constructed in 1998, Elation receives dry dock renovations every three years.

Read Also: All Carnival Cruise Ships By Age: Newest to Oldest

Dining options onboard include two main dining rooms, complemented by casual dining at the buffet, BlueIguana Cantina, Guy’s Burger Joint, Bonsai Sushi Express, The Chef’s Table VIP dining, Swirls ice cream, and the 24-hour offerings at Pirate Pizzeria.

Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Theater and comedy shows provide nightly entertainment, with an onboard water park, pool, mini golf course, and other outdoor activities rounding out the amenities.

Carnival Elation is currently the only large cruise ship that calls Jacksonville its home port, underscoring its significance to JAXPORT.  However, a recent agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will bring the cruise line to the area for the first time in November 2025 with the arrival of Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Gem will also sail to the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean on 11- and 12-day roundtrip cruises between November and April 2025 through 2028 in an agreement to operate out of Jacksonville for three years.

Jacksonville’s cruise sector will be further enhanced by upcoming visits from Crystal Cruises during Crystal Serenity’s “Americas & Caribbean” cruise sailing between Quebec and Bridgetown, Barbados, in November 2024, and German cruise line Phoenix Risen’s Amera, which will call in 2025 during its “Great Winter Journey to America” from Bremerhaven.

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