Carnival Cruise Lines is the most successful cruise line in the world, carrying more passengers than any other.
But the Carnival of today is a vastly different company than the one started from humble beginnings more than four decades ago. Carnival was launched with a converted transatlantic ocean liner and a dream of entrepreneur Ted Arison, a pioneer in the modern-day cruise industry who set out to realize his vision of making a vacation experience once reserved for the very rich accessible to the average person.
The rest, as they say, is history.
THROUGH THE YEARS . . .
1972 – Maiden voyage of Carnival’s first ship, the TSS Mardi Gras, which runs aground on sandbar outside the Port of Miami
1975 – Carnival purchases Empress of Britain, enters service as the TSS Carnivale
1978 – The Festivale, formerly the S.A. Vaal, undergoes $30 million refurbishment, begins service for Carnival as the largest and fastest vessel sailing from Miami to the Caribbean
1982 – Debut of the Tropicale, the first new cruise ship the cruise industry has seen in many years; ship marks the beginning of an industry-wide multi-billion-dollar shipbuilding boom
1984 – Carnival becomes first cruise line to advertise on network T.V. with the premiere of new advertising campaign starring company spokesperson Kathie Lee Gifford (then Johnson)