MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Carnival Cruise Line has announced new destinations for the Carnival Spirit ship which is expected to come to Mobile in October 2023.
These new itineraries include five, eight, and twelve day cruises to other parts of the Caribbean such as Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. Along with these new destinations, the city expects an economic impact.
Bradley Byrne, the President of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, says the increased amount of destinations means the city will see more money.
“So the economic impact of this new cruise ship is $12 million overall to Mobile area,” said Byrne. “But it’s $6 million directly to the City of Mobile, which helps them pay for what they’ve had to board to build and to modernize the terminal.”
Along with the new destinations, Byrne says the cruise lines will bring more jobs to the city.
“Any time we can bring 2,000 new people into mobile every five days, we’re excited about that,” explained Byrne. “If you’ve got more business in your hotel, you got to have more people to help you run the hotel. You got more people coming, your restaurant. You got to have more people to run the restaurant. If you got more people coming to your retail store, you got to have more people at your retail store any time you have that much activity.”
Ariel Chavez with New Frontier Travel expects the ship’s return to create more demand for people in Mobile who are looking to travel.
“That’s going to be taking people to places that were not possible before, like Turks and Caicos, Aruba,” said Chavez. “Having a local ship does create demand. You would get phone calls from people who sometimes have never cruise, but because they see these announcements, they’re interested.”
This news is exciting for locals within the Port City hoping to take advantage of the ship once it arrives.
“We was waiting for it to come back so that way we could get on and take a little cruise,” said Joanne Parker, a Foley resident.
“I think it’d be pretty cool to actually go to Aruba especially since it’s going to be closer to home,” said James Willbanks, a Mobile resident.