Onsite: Carnival Freedom Debuts in Venice

VENICE-Carnival Cruise Lines' latest ship, the 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom, set sail on its maiden voyage Mar. 5 from Venice, after supermodel and Freedom godmother Kathy Ireland officially named the ship before top Carnival executives and a host of European travel agents. "This ship represents the high quality of standards of today's Carnival," said Carnival president and CEO Bob Dickinson about the craftsmanship of the ship's builder, the Fincantieri shipyard in close by Marghera, Italy. "I think it's safe to say we like their work." The $500 million ship is Carnival's 22nd "Fun Ship" and precedes the Carnival Splendor, set to make a spring 2008 debut. Two 130,000-ton ships, Dream and Magic, will follow in 2009 and 2011 respectively. After Freedom's nine-day Mediterranean cruise, the ship will offer 12-day Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises before repositioning to Miami in November for Caribbean cruises.

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