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New cruise ships will begin sailing from Florida in 2020

Carnival’s Mardi Gras will have the first-ever roller coaster at sea.

New cruise ships will be calling Florida home in 2020, and the number of cruise lines calling at Port Tampa Bay will rise from three this year to six next year.

Currently Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian offer cruises from Tampa, but in the coming year they are scheduled to be joined by MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Holland America.

In September, MSC Cruises announced plans to begin sailing to the Caribbean, Mexico and the Bahamas in November 2020 aboard the MSC Armonia, which carries about 2,000 passengers. Previously, the ship sailed out of Miami, but the Swiss-based cruise line said the vessel would go to dry dock to be refreshed before being redeployed to Tampa.

Two other cruise lines, Celebrity Cruises and Holland America, likewise announced that they would bring their ships back to Port Tampa Bay in October and November, respectively. It’s been more than a decade since Celebrity’s ships called at Tampa’s docks. Holland America suspended cruises out of Tampa in April, but said five months later that it would resume service here again in 2020.

Elsewhere in Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports that the largest ship ever built for Carnival Cruise Line will have its debut at Port Canaveral. The Mardi Gras will have the first ever roller coaster at sea, and it will be the first cruise ship in North America to run on liquefied natural gas, a cleaner-burning fuel.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages line will begin sailing ships from Miami in March with the debut of the adults-only Scarlet Lady.

Port Everglades will become home to Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas.

Florida also will see the debut of the new Regent Seven Seas Splendor, Celebrity Apex and Enchanted Princess ships.