Carnival Cruise Lines will redeploy an 855-foot-long cruise ship from Miami to Long Beach in 2014, doubling the number of cruise trips to the Southern California terminal.
The Miami cruise line announced Wednesday that the Carnival Imagination will arrive in Long Beach in January 2014, raising to three the number of Carnival ships operated from the terminal. The ship should double the number of calls to the port to about 224 and draw an additional 480,000 passengers per year.
Carnival is the only cruise line operating from Long Beach on a year-round basis.
"I'm delighted to hear of Carnival's plans to add another ship to be based out of Long Beach," Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said.
Carnival Imagination will operate three-day cruises to Ensenada, Mexico, and four-day cruises to Catalina Island. It will join its sister ship, the Carnival Inspiration. The Carnival Splendor will be replaced at the Long Beach terminal in 2014 by the Carnival Miracle.
Over the last two years, crime-related violence in Mexico has prompted U.S. cruise lines to stop serving some Mexican ports, such as Mazatlan. Some cruise lines have recently returned to Mexico but steer clear of ports where crime remains a problem.
Cruise industry rebounding from ship accident, woes in Europe
2 ships moving from Port of Los Angeles as Mexican cruises slump in popularity
Mexico: Disney, Norwegian cruise lines cancel stops in Mazatlan after deadly shooting
Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin