Carnival Cruise Lines’ new 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor is shown here in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Sicily undergoing final sea trials.

Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri, Italy, the 3,006-passenger vessel – the largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed – is slated to debut July 2, 2008, with an eight-day voyage from Genoa to London (Dover) after which it will begin a series of 12-day Northern Europe cruises July 13.

Representing a new class of vessel, Carnival Splendor will offer a host of innovations, including a luxurious 21,000-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa. Adjacent to the facility will be 68 spa staterooms and suites – a first for Carnival. Its numerous family-friendly features will include an expansive two-level, 5,500-square-foot children’s play area and a water spray park.

Following its Northern Europe cruises, Carnival Splendor will operate a schedule of 12-day cruises to the Mediterranean, Greece and Turkey before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for seven-day Caribbean departures. Carnival Splendor will sail a series of 14- to 18-day South America voyages, then be deployed to Long Beach, Calif., for year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera voyages beginning in March 2009.