Carnival Cruise Lines will launch the cruise industry’s only four- and five-day Bahamas/Caribbean program from Port Canaveral later today when the Carnival Ecstasy departs on a five-day sold-out cruise to Nassau, Freeport and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay – the first of 78 annual voyages from the Space Coast.

Carnival Ecstasy’s one-of-a-kind schedule includes two different four-day itineraries, along with two different five-day choices. Four-day “long weekend” cruises depart Thursdays and visit Nassau and Half Moon Cay or Freeport, while five-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays, calling at Nassau, Freeport and Half Moon Cay or Key West.  These cruises represent a tremendous value, as well, with non-refundable Early Saver rates starting at $329 per person for four-day voyages and $349 per person for five-day departures.

The new program further bolsters the line’s position as Port Canaveral’s largest cruise operator with three year-round ships carrying approximately 600,000 guests annually.  Combined with Carnival Sensation’s three- and four-day Bahamas cruises and Carnival Dream’s seven-day eastern and western Caribbean voyages, the line offers an unprecedented variety of itineraries, cruise lengths, and departure days from Port Canaveral.

“The growth of Port Canaveral as a cruise departure point is truly extraordinary and millions of consumers have discovered the benefits of sailing from this convenient and centrally located homeport,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.  “The Canaveral Port Authority is an outstanding business partner and deploying a third year-round ship is a testament to our relationship with the port and our confidence in its continued success,” he added.

According to Port Canaveral CEO Stan Payne, “The Carnival Ecstasy’s arrival comes only a few days after we shattered our record for cruise passengers at Port Canaveral. Our success in providing customers, guests and our cruise partners with world-class service and facilities has resulted in momentum that will be richly enhanced by the Carnival Ecstasy.”

Carnival Ecstasy underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2009 that added a host of new facilities and features, including an expansive WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot-long spiral water slide, a tropical-themed resort-style main pool area, and a Serenity adults-only retreat.  Ninety-eight balconies were added to existing staterooms, as well.  These features complement the ship’s wide range of on-board amenities such as a renovated 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health club, three restaurants, complimentary programs for children in three age groups, a 24-hour pizzeria, a jogging track, and 12 lounges, bars and nightspots.

Carnival Ecstasy’s new schedule continues the line’s longstanding relationship with Port Canaveral, which began in 1990 with a single 950-passenger ship carrying approximately 100,000 passengers annually. Over the past 21 years, Carnival has dramatically expanded its presence at the port, adding newer and larger ships along with new schedules and itineraries.

Reservations are currently being accepted for all of Carnival’s various departures from Port Canaveral.

For additional information and reservations on Carnival’s “Fun Ship” cruises, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit