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Carnival Cruise Lines to expand in Europe

Industry giant Carnival today announced it would offer its widest array of European itineraries ever in 2013.

The line says it will send the 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend to the Continent next year from April to October for an extended season of sailings that will include the line’s first Norwegian fjords itinerary and its first extended program from the UK.

Among the voyages on the newly announced schedule are a single 12-night sailing to Norway and Western Europe; a single 12-night sailing around the British Isles with stops in Norway and France; and multiple 12-night sailings around the Baltic — all departing from Dover, England.

Also planned are 12-night Mediterranean sailings departing from Venice, Barcelona and Dover.

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The Norway and Western Europe sailing will kick off on Sept. 1, 2013, and include stops in Alesund, Bergen, Stavanger, and Oslo, Norway; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Zeebrugge (near Bruges), Belgium; and Le Havre, France.

The British Isles sailing will begin on Sept. 13, 2013 and include stops at Stavanger; Edinburgh, Invergordon, and Glasgow (Greenock) Scotland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; and Le Havre.

The Baltic sailings will include stops in Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia (an overnight call); Tallinn, Estonia; and Amsterdam. Departure dates are June 21; July 3, 15 and 27; and Aug. 8 and 20, 2013. The June 21 departure will visit Zeebrugge instead of Amsterdam.

The Mediterranean sailings will include calls in a wide range of ports, with some voyages including stops in Croatia, Italy and France while others take in Greece and Turkey. Some sailings also include stops in Spain, Portugal and Monaco.

In all, the Carnival Legend will operate 17 European cruises between April 22 and Oct. 31, 2013, visiting 34 ports across 18 countries. The six-month Europe deployment is roughly six weeks longer than the Europe deployment the line has scheduled for this year on the soon-to-debut Carnival Breeze. Carnival typically sends one ship to Europe each summer.

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Currently based year-round in Tampa, the Carnival Legend will get to Europe via a 15-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Tampa to Barcelona that will kick off on April 7. Along the way, the ship will stop in Bermuda; Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal; and Malaga and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

At the end of the season, the Carnival Legend will return to Tampa via another 15-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona that begins on Nov. 12. On that sailing, the ship will stop at Palma de Mallorca and Malaga; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Grand Turk, Turks Caicos Islands; and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.

Upon returning to Tampa, the Carnival Legend will sail a single four-night cruise before resuming seven-day Caribbean service on Dec. 1, 2013.

A Carnival spokesperson tells USA TODAY the line will not be sending another ship to Tampa next summer to take the Carnival Legend’s place while it is gone.

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