The first steel has been cut for the first ship in Carnival Cruise Line’s latest class.

The 180,000 tonne Excellence-class vessel, due to be delivered in 2020, is being built in Meyer Turku, Finland.

From its launch, the yet-unnamed 5,200-passenger ship, which will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), will operate from Port Canaveral Florida, US.

The ship’s name is due to be revealed early next month.

A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50 years since Carnival Cruise Line was launched.

At Thursday’s ceremony, Carnival also revealed a new red, white and blue hull design that celebrates its legacy as America’s Cruise Line and pays homage to maritime tradition.

Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line’s president, said: ““This new ship promises to be truly special.

“From its groundbreaking technology and one-of-a-kind features to its distinctive livery and hull design that is both timeless and forward-thinking while paying tribute to our nearly 50-year history of making wonderful vacation memories for our guests.”