Carnival Cruise Lines, a Florida-based cruise line, has renamed its revamped cruise ship Carnival Destiny as Carnival Sunshine in a naming ceremony in New Orleans.

Having debuted as Carnival Destiny in 1996, the vessel recently underwent a $155m renovation programme at a shipyard in Italy.

According to Carnival executives, the overhaul was so thorough that it essentially made the vessel new, justifying a new name and new unveiling.

The renovation programme included removing and rebuilding large areas of the ship, changes in all new deck top areas, expanding dining options, increasing cabin sizes, and addition of 182 rooms, a water park, an outdoor sports area and an adults-only, three-level Serenity section with waterfall.

Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill said the company did something "that no one else in the cruise industry has ever tried to do."

"We rebuilt virtually every guest area of the ship," Cahill added.

The Carnival Sunshine, which can carry 3,002 passengers, will replace the Conquest, which can carry 2,984 passengers.

The arrival of Carnival Sunshine comes a month after the 2,376-passenger Norwegian Jewel ship started its seasonal service to New Orleans.

The Carnival Sunshine will offer seven-night cruises to the Caribbean, while the Carnival Elation will continue to offer four and five-night voyages.

Port of New Orleans president and CEO Gary LaGrange recently said that New Orleans was not previously even on the industry’s map but is now the sixth-busiest cruise port in the country.