Carnival Cruise Line took delivery Friday of its newest ship, the Mardi Gras, in a virtual signing ceremony at the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland.
After several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mardi Gras will make its debut sailing in April 2021 from Port Canaveral. The 180,000-gross-ton vessel will be the the first ship in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), and will have the first-ever roller coaster at sea.
Mardi Gras will accommodate more than 5,200 guests and a crew of 2,000. Guests will have the choice of more than 2,600 staterooms and 180 suites across 11 categories.
Huge demand for Carnival Mardi Gras
“We have been working tirelessly this year to get to this exciting day to take delivery of this beautiful ship, and the team at Meyer Turku has been an outstanding partner throughout this process,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “I cannot wait for our guests and crew to see and experience Mardi Gras. Notwithstanding the delays related to the pandemic, there is tremendous enthusiasm and pent-up demand for this ship. Next we will work on the development of her sister ship, Carnival Celebration, which arrives in 2022 and has sold very well since inventory opened in October.”
“We are delivering a beautiful and highly advanced ship with world-class technology such as LNG propulsion, to name just one. With these sophisticated systems, she will be one of the most environmentally friendly ships to sail the North American waters. I am very proud of our team of shipbuilders and would like to thank everyone involved for their dedication during the building process”, said Meyer Turku CEO Tim Meyer.
Duffy said Mardi Gras will depart from Turku later this month to begin her voyage to North America. The ship will operate seven-day Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, Fla., and Carnival has worked closely with Port Canaveral to build a new cruise terminal to accommodate the Excel-class ship and also facilitate the new LNG fueling process. The inaugural voyage for Mardi Gras is scheduled for April 24, 2021.
Carnival Mardi Gras: First roller coaster at sea
In August, Carnival released a video highlighting a shoreside test run of BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, that will debut on the Mardi Gras.
The video was released to mark National Rollercoaster Day, August 16, which commemorates the first vertical loop roller coaster, patented by Edwin Prescott in 1898.
The video, shot in Munich , Germany, at Mauer Rides, the manufacturer of the groundbreaking attraction, where guests will ride across nearly 800 feet of suspended track achieving speeds of up to 40 miles per hour on two seat vehicles where they can control the speed. The vehicle comes with an inbuilt camera that will film the ride.
Mardi Gras facts:
Gross tonnage: 180,000
Length: 340 m/1115 ft.
Beam: 42m/138 ft.