VIDEO: Carnival takes delivery of Mardi Gras

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Mardi Gras on sea trials [Image: Meyer Turku]

Finland’s Meyer Turku shipyard delivered the much anticipated LNG-fueled 5,200 passenger cruise ship Mardi Gras to Carnival Cruise Line on December 18.

“We are delivering a beautiful and highly advanced ship with world-class technology such as LNG propulsion, to name just one,” said Meyer Turku CEO Tim Meyer. “With these sophisticated systems, she will be one of the most environmentally friendly ships to sail North-American waters.”


While, from a marine industry perspective, Mardi Gras will be a history maker as the first LNG fueled cruise ship to be based in the U.S., for Carnival Cruise Line guests the ship’s most notable innovation will likely be Bolt, the first ever roller coaster built on a ship.

One of the first to test the ride was Santa, who visited the shipyard days before the ship’s delivery to zip along the 800-foot-long track, featuring a hairpin curve around the ship’s iconic funnel, reaching speeds of up to 40 miles an hour.

Santa visited Turku to take ride on roller coaster days before ship was handed over [Image: Carnival Cruise Line]

“Never in my wildest dreams would I think a roller coaster could be on a cruise ship. It’s something we’ll be talking about at the North Pole for a long time!” Carnival quotes him as saying.


“We value our partnership with Meyer Turku, which has worked closely with us to deliver a beautiful ship that our guests will love. Mardi Gras’ technology, venues and accommodations will make this a game-changing vessel in North America. With this delivery, we can now focus our collective efforts on the building of her sister ship, Carnival Celebration, which will arrive from Turku in 2022 in time for our 50th birthday,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

The ship’s venues, dining and entertainment will be dispersed throughout six distinctive zones, and include a new restaurant by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, the line’s first-ever Big Chicken by Shaquille O’Neal, two dining venues led by Food Network star Guy Fieri, and a new restaurant concept by master chef Rudi Sodamin. The centerpiece of the ship is a hree-deck-high atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and movable LED screens that open up to an impressive ocean view.

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.

“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 Duffy. “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.”

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.

Mardi Gras facts:

  • Gross tonnage: 180,000
  • Passengers: App. 5,200
  • Length: 340 meters
  • Beam: 42 meteres
  • Decks: 19
  • Crew 2,000
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