Carnival Cruise Line has taken delivery of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, during a live virtual ceremony at the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland recently.
When Mardi Gras begins guest operations in April 2021, the 180,000-gross-ton vessel will be the most innovative ship in North America as it will be the first ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), boast a suite of new technology, and BOLT, the first-ever roller coaster at sea.
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 breathtaking three-deck-high atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and movable LED screens that open up to a stunning 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.
Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said: “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. 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.”
CEO of Meyer Turku, Tim Meyer said: “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 of their dedication during the building process.”
Duffy said Mardi Gras will depart from Turku later this month (December) to begin its voyage to North America.
The ship will operate seven-day Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, Fla., and Carnival has worked closely 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.