Carnival’s Mardi Gras has touched water for the first time after being floated out of her construction dry-dock at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.
Mardi Gras was floated out on Friday, marking another major milestone in her construction journey. The next major step will be the commencement of sea trails, before her delivery and finally, her christening.
“We can’t wait for our guests to experience Mardi Gras, a one-of-a-kind ship that is true game-changer and continues the evolution of the Carnival vacation experience,” said Ben Clement, Senior Vice President of Newbuilds, Carnival Cruise Line.
“I believe Mardi Gras will be a truly special ship,” added Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer. “She will be the first to use our now proven LNG cruise ship propulsion system in North American markets and feature many other sophisticated technologies – including BOLT, the first roller coaster onboard a ship.”
While Mardi Gras will be the first LNG-powered cruise ship in North America, she will be the latest in a series of sister ships built for several of Carnival Corporation’s cruise brands, such as AIDAnova, Costa Smeralda and Iona (being built for AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises and P&O Cruises respectively).
Now that she’s on the water, Mardi Gras’ six themed zones will also begin to take shape with the interior build out of spaces like Emeril’s Bistro 1396 created by chef Emeril Lagasse and a groundbreaking new atrium concept with three-deck-high floor-to-ceiling windows and moveable LED screens.
An army of several thousand contractors working for almost 1,000 different suppliers will now board the ship and finish off her interior spaces, from her dozens of restaurants, lounges and cafes to the more than 2,500 cabins.
After a delay in the delivery, reported in December last year, Mardi Gras is still on track for her new delivery timeline in late October, and will enter revenue service on November 14th, 2020 from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Although the delay in her construction wasn’t directly mentioned Friday, Mayer Turku CEO Jan Meyer did seem to allude to it when he said that Mardi Gras is among a new class of ships that are truly smart floating cities.
“We are building all the facilities a smart modern city would have: hospitals, IT-networks, restaurants and sophisticated environmental technologies, on a ship sailing the seas,” he said. “It is a very difficult undertaking but also the end result is really spectacular.”
Mardi Gras will homeport year-round in Port Canaveral, sailing one week cruises to the Western and Eastern Caribbean.