The 10-day sea trials will see every mechanical systems aboard the new ship pushed to its limit and closely monitored by engineers and contractors from the Finnish shipbuilder, Meyer Turku.
The start of the sea trials comes two weeks after the Mardi Gras was successfully fueled with LNG.
The 15-deck-high 1,130-foot-long ship is scheduled to be delivered in early 2021 and will debut on February 6th, 2021, in Port Canaveral, Florida, sailing roundtrip cruises to the Caribbean.
Mardi Gras will be nearly 35% bigger than the largest Carnival ship currently afloat, the recently delivered Carnival Panorama and will be the first cruise ship in North America fueled with LNG, which is one of the most environmentally-friendly marine fuels.
Carrying 6,300 passengers at full capacity, the ship will feature several dozen dining, drinking and entertainment venues, as well as new-to-Carnival features, such as the Excel Suites, the first roller coaster on a cruise ship, a food faces seafood restaurant and more.
A sister ship, Carnival Celebration, is also under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard and is expected to be delivered to Carnival in 2022.
Mardi Gras departed Airisto, near the city of Turku in Finland on Monday morning and is expected to return to the shipyard on Thursday next week.
After the sea trials, final fit out and finishing of the ship will continue, with another set of sea trials expected to be undertaken toward the end of the year to ensure that all systems, from the mechanical to her passenger areas is working as it should.
Mardi Gras is the most complex ship ever built for Carnival and will put the cruise line in the same class as Royal Caribbean with its fleet of Oasis-class cruise ships, which are the largest in the world at more than 220,000-gross tons.
Mardi Gras will feature six distinct onboard zones, similar to the Oasis-class ships’ seven ‘neighborhoods’. These six zones will offer brand-new experiences for food, drinks, and entertainment, such as the New Orleans-inspired Emeril’s Bistro 1396 and several other dining concepts.