Carnival Cruise Line may have had to cancel its cruises out of Port Canaveral and Miami for November, but things are looking up for the industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with its new cruise ship Mardi Gras having completed the first of her sea trials.
Mardi Gras took to sea last month for various technical tests under LNG power, the first cruise ship designed for the North American market that runs on the cleaner, more environmentally-friendly fuel.
The 5,200-passenger, 180,000-gross ton ship is now back at Meyer Turku for routine checks while the yard works to finish the ship ahead of her deployment from Port Canaveral in early 2021.
The shipyard released a video to mark the completion of the ship’s sea trials:
The completion of sea trials for Mardi Gras comes as another Carnival Corporation brand, P&O Cruises, took delivery of its own Excel-class cruise ship, Iona. The 185,000-gross ton ship is also powered by LNG and is a sister to Mardi Gras.
Iona will have eight specialty restaurants, 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools (including an infinity one at the aft of the ship), and 16 whirlpools, but Mardi Gras will feature six separate ‘zones’, including the Ultimate Playground, home to the world’s first roller coaster on a cruise ship.
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.
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, a food faces seafood restaurant the New Orleans-inspired Emeril’s Bistro 1396 and several other dining concepts.
Following her sea trials, final fit out and finishing of Mardi Gras will now continue, with another set of trials expected to be undertaken toward the end of the year to ensure that all systems, from the mechanical to her passenger areas, are working as they should.
A sister ship, Carnival Celebration, is also under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard and is expected to be delivered to Carnival in 2022. Bookings for her inaugural season went on sale this month.