Carnival Cruise Line took delivery of its new mega cruise ship Mardi Gras on Friday, completing a years-long build process that was twice delayed due to shipyard constraints and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Carnival took delivery of its new ship from the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland in a virtual handover ceremony that included Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, and Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.
“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,” she added. “Notwithstanding the delays related to the pandemic, there is tremendous enthusiasm and pent-up demand for this ship.”
Mardi Gras will enter service in April 2021, according to Carnival’s most recent cruise resumption plans. The 180,000-gross-ton cruise ship is the most innovative in North America and is the first to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
She boast a suite of new technologies, 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 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 in over 2,600 staterooms and 180 suites across 11 categories, served by a crew of 2,000.
“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,” said Duffy.
Mardi Gras will depart from Turku later this month to begin her voyage to North America.
She will operate seven-day Caribbean cruise itineraries from Port Canaveral, Florida, where Carnival has built 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 24th, 2021.