Carnival Takes Delivery of Mardi Gras, North America’s First LNG-fuelled Cruise Ship

Mark Stachiew, Open Jaw

Carnival Cruise Line took delivery Friday of its highly anticipated new ship, Mardi Gras, in a live virtual signing ceremony at the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland.

When Mardi Gras begins guest operations in April 2021, the 180,000-gross-ton vessel will be one of the most innovative ships in North America as it will be the first to be powered by liquefied natural gas, 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 three-deck-high atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and movable LED screens that open up to an ocean view. 

The 340-metre-long Mardi Gras will accommodate more than 5,200 guests and boast a crew of 2,000. Guests will have the choice of more than 2,600 staterooms and 180 suites across 11 categories. 

“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 Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

 “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.”

Duffy said Mardi Gras will depart from Turku later this month to begin her voyage to North America. The ship will operate seven-day Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, Florida. The company says it has worked closely with 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.

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