The biggest Carnival cruise ship ever built is starting sea trials
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
It’s testing time for one of the biggest cruise ships ever built.
Carnival Cruise Line‘s soon-to-debut Mardi Gras, which will hold up to 6,630 passengers with every berth filed, began 10 days of sea trials Monday in the Baltic Sea.
The 15-deck-high 1,130-foot-long ship has been under construction at a shipyard in Turku, Finland, for more than a year, and the start of its sea trials is a sign it’s nearing completion.
For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter.
At 180,000 tons, Mardi Gras will be, by far, the biggest ship ever built for Carnival and the seventh-largest cruise ship ever built for any line.
Undertaken in the final months of a cruise ship’s construction, sea trials are designed to test a ship’s navigation systems, engines, maneuverability, steering, speed and safety systems. Tests during sea trials also measure cabin acoustics.
Cruise ships can’t go into service until they pass sea trials.
Mardi Gras has been under construction since 2019 at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. It’s one of the few shipyards in the world capable of building a cruise vessel as big as Mardi Gras.
The Meyer Turku shipyard also is known for building the first two ships in Royal Caribbean’s groundbreaking Oasis Class series: Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
Upon completion of the sea trials, Mardi Gras will return to the shipyard for final finishing work.
The development of Mardi Gras is a big deal for Carnival. The line until now has resisted the trend among major brands to build ever-bigger vessels. Carnival’s new Carnival Panorama doesn’t even crack the top 40 list of biggest ships.
But Carnival is entering the Big Ship Wars with a splash, adorning Mardi Gras with the first roller coaster at sea (no, this is not a joke). The ship also will have Carnival’s largest waterpark ever, a far broader array of suites than earlier Carnival ships and new dining venues such as the first Emeril Lagasse restaurant at sea.
Mardi Gras also will be notable as the first ship from a North America-based cruise line designed to operate on liquid natural gas. The fuel is touted as being cleaner than traditional ship fuel.
Mardi Gras is named after Carnival’s first ship, which sailed for the line from 1972 to 1993. It originally was scheduled to debut in August of this year, but its unveiling date has been pushed back twice.
Like many cruise lines, Carnival currently is not operating any cruises due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has canceled all sailings in North America through the end of September.
Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:
- The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
- The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
- A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
- 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
- 15 ways cruisers waste money
- 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
- What to pack for your first cruise
Featured image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees