Carnival Mardi Gras

Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship

Cruise line
Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Mardi Gras Review and Specifications

Specifications of Carnival Mardi Gras

Year built2020 new ship
BuilderMeyer Werft (Turku, Finland)
Building costEUR 700 million (USD 950 million)
OwnerCarnival Corporation & PLC
OperatorCarnival Cruise Line
Speed23 kn / 43 kph / 26 mph
Length (LOA)344 m / 1129 ft
Beam (width)42 m / 138 ft
Gross Tonnage180000 gt
Passengers5200 - 6600
Passengers-to-space ratio26
Decks with cabins11

Review of Carnival Mardi Gras

With scheduled launch in 2020, Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship is Carnival Cruise Line fleet's newest, largest and most technologically advanced liner ever constructed. As the other Carnival liners, shipowner is Carnival Corporation.

Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship (new)

On November 15, 2018, was vessel's steel-cutting ceremony. The 180,000 GT-ton newbuild will have new livery and will be LNG-powered. The shipbuilder is Meyer Werft (Turku Shipyard, Finland). The name for the newbuild was officially revealed on December 6, 2018, at the Puzzleboard of the US TV game show "Wheel of Fortune" - at the very end of the broadcast.

The vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2020 and will be homeported in Port Canaveral Florida. The Caribbean itinerary program (as ports of call) is yet to be announced. A second liner (sistership of the same XL series) will be delivered in 2022, with its construction starting in 2020. In 2022, Carnival Cruise Line celebrates company's 50th Anniversary.

Carnival XL-Class ship design features a new (red-white-navy blue) hull and was created by the NYC-based naval architecture firm "Bluarch Architecture". Among world's largest passenger ships, the new liner has length 1130 ft (344 m), passenger capacity 5200 (lower berths) and will offer various fleet-first and industry-first innovations - yet to be revealed.

What is known so far is that the XL-Class is similar as design and facilities to Helios-Class ships produced for Carnival Corporation's brands Costa and AIDA by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. Of the same series is also the P&O UK ship Iona (also scheduled for delivery in 2020).

On December 14, 2018, Carnival announced that the new Mardi Gras will have industry's first roller coaster at sea. The facility ("BOLT Ultimate Sea Coaster") will be built by Maurer Rides (Munich-based Germany company specializing in roller coaster manufacturing). The race track has length 244 m (800 ft), with twists, turns, drops and speeds up to 64 kph (40 mph). Individual speeds are posted after the race. Carnival's roller coaster is all-electric and allows 2 riders to race along in motorbike-like vehicles at height 57 m (187 ft) above the sea. The experience features breathtaking top-deck 360-degree views and ends with a high-speed turn around ship’s funnel.

Carnival Mardi Gras wiki

Newbuild's name honors Carnival Cruise Line's first-ever "Fun Ship" - MARDI GRAS. The traditional ocean liner was launched in 1961 (under the name "Empress of Canada"). The vessel (last named Apollon) was scrapped in 2003.

The old Mardi Gras ship

TSS Mardi Gras vessel had IMO number 5103936, LOA length 198 m (650 ft), width 26 m (87 ft), draft 9 m (29 ft) and GT tonnage 27,300 tons (originally 18261 GT tons). Liner's capacity was 1240 passengers (originally 1048) plus 470 crew. During its service history, the vessel was named Empress of Canada (1961-1972), TSS Mardi Gras (1972-1993), Olympic (1993), Star of Texas (1994), Lucky Star (1994-1995) and Apollon (1995-2003).

The ocean liner was built at Vickers-Armstrongs shipyard in Newcastle England. The yard was located in city's Walker suburb. Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd (1927-1977) was an engineering-design and shipbuilding company formed in 1927 as merger of two British companies - Vickers Ltd (engineering) and Armstrong Whitworth (manufacturing - armaments, ships, locomotives, automobiles, planes). In the 1960-1970s, most of Vickers-Armstrongs was nationalised, with the remainder of company's private assets divested in 1977 as Vickers plc. In 1999, Vickers plc became defunct and was purchased by Rolls-Royce plc. In 2004, the Vickers brand became defunct.

Vessel's launch (float-out from drydock) was on May 10, 1960. It was delivered to Canadian Pacific in March 1961. The inaugural cruise departed on April 24, 1961, from Liverpool to Montreal. The shipowner Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd was founded as"Canadian Pacific Steamship Company" in 1887 in Vancouver BC. In 2005, the company (aka CP Ships) was purchased by TUI AG and became part of TUI's subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises (acquired in 1998).

Empress of Canada offered regularly scheduled Transatlantic crossings between UK and Quebec Canada (Liverpool - Montreal). Like all CP liners, Empress of Canada was UK-flagged. After 121 Transatlantic crossings ( and 82 Canadian cruises, Empress of Canada arrived in Liverpool on November 23, 1971, with which the regular Liverpool-Canada service was terminated. On December 17 (1971) the liner was laid up in Port Tilbury-London.

In January 1972, the vessel was sold to Carnival Cruise Lines and started operations as "TSS Mardi Gras" under flag-state (registry) Panama. The first "Fun Ship" started its maiden voyage on February 26, 1972, leaving from London to Miami. Mardi Gras sailed for Carnival until 1993, when was sold to Epirotiki Line (Greek shipping company founded in 1850).

In 1995 was created Royal Olympic Cruise Lines as merger of Epirotiki Line and Sun Line. In 2000, all scheduled voyages were cancelled and the vessel was laid up in Piraeus (Athens, Greece). In 2001, the ship (named Apollon) re-entered service for short-breaks (3- and 4-day cruises) roundtrip from homeport Piraeus. In 2003, the 42-year-old liner was laid up again, and soon sold for scrap.

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