Mardi Gras (2020 ship)

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Name: Mardi Gras
Namesake: TSS Mardi Gras
Owner: Carnival Corporation & plc
Operator: Carnival Cruise Line
Port of registry: Panama
Ordered: 2017
Builder: Meyer Turku
Cost: $1.1 - $1.5 Billion (USD)
Yard number: NB 1396
Laid down: 18 June 2019
Launched: 24 January 2020[1]
Completed: Autumn 2020
Maiden voyage: November 2020
Status: Under construction
General characteristics
Class and type: Excellence-class cruise ship
Tonnage: 180,000 - 183,000 GT
Length: 1,130 ft (340 m)
Beam: 138 ft (42 m)
Decks: 19
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph) (projected)
Capacity: 5,200 passengers (double occupancy)
Crew: approx. 2,000

Mardi Gras is an Excellence-class cruise ship currently under construction for Carnival Cruise Line. She will be the first representative of Carnival's XL class, a subclass of Excellence class, and two more sister ships are expected to be delivered beginning in 2022.[2] At 180,000 gross tonnage (GT), she will be the largest ship in the Carnival fleet as well as the first one homeported in North America powered by liquefied natural gas.

The ship is often incorrectly referred to as Carnival Mardi Gras;[3][4][5] her correct name is, in fact, Mardi Gras.[6] She will be the first ship since the Fantasy-class vessels (which later included "Carnival" in their names) to omit the word "Carnival" in her name.


Early internal renderings of the ship in 2018 showed the name Carnival Reflection, sparking rumors that it would be the name of the new vessel. On the 5 December 2018 episode of Wheel of Fortune, the name of the ship was announced as Carnival Mardi Gras.[7][8]

The vessel is named after Carnival's first ship, TSS Mardi Gras, (formerly RMS Empress of Canada), an ocean liner which served under Carnival from 1972 to 1993. The namesake ship was sold to Epirotiki and served under that company until 2003, when she was scrapped.

The construction started on 15 November 2018 at Meyer Turku.[9] A floating engine room unit was built at Neptun Werft and left the yard in May 2019 heading for Turku.[10] The 2020 ship's keel was laid down on 18 June 2019,[11] and the vessel is scheduled to enter service in November 2020. She was floated out on 24 January 2020[12] and left the drydock on 26 January.[13]

A new cruise terminal (known as "the Launch Pad" paying homage to NASA) is being built in Port Canaveral, Florida, where the ship will be homeported.[14]

Mardi Gras will be the first vessel in the world to offer a roller coaster. Dubbed "Bolt," the ride consists of self-propelled cars that can travel up to 40 mph (64 km/h).[15]


Mardi Gras will embark on 7-day Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral in late 2020. Due to construction delays, her delivery had been pushed back from 31 August to October 2020. Consequently, her maiden voyage was rescheduled to 14 November 2020, and the first eight sailings of her itinerary were cancelled.[16]


  1. ^ "Carnival Mardi Gras floated out at Meyer Turku shipyard". 24 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Mardi Gras Cruise Ship, United States of America". Ship Technology. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Carnival Mardi Gras Cruise - Ship Review - Photos & Departure Ports on Cruise Critic". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Carnival Mardi Gras - Itinerary Schedule, Current Position". CruiseMapper. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  5. ^ Storey, Ken. "Carnival just announced details on its groundbreaking new ship in the most unlikely of ways". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Mardi Gras Selected As Name For Largest Carnival Cruise Line Ship Ever Constructed – Carnival Cruise Line News". Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Carnival Cruise Lines Names First Excellence-class Ship Mardi Gras". CruiseInd. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  8. ^ Storey, Ken. "Carnival just announced details on its groundbreaking new ship in the most unlikely of ways". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Start of production for Carnival XL1 at Meyer Turku". 15 November 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Maschinenraum-Modul für die Mardi Gras hat die Neptun Werft verlassen" (in German). 23 May 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  11. ^ [Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship hull assembly has begun at Meyer Turku shipyard "Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship hull assembly has begun at Meyer Turku shipyard"] Check |url= value (help). 18 June 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras floated out". Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Carnival Cruise Line reveals details of giant Mardi Gras cruise ship, itinerary". USA TODAY. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  15. ^ "This Is What the First Roller Coaster on a Cruise Ship Will Look Like". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  16. ^ Kilgore, Tomi. "Carnival cancels 8 sailings of the Mardi Gras cruise ship after delivery delay". MarketWatch. Retrieved 25 December 2019.