In what came as a huge surprise to cruisers and thrill-seekers, there’s a cruise ship with a Roller Coaster in it, writes Emma Featherstone in an article for the Telegraph.co.uk
360-degree Ocean View
Thrill-seekers will be able to combine theme park highs with 360-degree ocean views riding the first ever at-sea roller coaster on Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, launching in 2020.
The Ultimate Sea Coaster will offer nearly 800ft of twists, turns and drops and speeds of nearly 40mph. Mardi Gras, Carnival’s largest ship to date, will have a passenger capacity of roughly 5,200.
How will it function?
Riding in one of the electric roller coasters’ two-person motorcycle-like vehicles, passengers will use a pedal to control their speed as they race along the track, sitting 187ft above sea level BOLT, built by Munich-based Maurer Rides, will culminate with a hairpin turn around Carnival’s signature red funnel. At the end of each race passengers can watch for their speed to be posted then pick up a photo of an action shot from the ride.
How unique will it be?
Passengers will be able to admire the views, in between screams.Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said: “Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by BOLT.”
Rendering of Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras takes her name from Carnival’s first ship, which entered service in 1972 with the name announced on popular game show, Wheel of Fortune – it was spelled across the programme’s signature puzzle board.
Ms Duffy said: “Our first ship Mardi Gras was a historic vessel, introducing a brand new style of cruising to the holidaying public. What better way to pay tribute to our company’s nearly 50-year history of creating wonderful holiday memories than by naming this groundbreaking vessel after our original and beloved Fun Ship.”
She will be based at Port Canaveral, Florida, which is to feature a new state-of-the-art terminal. Mardi Gras will be nearly six times the size of her namesake and will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), a relatively clean burning fuel.
When will it be available?
Carnival will begin construction of a second X-class Carnival ship in 2020, with a 2022 delivery to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding. Interested cruisers should keep an eye for Mardi Gras’ itineraries, which are to be announced on January 8 and go on sale January 31.
Other Such Cruises
Carnival is among several cruise lines boasting fairground-style attractions on their ships. Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas includes a surf simulator and a zip line, for example, while Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy offer go-kart tracks.
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