In keeping with maritime tradition, a keel-laying ceremony has been held at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, for Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras.
The vessel is scheduled to enter service in August next year.
The ceremony, which dates back hundreds of years, was highlighted by the placement of coins on top of a 750-ton keel block - called 3C - signifying good luck for the ship and the official start of construction.
Carnival senior vice president of newbuilds, Ben Clement, Mardi Gras captain, Giuseppe Giusa, chief engineer Ferdinando Ruocco and hotel director Pierre Camilleri joined Meyer Turku chief executive, Jan Meyer, at the festivities.
Mardi Gras will offer a variety of ground-breaking innovations, including Bolt, the first roller coaster at sea; the first seagoing restaurant by legendary chef Emeril Lagasse; and six themed zones with a wide range of culinary, beverage and activity choices.
Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas.
“This is a historic day for Carnival - the official start of construction of the spectacular Mardi Gras which will usher in an exciting new chapter for our company and introduce so many guest-pleasing innovations,” said Clement.
Mardi Gras is set to debut in Europe in August next year, then reposition to New York for a series of voyages before shifting to Port Canaveral for year-round Caribbean departures.
“We have been very excited to design and now finally to start assembling Carnival Mardi Gras.
“All these different features onboard require a lot of engineering and design expertise which we have been happy to provide to our customer,” Meyer concluded.