Carnival Cruise Line’s New Mega-Ship Begins Sea Trials

Carnival Cruise Line's second Excel-class mega-ship, Carnival Celebration, begins sea trials from the Meyer Turku shipyard.

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Carnival Celebration, the second Excel-class cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Line, has sailed on her first set of sea trials today. The sistership to Mardi Gras set off from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and is expected to be out at sea for several days. 

During the sea trials, engineers will be testing all of the technical systems onboard, but also maneuverability and speed. Construction on Carnival Celebration started in January of 2021, with the vessel expected to start operations in November from Miami, Florida later this year. 

Carnival Celebration Sails for the First Time

She isn’t ready for guests yet, but Carnival Celebration is undoubtedly getting closer to her official launch later this year. After a construction period that started just twenty months ago, the newest cruise ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet set sail on her first set of sea trials on Monday, September 5, from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland.

Carnival Celebration Sea Trials
Photo Credit: finki.22

The vessel is currently sailing in the archipelago around the port city in the Baltic Sea, where engineers will be testing all of the onboard systems. Sea Trials are an essential part of the construction process and are expected to take anywhere from a few days up to ten days, depending on the testing results. 

Like her sister, Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration is powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Although the shipyard has fitted the power source on multiple ships now, it still means intensive testing of the onboard systems and whether or not the ship meets the criteria Carnival Cruise Line has set for maneuverability and speed.

Captain & Crew Already Onboard

The sea trials will also enable the ship’s crew and officers to familiarize themselves with the vessel, as Captain Vincenzo Alcaras explained to John Heald earlier:

“During sea trials, the ship is undergoing several tests, which are meant to determine the ship’s capability and performance. We do many tests, but I only list a few, such as endurance test, steering tests, speed tests, thrusters tests, zig-zag tests, which is part of maneuvering tests, and all Class required tests.”

Carnival Celebration Senior Officers
Captain Captain Vincenzo Alcaras, Center (Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line)

The sea trials are still under the supervision of the shipyard, and although the Captain is onboard, this is only in the role of an observer:

“During the sea trial the ship is under the responsibility of Meyer yard. I will not take command of the ship. My role together with my team is to observe the various tests, performance, and witness the commissioning of the Bridge equipment,” Captain Vincenzo Alcaras continues.

The captain is not alone onboard; several other senior officers and crew members have already boarded the vessel. They will be responsible for launching Carnival Celebration and guiding her through the difficult launch period.

Carnival Celebration Sea Trials
Photo Credit: finki.22

Carnival Celebration will be 180,800 gross tons with a guest capacity of 5,282 at double occupancy, along with 1,282 crew members. As with Mardi Gras, both vessels are part of the Excel class of ships. Other ships in class include P&O Cruises Iona and Arvia, AIDAnova for AIDA Cruises, Costa Smeralda and Toscana for Costa Cruises, Carnival Jubilee, which is expected to be delivered in 2023, and more.

Carnival Celebration Sets Sail End of This Year

There can be no surprise that Carnival Celebration is the most anticipated cruise ship for 2022. The vessel plays a vital role in the 50th birthday celebrations for Carnival Cruise Line, with the arrival in Miami later this year marking the culmination of those celebrations. 

Guests will be able to enjoy a vast variety of activities to keep them entertained during their stay onboard, including BOLT, the same roller coaster that is featured onboard Mardi Gras, and six fun-filled zones onboard, including Celebration Central, The Gateway, Summer Landing, 802 Biscayne, Lido, and the Ultimate Playground.

Carnival Celebration BOLT Roller Coaster
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Although Carnival Cruise Line calls the first Caribbean cruise the inaugural voyage, Carnival Celebration will be sailing on one cruise before she arrives in the United States. On Sunday, November 6, Carnival Celebration will be setting sail on her maiden transatlantic voyage from Southampton in the United Kingdom. 

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said: “Carnival Celebration promises to be a spectacular addition to our fleet – just in time for our 50th birthday – and we’ve put together a terrific array of itineraries kicking off with a two-week-long inaugural transatlantic cruise and then year-round Caribbean sailings from PortMiami featuring some of the most beautiful and popular destinations in the region.”

Carnival Celebration Themed Zone
Rendering Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

During the 14-day voyage, she will call in La Coruna and Vigo in Spain, Funchal on the island of Madeira, and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. 

On November 20, Carnival Celebration will arrive in Miami in the early morning hours, after which Carnival Cruise Line will be hosting a series of celebrations, including the official naming ceremony, to celebrate the arrival of the newest ship in the fleet. 

Carnival Celebration is scheduled to debut from Miami on November 21, 2022. The cruise ship will offer year-round service to the eastern and western Caribbean from PortMiami’s new Terminal F, constructed specifically for Carnival Cruise Line. Cruises will be between 6-8 days in length. 

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