Giant New Carnival Cruise Ship Floats Out for the First Time

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Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Carnival Jubilee, has unexpectedly floated out today, July 21, 2023, at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The float-out marks a key milestone in the construction process, indicating the completion of the outer hull of the 183,521-gross-ton cruise ship.

Originally scheduled to float out on Saturday morning, Meyer Werft brought the major milestone forward due to the inclement weather expected in Germany over the weekend. The undocking maneuver has already been completed, moving the ship into position to the wet dock at the shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Early Float Out Demonstrates Exceptional Progress

Carnival Cruise Line’s newest Excel-class cruise ship has achieved another major milestone in its construction, touching water and floating for the first time since construction began in 2022. 

Meyer Werft stated that the float out, initially scheduled for Saturday, had been brought forward, likely due to the inclement weather conditions expected over the weekend.

Carnival Jubilee Float Out
Carnival Jubilee Float Out (Photo Courtesy: Meyer Werft)

Workers at the shipyard commenced filling the dock at around 12:00 PM CET. Very slowly the giant new Carnival cruise ship emerged from the large construction hall. Carnival Jubilee is afloat and being positioned to the wet dock with the help of several tug boats at the Meyer Werft shipyard. YouTuber Detlev Helmerich also posted a live video of the float out, which you can watch below:

The shipyard issued a statement, saying: “Attention, new schedule: The undocking of the Carnival Jubilee will begin 12 hours earlier and thus will start tonight at approximately 8:30 PM CET. To facilitate this, we flooded our building dock this morning and thus transferred Carnival Jubilee to its element.”

Wet Dock, Conveyance, and Sea Trials

Carnival Jubilee will be docked at a nearby wet dock, where interior work, including furnishings and interior design, will continue. This phase is expected to take several weeks.

After the interior work, Carnival Jubilee will undertake a unique journey known as the river Ems conveyance. This journey, a tradition for ships constructed at the Meyer Werft shipyard, involves navigating the narrow Ems River to reach the North Sea.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship
Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship

Guided by experienced pilots and aided by tugboats, Carnival Jubilee will slowly make its way through this challenging passage, before heading out for sea trials, which are scheduled for August 2023. The sea trials will examine the ship’s critical systems, such as navigation, propulsion, and safety operations. Upon completing these trials, the ship will officially become a property of Carnival Cruise Line.

The First Meyer Werft-Built Carnival Cruise Ship

The Excel-class Carnival Jubilee is the first cruise ship Meyer Werft has built for the American cruise company in Germany. Both Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration were constructed by the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. The German and Finish shipyard are part of the Meyer Group parent company.

Work on Carnival Jubilee began on March 18, 2022. The change in shipyard was made following the overwhelming success of Mardi Gras, prompting Carnival Corporation to change Carnival Jubilee from her original cruise line, AIDA, to Carnival Cruise Line while retaining the services of Meyer Werft.

Carnival Jubilee Construction
Carnival Jubilee (Photo Credit: Meyer Werft)

For tomorrow, July 22, 2023, Carnival Jubilee will briefly cast off from the pier around midday to conduct various tests on the bow thrusters and stabilizers. However, this schedule might change due to the weather conditions. 

Carnival Jubilee, when finished, will measure 1,130 feet in length, with 15 passenger decks, capable of accommodating up to 6,631 guests. 

Her maiden voyage, a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise, will depart from Galveston, Texas, on December 23, 2023. Ports of call on this cruise include Roatan in Honduras, and Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico. The ship is slated to remain homeported from Galveston through April 2025.

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