Huge Milestone for New Carnival Ship as Sea Trials Approach

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Carnival Cruise Line’s upcoming Carnival Jubilee will mark an impressive milestone on Monday, October 30, 2023 as the vessel leaves the shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and moves to Eemshaven on the River Ems in preparation for her upcoming sea trials.

This critical part of the ship’s construction will test her technical and safety systems and is essential before she can be handed over to Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Jubilee to Move to the North Sea

Carnival Jubilee‘s transfer down the Ems from Papenburg to Eemshaven will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. local time on Monday, October 30, and the ship will pass Emden at the mouth of the river on the Wadden Sea at roughly 3:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning, October 31.

It must be noted that all times are approximations, and last-minute schedule changes may be necessary due to local winds and weather conditions, as well as water levels. There is no guarantee that the transfer, however carefully planned, will absolutely happen on this day until the ship is underway, and delays may also happen during the process.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship at Meyer Werft
Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship at Meyer Werft (Photo Credit: Meyer Werft)

Two tugs will assist the 182,800-gross-ton, Excel-class vessel down the river to ensure safe maneuverability. Interestingly, at least part of the journey will be made with Carnival Jubilee in reverse as the ship moves toward the North Sea, which has proven to be successful and more maneuverable with different vessels.

The pilot brotherhood Emden will provide a team to carry out the ship’s transfer with cutting-edge technology, with the support of the Ems barrage to adjust water depth as necessary en route to ensure a smooth, safe passage.

Sea Trials Imminent

Once the ship has cleared passage along the river and entered the North Sea, her sea trials can begin. These rigorous tests will engage all of the ship’s critical systems – navigation, steering, propulsion, braking, turns, maneuverability, safety response, and more. These tests may take just a few days or as long as two weeks, depending on local conditions and the ship’s performance.

Carnival Jubilee Funnel Installation
Carnival Jubilee Funnel Installation

The purpose of sea trials is to ensure a vessel is certified as fully operational and ready to be handed over to the cruise line, as the shipyard’s role will then be finished and the ship’s construction complete.

Once the sea trials are finished, Carnival Jubilee will be one very important step closer to her planned December 23, 2023 debut from Galveston, Texas.

First German-Built Carnival Ship

Of special note is the fact that Carnival Jubilee is the first cruise ship to be built in Germany for Carnival Cruise Line. The Meyer Werft shipyard built Carnival Jubilee‘s sister ships – Mardi Gras (2021) and Carnival Celebration (2022), but both earlier vessels were constructed at the Turku, Finland shipyard rather than the facility in Papenburg, Germany.

The German shipyard has also built notable ships for other cruise lines, including Disney Wish and the upcoming Disney Treasure, Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Bliss, and ships for AIDA Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, P&O Cruises, and many more.

All three Excel-class ships are the largest in the Carnival fleet at approximately 183,000 gross tons and with passenger capacities of 5,282 at double occupancy and as many as 6,465 when fully booked with all berths filled. The ships are all powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), making them cleaner and more fuel-efficient than conventionally-powered ships.

Once Carnival Jubilee joins the fleet in December, she will homeport year-round from Galveston offering 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico as well as Roatan, Honduras. Each sailing will also offer several days at sea so guests can enjoy all the new ship has to offer.

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