Massive New Carnival Cruise Ship Completes Complex Milestone

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Carnival Jubilee has set a fleet first before even officially joining Carnival Cruise Line as she has completed a tricky navigation of the river Ems in northwest Germany, reaching the North Sea where her sea trials will take place. The new ship is the first ever in the Carnival fleet to complete the conveyance, as the ship is the first to have been built by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Carnival Jubilee Conveyance Successful

The 182,800-gross-ton Carnival Jubilee successfully transferred down the River Ems from Papenburg, Germany to Eemshaven, Netherlands from early Monday morning, October 30, 2023, until her arrival in Eemshaven early Tuesday morning.

The tricky conveyance involved manuvering the massive ship not only through the river’s twists and turns, under a number of bridges, and through narrow channels, but also sailing backward for better navigation along the challenging route.

Carnival Jubilee Conveyance on the Ems
Carnival Jubilee Conveyance on the Ems (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

Two tugboats supported the journey and assisted with maneuvering as needed, and a group of Ems River pilots from the Pilot Brotherhood of Emden led the procedure with their expertise and state-of-the-art technology.

Sea Trials Just Days Away

With Carnival Jubilee now successfully at the mouth of the river in the Wadden Sea, preparations are underway for her first round of sea trials – slated to begin on Sunday, November 5, 2023.

The ship’s sea trials will test her full functional capabilities, from straight cruising to emergency stops, turns of different degrees and swiftness, navigation, maximum speed, and much more. These tests are critical to ensure all the ship’s systems are functioning properly and work together for most efficient operation.

Carnival Jubilee
Carnival Jubilee (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

The length of sea trials can vary from just a day or two to as long as two weeks, depending on the extent of the testing, local weather conditions that may cause delays, and how the ship performs, including whether or not any individual tests need to be redone.

During the sea trials, the ship’s full complement of officers, technicians, and engineers will be onboard for the testing as well as to begin familiarizing themselves with the vessel’s operation, layout, and procedures. After successful testing, Carnival Jubilee will be one step closer to her December 23, 2023 maiden voyage from Galveston, Texas.

Completion Work Continues

Even as the sea trials get underway, Carnival Jubilee is continuing to be refined as shipbuilders onboard the vessel continue with finishing details and interior work.

This includes décor for the ship’s different venues, including her ocean-themed “Currents” and “Shores” neighborhoods and their immersive artwork, LED lighting, and unique sound designs.

Dr.Inks Ph.D Bar on Carnival Jubilee
Dr.Inks Ph.D Bar on Carnival Jubilee

Seating, fixtures, and signage is being put in place for the new and exclusive Dr. Inks, Ph.D and Golden Mermaid bars, as well as the popular Emeril’s Bistro 717 – a variation of the Emeril’s installations onboard Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration.

Finishing touches are also being put on the Ultimate Playground with BOLT, the Ultimate Sea Coaster, the ship’s SportSquare facilities, and the WaterWorks aqua park, not to mention the intimate and immersive Grand Central space, the fan favorite Guy’s Burger Joint, and so much more the ship will offer.

Debut Less Than Two Months Away

Carnival Jubilee is scheduled to welcome guests for the first time on December 23, 2023 with her first sailing, a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise from Galveston. In addition to three full days at sea for passengers to enjoy all the new ship has to offer, the itinerary includes visits to Roatan, Honduras and Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico.

Carnival Jubilee Conveyance on the Ems
Carnival Jubilee Conveyance on the Ems (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

The new ship will remain homeported in Galveston year-round at least through April 2026 offering the same 7-night itinerary, though port orders change depending on departure date. On each sailing, the ship will be able to welcome 5,282 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 6,465 travelers when fully booked.

Bringing the Excel-class vessel to Galveston shows Carnival Cruise Line’s commitment to the Lone Star State, as does the ship’s unique bow decoration that will forever connect her to the Texas homeport.

It will indeed be a jubilant day when the new ship arrives in Texas in less than two months!

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