New Carnival Cruise Ship Just Days From Float Out

Carnival Jubilee is scheduled to be floated out on Saturday, but what does that mean about the ship's construction timeline?

The Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany has announced that Saturday, July 22, 2023 is the day for Carnival Jubilee, when the newest ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet will be floated out of the construction dock, touching water for the first time and bringing her one step closer to her December debut.

Carnival Jubilee to Be Floated Out This Weekend

Meyer Werft has announced that Carnival Jubilee will be officially floated out on Saturday morning, July 22, 2023. This is a major construction milestone for any new vessel, and marks a significant shift in the ship’s progress as final outfitting is begun in a nearby wet dock.

“Saturday, it’s the day!” Meyer Werft announced on social media. “The Carnival Jubilee will leave our covered building dock at about 9 am and will be fixed at the equipment pier around 12 pm, according to the current schedule.”

The shipbuilder does note that the schedule may change due to weather conditions. The Saturday forecast in Papenburg calls for a 60% chance of rain and a high temperature of 69 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius), which is quite typical for July in northwestern Germany.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship
Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship

The float out of a cruise ship is a significant construction milestone and marks the completion of the vessel’s outer hull. While interior work is far from complete, this does showcase the progress of the ship and is the first step toward her long service life on the water.

A variety of shipyard employees will attend the float out ceremony and there may be cruise line officials present as well, though this is not a handoff ceremony or official naming. Those steps will come later, as the ship is fully completed and ready to welcome guests.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship Construction
Photo Credit: Meyer Werft

This float out is particularly significant as Carnival Jubilee was never originally intended as a Carnival Cruise Line ship, and instead the vessel had been ordered for AIDA Cruises.

The incredible success of Mardi Gras, however, prompted Carnival Corporation to switch the new ship to its namesake line, making Carnival Jubilee the first vessel Meyer Werft has ever built for Carnival Cruise Line.

Next Steps

The first steel was cut for Carnival Jubilee on March 18, 2022, beginning the ship’s physical construction. Over the past 16 months, the hull has taken shape, blocks have been assembled, and even the Bolt roller coaster has been installed onboard.

Carnival Jubilee is not yet be quite ready to be handed over to the cruise line, however, as much interior work remains to be finished. After the float out, the ship will be tied up at a nearby wet dock, where interior work – furnishing the ship, interior design, etc. – will commence. This will take several weeks, as final details are put into place.

Carnival Jubilee Construction at Meyer Werft
Carnival Jubilee Construction at Meyer Werft

Next up will be the ship’s sea trials, which will take place sometime in August 2023. These are the technical tests of the ship’s critical systems, including navigation, propulsion, and safety operation. Those tests can take from just a few days to two weeks, depending on the vessel’s performance and any adjustments that may need to be made.

After the sea trials, the ship will be handed over and officially become property of Carnival Cruise Line, rather than of Meyer Werft. At that time, final details of the interior spaces will be completed, and the ship will begin receiving supplies and equipment so she is ready to sail.

Upper Deck of the Carnival Jubilee Currents Zone
Upper Deck of the Carnival Jubilee Currents Zone

Crew members (as many as 1,735) will begin arriving to the ship in the following weeks to familiarize themselves with its facilities and unique quirks, and in December 2023, Carnival Jubilee will welcome guests for the first time.

When finished, the 183,521-gross ton Carnival Jubilee will measure 1,130 feet in length, with 15 passenger decks for as many as 6,631 guests to explore (5,374 guests when booked at double occupancy only).

First Sailings

The third Excel-class ship, sister to Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, is scheduled to debut on December 23, 2023 with a 7-night sailing roundtrip from Galveston, Texas.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship
Rendering Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

The Western Caribbean cruise will call on Roatan, Honduras and Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico before returning to her Lone Star State homeport.

Details have not yet been announced about the ship’s official christening, including who will be named the ceremonial godmother.

Carnival Jubilee is scheduled to remain homeported from Galveston at least through April 2025, sailing alongside the Dream-class Carnival Breeze and Carnival Dream and the Spirit-class Carnival Miracle.

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