Cruise director Matt Mitcham travels to Germany for a first look at the new coaster.

By Andrea Romano
August 17, 2020
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Thinking about whether you want to take an ocean voyage or a romp in an amusement park next summer? Turns out, you won’t have to choose.

Carnival Cruise Line shared a video of its much-anticipated Mardi Gras ship on Sunday, which features the world’s first roller coaster at sea, according to USA Today. The new coaster, BOLT, has been under construction in Munich, Germany, and is planned to debut with the Mardi Gras in February 2021. Sadly, all U.S. cruise ships are currently out of operation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cruise director Matt Mitcham takes you on a tour of the BOLT in the video, showing all the ins and outs of the new, onboard ride. The track is a simple loop with a helix at one end, but it is especially unique because passengers can actually control the ride themselves.

“Every time you go, the ship will be moving to a different port. You’ll have a different view, a different moment, and then, of course, you control it yourself,” said Steve Boney, Executive Business Development of Maurer Rides.

The video shows an animated demonstration of how the ride will work, including its two-seat, motorcycle-style car that races along the track to speeds up to 40 miles per hour. “Workers have installed nearly 800 feet of suspended track for BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, that will encircle upper decks and offer guests an exhilarating ride with dips and drops with breathtaking ocean views 187 feet above the water line,” according to Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen, to USA Today.

Once the ship and the coaster are complete, BOLT will have to be disassembled and reconstructed aboard the Mardi Gras, which is currently being constructed at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, according to USA Today. Along with the BOLT, the ship will feature 2,600 staterooms and six themed zones throughout the ship with lots of dining and entertainment.

The Mardi Gras will debut in 2021 from Port Canaveral, Florida. Itineraries for the ship are available from launch through spring 2023, according to USA Today. More information can be found on the Carnival Cruise Line website.