Launch - First Look - March 2019


Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras, a 6,500-passenger ship debuting in 2020, will feature “Bolt: Ultimate Sea Coaster.” (Credit: Photos: Carnival Cruise Line)

At Long Last, a Coaster on the High Seas!

by Keith Miller

For more than a dozen years, large cruise ships have featured thrilling attractions traditionally found at water parks. Water slides, surfing simulators, and water coasters can make a splash with passengers. But no cruise line has ever made the bold leap of installing a roller coaster aboard a cruise ship ... until now. Carnival Cruise Line recently announced its massive new 6,500-passenger ship to debut in 2020, the Mardi Gras, will boast the first-ever roller coaster on a luxury liner. 

The ride, named “Bolt: Ultimate Sea Coaster,” will stretch nearly 800 feet and be located on the top deck of the vessel near the stern. The electric-powered steel coaster can reach a top speed of 40 mph and will circle three quarters of the ship’s funnel 187 feet above sea level. The stunning views above the sea will be unlike any other coaster on Earth.


Carnival confirms “Bolt: Ultimate Sea Coaster” will be built by Munich-based Maurer Rides and will be one of the company’s Spike Dragster models. Each ride vehicle will resemble a motorcycle, with two riders sitting inline, similar to a bobsled. Following a launch, riders will be able to control their own speed, making each ride unique. The ride climaxes with a 180-degree turn around the ship’s giant red funnel. At the end of the journey, riders will see a display of the maximum speed they obtained. 

The ability of guests to control the velocity of the ride vehicles will be unique to modern roller coasters, Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson Vance Gulliksen tells Funworld.

“The coaster is more like a motorcycle vehicle, with a throttle that guests can control their own speed as they race around a track, versus a traditional roller coaster that uses gravity,” explains Gulliksen. 

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, says “Bolt: Ultimate Sea Coaster” is just one of many features that will make the new Mardi Gras the cruise company’s most innovative ship to date. At 180,000 gross tons and only 190 feet short of a quarter-mile in length, the Mardi Gras will be the largest cruise ship ever launched by Carnival Cruise Line. The vessel will depart from Port Canaveral, Florida, and will berth at the port’s new state-of-the-art terminal.