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Crown Cruise Vacations | October 22, 2021

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Santa Rides New Roller Coaster on Carnival Mardi Gras

Santa Rides New Roller Coaster on Carnival Mardi Gras
Jackie Sheckler Finch

Yes, Virginia, there is a roller coaster on a cruise ship. And Santa Claus just rode it.

Taking a break from his pre-Christmas gift making, Santa ventured down to Finland to take a test run on BOLT, the first-ever roller coaster at sea aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras. The ship is being delivered at the Meyer Turku shipyard later this week.

With enthusiastic shrieks of delight and a few hearty “ho-ho-ho’s: echoing throughout the shipyard, Santa zipped along the 800-foot-long track featuring a hairpin curve around the ship’s iconic funnel, all while achieving speeds of up to 40 miles an hour.

The all-electric coaster can accommodate two riders – or one Santa Claus and his bag of toys, perhaps – in motorcycle-like vehicles that race 187 feet above the water line, providing incredible views of the sea below.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I think a rollercoaster could be on a cruise ship,” St. Nick said. “It’s something we’ll be talking around at the North Pole for a long time.”

Built in partnership with Germany-based Mauer Rides, BOLT is a first-of-its-kind open-air attraction that takes cruise industry innovation to new heights when the ship enters service in 2021 from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Photos courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines