Popular Science magazine has recognized Carnival Cruise Line with the “Best of What’s New” engineering award for its roller coaster “BOLT,” which can be found aboard the line’s newest ship Mardi Gras.
The line achieved the award based on the innovation and design work that resulted in the coaster, which is the first roller coaster on a cruise ship ever.
“Normal roller coasters use gravity to send thrill-seekers zooming and looping. But if you want to build a ride on a cruise ship—where stable, level ground is far from guaranteed—you have to get creative,” according to Popular Science.
Since 1988, the magazine annually reviews thousands of new products and innovations, and chooses the top 100 winners across 10 categories. To win, a product or technology must represent a significant step forward in its category.
BOLT is an all-electric roller coaster with an elevated track across the upper decks of Mardi Gras. It features 800 feet of twists and turns, including a hairpin turn around the vessel’s funnel. Riders can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour as they go around a track that’s 187 feet above the sea.
“As you’re whipping around the Mardi Gras’ funnel while riding BOLT, I doubt many people are thinking about how we got the roller coaster built, but this recognition from Popular Science underscores the tremendous work that went into making this happen,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “While ultimately, we’re about providing new ways for our guests to have fun, we’re also honored and appreciative of this incredible recognition for our team.”
While BOLT is only found on Mardi Gras right now, it will also be featured on sister ships Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee when they debut in late 2022 in Miami and in 2023 in Galveston, respectively.