Carnival is building a rollercoaster on a cruise ship. What could go wrong?

Loop de loop.
Loop de loop.
Image: Reuters/Albert Gea
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The big three cruise ship companies are engaged in a “fun arms race.” In the ever more competitive task of attracting cruise ship passengers, cruises are pulling out all the stops, and upping the fun quotient with attractions that you’d expect to see in an amusement park, not on a ship.

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas has a 10-story-high water slide; Norwegian’s Bliss has a two level go-kart track; and now, Carnival has announced that on its newest ship—the Mardi Gras, which is due in 2020 and will be the cruise line’s largest vessel—will include a roller coaster with two-person cars inspired by motorcycles that promise “race car-like levels of acceleration.”

Per a Carnival press release:

“In another cruise industry first, Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras™ will feature the first-ever roller coaster at sea when it debuts in 2020, providing an unforgettable and unique open-air thrill ride on the line’s newest and most innovative ship.

Built by Munich-based Maurer Rides, BOLT™: Ultimate Sea Coaster™ is a heart-pounding rush of adrenaline offering nearly 800 feet of exhilarating twists, turns and drops with riders reaching speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.”

The cruise sector is growing, and ship builders are getting better (paywall) at accommodating an ever-more-complex set of demands to wow passengers.

To get a sense of what careening 187 feet above sea level on a moving ship at 40 miles per hour looks like, Carnival released a computer-animated promo video for the “sea coaster.” But be warned: If you suffer from motion sickness, this ride is probably not for you.