A traditional keel-laying ceremony for Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship Mardi Gras was held on Tuesday more than a year before it starts sailing in Europe.

The vessel will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s ‘green cruising’ platform together with UK sister line P&O Cruises Iona.

Both ships are set to enter service in 2020, with Mardi Gras in August following Iona in May.

Mardi Gras is due to make its debut in Europe on August 31, 2020, then reposition to New York for a series of sailings before shifting to Port Canaveral for year-round Caribbean departures.

It will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by LNG.

The ship will feature first roller coaster at sea. The Bolt ride will run for almost 800 feet of twists, turns and drops with riders reaching speeds of nearly 40mph.

Six themed zones with a range of food, drink and activities will be offered on board together with the first restaurant at sea by US celebrity chef chef Emeril Lagasse.

The keel-laying took place at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland.

Carnival senior vice president of new-builds, Ben Clement, said: “This is a historic day for Carnival – the official start of construction of the spectacular Mardi Gras which will usher in an exciting new chapter for our company and introduce so many guest-pleasing innovations.”

Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer added: “We have been very excited to design and now finally to start assembling Carnival Mardi Gras.

“All these different features onboard require a lot of engineering and design expertise which we have been happy to provide to our customer.”