You don’t need to set sail to experience a Carnival cruise – a miniature replica of a cruise ship could soon be cycling down the streets of a city near you.
The pedal-powered mini ship, Little Carnival, was created to replicate the fun of a Carnival cruise. “We’re all about providing enjoyable holiday experiences,” says a Carnival spokesperson. “So we thought we’d bring a little of that fun spirit to those who’ve never sailed with us – or bring back memories to those who already have.”
Little Carnival was created by Will Calhoun of Big Kahuna Imagineering, an engineering agency that has designed everything from a spinning cup ride for Sydney Festival to an alien creature for a TV commercial. “We chose Big Kahuna because of their history and experience bringing highly conceptual ideas to life,” the spokesperson says. “We also loved that they are more an ‘imaginarium’ than just a props maker and we thought if anyone was going to have fun with a project like this, it would be them.”
Using CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) technology, the ship was crafted to scale using low-density polyethylene corflute, a type of corrugated plastic. The replica is about three metres high, one metre wide and 1.5 metres high – miniscule compared to Carnival’s full-size ships, which are three football fields long and 12 decks high.
“Our ships have 16 bars and lounges, a water park, including the Green Thunder – the faster and steepest water-slide at sea – plus 45 activities a day. Obviously, we couldn’t pack all that on to our little ship, but she does have a replica of the Green Thunder.”
Despite the difference in size, Calhoun says age-old methods were employed. “It was built quite traditionally like a boat in some respects as it involved many structural stations that made up a ribcage of interslotted card-type construction – like a wooden dinosaur from a kids’ magazine,” he explains.
Calhoun says it took some 200 hot-melt glue sticks, boxes and boxes of Olfa blades and about 500 hours to construct the ship.
While full-size Carnival ships are powered by twin Azipod engines and reach top speed of 24 knots (44.4km/h), the adorable Little Carnival is propelled by an electric trike, has a top speed of 25km/h and a range of about 40 kilometres.
Little Carnival will cycle around Australia with the help of Carnival staff – you can catch her in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in coming weeks.