Carnival Cruise Line has decided to start the holiday season with a very unique decoration. Working with Karen Portaleo, an Atlanta-based culinary artist, the cruise line had a 23-foot gingerbread cruise ship built for the holidays.

Displayed at the Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, the 1,500-pound cruise ship is the exact replica of the brand-new Mardi Gras cruise ship that will debut in the late summer of 2020.

The replica cruise ship was officially christened, and Ms. Portaleo served as Godmother of the ship. As part of the christening ceremony, Carnival donated $10,000 to the Immune Deficiency Foundation, the preferred charity of Ms. Portaleo.

The amazing 23-foot-long masterpiece took 130 pounds of flour and 10 pounds of cinnamon to create. Over 50 gallons of icing were used to piece the ship together and decorate. Of course, countless additional candies and icings were used to make the ship complete.

The work of art is an exact replica of the Mardi Gras ship and includes a working replica of the first roller coaster at sea: BOLT. The gingerbread ship also features the ship's water park. The entire ship is also beautifully decorated for the holiday season.

Carnival is thrilled to have 'launched' the world's largest gingerbread cruise ship for the holidays. The masterpiece will be on display at the mall until the 24th of December.

The real Mardi Gras cruise ship will debut in August of 2020 in Europe and will make its way first to New York then on to Port Canaveral in October 2020, where it will be based for its first year in service. Carnival is already accepting reservations for the 2020 and 2021 cruise season.

Adam Luehrs is a contributing writer at based in California. He likes traveling to new and exciting destinations, preferably on his credit card company's dime. When not on the road, Adam enjoys hiking around the mountains of San Diego, trying out new food and reading history books. Email: