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Possibly inspired by the level called Daisy Cruiser of Mario Kart: Double Dash!, the Norwegian Cruise Line has started building karting tracks on the deck of one of its largest ships. With the aim of attracting vacationers who prefer to run at full speed than to watch the sunset lazily, the company is about to baptize a great ocean liner that will offer what seems like the most extravagant race track we have ever known.
The Encore is scheduled to receive its first passengers in November 2019, when they can access a two-story karting circuit and a very short length of 1,150 feet (350 meters), according to Car and Driver. According to the publication, the layout is large enough to accommodate 10 drivers in electric vehicles.
We suspect that the company chose rechargeable batteries not only for aesthetic reasons, but because such configuration emits less noise and is free of exhaust gases, in addition to being virtually maintenance-free, unlike an internal combustion engine. Four sectors of the track are located at the edge of the water, although the retaining walls will avoid being stuck in the ocean Mario Kart style.
Costumes, turtle shells and banana peels are not included. As compensation, Norwegian Cruise Line explained that viewers can give their favorite runner a boost by marking them with a type of laser. That is a feature that even Mario Kart has not yet implemented, but we would be delighted to see it in the next version of the game as a reward for getting a blue shell.
The Encore certainly has room for a rooftop go-kart track. It is a 1,100-foot (335-meter) boat, large enough to transport 4,000 people, than the number of inhabitants in any rural town. In addition to the race track, its offer includes a labyrinth of “laser tag” (also known as “electronic paintball”), a water park, several swimming pools, in addition to the amenities you would expect to find on a cruise, such as a casino and a spa.
Assembled in Germany, the ship sailed for the first time in August 2019, so it is currently undergoing final tests and is scheduled to embark on its first seven-day cruise in November. From Miami, Florida, it will take tourists to the Eastern Caribbean. In 2020 other routes will be added, including one that explores the waters of Alaska.
Running in an electric kart in the open sea is as expensive as you would expect. Car and Driver reported that an eight-minute race costs $ 15 dollars and a one-week pass is priced at around $ 200. That is additional to the cost of the cruise, of course.