All aboard Big Kahuna’s Cruising Carnival Ship

Everyone loves a holiday, and what better option than a cruise?

However, there was a need to drive greater awareness for Australians to see it as a fun and desirable holiday experience for both new and repeat cruiser segments.

So, creative agency Red Engine, together with Carnival Cruise Line Australia, approached us with an ambitious project that would certainly put this in the limelight!

A Titanic-sized brief

They wanted a replica ship to be driven (yes, driven) around the city streets to attract a lot of public attention. This was a challenge on a few levels- first of all, we had to find a way to recreate the ship, and then find a way to creatively allow it to ‘cruise’ around for all to see.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way!

The blueprints

Our team of Imagineers proposed creating a caricature of the distinctive cruise ship, which would allow us to highlight key Carnival features and make it instantly recognisable, such as the splashes of bright colours, the unique funnels, the rows of windows, the horizontal wings, and of course, the green water slides on the top deck.

We also wanted to include the signature orange and white tender boats which sit around the gunnels of a ship to ferry holidaymakers ashore.










While this all sounded exciting, we needed to keep in mind that all of this had to be a reasonable size, as we proposed mounting it onto an electric trike.










All-in-all, it was an exciting project, but how do we bring this to life?

All hands on deck

We decided the best solution to manage both the weight restrictions and the feature requirements was to use corflute material, which is both lightweight and durable. Using a computer-planned layout and a highspeed knife, we created a series of panels that we designed to interlock together, like a 3D jigsaw puzzle, to assemble a structurally-sound model of the Carnival Cruise Ship.


We were really pleased with our decision as it resulted in a ship that was 3 metres long and sturdy, yet only weighed 20 kilograms and could, therefore, cruise around quite easily!

Shipping out







After meticulous crafting, colouring and setting, the ship was ready to set sail!

A carefully cast actor with a beard and wearing a captain’s uniform was selected to pilot our new creation.







We made it so that he simply had to step up and through the removable side door we built into the wall of the ship, sit atop the bike seat, put his feet up and hit the accelerator!

To add that little extra public spectacle, we installed mirror-finished aluminium composite panel skirtings under the ship’s bow, as you will see in the photos, to create the appearance that the ship was hovering through the streets as if floating on water.

Making a splash

Apart from Red Engine and Carnival Cruise Line Australia being ecstatic about the replica ship, it has made quite the impression on the public! It has been shared all over the internet and social media, drawing a lot of public attention and therefore achieving what Carnival set out to do.

It’s projects like these that make us love what we do, and it’s great to see how our passion for Imagineering translates into effective campaigns that leave quite an impression.








At Big Kahuna Imagineering (BKI), we love to be challenged and want to hear what big idea you have for your business or brand.

As you’ll see from our previous work, no project is too complicated, too strange or extraordinary. Our team of Imagineers use creativity and innovation to turn any idea into a reality.

Have an idea or project you would like to discuss? Get in touch!

Tel: 02 9810 6299

Call us or drop us an email and we will get back to you pronto!

At Big Kahuna, you imagine. We Imagineer.