China’s first-ever homegrown cruise vessel went floating on 17 December in the shipyard at the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd, a notable step in the ship construction before delivery due in 2023. The floating of the vessel indicates the 135,500-gross-ton Vista-class ship is halfway through its completion phase. It has entered the second-half phase of system debugging and interior decoration.
So far, the vessel has executed about 55% of its construction workload. Since its steel sheet-cutting ceremony two years back, 60,000 pieces of drawings had been transformed into 74 giant sections and 675 sections before the ship started taking its shape as a 37.2 meter wide, 323.6-meter long hull around October.
With steel measuring up to 12,260 tons, the construction of the ship found excessive residual stress in assembling and welding. Those needed to be released to prevent distortion in the vessels’ structure and to secure the decoration inside the ship.
When floating, the homegrown cruise vessel can release and get rid of the leftover stress in the hull. The floating also helped gather data, measure, and verify the ship’s gravity control to assess the ship’s structural safety and stability.
As the primary homegrown cruise ship enters a critical stage in construction, all parties in the project must closely collaborate, organize, manage, and go all-out to make sure that it is delivered within the set deadline. Lei Fanpei, chair of China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), the greatest shipbuilder in the world, declared at the floating ceremony.
After checking measured data, Lei announced that the floating had been successful.
The first large cruise ship is being domestically built, enabled for floating, and deploying informatization, digitalization, and similar trends at CSSC’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd to guarantee success.
Marine cruise ship construction is inherently challenging, and it was more so owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, said CEO of Carnival Corp, Arnold Donald, while delivering a video speech at the ceremony.
He also said that Carnival Corp is glad to see that despite obstacles, SWS has been making progress, indicating that the vessel will get delivered timely.