China’s First Domestically Built Large Cruise Ship Undocks In Shanghai

China’s first-ever domestically constructed large cruise vessel, the Adora Magic City, set sail on Tuesday from the dock in Shanghai, marking a new milestone for the country’s shipbuilding industry.

Constructed under the supervision of China State Shipbuilding Corp (better known as the CSSC) by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co (SWS), this vessel is so far the most complex but advanced single electromechanical vessel in the world with over 25 million parts and a whopping five times the number of parts deployed in first-ever domestic aircraft of China, the C919, and about 13 times the number that is deployed in Fuxing bullet trains.

large cruise ship undocks in Shanghai
Credits: @CSSC_global / Twitter

Specialists explained that the Adora Magic City reportedly marks a significant step in building China’s advanced and unique manufacturing industry and serves as proof of China’s power in self-innovation. The collaboration needed to execute the building of such a vessel reflects China’s determination to open further to the world.

Following a floating procedure that went on for six days, the departure marked the preliminary completion of the vessel’s main body. The ship will now be berthing at an SWS wharf. Here, the final testing and internal decorations will be executed.

The ship measures about 323.6 meters in length, weighs approximately 135,500 tons, has almost 2,125 guest rooms, and can accommodate up to 5,246 individuals, per CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, which owns the vessel.

The ship will be delivered by the end of 2023 following two sea trials. The commercial operation is all set to commence in 2024.

The successful delivery of Adora Magic City marks a significant breakthrough in China’s shipbuilding industry and fills a gap in the sector, specialists mentioned.

Large cruise vessels, along with big LNG and aircraft carriers, are among the “crown jewels” of the shipbuilding industry. This was the only remaining “jewel” that hadn’t been claimed by China’s shipbuilders.

Zheng Weihang, the secretary general of the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA), told Global Times that for 17 years, they have waited for such a moment.

The Adora Magic City is as tall as a 24-floor building. Its leisure and accommodation area spans 14 decks and has over 40,000 square meters of public areas. It will hold the largest duty-free retail space in China at sea and is the first-ever 5G-enabled cruise vessel in the world.

The vessel will sail to Southeast Asia and Japan from Shanghai and will serve in long and medium routes along the Maritime Silk Road.

Once the vessel has been delivered, China will emerge as the fifth country to build large cruise vessels after Germany, France, Italy, and Finland. Compared to leading cruise ship builders like Italy and Germany, China is a pupil, per Zheng.

The new vessel would require four to five years of operations at sea to test its manoeuvrability, technology, and compatibility.

As the Chinese cruise ship industry steadily recovers from the pandemic, the addition of a domestically built giant cruise vessel will boost the sector’s growth and home-grown as well as international cruise fleets will grow together and evolve on various paths to cater to different segments of consumer demands, per Zheng.

According to a report by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and CCYIA, the cruise vessel industry could easily contribute about 550 billion yuan in economic output to China’s economy by 2035. Approximately 15% of the whole sum would be created by building a new vessel and the associated repair work.

Under its push for increased self-reliance in technology, China has achieved breakthroughs in its manufacturing industry since last year, particularly in the C919 passenger plane that executed its first-ever commercial flight in May.

CSSC also built the largest container vessel in the world last year, with a capacity of almost 24,000 standard containers.

Shanghai is gradually being developed into a Chinese global cruise touring hub. As China’s ecChina’secovers post-pandemic, global cruise operating majors have announced plans to resume business.

References: China Daily, Global Times, ECNS


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