China Launches Its First Domestically Built Large Cruise Ship

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China’s first domestically built Large Cruise Ship “Adora Magic City”

China has officially entered the international cruise industry with the launch of its first domestically constructed large cruise ship, Adora Magic City, marking a significant milestone in the country’s shipbuilding capabilities. This development, a result of extensive collaboration with European expertise and technology, represents a leap forward for China in the competitive cruise market.

The Adora Magic City, a product of eight years of research and five years of design and construction, embarked on its maiden commercial voyage on January 1, 2024. The venture, initiated as a joint effort between China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and Carnival Corporation, signifies China’s ambitions to expand regionally and lead the development of its cruise industry with additional cruise ship constructions planned.

With Fincantieri providing consultancy and Wärtsilä delivering critical maritime technology solutions, the 135,500 gross ton cruise ship is designed to cater specifically to the Chinese market, blending Eastern and Western aesthetics. The ship’s décor, inspired by the Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road, reflects a fusion of cultural influences, aiming to attract Chinese travelers with its tailored amenities and services.

The Adora Magic City set sail from Shanghai’s Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, carrying over 3,000 passengers on a six-night journey to Japan and South Korea. The cruise line has scheduled 80 cruises for 2024, focusing initially on shorter trips to nearby destinations, with plans to extend to longer Maritime Silk Road destinations with the introduction of a second newbuild in 2025.

This venture not only showcases China’s shipbuilding prowess but also its strategic move to cultivate a domestic cruise market. The CSSC Cruise Technology Development’s Chairman, Yang Guobing, lauded the project for establishing China’s first national team for cruise ship design and sparking interest in the sector.

The resumption of cruise travel in China, initially limited to domestic companies post-pandemic, offers Adora Cruises a competitive edge. With international cruise giants like Royal Caribbean International and MSC Cruises planning to re-enter the Chinese market in 2024, the future of China’s cruise industry looks promising, poised to reclaim its status as one of the fastest-growing segments of the global cruise market.

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