China takes on European shipyards with more large cruise ship newbuilds

Following the announcement that China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and its joint-venture with Carnival will soon launch service soon under the name Adora Cruises, the company has now confirmed it is pursuing a new homegrown newbuild.

While the 130,000-gross ton Vista-class ships built for Adora Cruises were based on the existing class in the Carnival and Costa fleets, these new 80,000-gross ton vessels will be to a homegrown design.

The move is a potential challenge to European shipyards, which currently dominate the shipbuilding industry. China already accounts for around 40% of all commercial ocean-going ships built annually, according to Brookings.

Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding is a subsidiary of CSSC with whom Carnival has partnered.

The newbuild concept was designed by China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and its CSSC Cruise Technology Development subsidiary, and has obtained a China Classification Society in Principle approval certificate, a key item needed in moving forward with the construction process.

It is believed that this 80,000-ton ship will join the Adora Cruises brand should construction commence. The vessel will be 293.5 meters long and feature a high proportion of balcony cabins (around 70% of all staterooms).

CSSC will now complete the design of the ship and submit plans to the China Classification Society for final approval.

Adora Cruises aims to be Asia’s biggest cruise liner fleet, with multiple home ports in eastern, southern and northern China and is a key feature of China’s plans to expand its homegrown cruise industry.

The new 80,000-gross ton concept will join the Adora Cruises brand

Chen Ranfeng, CEO, of the joint venture, said that the brand would combine an international vision with local tastes to create the ideal cruise experience for Chinese guests.

The 16-deck Vista-class cruise ship will have a variety of entertainment and recreational facilities, including multiple dining options, a range of entertainment performances and amusement centers and a shopping plaza.

The ship is under construction at the Waiqiaogao Shipyard in Shanghai and is due for delivery by the end of 2023. She will homeport initially out of Shanghai with cruises around the South China Sea and various ports on the Chinese coast, as well as cruises along the ancient Maritime Silk Road.

The ship is the first of two on order, with this latest 80,000-gross ton concept a potential third. However, as Adora aims to become the largest cruise line in the region, multiple newbuild order can be expected in the coming years.

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