China Cuts Steel for Second Large Domestically-Built Cruise Ship

China's second large domestically-built cruise ship
China's first large domestically--built cruise ship is reported to be two-thirds complete (undated photo supplied by China)

Published Aug 8, 2022 2:56 PM by The Maritime Executive

Work is getting underway in China on the country’s second large domestically-built cruise ship, which is also being promoted as a demonstration of China’s mastery of the complex construction process for cruise ships. Chinese officials are highlighting that the second cruise ship is not a copy of the first one currently under construction but instead a design that was carried out in China. The country’s first domestically-built cruise ship is still under construction and not due for delivery before 2023.

A steel cutting ceremony took place today, August 8, at the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. to kick off the construction of the new cruise ship. The second cruise ship will be larger and greener the Chinese are reporting than the first vessel which is being built in partnership with Carnival Corporation and with technical support from Fincantieri.

“This marks that China’s shipbuilding industry has initially mastered the key core technologies for the design and construction of large cruise ships,” said the shipyard reporting the commencement of work. They noted that a cruise ship has five times the number of components versus other commercial shipping.

The new vessel will be 143,000 gross tons with an overall length of 1,118 feet and a beam of 122 feet. Earning space aboard the vessel is being increased by 6,700 gross tons and she will be nearly 50 feet longer than the first cruise ship. They are saying the ship will have a top speed of 22.7 knots and a total of 2,144 passenger cabins as well as a broad range of amenities. The environmental elements being mentioned include two desulfurization towers and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to meet the emission regulations of the International Maritime Organization.

No timeline was provided for the delivery of the vessel, but the reports are highlighting that the construction process will be accelerated versus the first cruise ship. They are reporting that the design phase was shortened by six months. Currently, all the structural designs have been completed, and about 40 percent of the overall design work for the vessel.

The original order for two cruise ships was placed in November 2018 by Carnival and CSSC in a joint venture. The first steel was cut for the first cruise ship in October 2019 and the ship was floated last December. The engines were started for the first time in June with reports saying the vessel is currently approximately 77 percent.

Starting work on the second ship with domestic design Chinese officials said shows the skills learned and also signifies that China will soon be able to mass-produce large cruise ships. Currently, large cruise ships are primarily built by Meyer in Germany, and Finland, Fincantieri in Italy, and Chantiers de l’Atlantique in France. Others, such as Mitsubishi in Japan, have attempted to build the business but lacking the expertise and supplier networks ran into problems that caused delays and large financial losses.