China’s Domestically-Built Cruise Ship Completes Trials Ahead of Delivery

Adora Magic City cruise ship
Adora Magic City completed its final sea trials and is ready for international certificates before delivery (CSSC)

Published Sep 13, 2023 7:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

China's first domestically built large cruise ship, the Adora Magic City completed its second and final sea trials yesterday, September 12, and was declared ready for navigation. Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding reports that the ship is now 95 percent complete and will undergo some final fitting out, fine-tuning, and cleaning before its delivery in approximately six weeks and entry into commercial service on January 1, 2024.

The 135,500 gross ton cruise ship referred to by the colloquial name of Ada Modu, departed the shipyard on September 7, with 1,339 inspectors, contractors, service providers, engineers, and technicians, as well as representatives of the new cruise line Adora Cruises. The ship sailed 1,630 nautical miles during the six days of testing before returning to the shipyard yesterday afternoon.

They are reporting that 88 tests were undertaken, involving 31 commissioning procedures, and that the ship met all the design requirements. Among the elements being tested were the vessel’s speed, measurements for vibration and noise, exhaust gasses, desulfurization, alarm systems, and other key systems for the ship to enter service. With all the tests completed, they said the ship is now ready for international certification.

The second trials came just 45 days after the Ada Modu went to sea for the first time. They tested key systems during the first trials reporting that elements such as the lifeboats and evacuation system were submitted for inspection and certification. They were also completing the fire extinguishing systems, carbon dioxide suppression system, and alarms. Between the two trials, debugging was proceeding on the systems while the last of the interior outfitting was taking place.


Cruise ship docked near the more common containerships built by the CSSC shipyard (CSSC)


Adora is preparing to enter service for the first time later this month. Using one of the two cruise ships acquired from Costa Cruises when the joint venture with Carnival Corporation was launched, Adora’s first commercial cruise departs on September 30 from the northern port of Tianjin. Renamed Mediterranea, the 85,600 gross ton cruise ship will operate 5, 6, and 7-day cruises on routes to Japan and South Korea. Destinations include Fukuoka, Yatsushiro, Nagasaki, Sasebo, Shimonoseki, and Kitakyushu in Japan and Jeju in South Korea.

The Mediterranea recently completed a dry docking and shifted to the anchorage in Singapore. She departed on September 13 for her home port in China and is undergoing final preparation for her first commercial cruise since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Adora also owns a sister ship, the Atlantica, but has not yet announced plans for her return to service.

The launch of the domestic Chinese cruise line has been meticulously planned along with a very thorough step-by-step process for the construction of the first cruise ship. Not leaving the shipboard operations to chance, Adora Cruises reached a cooperation agreement with Columbia Shipmanagement Group, which will operate the ships and is initially supplying experienced European officers, including a Swedish captain who has been overseeing the trials and the entry into service of Ada Modu.

Chinese media is reporting that the Adora Magic City will be officially handed over during the Sixth China International Expo taking place in Shanghai between November 5 and 10. The milestone in Chinese cruise ship construction comes almost five years to the day since China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC) and Carnival Corporation signed the agreements for the ship and the cooperation with Fincantieri. The Italian shipbuilder counseled the Chinese as they developed the techniques for domestic cruise ship construction and supplied the designs for a Carnival Vista-class cruise ship which was modified for the Chinese market.

After the deliberate process for each step of the first ship’s construction, the CSSC shipyard began work on a second, larger cruise ship. They are now reporting that the second cruise ship will be floated out in April 2024.