China's first domestically built large cruise "Adora Magic City," also known as "Mo Du" in Putonghua, left the dock in Shanghai at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, China Media Group reported. The event marked a significant step in the construction of the mega ship since work began in 2019, and a milestone for China’s domestic shipbuilding industry.
Built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co (SWS) under the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), the large cruise ship is the world's most complex single electronic product made up of over 25 million individual parts, five times the number of individual parts used in China's first domestic aircraft, the C919, and 13 times that of the "Fuxing" bullet train.
After a floating process that lasted for six days, the leaving dock of the ship marked the basic completion of the main body of the ship. The ship will now take berth at an SWS wharf, where final testing and internal decoration will be completed. The ship, which has 2,125 guest rooms and can accommodate 5,246 guests, is set to be delivered by end of 2023 after two sea trials. Commercial operation is set to begin in 2024.
The delivery of the "Adora Magic City" reflects a breakthrough in China's shipbuilding industry, and filled the blank space of China building large cruise ships, industry experts said.
The large cruise ship, seen as a "crown jewel" of the global shipbuilding industry along with aircraft carrier and large LNG carrier, and was the last "jewel" that had not been claimed by Chinese shipbuilders.
The "Adora Magic City" is as tall as a 24-floor building. The accommodation and leisure area covers a total of 14 decks, and over 40,000 square meters of public areas are equipped with a variety of leisure and entertainment facilities, including multiple restaurants, theaters, shopping areas, water parks, gyms, basketball courts, among other amenities.
After the "Adora Magic City" is delivered, China will become the fifth country with the domestic capability to build large cruise ships following Germany, France, Italy and Finland.
Construction on a sister ship started on August 8, 2022.
To operate the ship, CSSC has set up a cruise shipping subsidiary and the large cruise ship will be used in voyages to Japan and Southeast Asia departing from Shanghai, and will serve in medium and long routes along the Maritime Silk Road.
Shanghai is being built into China’s global cruise ship hub. As the Chinese economy recovers from the COVID-19 epidemic, a number of global cruise companies have announced plans to resume the cruise business, which had seen explosive growth in China but was suspended for three years during the epidemic.
Developing the cruise industry brings a series of benefits for China to improve the quality of its shipbuilding industry, assist related suppliers to upgrade their own capabilities, and further improve its overall business environment, industry experts noted.
According to a report by the China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the cruise ship industry could contribute a total of 550 billion yuan ($77.37 billion) in economic output to the Chinese economy. About 15 percent of this figure would be created by the building of new ships in addition to repairs and maintenance.