China’s first homegrown large cruise ship starts commercial maiden voyage

January 2, 2024
Updated 2024/01/02 at 6:59 AM
4 Min Read
china cruise ship

SHANGHAI, Jan. 2 – After several whistles, China’s first domestically-built large cruise ship, the Adora Magic City, left a port in Shanghai on Monday afternoon for its commercial maiden voyage, opening up a new chapter for the country’s shipbuilding and cruise industries.

Carrying more than 3,000 passengers, the ship set off from the Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal and is expected to reach Northeast Asian tourist destinations, including Japan and the Republic of Korea, before returning on Sunday.

The Adora Magic City is 323.6 meters in length, has a gross weight of 135,500 tonnes, and can accommodate up to 5,246 passengers across a total of 2,125 guest rooms, according to its builder, the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd (SWS).

It has 16 floors and 40,000 square meters of public living and recreational space.

Building large cruise ships like the Adora Magic City marked a leap in China’s overall shipbuilding capacity, said Chen Gang, general manager of the SWS.

After eight years of scientific research and five years of design and construction, the ship was delivered in November. China has become the fifth country, after Germany, France, Italy, and Finland, able to build large cruise ships.

Like many passengers wishing to realize their dreams of traveling on board China’s own cruise ships, Zhang Lu booked tickets for her daughter and herself. “I have always been concerned about the progress of our homegrown large cruise ships,” she said. “With this voyage, I would like to have my child personally experience the great achievement of our country.”

To build the ship, Chen said, SWS has cooperated with 361 tier-one suppliers and 1,105 tier-two supporting enterprises, making a series of breakthroughs in key technologies and developing the capacities of large cruise ship construction and complex giant system management.

Adora Magic City aims to offer a unique and immersive cruise experience that seamlessly blends Eastern and Western cultures, with Shanghai, dubbed as the “Magic City” by many Chinese, serving as its home port in the inaugural season. Its name means “starting from Shanghai, love towards the world.”

The interior design of the Adora Magic City has integrated Eastern and Western aesthetics, combining traditional and modern styles. Wall paintings and art decorations featuring the ancient Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road are seen from the main hall to the theater and other public venues.

This aerial photo taken on Jan. 1, 2024 shows the large cruise ship Adora Magic City at the Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in east China’s Shanghai. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)

This photo taken on Dec. 24, 2023 shows an interior view of the cruise ship “Adora Magic City” docked at the Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in east China’s Shanghai. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)

“Through this project, we have established our first ‘national team’ for cruise ship designing and cultivated a group of professionals in research, development, and design. It will help build an industrial innovation system integrating technical demand, product development, technological innovation, technology verification, and industrialization,” said Yang Guobing, chairman of the CSSC Cruise Technology Development Co., Ltd., operator of the ship.

According to Gu Pengcheng with the CSSC Cruise Technology Development Co., Ltd., routes between China and countries of Southeast Asia will be launched later, as well as a “Maritime Silk Road” route.

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