Construction is beginning at the moment in China on the nation’s second-largest cruise ship built domestically. It is touted as proof of China’s expertise in the intricate construction process used for cruise vessels. Chinese officials are insisting that the new cruise ship isn’t a replica of the one that is currently in construction but rather an original design that was developed in China. The first cruise ship is currently under construction and will not be ready to be delivered until 2023.

The cutting of the steel was held today, August 8, at the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. to mark the beginning of work on the next cruise ship. This second ship is expected to be more spacious and greener than the first ship, according to the Chinese report, the first one being constructed in collaboration with Carnival Corporation and with technical assistance 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,” stated the shipyard in its report on the beginning of work. They pointed out that cruise ships have five times more components as compared to other commercial ships.

The new vessel will weigh 143,000 gross tons, with a length of 1118 feet, and the beam will be 122 feet. Space on board the vessel will be increased to 6,700 tons gross. The ship will be more than 50 feet longer than the first cruise ship. They claim that the vessel will reach the top rate of 22.7 knots and a total of 2,144 cabins for passengers, along with a wide variety of facilities. The environmental aspects being talked about comprise two desulfurization units and the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems that will conform to the emission standards from the International Maritime Organization.

No timeline for the delivery of the vessel. However, the reports indicate that the building process will be speeded up compared to the initial cruise vessel. They have reported that the designing phase has been cut to six months. As of now, all structural designs are complete as well as around 40% of the overall design work on the vessel has been completed.

The initial contract for two cruise vessels was made in November of 2018 from Carnival and CSSC as the form of a joint venture. The first piece of steel cutting was made for the initial cruise vessel in October of 2019, and the vessel was floated in the month of December. The engines started for the very first time in June, with reports that the vessel’s capacity is at present 77 percent.

Chinese officials say the second vessel with a design based on domestic standards demonstrates the capabilities acquired and indicates that China is soon in a position to mass-build large cruise vessels. At present, large cruise vessels are mostly built in the hands of Meyer in Germany and Finland, Fincantieri in Italy and Chantiers de l’Atlantique in France. Others, like Mitsubishi in Japan, has attempted to develop the business, but due to a lack of expertise and suppliers’ networks, they have run into difficulties that resulted in delays and huge financial losses.

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