By Fang Min, People’s Daily

China’s first domestically built large cruise ship completed its undocking in Shanghai on June 6.  The cruise ship is scheduled to make its first trial voyage in July, and a second one will take place in August, according to its builder Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

Building large cruise ships is a symbolic accomplishment in China’s shipbuilding industry. Multiple core technologies have been developed and a series of sci-tech innovations made during the building of the ship.

The cruise ship, measuring 323.6 meters in length and 37.2 meters in width, has 2,826 cabins.

According to Wu Xiaoyuan, shipbuilding director with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., the ship has more than 40,000 square meters of public areas, which is as large as six standard soccer pitches. In the public areas, there are a number of entertainment facilities such as a performance center, cafeterias, bars, cafes, art galleries, spas and water parks, Wu said.

The cruise ship will soon to go through a series of final tests before it’s named and delivered.

Large cruise ships, large liquefied natural gas carriers and aircraft carriers are dubbed as “three pearls on the crown of shipbuilding.” They are considered the most advanced equipment of today’s shipbuilding industry.

In particular, large cruise ships are the most complicated single electromechanical product in today’s world.

The Chinese cruise ship has as many as 25 million components and parts, five times the number of those on China’s homegrown C919 jet, said Chen Hong, technical manager of the cruise ship project with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

The length of cables installed on a 300,000-ton crude tanker is about 100 to 120 kilometers, but that on the Chinese cruise ship exceeds 4,300 kilometers, Chen added.

The building of large cruise ships had long been monopolized by a few shipbuilders in Europe, as these huge vessels normally come with special structures and diverse systems. It requires high-standard techniques and arduous efforts to build them.

The building of the Chinese cruise ship started in 2019 in Shanghai. Over the past more than three years, the development team of the ship has tackled multiple core technologies such as weight control, vibration reduction and harbor returning, delivering a series of innovation results.

According to Chen, competitive enterprises in the shipbuilding industry were mobilized to launch projects aiming to achieve breakthroughs in core technologies, which yielded over 1,000 sci-tech outcomes.

Besides, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. also tackled a number of challenges to ensure the smooth progress of the design of the cruise ship, including technical import, data management and multi-party collaboration.

To meet the demand of the cruise ship project, the company upgraded its information management platform and developed a supply chain collaboration platform, an interior decoration management platform and a logistics and material management platform. It also built a smart factory and put into use a mobile internet platform.

The cruise ship marks a remarkable achievement made by Shanghai shipbuilders. More importantly, their achievements are more than this.

In 2022, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., together with other two major shipbuilders of CSSC in Shanghai, Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co., Ltd. and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd., delivered a total of 48 ships, and about 98 percent of these ships were exported.

With the 72 new orders received by the three shipbuilders last year, they now have 183 orders at hand, which will keep them busy until 2027.

Apart from Shanghai shipbuilders, the entire Chinese shipbuilding industry is prospering. In the first quarter this year, shipbuilders across the country completed vessel construction totaling 9.17 million deadweight tons and received 15.18 million deadweight tons of new shipbuilding orders, a jump of 53 percent from a year ago. As of the end of April, the orders held by Chinese shipbuilders accounted for 51.3 percent of the total in the global market.

China has retained the largest share of the global shipbuilding market for 13 consecutive years. With a strong technological capability and dynamic momentum for development, the Chinese shipbuilding industry is brimming with vitality.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here