China's first home-grown large cruise ship undocks in Shanghai
Updated 14:56, 08-Jun-2023

China's first domestically built large cruise ship, Adora Magic City, undocked in Shanghai on Tuesday.

The cruise ship, measuring 323.6 meters in length with a gross tonnage of 135,500 tonnes, can accommodate up to 5,246 passengers.

Collaboratively designed and constructed by Cruise Technology Development Co., Ltd., affiliated with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., the cruise ship is expected to be delivered by the end of 2023.

A mobile modern city on the sea

With a total of 2,826 cabins, the cruise ship is a modern maritime city. It is equipped with living and recreational facilities, including a medical center, theater, gym and basketball court. Emergency treatment can also be carried out aboard, as the medical center is outfitted with basic operation facilities, such as a shadowless lamp.  

Both Wi-Fi6 and mobile 5G networks are available aboard. 

The ship will be used on routes to Japan and Southeast Asia, with Shanghai as the home port. Medium and long routes may also be launched in the future to take travelers to destinations along the Maritime Silk Road.

Technical breakthrough

It is not an easy task to build such a vessel. As an ultra-large single mechanical and electrical product, the ship has more than 25 million components, five times that of the C919 aircraft and 13 times that of the Fuxing or "rejuvenation" high-speed train.

Also, large cruise ships are extremely sensitive to weight control, and any increase in the ship's weight means a corresponding reduction in the weight of materials or the number of passengers aboard.

Four- to 8-millimeters-thin steel wall sheets have been used in the construction. "Such materials would not be adopted on a conventional ship but as a cruise ship; it is required to reduce weight and make room for cargo as much as possible," said Wei Shengsheng, deputy director of the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. cruise vessel project.

Wei said a cruise ship usually needs to accommodate about 6,000 people simultaneously, which requires increasing the number of life support equipment significantly compared to an ordinary passenger ship. "So the utilization of space is almost extreme."

With technical improvements and upgrades to meet passenger demand, modifications involving multiple systems can occur during construction, creating a large amount of work.

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