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Thursday February 22, 2024

China’s first domestically built cruise ship begins maiden voyage

By AFP
January 02, 2024

SHANGHAI: China´s first domestically built cruise ship set sail on its maiden voyage from Shanghai on Monday, a sign of the nation´s growing prowess in sophisticated construction as it seeks self-sufficiency in key technologies.

The Adora Magic City left port on its first commercial cruise late afternoon, en route to South Korea and Japan.

The Adora Magic City can be seen in Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Port on Jan 1, 2024. — Xinhua
The Adora Magic City can be seen in Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Port on Jan 1, 2024. — Xinhua

Equipped with a mahjong lounge and hotpot restaurant, the luxury vessel is aimed squarely at China´s expanding middle class and their appetite for international travel.

State media have hailed the 16-deck behemoth as a “major milestone for the country´s shipbuilding industry” and a “crown jewel”.

Its construction was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Lloyd´s Register (LR), which provided marine services for the ship.

It is China´s first foray into a sector dominated by European shipbuilders.

The country´s first homegrown passenger jet, the C919, also made its debut outside mainland China last month.

The complex projects are key to Beijing´s decades-long ambitions to compete with European and US rivals and cut down China´s reliance on foreign technology.