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.
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.
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