Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has signed two memorandums of understanding (MoU), one with cruise liner giant Carnival Corporation and the other with China CSSC Holdings Limited, a unit of China’s shipbuilding conglomerate China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).
The agreements are aimed at exploring the possibility of joint ventures in cruise shipbuilding for the Chinese market, according to Fincantieri.
“This would be an unprecedented, three-way collaborative effort to build the first-ever cruise ships to be made in China,” Italian builder of cruise ships said.
Under the agreements, Fincantieri would work with CSSC to develop cruise ships production capacity in China. Fincantieri would provide specialized services and components to support CSSC’s shipyards.
On its part, Carnival would work closely with CSSC and Fincantieri and contribute its expertise to create the vision, definition, and specifications for the China-built cruise ships.
The Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT) projects China to be the second largest global cruise market after the U.S. in the next several years based on economic growth, increased spending power of Chinese consumers and growing demand for cruise vacations.
China could see 4.5 million cruise passengers by 2020, according to the MOT, and is expected to eventually become the world’s largest cruise market.
Potential partnerships like the ones being explored between Fincantieri, Carnival and CSSC are aimed at supporting the MOT’s pro-growth cruise policies and the rise of overall tourism in China.
“Building on our groundbreaking MOU signed with CSSC last month, this new agreement with Fincantieri gives us the opportunity to work with our longtime partner to further explore a formal joint venture that could forever change the landscape of shipbuilding in China,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation.
Fincantieri’s CEO, Giuseppe Bono, said: “This agreement with Carnival, to which we are bound by a consolidated partnership, and with CSSC testifies our determination in pursuing a strategy that increasingly establishes Fincantieri as a global and reference player in the sector, with strong presence in all the markets that can ensure a future in our business.”
Press Release; Image: Fincantieri