Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has sealed the construction contracts for two cruise ships intended for CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited, a newly launched joint venture between Carnival Corporation and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).
“The official launch of our cruise joint venture in China is a significant milestone in the strategic development of a strong and sustainable cruise industry in China. Together with our partners, we are excited about our ability to launch a new cruise line in China based on existing ships and new China-built cruise ships tailored for Chinese travelers,” Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, said commenting the constitution of the jv.
The USD 1.5 billion deal was announced in February 2017 paving the way for the construction of the first ships of this kind intended for the Chinese market to take place in China.
Namely, the ships will be built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. (SWS), a subsidiary of CSSC.
The joint venture set up by Fincantieri and CSSC Cruise Technology Development (CCTD) will grant a technology license of the ship model platform and provide a series of technical services to SWS, including project management activities, supply chain management and sales of fundamental systems and components of the ship.
The first delivery is expected in 2023 and CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited will operate the ships.
“Through the partnership with leading international enterprises, we will build a whole industrial chain including the cruise ship design and building, operations and supply chain, jointly promote policy environment improvements and create an ecosystem that will nurture the sustainable growth of the cruise industry,” said Lei Fanpei, Chairman of CSSC.
“Claiming that China represents an opportunity is now reductive: it is a reality that cannot be feared, but, on the contrary, that has to be assisted. It is this great country itself which is asking for this, recognizing our leadership in this sector,” Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, added.
As the world’s top outbound tourism market, China’s 142 million outbound travelers spent an estimated USD 258 billion traveling abroad in 2017, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
As the industry continues to grow and develop in the region, China is widely expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world.