Carnival’s Chinese Ship to Feature Largest Shopping Center at Sea

Built for the Chinese market, the first ship of Adora Cruises will feature the largest at-sea retail selection in the region.

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Upcoming Adora Cruises, part of the Carnival Corporation, is planning to make an impression on the cruise industry with the largest shopping center at sea in China onboard its first ship, offering a wide range of designer brands and chic retail for guests to enjoy, all duty-free, when the ship debuts in late 2023.

Premier Retail Partnership

The retail venture, a joint partnership between CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited and China Duty-Free Cruise Services Ltd (CDFCS), will bring the largest-ever duty-free shopping center to any cruise ship operating in China with the “Shop of Adora.”

This will bring a wide variety of brands and retail options to onboard guests, offering unparalleled shopping opportunities with merchandise such as fine watches and jewelry, high fashion, beauty and fragrance products, art collections, and more.

“Shopping is a critical part of the cruise holiday experience, especially for our Chinese guests,” said Chen Ranfeng, Managing Director of CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited.

“This new partnership will help realize our shared ambition to create a premium and exciting shopping experience at sea tailor-made for our guests.”

The Adora Shopping Center
The Adora Shopping Center (Render Courtesy: Adora Cruises)

The Shop of Adora will be a new benchmark for cruise duty-free shopping and retail, with an expansive 2,000 square meters of retail space (21,500 square feet), with a variety of exclusive options for guests to enjoy.

Included will be China-chic brands, with popular and creative cultural products to appeal to the target market, rather than mass-market items that could be found on any cruise ship in any destination.

“As the vanguard of domestic duty-free retailer on cruises, CDFCS has put a lot of efforts into the cruise industry in recent years. The winning of the tender is not merely an expansion of our maritime network, but also a recognition of CDFCS’s capability in operating duty-free services on cruise ships,” said CDFCS.

“We will continue to expand our cruise retail horizon, and work closely with Adora Cruises to strengthen duty-free business on cruises.”

CDFGS, based in Beijing, is the largest duty-free operator in the world, and CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited is a joint venture company between China State Shipbuilding Corporation and Carnival Corporation.

About Adora Cruises

The first ship for Adora Cruises is now under construction at the Shanghai Waigaoqiao shipyard, and is slated for delivery to the new cruise line in late 2023. This will be the first domestically built large cruise ship for the Chinese market, and brings a new era of cruise travel to the region.

The as-yet-unnamed vessel is part of the popular Vista-class, weighing in at 135,500 gross tons. While the ship is based on the Vista class, it is certain to have customizations specifically suited to the Chinese market, though further details have not yet been released.

The onboard experience will also be specially crafted to appeal to Chinese cruisers, incorporating elements of Chinese culture, cuisine, and entertainment.

Carnival China Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: CSSC

“In the future, we will continue to devote ourselves to building a new concept of cruise culture and tourism with Chinese cultural identity as the core, promoting the innovation and integration of culture and tourism with cultural confidence, and playing a Chinese cruise symphony in the new era,” Ranfeng has stated about the line’s development.

A second, even larger but still Vista-class 142,000-gross-ton ship is also under construction at the same shipyard, and a smaller, 80,000-gross-ton ship is in planned development. The second ship is slated to enter service in 2024.

No service date has yet been projected for the third vessel, which is closer in size to Carnival Cruise Line’s Spirit-class ships, though it is not yet known whether the smaller ship has been based on an existing design or may represent an entirely new cruise ship class.

These three vessels will give cruisers great variety for different cruise experiences, and different vessel sizes will guarantee the cruise line the ability to visit more diverse ports of call.

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