Carnival’s First Chinese-Built Cruise Ship to Set Sail in 2023

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China’s first independent cruise company, CSSC-Carnival, a joint venture between the China State Shipbuilding Corp and the US-based Carnival Corporation, released the details on the first cruise line that will start operations in 2023, Adora Cruises.

Scheduled for delivery towards the end of 2023, the cruise line’s first ship is still under construction at the Waigaoqiao shipyard in Shanghai. 

Adora Cruises’ first new-built large cruise ship, with a gross tonnage of 135,500 tons, is based on Carnival’s Vista-class platform. 

Vista-class Cruise Ship Built for the Chinese Market

China Shipping Carnival Cruises unveiled its newest Chinese cruise brand, Adora Cruises, today, November 25, together with renderings of its first cruise ship, based on the successful Vista-class cruise ship

The Chinese brand hopes to begin cruising along the Maritime Silk Road at the end of 2023. The Maritime Silk Road is a maritime trade route that connects the Chinese mainland with South-East Asia, India, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, and the Mediterranean.

CSSC Carnival China
Photo Courtesy: Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

The 135,500-ton Adora Cruises ship will set off on its maiden voyage from its home port at the Wusongkou International Cruiser Liner Terminal in Shanghai’s Baoshan District. A name for the vessel has yet to be released.

According to a press release, the vessel’s hull artwork and the brand’s logo are a multi-layered representation of the brand’s identity, using “Chinese red, sunshine yellow, earth green, and star sea blue, vividly interpreting the brand personality of passion, care, vitality, and creativity, respectively.”

A partnership between Carnival Corporation and Chinese companies, the first Chinese-built cruise ship has been under construction for several years, being held back by the pandemic and several lockdowns in China. CSBC Carnival Cruises will also be committed to building China’s cruise ecosystem, promoting the sustainable development of China’s cruise economy, and creating a “Chinese benchmark” for the cruise industry.

Adora Cruises
Image Courtesy: CSSC Carnival Cruise Company

The launch of the new Adora Cruises brand is an important innovation that combines our classic cruise experience with emerging cultural and travel resources,” said Chen Ranfeng, CEO of CSBC Carnival Cruise Lines. 

“As a new Chinese cruise brand rooted in the Chinese market, Adora Cruises roots Chinese characteristics in the brand building, combines international vision and local advantages, and creates a cruise travel experience that better meets the needs of Chinese guests through cross-border integration of multiple cultural and travel elements.”

Adora Cruises Aimed On the Chinese Market

Although several cruise brands have been trying to get a foothold in the Chinese market for years, travel restrictions have essentially put those efforts to rest. Earlier this year, Costa Cruises removed most Chinese cruises due to the ongoing insecurity for the future of cruising in China. At the same time, Costa Cruises’ first ship to be constructed exclusively for the Chinese market, Costa Venezia, has already been transferred to Carnival Cruise Line under the Carnival Fun Italian Style concept.

Adora Cruises hopes to build up a steady cruise brand by focusing solely on the Chinese market, incorporating elements onboard its ships aimed exclusively at the Chinese cruiser, such as Chinese culture, cuisines, and performances.

Adora Cruises
Image Courtesy: CSSC Carnival Cruise Company

“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.” Chen Ranfeng continued. 

The benefit that Adora Cruises has is that its ships are being constructed in China. The first 133,500 gross-tons Vista-class cruise ship will be delivered by the end of 2023, while a second 142,000 gross-tons cruise ship is also under construction at the same shipyard. The company has plans for a third cruise ship, which will be slightly smaller at 80,000 gross tons. 

Adora Cruises also has two former Costa Cruise ships in possession, the Atlantic (ex-Costa Atlantica) and the Mediterranean (ex-Costa Mediterranea).

Whether Adora Cruises will be a success remains to be seen. China has seen rising cases of COVID-19 lately, with harsh lockdowns commonplace throughout the country. Opening the country for cruise ships is still a long way away. 

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