First Chinese-Built Cruise Ship Sets Sail on Maiden Voyage

Adora Magic City has welcomed 3,000 guests aboard for the very first sailing of the new cruise line. What can those passengers expect?

The first ever cruise ship built in China for the Chinese market is sailing into the new year with style, as Adora Magic City has departed Shanghai with her first guests onboard.

This is an especially auspicious beginning for the new cruise line, which hopes to further China’s technological development as well as provide a unique and engaging experience for cruise travelers.

Adora Cruises Officially in Business

Adora Cruises, the new Chinese cruise line, is now officially in business as Adora Magic City has welcomed her first commercial guests onboard and set sail on her maiden voyage.

This is a long-awaited milestone for the new cruise line, as the ship’s renovation and launch was delayed multiple times through the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns while the vessel was under construction at the Waigaoqiao shipyard in Shanghai.

Now, Adora Magic City is leading the way into 2024 for a very promising new year, having departed on her inaugural sailing on the afternoon of Monday, January 1, 2024.

“We chose to launch the inaugural voyage of Adora Magic City on the first day of 2024 to convey our best wishes to our guests, wishing them a prosperous and happy life in the new year,” said Ranfeng Chen, CEO of Adora Cruises. “We hope it will also usher in a more promising future of the cruise business in China.”

The first guests were met with great fanfare, including the senior management team from Adora Cruises greeting passengers in the ship’s atrium, the Adora Plaza. On its way out of the harbor, the ship sounded its horn in celebration of the moment.

Adora Magic City
Adora Magic City

Adora Magic City‘s maiden voyage is a 6-night cruise roundtrip from Shanghai, with visits to Jeju in South Korea, as well as Fukuoka and Nagasaki in Japan. More than 3,000 guests are onboard for the historic sailing.

Prior to welcoming guests, Adora Magic City had already sailed two trial cruises to test her operation and work out any potential difficulties before entertaining passengers. These types of pre-inaugural cruises are common in the industry, and often include crew members’ families as well as media groups, travel agents, and other professionals onboard.

Sailing Adora Magic City

Adora Magic City is the first-ever Chinese-built cruise ship, an amazing technological achievement for the nation’s shipbuilding industry. While many of the ship’s components were manufactured internationally, it is hoped that the industry will continue to expand and develop its own supply chains for future ships.

The 135,500-gross-ton vessel is based on the popular Vista-class design, but with tweaks and modifications specifically to appeal to the Chinese market. Onboard, guests will find the largest shopping center at sea, with 21,500 square feet (2,000 square meters) of retail space with high-end merchandise options.

An exclusive theatrical production show, “Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story” has been designed for the ship, offering a unique glimpse of the history and heritage of the ancient Silk Road.

Adora Magic City Cruise Ship
Adora Magic City Cruise Ship

Also onboard are gourmet dining options, additional live entertainment, and expansive options for children, including the AI-STEAM Exploration Camp at Sea with educational activities.

“Together with our crew family members from around 30 countries, we will try our best in every aspect of product and service to create magnificent cruise experiences for our guests,” said Chen.

Passengers will also be able to easily stay in touch with family members and friends ashore, as Adora Magic City is the world’s first fully 5G-enabled cruise ship, through a partnership with Shanghai Telecom.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with Adora Cruises to build 5G network on a large cruise ship for the first time in the world, which demonstrates China takes the lead in 5G application innovation,” said Gong Bo, General Manager of Shanghai Telecom.

Even as Adora Magic City sets sail, Adora Cruises is also preparing for the line’s second vessel – the former Costa Mediterranea, which is now being renovated for Adora Cruises. Another vessel is already under construction, and Costa Atlantica will also be joining Adora Cruises.

Very quickly, the new cruise line is sure to become a strong player in not just the Asian cruise market, but internationally as well.


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