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June 7, 2023

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China’s first home-grown large cruise ship undocks in Shanghai

DECORATED with ribbons featuring the pattern of the Dunhuang Flying Apsaras, China’s first domestically produced large cruise ship, the “Adora Magic City,” undocked at the No. 2 dock of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd yesterday.

The cruise ship, measuring 323.6 meters in length with a gross tonnage of 135,500 tons, can accommodate up to 5,246 passengers.

Designed and constructed by Cruise Technology Development Co Ltd, affiliated to China State Shipbuilding Corp, and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd, the cruise ship is expected to be delivered by the end of 2023.

Starting from early June 1, the “Adora Magic City” began a six-day water injection floating, displacement, and undocking operation.

With a total of 2,826 cabins, the luxury ship is a modern maritime city. It is equipped with living and recreational facilities, including a medical center, theater, gym and basketball court.

Emergency treatment can also be carried out aboard, as the medical center is outfitted with basic operation facilities, such as a shadowless lamp.

Both Wi-Fi6 and mobile 5G networks are available aboard.

The ship will be used on routes to Japan and Southeast Asia, with Shanghai as the home port.

Medium and long routes may also be launched in the future to take travelers to destinations along the Maritime Silk Road.

It is not an easy task to build such a vessel. As an ultra-large single mechanical and electrical product, the ship has more than 25 million components, five times that of the home-grown C919 aircraft and 13 times that of the Fuxing or “rejuvenation” high-speed train.

Also, large cruise ships are extremely sensitive to weight control, and any increase in the ship’s weight means a corresponding reduction in the weight of materials or the number of passengers aboard.

Four- to 8-millimeter-thin steel wall sheets have been used in the ship’s construction. “Such materials would not be adopted on a conventional ship but on a cruise ship, they are required to reduce weight and make as much room for cargo as possible,” said Wei Shengsheng, deputy director of the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd’s cruise vessel project.

Wei said a cruise ship usually needs to accommodate about 6,000 people simultaneously, which requires increasing the number of life support equipment significantly compared to an ordinary passenger ship. “So the utilization of space is almost extreme.”

The “Adora Magic City” is equipped with a total of 20 large lifeboats.

On the premise of completing their loading and lifting tests, each lifeboat underwent unhooking, cruising, and retrieval tests one by one to verify its performance under normal and emergency conditions.

After scientific and rigorous testing, the “Adora Magic City” fully met the technical requirements for undocking and can enter a new stage of dock mooring testing, sea trials, and delivery.

According to the plan, second sea trials will be conducted in July and August to comprehensively verify various functions related to cruise ship safety, such as power and propulsion systems, fire protection, fire alarm, life-saving, communication and navigation, vibration and noise, and safe return to port.

The ship’s cabin and public area interior engineering acceptance proposals will be submitted and delivered by the end of the year.


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