China Daily/Asia News Network
Big cruise ship in the sea at sunset. (Shutterstock/File)
The first batch of homemade luxury cruise vessels will be built at the shipyard of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and the first delivery is expected in 2022, the China News Service reports.
China's largest shipbuilder China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), China Investment Corp, cruise operator Carnival Corporation & PLC, Italian cruise shipbuilding giant Fincantieri, CSSC Cruise Technology Development Co Ltd, and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd jointly signed the letter of intent for the 2+2 133,500 ton Vista class luxury cruise vessels on Friday.
The agreement, which marks a new step into the homemade luxury cruise project, came three months after an agreement for the establishment of a joint venture between CSSC and Fincantieri was signed in Shanghai.
The letter of intent covers two cruise vessels to be built for a cruise brand owned and operated by a joint venture between Carnival Corp, CSSC and China Investment Corp, with an option for an additional two ships.
(Read also: Sabang in Aceh becoming popular cruise destination)
The vessels, with a deadweight tonnage of 133,500 tons and capacity for nearly 5,000 passengers, will be built at the shipyard of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, a company under CSSC.
CSSC's homemade luxury cruise project was launched in October 2013.
Last October, CSSC, State-owned sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp and Carnival Corp formed a $4 billion joint venture to launch a cruise line focused on the fast-growing Chinese market.
Chinese cruise tourists reached 1.11 million in 2015, up 50 percent year-on-year. Last year was the first time their number surpassed the 1-million mark, according to the 2015 China Cruise Industry Development Report.
Some 4.5 million Chinese consumers are expected to embark on cruise travel by 2020, making China the world's second largest cruise market after the US. The number of Chinese cruise travelers is expected to reach 10 million by 2030.
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