The Chinese government has made cruise shipbuilding its main target in its Made in China 2025 program, in order to take advantage of the $ 117 billion industry profitability with improvements to its domestic capacity, which is why Chinese shipbuilders are increasingly interested in being part of cruise shipbuilding, whose segment accounted for almost half of the world’s orders last year.
According to China Daily, the vice president of the Chinese organizing committee of Marintec China reported that in addition to China’s State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) there are other Chinese builders such as China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and China Merchants Heavy Industry, whose industries are proactive in the construction of cruises.
As part of CSSC, by 2023 the first cruise ship built locally in China is expected to be delivered by Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding. In addition CSSC is working with Fincantieri and Lloyd’s Register on the cruise ship construction project which has also had the task of bringing in foreign suppliers such as Wartsila to set up joint ventures.
In this joint work the companies have order for two cruises of 5,000 passengers that is also part of a $ 1.5 billion agreement that was signed in February where an option for four more ships is included. It seems that other Chinese shipyards offer discounts of up to 30 percent to win orders.
China Merchants won last March an order of about ten ships for the SunStone vessels of Miami and Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry who won an order in April of the Viking Line of Finland for a cruise. Viking Line CEO Jan Hanses, said he received interest from six Chinese shipyards to formalize the project including Guangzhou International Shipyard, Yantai CIMC Raffles and AVIC Weihai Shipyard.
On the other hand European shipbuilders see China as a kind of threat and fear that it will dominate the cruise market, as it has done in recent decades with cargo ships, according to the Executive Director of the German Construction Association Naval and Oceanic Industries, Reinhard Luken, this is a state objective that threatens to cause a tremendous distortion in competition. This German Association represents native maritime companies such as the shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku.
The interest in the construction of cruises is given because this market has had a great development in China, only in 2016 the number of cruise passengers that traveled overseas reached 2 million. According to experts, the Chinese are expected to make 10 million cruise trips by 2025 to become the most dynamic cruise market in the Asia-Pacific region.