Orders: Shipbuilders set for big transition
shipyards do have sufficient hardware and capability to transition from building traditional ships to building cruise liners,” saidWu.
Building cruise ships calls for a different kind of craftsmanship that requires focus on quality rather than quantity. This is also in line with China’s goal to turn itself from a large shipbuilding nation into a great shipbuilding country, saidWu.
“I am sure there are quite a few Chinese shipbuilders that want to build cruise ships, but they should think twice before taking the plunge, because China’s cruise shipbuilding industry is yet to be formed, and the global standards and requirements for building the vessels are very high,” said Chen.
Acruise ship is the result of the assembly of many technologies. Up to 75 percent of the value of a cruise is handled by subcontractors. Creation of this network of competencies takes several decades, and it requires a continuityof work, according to Maurizio Cergol, a naval architect and cruise vessel designer from Fincantieri.
Innovation is key to the cruise business. Safety, envi- ronmental sustainability and energy-efficient green technologies are also important, said Cergol.
“The building of cruise ships by Chinese shipyards would be a great challenge, especially as their European peers have sophisticated experience, and the counterparts in Japan and South Korea have made trials that were not quite successful,” said an insider from a top Chinese shipbuilder.
The building of China’s first luxury cruise liner will entail an investment of several billion yuan. Losses could be possible, the 21st Century Business Herald reported an unnamed source from CSSC as saying.
“I don’t agree with such an opinion because it exaggerates the difficulties. Since the construction of China’s first luxury cruise ship is a national-level project, work will surely be well planned with the best inputs of resources and talents,” saidWu.