A steel-cutting ceremony has been carried out at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding for China’s second largest domestically built cruise ship.

In 2018, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding’s parent firm China State Shipbuilding (CSSC) entered a contract with cruise company Carnival and Italian firm Fincantieri for the construction of two cruise ships.

The contract includes an option for the construction of another four vessels.

The first cruise ship, which is currently under construction in Shanghai, is anticipated to be delivered in the second half of 2023.

Designed to be larger and greener than the first vessel, the second vessel will have a gross weight of 143,000t and is not a duplication of the first ship.

Featuring 2,144 passenger rooms, the new cruise ship will be 341m-long and 37.2m-wide.

With a top travel speed of 22.7k, the ship will also be equipped with two desulfurisation towers, as well as selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, to be in line with emissions regulations from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Upon completion of construction, the cruise ships will be handed over to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, a joint venture between CSSC and Carnival.

Cruise management and operations expertise will be provided by CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping.

Last week, Carnival announced the commencement of a global fleet upgrade programme to improve its fuel efficiency and achieve its sustainability goals.

Dubbed Service Power Packages, the comprehensive technology upgrades will be carried out across the firm’s global fleet to enhance energy savings and cut down fuel consumption.