Fincantieri, the world leader in the construction of cruise ships, has signed two memorandums of understanding, respectively with Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise line, and with China CSSC Holdings Limited, controlled by CSSC (China State Shipbuilding Corporation), China’s largest shipbuilding conglomerate, which operates in different sectors.
These historic agreements aim to explore the possibility of joint ventures in cruise shipbuilding for the Chinese market. This would be an unprecedented, three-way collaborative effort to build the first-ever cruise ships to be made in China.
More particularly, Fincantieri would work with CSSC to develop cruise ships production capacity in China. Indeed, based on its experience as one of the world’s largest shipyards, Fincantieri would provide specialized services and components to support CSSC’s shipyards.
On its part, Carnival would work closely with CSSC and Fincantieri and contribute its expertise to create the vision, definition, and specifications for the China-built cruise ships.
The Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT) projects China to be the second largest global cruise market after the U.S. in the next several years based on economic growth, increased spending power of Chinese consumers and growing demand for cruise vacations. China could see 4.5 million cruise passengers by 2020, according to the MOT, and is expected to eventually become the world’s largest cruise market.
Potential partnerships like the ones being explored between Fincantieri, Carnival and CSSC are aimed at supporting the MOT's pro-growth cruise policies and the rise of overall tourism in China.
“Building on our groundbreaking MOU signed with CSSC last month, this new agreement with Fincantieri gives us the opportunity to work with our longtime partner to further explore a formal joint venture that could forever change the landscape of shipbuilding in China” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “After working diligently to get a deep understanding of China’s aggressive cruise ambitions, we’re collaborating with two of the world’s top shipbuilders in Fincantieri and CSSC to establish a framework for a world-class Chinese shipbuilding venture designed to help accelerate growth and demand for cruising in China in the years to come”.
Fincantieri’s CEO, Giuseppe Bono, said: “This agreement with Carnival, to which we are bound by a consolidated partnership, and with CSSC testifies our determination in pursuing a strategy that increasingly establishes Fincantieri as a global and reference player in the sector, with strong presence in all the markets that can ensure a future in our business. Indeed, new international scenarios are emerging, and with them new challenges arise in addition to existing ones and we are glad to contribute together with Carnival to develop the cruise shipbuilding capacity in China for the Chinese market. For this reason, our commitment must be ever-stronger in order to enable us to take advantage of such opportunities and continue to be an example of Italian style in the world”.