Italy's Fincantieri, China's CSSC begin work on luxury 'mega' cruise ship

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Italian shipbuilding giant Fincantieri said Wednesday work had begun on the company's first luxury "mega" cruise ship built in conjunction with Chinese partners and to be used in the Chinese market.

Press officials on Wednesday confirmed stories in the Italian media stating dry dock work on the ship, which is scheduled for completion in 2023. When the ship sets sail, it will have space for some 4,250 passengers and 1,400 crew members.

An agreement to produce around 2,800 cabins for the ship was signed during the recently-completed China International Import Expo (CIIE) with Marine Interiors, a Fincantieri subsidiary, the parent company confirmed.

Fincantieri, the largest shipbuilder in Europe, is partnered with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) for the cruise ship project. Once completed, the ship will be operated by the cruise operator Carnival Corporation, also in conjunction with the CSSC.

"The production is moving forward as planned," Fincantieri Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Bono said in a statement. "This is an excellent sign for the cruise industry in China and it confirms the strong commitment of Fincantieri, CSSC, and the Carnival group in this very difficult moment we are living in."

Fincantieri, which is based in Trieste, signed its first Memorandum of Understanding with CSSC in 2018, but the collaboration between the companies pre-dates that by at least a year, when the companies agreed to co-develop two cruise ships at a total reported cost of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. 

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