China Aims for Global Cruise Shipping Dominance

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 30, 2018

  • Carlos H. Reyes, Tillberg & Reyes Group Co., Ltd. Photo: Greg Trauthwein
  • A panel discussion at the China Cruise Industry Development Forum in Tianjin, China last week. Photo: Greg Trauthwein
  • Hu Xiang Chairman Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding. Photo: Greg Trauthwein
  • Carlos H. Reyes, Tillberg & Reyes Group Co., Ltd. Photo: Greg Trauthwein Carlos H. Reyes, Tillberg & Reyes Group Co., Ltd. Photo: Greg Trauthwein
  • A panel discussion at the China Cruise Industry Development Forum in Tianjin, China last week. Photo: Greg Trauthwein A panel discussion at the China Cruise Industry Development Forum in Tianjin, China last week. Photo: Greg Trauthwein
  • Hu Xiang Chairman Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding. Photo: Greg Trauthwein Hu Xiang Chairman Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding. Photo: Greg Trauthwein

Last week in Tianjin, China, the Intercontinental Tianjinyujiapu Hotel & Residences played host to The 4th China Maritime Finance (DFTP) Summit, a two-day event which saw nearly 800 delegates from across China gather for discussions on all matters maritime finance, including day one, Wednesday, April 25, dedicated exclusively to the growth and future for China’s cruise industry.

As the exclusive international media outside of China to cover the event, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News (www.marinelink.com) was offered an unfettered view of the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for China in the cruise sector, from shipbuilding to project finance and port development.
 
“The largest cruise lines are expanding in Asia, and there is a need for cruise ship building, ship repair and refurbishment in China,” said Carlos H. Reyes, Tillberg & Reyes Group Co., Ltd. Reyes is a partner with Tomas Tillberg in one of the world’s foremost design houses serving the global cruise market. But the organization’s endeavors span beyond design, as the company operates a subsidiary based in Shanghai, China, which is can help guide cruise vessel owners from start to finish, with insight and experience in tapping the emerging Chinese maritime finance market to hands-on contact and full project management with the yard to ensure that the hotel operations and interior outfit are completed to world class standard. “First and foremost, from the owner perspective, is proving that the production is world class (in China).” 
 
He said Chinese shipyards are fully capable of building the hull and machinery, but as the cruise design and build is a highly sophisticated and integrated process, honed for more than three decades at he leading cruise ship building shipyards in Europe, support is needed from the outset to ensure that all aspects of the hotel portion of the program are designed, manufactured, installed and tested correctly.  During his presentation, Reyes cited five keys for success in building cruise ships in China:
 
1. Adequate facilities to build a specific ship.
2. Engineering capabilities to design and fulfil to an owner’s guidelines and regulation.
3. Expert architecture and design for all hotel aspects of the ship.
4. Experienced project management and seamless communication with the owner, shipyard, designers and suppliers.
5. Highly experienced interior outfitters.
 
Reyes and his team were involved in two of the first cruise ship construction contracts in China: the frame contract to build 10 expedition vessels for Sunstone at China Merchants Heavy Industry; and Viking Line's contract for a 218-m, 63,000-grt, 2,800-passenger RoRo ferry at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd.
 
According to Hu Xiang, Chairman of Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co., Ltd., cruise vesses built for the Chinese market must have characteristics – including décor, food, shopping and gambling facilities – that are appealing to the China market. He took part in a signing ceremony with several parties to develop, design and build an 80,000-ton ship in his Tianjin, China shipyard that will be intent on delivering to that specification.
 
 
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