January 22, 2022
 
  • by:
  • Source: FreePressers
  • 12/22/2021
FPI / December 22, 2021

Geostrategy-Direct

By Richard Fisher

On Dec. 17, China Daily reported that the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd “floated,” or essentially launched the first of China’s “homegrown” 135,000-ton cruise ships.

What China Daily did not report is that this cruise ship emerged from a 2016 deal in which the U.S. and British owned Carnival Cruise Line Corporation used the cruise ship design of Italy’s Fincantieri “Vista Class” passenger cruise liner to be built by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).

In turn, this shipbuilding deal emerged from a 2015 joint venture, the CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Corporation, in which Chinese partners own 60 percent while U.S.-British partner owns 40 percent.

This is the first of two Vista Class cruise liners to be built in Shanghai and there are options to build up to four more. They will apparently be operated by the CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Co. for the Chinese market.

In addition, two more Vista Class cruise liners will be built in Italy but operated for the Chinese market by the Italian Costa Cruises company.

So, the U.S.-British and Italian cruise companies are partners in the purchase of up to eight of the very large Vista Class cruise liners that could be operating from China by the late 2020s. The Vista Class is credited with being able to carry 3,936 passengers and a crew of 1,450.

However, any Chinese owned, and operated cruise ship is also going to be part of the “Maritime Militia” of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), meaning that it can be rapidly drafted and modified to carry troops and supporting material.

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