Here we show a list of major shipbuilding (ship manufacturing) companies, which are also the world's largest cruise ships builders. Learn here what are the largest shipbuilding countries, what is the largest shipbuilding company or what is the largest shipbuilding yard.
The world's largest shipbuilding companies are based in South Korea. Combined they have a global market share of over 53% (data 2011) and a leading position in the production of high-tech vessels - cruise ships, super tankers, LNG carriers ("liquefied natural gas"), drill ships (for scientific drilling or offshore drilling of oil-gas wells) and large-sized container ships.
Being the largest shipbuilding country, South Korea and its shipbuilding yards boast huge capacity, extremely high efficiency and top quality of products and services. The world's largest shipbuilding yard is located in Ulsan. Operated by Hyundai Heavy Industries, the Ulsan shipyard produces a brand new UUSD 80+ million ship every week. However, most of the world's best cruise ships are built by Fincantieri and Meyer Werft.
List of the world's largest shipbuilding companies
Note: All "website" links are external and redirect to the company's official website).
Hyundai Heavy Industries
Hyundai Heavy Industries (website, founded 1972, headquarters in Ulsan, South Korea), the world's largest, with revenue UUSD 19,7 billion (2010) and 26,000 employees (2011).
Samsung Heavy Industries
Samsung Heavy Industries (website, founded 1974, headquarters in Seoul, South Korea), revenue UUSD 14,3 billion (2010), 13,000 employees (2011). The Samsung ship building company also has 2 big ship-block manufacturing plants in China (Ningbo and Rongcheng), and its South Korean largest yard in Geoje has the world's highest dock turnover rate and production efficiency for building mostly ultra-large ships.
Samsung is the leader in making LNG tankers and drill ships. Samsung is currently building one of the world's most expensive luxury cruise ships - the 108,000 tonne residential ship Utopia of the Utopia Residences company - at the cost of USD 1,1 billion for only 199 luxury apartments, the Utopia ship is scheduled for launch in 2014.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (website, founded 1978, headquarters in Seoul, South Korea), revenue UUSD 11,4 billion (2010), 25,000 employees (2011). The Daewoo company got in 2011 the largest single defense contract by a South Korean firm - UUSD 1,07 billion for 3 submarines for Indonesia.
Other big Daewoo deals are: (2011) 10 large container ships for Maersk (capacity 18,000 containers each) with an option for 20 more vessels of this new "Triple E" class, and (2012) a UUSD 710 million contract with the Britain's Ministry of Defence for 4 naval ships (fast fleet tankers, 37,000 tons each).
STX Offshore & Shipbuilding (website, founded 1962, headquarters in Jinhae, South Korea), revenue UUSD 14,8 billion (2010), the world's 4th largest ship builder (a subsidiary of the holding STX Corporation), shipyards in Busan and Jinhae (South Korea). STX has more than 700 big ships built in its shipyards over the last 40 years, among which the world's largest passenger ship ever built - the Oasis ship of Royal Caribbean cruise company.
STX operates a total of 15 shipyards located in Brazil, Europe (Finland, France, Norway, Romania) and Vietnam.
Hyundai Heavy Industries
Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (website, founded 1998, headquarters in Samhoeup, Yeongam, South Korea, a subsidiary company of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group), the world's 5th largest ship builder, producing approximately 40 ships per year in its yard in Samho-eup (South Korea).
Hanjin Heavy Industries
Hanjin Heavy Industries (website, founded 1937, headquarters in Busan, South Korea), a subsidiary of Hanjin Group (shipping, logistics, air). Main products and services - LNG and LPG ("Liquefied petroleum gas") ships, container ships, icebreakers and hovercrafts, marine police and Naval Ships, cable-laying.
STX France (founded 2004, headquarters in Oslo, Norway), an STX subsidiary, combining the activities of Aker and Kvaerner shipbuilding companies and with a majority share of the shipyards in St Nazaire (the former "Chantiers de l'Atlantique") and in Lorient.
Main business divisions and products are:
- cruise ships and ferries by STX France Cruise SA (St Nazaire and Lorient shipyards) and STX Finland Cruise Oy (shipyards at Helsinki, Turku and Rauma)
- offshore and specialized ships (sub-sea support-, arctic-, fishing-, research- and coast guard vessels) at the yards in Norway, Vietnam and Brazil, while hulls are often constructed in Romania.
- The Vietnam yards serve primarily the Asian market; other operations by STX Norway Floro AS (advanced chemical tankers, juice carriers, LNG ships, cabins).
Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani (website, established 1959, headquarters in Trieste, Italy), one of Europe's largest shipbuilding companies and the biggest in the Mediterranean, revenue UUSD 3,1 billion (2010), 20,000 employees (2010).
Main products and services include merchant and passenger ships, offshore and naval vessels, ship conversion and ship repair. The Fincantiery company has 8 shipyards, 2 design and 1 research center. Fincantiery also is among the leading mid-sized ships building companies in USA with 2 shipyards located in Wisconsin (plus a production plant) and a repair yard in Ohio, making vessels also for the US Navy and US Coast Guard.
- For FY17 (fiscal year 2017) Fincantieri reported EUR 53 million net income and over EUR 5 billion revenues. For FY16 these numbers were, respectively, EUR 25 million and EUR 4,4 billion.
- As of April 2018, the company had a total ship orders for EUR 26 billion (a total of 106 vessels, of which 26 cruise). The money covered 5 years of work, with 106 ships, including 26 cruise ships.
- In 2017, Fincantieri signed an agreement for purchasing 50% share capital of STX France. Also in 2017 was signed a MoA with CSSC (China State Shipbuilding Corporation) and Carnival Corporation for building in China of 2 cruise liners (plus 4 optional).
- In 2017, Fincantieri became majority shareholder of VARD Norway (smaller expedition ship building company).
- In 2017, the company delivered 5 cruise ships, the largest of which was MSC Seaside.
- In 2017, Fincantieri signed 11 shipbuilding orders - 1 for Holland America, 1 for Princess, 2 for MSC, 4 for NCL Norwegian, 2 for Viking, 1 for Silversea. Polar-class newbuilds were also ordered by Coral Expeditions and Compagnie du Ponant.
Meyer Werft GmbH (website, founded 1795, headquarters in Papenburg, Germany, 2300 employees), a private family owned company, one the largest shipbuilding companies in Germany, in 2009 merged with Neptun Werft (Rostock) to become part of the Meyer Neptun Group.
Main products include livestock and passenger ferries and Ro-Ro ships (for wheeled cargo), gasoline tankers and container ships, luxury cruise liners. The Meyer Werft company has some of the world's biggest and most modern shipbuilding yards and the two world's largest roofed dry docks (length 370 and 504 m).
The company's current biggest cruise ship orders include the newest NCL ships of 144,00 tons each - Norwegian Breakaway (2013) and Norwegian Getaway (2014), and the newest Royal Caribbean ships called Project Sunshine (158,000 tons each), scheduled for 2014 and 2015.
MV WERFTEN (website) is a new German shipbuilding company owned by the Genting Hong Kong (GHK) corporation. It incorporates the three Nordic Yards in the Germanys' Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state - the shipyards in Rostock, Stralsund and Wismar - owned by Genting since April 2016.
The company is managed in Wismar and has capacity to build 3 large-sized cruise ships per year. Lloyd Werft yards in Bremerhaven, Germany (bought by Genting in September 2015) focus on repairs, ship conversion and megayachts building.
Genting Group (GHK's parent company) invested over 100 million euros in MV WERFTEN, including for a thin-plate laser welding line, cruise cabins module factory, new covered block building hall, upgraded manufacture control systems, new offices and facilities.
China's shipbuilding companies
The first built specifically for China cruise ship could be delivered by 2020, according to SWS (Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd). The Chinese state-owned company started negotiations with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri which will provide technical support. The design work on the new ship could start soon, with its building kicking off in 2017 and delivery by 2020.
In October 2015, an USD 3,9 billion agreement was signed between the two state-owned companies - CSSC (China State Shipbuilding Corp) and China Investment Corp - and the world's largest cruise company Carnival Corporation & plc under which the three parties set up a new, Hong Kong-based joint venture Chinese cruise line company (still unnamed) that will place shipbuilding orders with the SWS.
- In April 2018 was announced that China's government plans to merge the country's two largest shipbuilders - CSSC (China State Shipbuilding Corporation) and CSIC (China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation) into a single company. The two Chinese companies reported in 2017 combined revenue of over USD 81billion. Their products range from aircraft carriers to cargo and passenger ships, oil and gas carriers, container ships.
- The giant corporation that would result from the merger would have over twice the combined annual revenue of the Korean shipbuilders Hyundai, Daewoo and Samsung, ranked the world’s 3 largest by market value.
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You will find interesting information regarding cruise ship designs at our survey on cruise ship construction.