Adora Magic City

Former name: Shanghai Waigaoqiao H1508

Adora Magic City last position

Adora Magic City last location was at China Coast (coordinates 31.34038 N / 121.63166 E) cruising en route to SHANGHAI. The AIS position was reported 3 weeks ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Adora Magic City

Year of build2023 new ship
Flag state Panama
BuilderSWS (Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd) China
ClassCarnival VISTA (redesigned)
Building costUSD 770 million / EUR 700 million
Engines (power)Wartsila (62.4 MW / 83680 hp)
Propulsion power16.8 MW / 22529 hp
Speed23 kn / 43 km/h / 26 mph
Length (LOA)324 m / 1063 ft
Beam (width)37 m / 121 ft
Gross Tonnage135500 gt
Passengers4250 - 5246
Decks with cabins12
Sister-shipsAdora TBN, Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Panorama, Costa/Carnival Venezia, Costa/Carnival Firenze
Former namesShanghai Waigaoqiao H1508
OwnerCSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Ltd
OperatorCSSC CARNIVAL CRUISE via Adora Cruises

Adora Magic City Review

Review of Adora Magic City

The 2023-built Adora Magic City cruise ship is the first of two China-built vessels ordered by CSSC CARNIVAL CRUISE and operated under the new travel brand Adora Cruises (2022-established/2023-inaugurated). Magic City's sistership (TBN) is currently scheduled for inauguration in 2025. CSSC CARNIVAL CRUISE's fleet also includes two older ships (transferred to CSSC Carnival from Costa Cruises in January 2020) - Costa Atlantica (2000-built) and Costa Mediterranea (2003-built).

According to the shipbuilding contract, besides the two initial units (each costs US$ 770M/EUR 700M, 2019 currency rates), there is an option for four more ships of the same class to be produced by SWS/Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd. Reportedly, the negotiated shipbuilding cost was ~1/5th cheaper than if the units were constructed in Europe.

The Adora Magic City vessel (IMO number 9871036) is currently Panama-flagged (MMSI 352001180) and registered in Colon. It is expected after the official delivery, the ship's registry/flag-state to be changed to Hong Kong.

Adora Magic City (aka Aida Modu/阿依达魔都) is the first China-manufactured large cruise ship, named in recognition of Shanghai's local nickname (Magic City/魔法城). Currently, there are four mega-cities linked to this title - London (England), Tokyo (Japan), New York City (USA) and Shanghai (China).

History - construction and ownership

CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Ltd (shipowner) is a joint venture company (October 2015-founded) and a cruise ship management company that operates the fully-owned subsidiary and new travel brand Adora Cruises. CSSC Carnival China was initially scheduled to start operations in 2020, but due to the COVID crisis, the brand's debut was postponed to 2023.

CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping is a joint venture between Carnival Corporation (1972-founded) and China Merchants Group Ltd (1872-founded, Hong Kong-headquartered Chinese state-owned corporation). Most of CSSC Carnival Cruise is owned by Chinese shareholders (60%), and the remainder by Carnival (40%). The Chinese stockholders include CIC (China Investment Corporation) and CSSC (China State Shipbuilding Corporation). Carnival Corporation plc is the world's largest cruise shipowner (and passenger shipping company) by combined fleet (number of vessels and GT tonnage/volume) and berth capacity.

Adora Magic City cruise ship (CSSC Carnival China)

Adora Cruises' newbuilds Adora Magic City and TBN (2025) are with a modified Carnival VISTA design, represented by the sisterships Carnival Vista (2016), Carnival Horizon (2018), Carnival Panorama (2019), Carnival Venezia (2019-built as Costa Venezia) and Carnival Firenze (2020-built as Costa Firenze).

In comparison to the original Carnival VISTA design, the CSSC Carnival Cruise's ships have volume/Gross Tonnage 135500 GT-tons (vs 133596), DWT-Deadweight 13000 tons (vs 13415), the same waterline beam (37 m / max width is 46 m, with the Navigation Bridge's wings) and the same draught (8,2 m / 27 ft).


For major construction milestones and events see the ship's Wiki page.

Decks and Cabins

Adora Magic City staterooms (2125 total) all provide as standard amenities 2 twin beds (convertible to Queen-size double bed), wardrobe, electronic safe box and lifejackets (in the closet), seating/lounge area (with mirrored vanity/writing desk with chair), smart HDTV (satellite reception, infotainment system), direct-dial phone, hairdryer, refrigerator (minibar), en-suite bathroom (WC, shower, mirrored single-sink vanity).

All balcony staterooms are with sofabeds to accommodate 3rd/4th passengers. WiFi is available in all staterooms for an additional charge as well as in public areas. Suites receive free 24-hour room service, slippers, bathrobes plus drinks package and personal valet.

The boat has 14 passenger-accessible decks of which 12 are with cabins.

The ship also has a total of 701 crew cabins.

Shipboard facilities and amenities

What is confirmed so far is that the liner has a large center for performing arts, numerous restaurants and cafes (complimentary and specialty dining venues), various launges and bars, art corridors, children's clubs, a spa, an outdoor amusement park with a circular-shaped waterslide and a kids playground with 11 total water-play features and a spacious sunbathing area for children.

The aquapark has a total of 3x water slides (spanning four decks). Other fun facilities are the Rope Garden (outdoor activity course with 360-degree sea views), and the VR/Virtual Reality gaming center.

Exact details on Adora Magic City ship's venues, facilities and onboard services are to be announced soon.

The next review is based on the ship Carnival Venezia that was thoroughly redesigned during an extensive drydock in 2023, following the transfer from Costa to CCL-Carnival Cruise Line.

Adora Magic City has a complimentary Main Dining Room (on two levels, waiter-served) open for Breakfast, Brunch (seadays only), Lunch (seadays only) and Dinner. On portdays, Breakfast is served between 7:30-9:30 am (closed for lunch). Dining Room hours are subject to change due to itinerary/port of call arrival times or scheduled onboard activities. On seadays, one MDR serves Brunch (breakfast and lunch /between 8:30 am - 1 pm) while the other MDR serves Breakfast (between 8-10 am) and Lunch (between 12-noon - 1:30 pm). Afternoon Tea service (between 3-4 pm /seadays only) is complimentary and includes a selection of teas, paninis/mini sandwiches, sweets. Dinner (seadays/portdays) is with 2 fixed/pre-assigned seatings - Early (at 6 pm) and Late (at 8:15 pm), plus Anytime ("Your Time Dining" between 5:45-9:30 pm).

The Lido Restaurant is also complimentary and operates as a self-service buffet restaurant for open-seating Breakfast (7:30 am - 12-noon /made-to-order omelet station), Lunch (12-noon - 2:30 pm), Dinner (6-9:30 pm /Good Eats buffet) and for Late Night Snacks (11 pm - 1 am). Good Eats buffet menu is a Main Dining Room dinner alternative offering steaks, prime rib, grilled chicken, pastas, salads, desserts, daily Chef's Special. The Lido Restaurant groups various take-away food stations and themed food bars. Among those are Adora Deli (sandwiches, draught beer dispenser), Mongolian Wok (stir-fry, made-to-order Asian food /you choose the ingredients), Pasta Bar (choice of pastas, sauces, toppings), Salad Bar (35 items), Pizza Bar (24-hour Pizzeria), Chef's Choice Bar (international cuisine /different menu each day), Hot and Cold Buffet (stir-fries, pasta, carving station), Grille (ham/cheese/veggie burgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken fritters/sandwiches, sauteed vegetables, sauerkraut, homemade tortillas/chips/salsa), Dessert Bar (also oofers sugar-free items). The Lido Buffet also has a complimentary, self-serve, 24-hour tea/coffee station and machines for soft ice cream and yogurt.

Traditionally for Carnival ships, Adora Magic City is expected to have signature dining venues like

  • Seafood Restaurant open for lunch and dinner (waiter service), with indoor/outdoor seating, a la carte priced menu, serving items like lobster, shrimp, crab cakes, clams, oysters, also buckets and platters, Fish & Chips, Soup of the Day.
  • Steakhouse (at a surcharge/reservations recommended) with waiter service and offering appetizers, salads, sides, entrees (prime-aged beef steaks, ribeye, filet mignon, lamb chops, chicken, lobster, fish fillet), desserts, as well as beverages (bar prices apply) - fresh coffee/tea, dessert wines and after-dinner drinks. The food is wheeled on a cart to your table for examination. A cooking demonstration offers an hour-long presentation from a team of chefs.
  • Teppanyaki Sushi Restaurant (Japanese food bar/reservations-only) serving authentic Far East cuisine specialties and drinks. The venue provides a live cooking show performance (by the chefs) at custom-built cooking stations positioned at the center of an 8-seat dining table. Due to the room's limited seating, reservations are required. Each meal starts with a sampling of 5 appetizers (Miso Soup, Pork Belly Yakitori, Spicy Tuna on Rocks). Combo dinners are also offered. Each meal ends with the specialty desserts "Chocolate Bento Box" and "Green Tea Ice Cream". The restaurant is open for lunch (seadays only) and for dinner (every night of the voyage). The venue could be with a cover charge (price per person/covers the entire meal) and/or a la carte priced.
  • Pizzeria (complimentary, 24-hour, self-serve) equipped with a wood-fired oven and offering fresh-baked pizzas (Margherita, Pepperoni, Napolitana, Capricciosa, Calzone), pan pizza, Caesar salad, also made-to-order pies.
  • BBQ Restaurant (outdoor bar open on seadays only) serving the Lanai Promenade with cooked-to-order fast food grilled items like steak, pork, chicken, chicken quesadilla, sliders, BBQ tacos (choice of meat), topless burgers, hot dogs, salads, homemade chips/salsa, traditional BBQ condiments.

The ship's main show lounge Metropol Theater (capacity 975 seats) is on two floors/levels and hosts grand-style show productions with live performances (tribute acts - singing and dancing) combined with sound and lighting special effects. The evening shows last 30 min. The music is backed by HD media (photos and videos) projected on large-size LED screens. The evening entertainment program also offers popular family game shows and guest performers (stand-up comedy acts, magicians, musicians). During the day, the Theater hosts fun and enrichment events like seminars, expert lectures, multimedia presentations, workshops and classes, bingo sessions, port talks, shore excursions meetings, etc. Metropol Theater is a multi-purpose venue, so instead of traditional stadium seating (bench-style), all chairs are individual to allow different configurations.

Chian's first Comedy Theater at Sea is via partnership with Mahua FunAge (Kaixin Mahua Cultural Tourism Development Co Ltd).

The ship has a complimentary outdoor Cinema (fitted with a huge LED screen) and a stage for live performances and games. During the day, the Cinema is used for showing funny videos, TV shows, concerts, live sporting events, while in the evenings there are projected movies (under the stars) with complimentary provided popcorn.

Being mandatory for a Chinese ship, Adora Magic City has a huge Casino (with Annex/VIP gaming Room). The gaming lounge is equipped with various slot machines (coinless) and gaming tables (Craps, Roulette, Black Jack 21, Caribbean Stud Poker, dealer-free poker tables). At the Casino are also provided complimentary gambling lessons and regularly hosted tournaments. Table games are cash only. Slot machines are boarding cards only (coinless). The Casino is closed when the ship is in port, and opens 30-60 min after the ship leaves port.

Another must for a Chinese ship is the large Shopping Plaza (duty-free mall sized approx 2000 m2 / 21530 ft2) that groups various luxury-brand boutiques (jewelry-watches, designer bags-hats-shoes-fashion-accessories-sunglasses, perfumes-cosmetics-beauty products) as well as shops selling liquor-tobaccos, convenience goods and Adora Cruises-logoed merchandise - all at duty-free prices.

The ship also has a Photo Gallery & Shop (selling photo/video equipment and accessories and also displaying and selling photos made by the ship's professional photographers), Photo Sessions Studio, Art Gallery (displays original works available for purchasing, also hosts art auctions).

The 3-floor-high Atrium (midship on decks 3-4-5) has an open-floor design and on its lower level housed the Lobby (Tour Desk and Guest Services Desk/Reception), the Atrium Bar and the stage (for live performances). From the Atrium's mid-level and paper (decks 4-5) are directly accessed the Boutiques and Shops.

The onboard Wellness Complex consists of a Fitness Center (modern Gym), Spa (), Beauty Salon (facials, manicure/pedicure, hair styling-cutting-coloring, eyebrow shaping, makeup, waxing, grooming-barbering, teeth whitening, Medi-Spa).

The ship's outdoor facilities include SkyCourse (suspended ropes course/complimentary), Multi-Sports Course (for playing volleyball/basketball/tennis), Mini-Golf Course, free entry Serenity Deck (adults-only sundeck with 2 whirlpools, 2 massage huts, cabanas, hammocks, wicker chaise lounges and clamshell chairs, shaded seating areas, complimentary food station/salad bar, a-la-carte-priced Serenity Bar for drinks and refreshments).

The ship has a dedicated to small children complex where certified counselors provide complimentary age-appropriate supervised activities and themed entertainment for kids in 3 age groups - 2-5 yo, 6-8 yo, and 9-11 yo. A separate complimentary Children Club Lounge is for older kids (12-14 yo/video games, movies, parties, planned activities), and there is a Teen Club for teenagers (15-17 yo/movies, interactive video gaming, karaoke, themed parties, booking teen-only cruise shore excursion).

In May 2023 was signed a strategic partnership with Bloks (China's most popular building block toys brand) for the first-at-sea “AI-STEAM Exploration Camp” (kids facility with a supervised program) onboard Adora Magic City. AI-STEAM Sea Exploration Camp features fun learning, educational games and activities, competitions, themed parties, and has a separate indoor play zone.


Adora Magic City itinerary program will be based on homeporting in Shanghai China. The roundtrip voyages target predominantly Chinese/East Asian tourists.

Adora Magic City will be deployed in Asia the whole year-round, and departures from other Chinese homeports will be also available.

More information on itineraries (length/call ports/destinations/shore excursions) are to be revealed soon.

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Adora Magic City Wiki

The shipbuilding contract between CSSC (China State Shipbuilding Corporation, parent of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd) and Carnival Corporation plc was signed in February 2017. In the period 2017-2019, the shipbuilder invested ~USD 260 million in shipyard upgrades to be able to accommodate the construction of China's largest passenger ships.

The vessel's construction officially started on October 17, 2019, with the steel-cutting ceremony held at the SWS-Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding yard in Shanghai China.

The vessel's physical construction started with the keel-laying/coin ceremony on November 10, 2020, held at SWS. The special event was attended by Michele Cecchi (Italy's Consul General in Shanghai), Wu Qing (Shanghai's Deputy Mayor), Lei Fanpei (CSSC's Chairman), Giuseppe Bono (Fincantieri Group's CEO), Fabrizio Ferri (Fincantieri China's CEO), Tian Yulong (MIIT's Chief Engineer) and Gao Dongsheng (MIIT's General Manager). MIIT stands for China's "Ministry of Industry and Information Technology".

The hull and superstructure were completed (in drydock) on November 2, 2021.

The vessel (yard/hull number H1508) was launched/floated out from drydock on December 17, 2021. The drydock's flooding started on Dec 16th, and, traditionally for China, the ship's bow was decorated with banners. The launch ceremony featured the spraying of water on the bow, creating a rainbow. On the launch day was reported that the vessel was 55% complete. After floating, it was moored at a dock for interior outfitting. The launch party was addressed via live stream by Arnold Donald (Carnival Corporation's CEO).

The ship's first main engine/diesel generator was started for the first time on July 26, 2022.

The design was redeveloped by CSSC, with some of the technologies and consulting provided by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. The design incorporates ~25 million different components and parts and 2600+ mi / 4180 km of cabling, while the construction works involved ~12 million man-hours of labor and 500+ suppliers (domestic and foreign).

Being the owner of the patented Carnival VISTA-class platform, Fincantieri set up a joint venture with CCTD (Fincantieri China Ltd) to grant the technology license of the vessel platform as well as to provide technical services to the shipbuilder (SWS) including project- and supply chain management and sales of the ship's main systems and components. Fincantieri's subsidiary Marine Interiors was contracted to design, prefabricate and install the ship's public areas, catering facilities, all glass walls, as well as all cabins (passenger + crew/~2800 units).

The powerplant is based on one main diesel generator (model Wartsila 31, 9,6 MW) with a total power output 62,4 MW. The propulsion system is based on two ABB azipods (steerable/360-degree rotating pod propellers moved by electric motors) with power output 16,8 MW. The ship's max speed is 22,6 knots.

In late-March 2019, SWS contracted ABB Ltd (1988-founded, Zurich Switzerland-based manufacturer of marine propulsion systems and robotics/automation systems) to supply and install the ship's Azipods. The contract was signed by Gang Chen (Shanghai Waogaoqiao Shipbuilding's General Manager) and Peter Terwiesch (ABB Industrial Automation's President). The ABB package also includes the entire electric powerplant (electricity generators, main switchboards, transformers. The propulsion control for the Azipods (from the Navigation Bridge) includes remote diagnostics provided by ABB Ability Collaborative Centers (land-based facilities for real-time data gathering and analysis).

The cruise ship is fitted with shore-power connectivity. The technology allows the main diesel engines to be shut down while berthed, thus reducing in-port noise and pollution (COx and NOx emissions and soot particles). While moored, the ship uses the port city's electrical grid to provide electricity for all onboard facilities and services.

On December 12, 2022, Adora Cruises signed a strategic partnership with China Duty-Free Cruise Services Ltd (2018-founded subsidiary of CDFG/China Duty-Free Group Co Ltd) for the management of the ship's duty-free shopping center. CDFG is state-owned retailer and China's only company authorized to provide duty-free services (business, offshore, overseas and other).

In February 2023, SWS reported that the liner is 87% complete.

In April 2023 started the assembly of the ship's amusement park featuring a waterslide with a 5-m/16-ft-high circular-shaped/bowl slide (diameter 8 m / 26 ft).

The ship's name (Adora Magic City) was officially announced on May 19, 2023, by Chen Ranfeng (CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping's Managing Director). The announcement was made at a special event in Shanghai organized by "Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism" and CCTD (CSSC Cruise Technology Development Co Ltd).


On June 1, 2023, the ship was refloated in preparation for its official launch from the drydock. The previous launch from the drydock (on December 17, 2021) was when the hull was floated temporarily.

Sea trials are currently scheduled to take place in July 2023.

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