This is CruiseMapper's list of major shipbuilding (marine vessel manufacturing) companies, which are also the world's largest cruise shipbuilders. Learn here what are the largest shipbuilding countries, which is the largest shipbuilding company and which 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, supertankers, LNG carriers ("liquefied natural gas"), drillships (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 USD 80+ million ship every week. However, most of the world's best cruise ships are built in Europe - by Fincantieri and Meyer Werft. Germany's largest shipbuilder is MV WERFTEN (3x shipyards owned by GHK). The world's largest cruise liners (Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class) are built Chantiers de l'Atlantique (fka STX France).
This article is integrated with shipbreaking.
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 (HHI)
Hyundai Heavy Industries (hyundai.eu, 1972-founded, headquarters in Ulsan, Gyeongju, South Korea), the world's largest, with revenue USD 19,7 billion (2010) and 26,000 employees (2011).
On March 8, 2019, HHI Group and KDB (Korea Development Bank) signed an agreement HHI to acquire the Korean company DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering). The definitive agreement followed the HHI-KDB agreement signed on January 31, 2019.
Samsung Heavy Industries
Samsung Heavy Industries (shi.samsung.co.kr, 1974-founded, headquarters in Seoul South Korea), revenue USD 14,3 billion (2010), 13,000 employees (2011). Samsung shipbuilding 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 drillships. Samsung is currently building one of the world's most expensive luxury ships - the 108,000-ton Utopia (of Utopia Residences). At the cost of USD 1,1 billion for only 199 luxury apartments, the 2017-ordered residential ship Utopia is scheduled for launch in 2021.
Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (dsme.co.kr, 1978-founded, headquarters in Seoul South Korea), revenue USD 11,4 billion (2010), 25,000 employees (2011). The Daewoo company got in 2011 the largest single defense contract by a South Korean firm - USD 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 USD 710 million contract with the Britain's Ministry of Defence for 4 naval ships (fast fleet tankers, 37,000 tons each).
STX Offshore and Shipbuilding (stxons.com, 1962-founded, headquarters in Jinhae, South Korea), revenue USD 14,8 billion (2010), the world's 4th largest shipbuilder (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 Samho Heavy Industries
Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (hshi.co.kr, 1998-founded, headquarters in Samhoeup, Yeongam, South Korea, a subsidiary company of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group), the world's 5th largest shipbuilder, producing approx 40 ships per year in its yard in Samho-eup (South Korea).
Hanjin Heavy Industries
Hanjin Heavy Industries (hanjinsc.com, 1937-founded, 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.
Chantiers de l'Atlantique (STX France)
STX France (chantiers-atlantique.com, 2004-founded, headquarters in Oslo Norway), was an STX subsidiary that combined the activities of two Finnish shipbuilding companies (Aker and Kvaerner) and with a majority stake of the shipyards in St Nazaire (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, Rauma), and offshore and specialized ships (subsea 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 are provided by STX Norway Floro AS (advanced chemical tankers, juice carriers, LNG ships, cabins).
In 2018, STX France was acquired by Fincantieri and renamed to the original "Chantiers de l'Atlantique".
Oasis-class (world's largest passenger ships) are constructed by this French company.
Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani (fincantieri.com, established 1959, headquarters in Trieste Italy), one of Europe's largest shipbuilding companies and the biggest in the Mediterranean, revenue USD 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 company has 8 shipyards, 2 design centers, 1 research center. Fincantieri also is among the leading mid-sized ships building companies in the 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 (the 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 ship orders for EUR 26 billion (a total of 106 vessels, of which 26 cruises). The money covered 5 years of work, with 106 ships, including 26 cruise ships.
In 2017, Fincantieri signed an agreement for purchasing a 50% share capital of STX France. Also in 2017 was signed MoA with CSSC (China State Shipbuilding Corporation) and Carnival Corporation for building 2 cruise liners (plus 4 optional) in China.
In 2017, Fincantieri became the majority shareholder of VARD Norway (smaller expedition shipbuilding company). In 2018, VARD Holdings was delisted as Fincantieri moved for full ownership of the 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.
For Jan-June 2018, Fincantieri reported net income EUR 21 million on half-year revenues EUR 2,5 billion. For the same period in 2017, these numbers were EUR 13 million and EUR 2,3 billion, respectively. In August 2018, Fincantieri signed with France deal for purchasing 51% of STX France. The shipyard in St Nazaire was renamed back to "Chantiers de l'Atlantique". There is a possibility for a defense merger between Fincantieri and Naval Group (French military shipyards operator),
Fincantieri's 2018 order book included 5 cruise ship deliveries plus 24 ships on order, in addition to the Vard and STX France newbuilds. Fincantieri's 2020-2024 order book had 29 cruise ships (total 41 through 2027).
In November 2020, Fincantieri signed a EUR 125 million (~USD 150 M) propulsion order with ABB (Azipod electric propulsion systems). The equipment was for 5 newbuild cruise vessels (2 Azipod units per ship) and with total power output 178 MW (238,700 HP). The order included Fincantieri's largest and most powerful Azipod units (20 MW each) to be installed so far. The ordered vessels were scheduled to enter service in the period 2023-2026. The Fincantieri-ABB propulsion deal was signed by Juha Koskela (ABB's Division President) and Luigi Matarazzo (Fincantieri's Director Merchant Ships Division).
The list of Fincantieri-owned shipbuilding yards includes Monfalcone (near Trieste), Marghera (Venice), Sestri Ponente (Genoa), Ancona, Castellammare di Stabia (Naples), Palermo (Sicily). In addition to these merchant shipbuilding yards are the naval shipyards Riva Trigoso (Genoa) and Muggiano (La Spezia).
Due to the Coronavirus crisis (reduction in man-hours), in 2020 Fincantieri sustained a loss of EUR 245 million (~USD 300M) on revenues EUR 5,2 billion (~USDT 6,25B). The numbers for 2019 were EUR 148M loss on revenues EUR 5,8B. In 2020, cruise shipbuilding accounted for EUR 3,3B (~USD 3,97B) of all revenues (EUR 3,6B in 2019). In 2020-H2 Fincantieri delivered 4 (of 7 planned) cruise liners and none of the ship orders were canceled. For deliveries in 2021 were scheduled 7 ships.
As of December 31, 2020, Fincantieri's order book included 116 vessels (EUR 35,7B/USD 42,3B), of which 48 cruise ships.
For 2021-Q1 Fincantieri reported revenues EUR 1,6 billion (~USD 1,94B) and EBITDA EUR 101 million (~USD 123M) - in comparison to 2020-Q1's EUR 1,3B (revenues) and EUR 72 M (EBITDA). The company's Coronavirus-related expenses in 2020 were EUR 14M. Fincantieri's order book (in 2021) included 98 ships (total value ~EUR 34,4 billion / ~USD 41,8B), 6 cruise ships were delivered in 2021, 8 were scheduled for 2022, 9 for 2023, 5 for 2024, 5 for 2025, 4 for 2026 and beyond.
Fincantieri plans to participate in the design and construction of a new cruise ship repair-maintenance and conversation yard in Port Progreso (Yucatan Mexico), with an exclusive 40-year concession for the facility.
For Fincantieri-tagged CruiseMapper news follow this link.
Meyer Werft GmbH (meyerwerft.de, 1795-founded, 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.
The 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.
For Meyer Werft-tagged CruiseMapper news follow this link.
MV WERFTEN (mv-werften.com) was a new German shipbuilding company wholy-owned by GHK-Genting Hong Kong Corporation. The shipbuilder incorporated the three Nordic Yards in Germany's Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state (the shipyards in Rostock, Stralsund, Wismar) owned by GHK between April 2016-January 2022.
The company is managed in Wismar and has the 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 EUR 100+ million in MV WERFTEN, including for a thin-plate laser welding line, cruise cabin module factory, new covered block-building hall, upgraded manufacture control systems, new offices, and facilities.
In June 2021, GHK's President and CEO (Colin Au) officially announced that MV WERFTEN will start building Universal-Class cruise ships for premium hotel brands - like Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Accor. Construction was planned to start in 2023, with the first vessel to be completed in 2025.
- The vessels will be "designed like airplanes" - with function prioritized over the form, more simple design and standardized modules (hull and superstructure blocks, cabins) to speed the production process and reduce the building cost.
- GHK's "hotel ships" are LNG-powered, with GT ~90,000 tons (volume), LOA length 286 m (938 ft), max passenger capacity ~2000 (~1000 staterooms), 15 decks, with COVID-safe features (~20% more spacious interiors due to fewer guests), cabins convertible into sitting/dining rooms, deeper cabin balconies, no-touch technologies (voice and facial recognition).
- The design is actually based on passenger capacity varying between 1000-4000, depending on the requested by the hotel brand class - Luxury, Premium, or Contemporary.
- The propulsion is based on two ABB-Azipod thrusters, with combined power output 30 MW (40230 HP). On December 12, 2019, ABB signed with GHK a contract (EUR 157 million) to supply the 6x units with power-propulsion-digital equipment, including ABB Ability (real-time remote monitoring by ABB experts). However, back then, the plans were the 6x ships to be delivered in 2023-2024. The ABB-GHK deal was signed by Gustaf Gronberg (GHK's Executive VP, Marine Operations and Newbuilding) and Peter Terwiesch (ABB's President of Industrial Automation). The ceremony was attended by Peter Fetten (MV Werften's President and CEO) and Juha Koskela (ABB's Managing Director, ABB Marine and Ports).
- For the first time, GHK's Universal-Class was announced in December 2019 as a plan for a separate fleet of midsize vessels to be chartered to global passenger shipping and travel brands. The planned 6x units will be built by MV Werften (GHK's wholly-owned shipbuilding company. Currently, as shipowner GHK owns the cruise brands (Chinese subsidiary companies) Star Cruises and Dream Cruises.
During the Coronavirus crisis (2020-2021), MV Werften received ~EUR 2 billion (USD 2,39B) financial assistance from the German government, including EUR 300M (Economic Stabilization Fund grant) and EUR 1,6B (loan for Global Dream's construction). As of 2021, GHK had 23 ships built in Germany, with Global Dream (GT 208,000) being Germany's ever-biggest passenger ship.
On January 10, 2022, MV Werften filed for bankruptcy protection, after failing to pay the December 2021 salaries to ~2000 employees. Reportedly, the company had a "liquidity gap" EUR 148 million (~USD 168M/~GBP 123M). On January 19th, GHK also filed for bankruptcy.
On June 16, 2022, MV Werften Wismar was sold to the shipbuilding company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH (2005-founded, headquartered in Kiel Germany) which planned to start there construction of naval vessels (corvettes, frigates, submarines) from 2024.
For MV Werften-tagged CruiseMapper news follow this link.
China's shipbuilding companies
The first built specifically for China cruise ship could be delivered by 2021, according to SWS (Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd). The Chinese state-owned company started negotiations with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri which provides technical support.
In October 2015, a 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.
You can read CruiseMapper news related to shipbuilding and shipbuilders grouped at the following tag links:
You will find interesting information regarding cruise ship designs at our survey on cruise ship construction.
Where are cruise ships built?
|Shipbuilders||Vessels / Fleets|
Meyer Werft (Germany)
Meyer Werft (Finland)
Chantiers de l’Atlantique (St Nazaire, STX France)
T Mariotti (Italy)
- Who built rms Titanic ship (1912, Belfast) - (for White Star Line) "Harland and Wolff" (England)
- Who built the battleship Bismarck (1939) - Blohm-Voss (Hamburg, Germany)
- Who built the battleship HMS Hood (1918) - "John Brown & Co"
- Who built the world's largest yacht? my Eclipse (2010) was constructed by Blohm-Voss (Hamburg). The cost to build is USD 485 million. Yacht's current owner is the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
While high fuel prices and the economic stagnation are a damper for the passenger shipbuilding industry, they are actually attracting new cruisers because of the industry's value per price indices and total costs of alternative vacations.
This article is integrated with CruiseMapper's list of the world's largest cruise companies.