This is CruiseMapper's list of major shipbuilding (marine vessel manufacturing) companies, which are also the world's largest cruise ship builders. 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 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 (HHI)
Hyundai Heavy Industries (hyundai.eu, founded 1972, 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, founded 1974, 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, founded 1978, 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, founded 1962, 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, founded 1998, 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, 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).
- In 2018, STX France was acquired by Fincantieri.
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, and 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.
The list of Fincantieri-owned shipbuilding yards includes Monfalcone (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).
Meyer Werft GmbH (meyerwerft.de, 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.
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.
MV WERFTEN (mv-werften.com) is a new German shipbuilding company owned by Genting Hong Kong (GHK) corporation. It incorporates the three Nordic Yards in Germany's Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state - the shipyards in Rostock, Stralsund, and Wismar - owned by Genting since April 2016.
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 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.
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.