Minghua as part of the Sea World Complex in Shenzhen, China
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||Chantiers de l'Atlantique|
|Launched:||April 5, 1962|
|In service:||September 5, 1962|
|Out of service:||1983|
|Identification:||IMO number: 5015957|
|Status:||Landlocked as tourist attraction|
|Tonnage:||14,225 gross register tons (GRT)|
|Propulsion:||Burmeister & Wain Engines|
Ancerville was launched by Chantiers de l'Atlantique on April 5, 1962 by French president Charles de Gaulle, for service from Marseilles to Dakar, calling in Casablanca, Madeira, Alicante, Tangier the Canary Islands. In 1970 her ownership was transferred from Compagnie de Navigation Paquet to Nouvelle Compagnie de Paquebots, but continued on her usual routes. In July 1970, Ancerville rescued all passengers and crew of the burning and sinking liner Fulvia in the Canary Islands.
In 1973, due to competition from airplane services, the ship was sold to the People's Republic of China and was renamed Minghua, meaning "Spirit of China". Minghua operated from China to East Africa during her last decade of service.
On August 17, 1983 the ship arrived in Shekou, Shenzhen to be refitted as a tourist attraction and part of the entertainment complex Sea World (海上世界). Her new features include 253 hotel rooms, Chinese and Western restaurants, an English Bar, Bamboo Grove Bar, Music Dance Hall, swimming pool, health center, children's recreation center and the China Folk Customs Exhibition Center. Even though the ship was considered a building after becoming part of Sea World, she was not removed from the Lloyd's Register until 1991.
Due to the construction of a large golf course beside Sea World the area around her berth was reclaimed from the sea and she became landlocked. The ship closed in 1998 due to management problem after a fire. Throughout her time being closed the exterior of Sea World was kept well maintained, but her interiors were badly neglected.
In 2001 a major 70 million Yuan refurbishment of the ship began and was completed in 2004. The ship now hosts a four-star hotel, Brazilian barbecue restaurant, numerous Western restaurants, a wine bar and cigar house, a coffee shop, boutique and movie theater.