Rebranding and new technical solutions have become the focus of the sector that provides cruise ships and ferries with their interior design
Interior rebranding is becoming more important than ever before to cruise ship and ferry operators.
Marine interiors specialist Trimline published a white paper in January this year on the subject. Entitled Ship Interior Rebranding, the paper explains the benefits to the operator of this growing trend. “A company’s brand is what makes it unique and helps it to stand out against the competition. By incorporating a company’s brand values into the interior design of its ships, Trimline enables its clients to communicate their corporate attributes, personality, key messages and beliefs to their guests. This results in greater customer loyalty and potentially higher profits.”
It said that Trimline has carried out more than 10 projects within this area in recent years, for vessels including cruise ships and ferries. These include the recent rebrand and transformation of Royal Caribbean International’s Splendour of the Seas into TUI Discovery, one of the largest ships in the Thomson Cruises fleet. The project took place over a six-week period in Cádiz in Spain.
The white paper explained: “TUI Discovery was a new type of ship for the Thomson brand and required a strong focus on high specification luxury and elegance for its refurbishment. Trimline relied on the company’s rich heritage and experience, as well as an adeptness in finding innovative solutions for areas which included a contemporary Live Room entertainment space. Meticulous pre-planning to maximise the work efficiency ensured that the extensive refurbishment was completed within the six-week timescale to meet the ship’s in-service date.”
As a result of the success of the project, Trimline has been awarded the TUI Discovery 2 rebranding project, which starts in March this year.
Adrian Hibbert, Thomson Cruises’ director of operations, said: “TUI Discovery marks a step change for Thomson Cruises, building a product that offers our customers more dining, entertainment and cabin choice. To deliver our vision we embarked on a major refurbishment project and had confidence that Trimline could deliver on time and budget and, most importantly, exceed the expectations of our customers.”
A ferry project undertaken by Trimline last year was the rebranding and refit of DFDS’s latest cross Channel ferries, Côte des Flandres and Côte des Dunes, which took place at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque.
“The challenge of the double ship transformation required careful pre-planning and superior project management by the expert in-house project management team, to ensure the work required was delivered on time and on budget,” said Trimline’s white paper. “Trimline spent considerable effort in cost engineering the project from an early stage whilst working closely with DFDS and the designers to ensure that the brief was adhered to using innovative solutions and all within the agreed budget.”
The large-scale refurbishment required the manufacture and installation of “high quality serveries and bars in the public areas which needed to be delivered in a very short timescale,” said Trimline’s paper. A total of over 63,000 man-hours ensured that the two ships were completed in 84 days.
Meanwhile, Marine Interiors, a Fincantieri business, has made good progress since it was established just a short time ago, in July 2014. Gabriele Cafaro, Marine Interiors chief executive, told Passenger Ship Technology that the company had been established to enrich the Fincantieri Group’s overall product portfolio, integrating cabin design and production into its design and construction flow.
He continued: “The event marks a major meeting of knowledge. Marine Interiors combines the 20 years’ experience in cabin construction and refurbishment of the former Santarossa, acquired on 5 May 2015, with Fincantieri’s world leading experience in ship construction and refurbishment and its solid financial background.”
Marine Interiors is already among the leaders in cabin and wet unit construction for cruise ships. It has carried out 54 newbuilding and 39 refurbishment projects for almost 20 customers.
Its growth has been impressive, increasing its revenues from the €30 million generated by the former company in 2014 to almost €100 million in 2016, and a plan for more than €200 million in the next two years.
Marine Interiors’ operations have been concentrated into a brand new facility in Pordenone, half-way between the Monfalcone and Marghera shipyards, that covers more than 30,000m3 and employs 200 people.
This year it is opening a new panel factory on the site, which will be able to produce a new low-weight panel. Dr Cafaro said: “Shipowners have increasingly asked for lower weight so that more content can be added to the ship without affecting its performance.” He said that a 2,500 cabin ship can save up to 200 tons in gross weight by using this new panel.
Other innovative projects that are underway include the My Cabin concept, which is a smart cabin with domotic (home automation) features and interaction with smartphones and tablets, and Greenlight, a new bulkhead made with environmentally-friendly materials and with the lowest weight available worldwide. Marine Interiors also provides conceptual solutions under the Marine Interiors Solution name.
It carried out eight cruise ship refurbishment projects last year, including Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Inspiration (194 wet unit floors) Holland America Line’s Oosterdam which included 25 cabins, and Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder, for which the job included bulkheads, ceilings and doors for 13 officer cabins. In October, it carried out a four-cadet cabin conversion on board Holland America Line’s Koningsdam.
Over in the newbuild ferry sector, accommodation was an important priority for Norwegian operator Bastø Fosen’s new ferry Bastø VI, which was delivered by Turkey’s Cemre Shipyard (see page 10). Samet Cirlak, Cemre Shipyard naval architect and marine engineer, and project manager of the Bastø VI build, told Passenger Ship Technology: “Accommodation was arranged in accordance with the North-European standard for passenger ferries and was much more innovative than reference vessels with regard to the standard of accommodation. The quality standard, materials and complexity of the accommodation, outfitting, machinery and equipment are outstanding.”
The accommodation includes a saloon with a 360 degrees view, for 600 passengers. Other features are universal design for easy access, special designs for elderly and disabled persons, a playroom for children, and kennels for dogs that are travelling with their owners.
The shipyard worked closely with the ferry operator on the interior design. Mr Cirlak said: “For the interior work, various colour, material, and furniture plans for the passenger lounge with its kiosk area were presented to the owner.”
He said that one of the main aims of the project was to provide good protection against noise under all service conditions for the wellbeing of the crew and passengers.