The increase in large cruise ships and more varied passenger dining demands are challenges for the galleys sector – but automation and energy management systems can help overcome these obstacles
The rise of the mega cruise ship and passenger demands for more varied dining has made galley and pantry planning and development more complex and challenging.
SeaKing vice president of sales Jan Montonen told Passenger Ship Technology, “The trend for cruise ships over 200 gt is continuing, with some ships of more than 7,000 passengers. Main dining rooms often seat over 2,500 people.”
An accompanying trend and challenge is that “more and more people want to eat quicker, which means the turnaround for tables needs to be shorter”. Mr Montonen said people would like to eat in less than 90 minutes rather than two hours. He commented “Therefore, from the same footprint, the galley produces the food quicker and gets it out quicker to the tables.”
Another theme is that rather than one main dining room, the trend is now for more speciality-themed restaurants.
Mr Montonen explained it was key for the general arrangements to get these volumes of people moving, as well as optimising the galley and pantry production flow. “It needs to look at equipment and how it is placed, so that no waiter is waiting too long in the galley but is moving food to the passengers.”
He explained that the general arrangement needs to look at where dining venues are located so passengers can get there smoothly and back of house traffic (crew and provisions) can work well. Mr Montonen said “They need to locate the provision stores as efficiently as possible and move food into venues. The big dining venues need to be located on top of each other so the same service lifts can be used to reduce movements.”
The trend to use multiple dining venues rather than the traditional large single dining room adds complexity, Mr Montonen said, but makes it more interesting. He added “When we add complexity it requires broader knowledge of dining concepts and new technologies.”
Another challenge galley and pantry manufacturers have to deal with is that European shipyards’ orderbooks are full, so they are designing a ship that won't be delivered for six years.
Mr Montonen explained “This leaves ample time to update dining concepts which means more work for us, as rather than four or five versions, there are 14 or 15. As food trends are moving quicker and quicker, you cannot always anticipate the theme of a restaurant in six years; the design is kept generic so that it can be adapted.”
Energy management focus
Alongside complexity, energy monitoring is a huge theme for galleys and pantries. As Mr Montonen pointed out, “galley equipment is a big consumer of power and a big opportunity to save power.”
SeaKing’s energy management system, launched on Mein Schiff 3 4.5 years ago, is currently being installed on 20 cruise ships. Other cruise projects include Quantum of the Seas.
Mr Montonen said the system saved 20-25% of power needed for ventilating galleys and provided up to 20% savings in energy by reducing galley equipment use.
SeaKing has recently developed the system’s user interface, with different interfaces and information depending on who is using the system. Mr Montonen said “The information a chef seeks from the programme is different from a chief refrigeration engineer, so we have to cater for all users.”
Elsewhere, energy efficiency is a focus for other galley and pantry providers. Due to 2020 GWP regulations, Welbilt Marine brand Manitowoc Ice will soon be changing the refrigerant within its products from R404a to R410. This will improve energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gases.
Welbilt Marine brand Convotherm has been tapping into cooking trends. Welbilt Marine global key accounts manager cruise line David Weightman said “With regards to Convotherm, the add on of a smoker is becoming ever more popular especially with refurbishments and newbuilds. For operators looking to offer a new smoked option to their menu, then the precise, automated smoke cooking from the in-built ConvoSmoke system is the perfect choice.”
Designed for the Convotherm 4 combi steamers from Manitowoc Foodservice, the in-built ConvoSmoker option features an integrated smoker box which holds up to eight flavoured bisquettes.
Convotherm has announced the launch of a new black variant of its Convotherm mini combination oven. “The matt black coating which helps eliminate fingerprints means the oven retains its clean and elegant appearance, even after a whole day’s use,” said Mr Weightman.
It includes features including EasyStart, which allows users to simultaneously bake and cook up to six different product categories. “Models featuring the easyTouch panel have an intuitive picture-based user interface, meaning unskilled staff can use the mini black without requiring time-consuming training,” said Mr Weightman.
Welbilt Marine has a busy orderbook. It has recently installed equipment from its Convotherm, Merrychef, Cleveland and Manitowoc Ice brands on to Princess Cruises’ newbuild Princess Sky, as well as ships for Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Saga Cruises. Indeed, Welbilt Marine’s products are being specified in over 110 newbuild vessels over the next five years.
Energy efficiency and using smart systems is also important to MKN. The German company has introduced updates to its FlexiChef system and FlexiCombi range of combi steamers, which now have more features aimed at enhancing efficiency and optimising kitchen and galley processes on board. These include MagicPilot: a touch and slide operation similar to a modern smartphone; QualityControl: an automatic quantity detector that allows automatic adjustment; and GreenInside: a water and energy consumption display shown after each cooking process.
The FlexiCombi also features a triple-glazed cooking chamber door that offers a potential energy saving of up to 28% compared to earlier generation MKN steamers with double glazing, while using the heat exchanger can reduce its power requirement by about 1 kW, MKN claims.
Halton Marine has launched a virtual galley that showcases galley ventilation technologies in action: how to save energy, keep hoods and exhaust ducts clean, create comfortable conditions and improve fire safety.
Halton explained that a significant technology introduced in Halton Virtual Galley is demand-based ventilation for galleys. Halton M.A.R.V.E.L. is designed specifically for Halton hoods to optimise their efficiency and minimise the environmental footprint. Compared to traditional hoods, the Halton M.A.R.V.E.L. system, combined with the Capture Jet technology, can save up to 50 % in galley ventilation energy consumption, the company said.
The galley also demonstrates the company’s Capture Jet technology. Halton Capture Jet technology creates negative pressure along the front edge and sides of the hood and assists in capturing and containing heat and effluents in the critical work area. Capture Jet reduces the effective net exhaust volumes while improving extraction efficiency, while fan and ductwork size are minimised. Capture Jet hoods prevent heat and impurities produced by cooking appliances from spreading to the work area. The hoods deliver a small air jet that pushes the upward-flowing thermal current toward the filters.