Holland America Group’s director of newbuilding services and fleet operations explains the impact of brand identity, passenger flow and crew logistics on cruise interiors
Creating an identifiable brand while ensuring a cruise ship has its own unique characteristics was a major focus for Holland America Line (HAL) when designing its latest Pinnacle-class vessels.
Holland America Group director of newbuilding services and fleet operations Mattias Eineborg told Passenger Ship Interiors & Refurbishment Review “Our latest Pinnacle-class vessels [Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam and Pinnacle III], share a similar platform designed to cater to current guest demographics and we seek to imbue each vessel with its own unique character while at the same time being readily identifiable as HAL Pinnacle-class.”
One aspect that makes the ships identifiable as Pinnacle-class is a three-deck-high central atrium with a stainless-steel sculpture that is meant to evoke the feeling of a classical quartet, with strings, arches and bows, and a ceiling skylight that serves as a backdrop for changing high-definition projections.
Mr Eineborg added “We have increased the level of activities available, particularly through our very successful partnerships with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York and America’s Test Kitchen. At the same time, we offer increased variety in dining options. Just as guests have options on land, we seek to provide a similar level of options at sea as well as greater personalisation of the dining experience.”
Indeed, on Nieuw Statendam, to be delivered by the end of 2018, the dining room will span two floors and be framed by views of the sea. Strong, curved architectural pillars will accentuate the high ceiling. The centerpiece is a curved copper sheath surrounding a two-story wine tower. Elsewhere, Rudi’s Sel De Mer French brasserie will be expanded with extra seating for 54 guests.
The vessels are refurbished every three to five years and the aesthetics can be refreshed but the main structure is in place for the duration
Speaking generally about newbuild interiors, Mr Eineborg emphasised that functionality of design was crucial. “While aesthetics is very important, particularly in newbuild where you set the parameters for a platform that should endure for 30 years, a wrong decision on back of the house operations or crew logistics must be avoided at all costs. The vessels are refurbished every three to five years and the aesthetics can be refreshed but the main structure is in place for the duration of the platform.”
Another important consideration is passenger flow and logistics. Mr Eineborg said “The movement of guests (flow) is paramount – a vessel is in reality a dense urban environment but we want the guests to experience it as their own private oasis when they want to retreat. It is very much about creating an environment where guests are free to personalise the experience on their own schedule.”
Asked what HAL looked for from the yard, suppliers and turnkey providers for vessel interiors, he said “We seek strong partnerships and inherent creativity to take design intent and develop it into a product that can be actualised.”
Explaining challenges when it came to creating interiors for the newbuilds, he said “the chief challenge unique to marine hospitality are the international codes and classification societies. Something that would quite simple on land can be quite challenging to implement on a ship due to, for example, fire regulations or inherent restrictions on the type of materials permitted.”
Mr Eineborg singled out some interesting trends and interior design developments going forward. “We are seeing an increased overlap between marine design and land-based hospitality. At the same time, there is a resurgence of going back to a greater connection with the sea. We are seeing increasing segmentation of the market and as a direct response to that, Holland America Group maintains sister brands to HAL and seeks to meet the needs of each market and particular guest segmentation.”
Mattias Eineborg (Holland America Group)
Mattias Eineborg is director of newbuilding services and fleet operations for Holland America Group, covering the brands Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Australia.
Previous positions include director of interior design and architecture for newbuild and refurbishment at Carnival Cruise Lines and manager of newbuild design, newbuilding and fleet design at Royal Caribbean International.
Mr Eineborg has also worked for several marine interior design firms including Glade Johnson Design, Andrea Piacentini Design, SMC Design and Tillberg Design.