Cruise and ferry interior suppliers are boosting their businesses by forging strong links with shipyards and local maritime clusters
The importance of building strong relationships with shipyards and local maritime clusters has never been more important when it comes to cruise and ferry ship interior turnkey companies.
An example is in Finland, where turnkey suppliers are benefiting from Meyer Turku shipyard’s large orderbook and the strong maritime cluster in the country.
Furniture designer Pedro’s most current cruise ship work is on TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff range of ships being built by the yard. It is providing 1,500 seats and sofas for Mein Schiff 1, which will be delivered later this year.
Its cruise ship reference list includes many ships built by Meyer Turku, highlighting the importance of the relationship between the shipyard and Pedro, which has been close since the manufacturer was established 28 years ago.
“Meyer Turku has so many cruise ship orders and we get a lot of work from them,” Pedro managing director Juha Lehtonen told Passenger Ship Technology.
He also highlighted the importance of the Finnish maritime cluster. For Mein Schiff 1, for example, Pedro has not just been contracted by the shipyard but also by eight other Finnish subcontractors to the vessel – Merima, Orsap, Metalliasennus Huuhka, Shipbuilding Completion, R & M, Kaefer, Finn Brass and Naval Interior Team (NIT). “This is good for all parties and helps keep prices realistic,” Mr Lehtonen said. “The Finnish maritime cluster is very important, it is like a huge network loop.”
Pedro also supplies furniture for ferries. Its latest contract was for Tallink’s Megastar, delivered in January. Pedro installed 1,500 sofas and chairs along with the children’s play area furniture.
Producer of lighting and lampshades Valaisin Grönlund is also working across TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff series.
The company has provided lights for all crew cabins and junior suites, including LED floor and wall lamps, in each cruise ship and for some restaurants and public areas.
Elsewhere, the company is planning to launch LED cabin bed lights for the cruise ship market. These will include a USB charger, allowing a mobile device to be charged from the power supply to the lamp. This will simplify cabin construction, because manufacturers will not need to install these sockets, and make it easier for passengers to charge their devices, Valaisin Grönlund managing director Miikka Grönlund commented.
Turnkey supplier Merima is also working on Mein Schiff 1 and has worked on a number of other cruise ships lately, including Royal Caribbean International’s Ovation of the Seas.
Its work on the Quantum-class vessel covered the Avista public area, which included shops, restaurants and a wine bar. The restaurant, at nearly 3,000 m2, covered a very large area.
Describing the project, Merima chief operating officer Mikko Makiranta told Passenger Ship Technology that a strong advantage that Merima has for projects of this kind is that it has its own production facilities. This produces bars, ceiling and wall elements and works with materials including stone and glass.
Mr Makiranta said “Prefabrication is a growing trend. Our own production facility is well established, which puts us in a strong position.”
For Ovation of the Seas, Merima prefabricated the wall elements and some of the furniture. “Lots of things that are normally done on board were done in our own production facilities, which speeded things up,” he said.
The importance of building strong, long-term relationships is especially important for SunStone Ships’ newbuilds at China Merchants Holdings International shipyard in China. The cruise tonnage owner was keen to use European and US companies within the building and design because it believes Chinese yards do not yet have sufficient experience in building cruise ships. Another important element was to choose companies that had already worked with SunStone’s ships in the past.
To this end, Finland-headquartered Mäkinen scooped the contract to provide the whole turnkey package for the hotel parts of SunStone'snew expedition cruise ships.
Highlighting the importance of a long-terms relationship, SunStone Ship chief executive officer Niels-Erik Lund told Passenger Ship Technology “Mäkinen’s work is of very good quality; we have used them for years.” Mäkinen has refurbished many of the previous ships in SunStone’s fleet.
Tomas Tillberg Design International is designing the ships’ interiors – again the importance of a long-term relationship is emphasised as the firm has had a successful relationship with SunStone Ships for the past 10 years. “During this time, we have designed practically every imaginable space on board their many ships,” chief executive Tomas Tillberg said.
Cabin production efficiency boost for Costa Smeralda
Meyer Turku subsidiary Piikkio Works Cabin Technology has launched an automated cabin production process that boosts efficiency in cost and production and which ties in with its work on Costa Cruises’ LNG dual-fuelled Costa Smeralda.
The company is producing all the cabins of the 180,000 gt ship and will use what it described as a “totally new production process” for the project. The process will use an automated 120 m long belt that moves the cabin through the production process.
Piikkio Works production manager Lauri Laakso described it as “a continuously moving flow line, which will bring the cabin model step by step to the next place and at end of the line will be a ready-made cabin model.”
The production belt will be installed in new production 12,000 m2 facilities built next to Piikkio’s current buildings, which will be ready in October.
It means that Costa Cruises’ newbuild, to be delivered in 2018, will be the first cruise ship to benefit from this. Eight weeks into production, it will be moved to the new process.
Mr Laakso told Passenger Ship Technology “This automatically moving flowline takes out all the manual processes; previously it has been very manual. It gives us a very clear view of the project and helps us to take out bottlenecks within processes.”
The new belt is related to Piikkio Works’ increased drive to standardise production and materials for each cabin produced. Mr Laakso said “It allows us to be more competitive and allows us to have exact building schedule timings.”