A range of new solutions have been developed for passenger ship interiors, while the fast-growing expedition cruise sector is providing interesting opportunities within design and interior outfitting
A clutch of new interior design solutions for cruise ships and ferries have either been launched this year are in development.
UK marine interior outfitter Trimline has been working with spray booth and paint finishing manufacturer Junair to install an energy efficient paint spraying solution, which uses an advanced auxiliary air movement system and more efficient filters to allow cleaner air back in to the environment.
Over the last six weeks (as of end of June), the innovative paint spray booth has been installed, tested and commissioned and the official handover has now taken place between Trimline chairman Gary Oliver and Junair director Steven Wood.
“We have noticed that over the last few years, cruise lines are increasingly requesting superior finishes that were normally only ever seen on our superyacht work. While our experienced sprayers have been able to meet their demands to date, we see this as a growing trend and with the new state-of-the-art spray booth, we are able to meet those increasing requests and offer a more superior paint finish, while reducing energy consumption.” said Mr Oliver.
Mr Wood expanded on the energy efficiency benefits. “The QADS (advanced auxiliary air movement system) alone reduces typical process time by about 35% and allows a lower air temperature because the air is agitated, and solvents/moisture is drawn out of the painted items more effectively. In addition, the variable speed drives further allow us to adjust the fan speed and therefore airflow. When combined with QADS, the energy savings increase to around 65%, compared to a standard booth.”
Meanwhile Antti Marine, part of Antti-Teollisuus, is concentrating its research efforts on producing cruise ship doors that are lighter in weight, as well as working on a clutch of the latest cruise newbuilds.
The Finland-headquartered company has been producing marine doors for three decades. Antti Marine commercial director Markko Takkinen told Passenger Ship Technology how sound reduction qualities in doors needs to be balanced against weight.
“We have realised good sound reduction in our doors, and we always try to save weight, as well as fulfil requirements needed for fire safety,” he explained. “It is a challenging issue as very lightweight material does not always go hand-in-hand with sound reduction qualities.”
He said doors not related to sound reduction, such as cabin bathroom doors, were easier to make very lightweight. To this end, the company has launched a project to create lightweight prefabricated bathroom doors.
Mr Takkinen said “There is a lot of potential to save weight here – the development and improvement in materials today means it is possible to realise lightweight products at acceptable prices.” He singled out aluminium.
The company is evaluating creating such doors and hopes to have results next year.
Meanwhile, Antti Marine is extremely busy with cruise ship contracts: it provided all the prefabricated passenger and crew cabin doors for Mein Schiff 1 and is doing the same for Mein Schiff 2. It also provided cabin doors to Genting Dream and for Aida Cruises’ AidaNova, where it is supplying all cabin and interior doors. Mr Takkinen singled out an important trend highlighted by AidaNova – Antti Marine is creating installations in the cabin doors to accommodate the technology needed for online locking (other companies provide the locking equipment).
Mr Takkinen said “There are more technical solutions behind the face of doors to make the wire connections to lock. This is not something particularly new, but more intelligence is being used, with lock developments happening all the time, so we must develop the doors to meet these new requirements. The lock equipment requires a more detailed technical design, with more cabling used within the door and its frame, so this adds additional work and design issues.”
Made of glass
Glass bonding technology specialist Brombach + Gess have been focused on a new development – it is displaying its Loggia-Cabin Window System at the marine trade fair SMM in September.
Its marine glazing marketing and sales manager Christina Schanz commented “This provides an interesting alternative to the classic balcony and extends the private passenger area by the size of the balcony.” The cabin is closed by a floor-deep, horizontally divided panoramic glass front.
At the push of a button, the living space increases by lowering the upper pane in front of the fixed lower pane and forming a balustrade together with the movable handrail.
She added “In closed position the moveable upper window and the fixed lower window are aligned to form a perfectly flat facade.”
Elswhere, Brombach + Gess has developed, in co-operation with DNV GL, Schiffstechnik Buchloh and Stükerjürgen Aerospace Composites, a new and innovative lightweight construction in composite material for a glass sliding roof.
This self-supporting composite design is lighter than designs with a supporting structure: Ms Schanz said that in comparison with an aluminum roof, a 43% weight saving can be achieved. The weight saved allows for the incorporation of an additional five to six standard cabins.
The composite materials offer additional benefits because they are not vulnerable to corrosion and have better resistance to fatigue.
Brombach + Gess has also been working on Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen and Fritjof Nansen, being built at Norway’s Kleven shipyard.
Ms Schanz said glass bonding technology has been used in these ships. She said “Frameless glass projects provide the illusion of wide spaces.”
A type of glass developed by Brombach + Gess especially for maritime requirements is used for the project. The product DUROmare is a DNV GL-certified laminated safety glass according to its type-approval system.
Ms Schanz said the special feature of the glass is that it can absorb a more compressive load than a monolithic single pane. DUROmare therefore makes it possible to significantly reduce the thickness of glass required by high-pressure loads resulting in a significant weight reduction, she said.
The expediton cruise ship sector is presenting interesting opporutnities for interior design specialists and suppliers. SunStone Ships is one of the first cruise ship owners to use a Chinese shipyard to build its vessels – it has a contract for four vessels with options for an additional six with China Merchants Heavy Industry. Tomas Tillberg Design is designing the ships’ hotel side.
Tomas Tillberg founding partner, Tomas Tillberg said “Chinese yards have not built cruise ships before and so the comfort we bring to SunStone is that we bring a European contact to the yard and we can deliver the interior that a modern cruise ship should have, without having to rely on what might and what might not work [which would be the case with the yard], as they can build a ship, but [have] no experience of interiors.”
The company has to adapt the interior design to meet not just SunStone’s needs, but also the needs and wishes of the charterers.
The first two of SunStone’s ships are for Aurora Cruises, which specialises in Arctic travel. But the following ship has been chartered to another company.
Mr Tillberg commented “From a design point of view, it is very interesting. They are all the same ship base, but for different clients so we can adapt them to their designs. Charterers have specific demands and they cater to certain groups of people, in that way they know exactly who their customers are and what they expect, and we meet these demands.”