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Over land and sea – can hotel design trends be transferred to cruise ships?

The Furniture Club - six interior outfitters working across the hotel and cruise ship markets will be jointly exhibiting at Seatrade Europe
The booming cruise ship market is trying to satisfy the ever growing appetite for new interior design trends and for better concepts with a view to entertainment and the comfort of its passengers.

Cruise operators, shipyards, designers and architects need to assess trends quickly and safely bringing up the question of how far the latest hotel design trends are transferable to cruise ships?

Six interior outfitters, who master the ship sector just like the hotel sector and who are jointly exhibiting a ship suite at the Furniture Club booth in hall A4 stand 610 at Seatrade Europe 2017, answer this question in the affirmative but with certain caveats.

All six companies believe that professionalism in interior outfitting of hotels provides an excellent know-how which can be widely used for the interior design of ships, as well.

Both sectors need reliable partners who offer personal consultancy, customer-designed products and experienced service.

Suppliers will add a valuable share to the realisation of the individual expectations and requirements, equally of the cruise ship’s or hotel’s guests as well as of the contractor.

The hotel sector has long experienced individualization of different groups of guests’ expectations, of corporate identity of its owners, of positioning as a specific ‘trademark’ within the scene.

However, a cruise ship adds a lot more topics to interior outfitting which are ship-specific.

'To present, going on a ship cruise is still an exceptional event for most passengers, in contrast to being a hotel guest. Therefore, each ship aspires to prove her own distinctive ‘character’ to produce a perfect and unforgettable cruise.

‘Drawing on innumerable alternatives, our customers and our designers choose the special accents in common, which contribute to create the desired aspect of the ship’s interior,’ explains Birgit Hinken from GH Moebel.

'Interior design solutions for contract business, in general, absolutely have to be unique nowadays. The difference in choosing the carpet for a cruise liner or a hotel rather is the fact that products for ships are subject to the technical requirements of IMO and to a more intensive use. Therefore, we have to be IMO certified and not only offer almost any combination of colour, design and quantity, but also different quality levels at choice,’ says Bruno Schaefer from HTW – Design Carpets.

Hubert Reinermann from drapilux agrees with his fellow-exhibitors and adds: ‘Compliance with safety standards is the ‘must’, individual design is the ‘basis’ and the ‘plus’ is, when innovation leads to intelligent products which fulfil multiple functions. Our fabrics, for example, are decorative and flame-retardant. But, in addition, they contribute to a better room climate by minimising odours and improving the acoustics, both of which is essential in view to the rather small size of ship cabins.’

Rolf Goebel from Melalux points in the same direction: ‘Well-being on board can be considerably increased by a new generation of lighting design and by implementing luminaires and light walls not for lighting and decoration only, but when using human centric light like in ours.

‘As space is extremely precious on board of a ship, multi-function may also assume the meaning of convertibility, i.e. of the cabin furniture. Our wall-beds combine sleeping, sitting and storing, and it is essential during a journey at sea that they rely on patented technology and are very easy to handle,’ argues Daniel Boellhoff from Nehl Holzindustrie.

Michael Timinger from Spahn sums up: ‘Of course, a bar or a restaurant in a hotel may look similar to the ones on-board a ship. However, the inherent details make a huge difference and this goes far beyond being resistant to sea breeze: Our tables are foldable and our benches are lightweight and have a sophisticated upholstery which allows extreme use by cruise guests who are having the time of their life.’

A panel discussion on this topic takes place at the Seatrade Europe conference on September 7 between 1545 and 1645, where experts will be discuss this subject.

The strong panel line-up is: Lars Clasen, md, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection; Britta Konkel, seasoned cruise traveller; Kevin Paintin, experience design and brand consultant, 20.20 Ltd; Timo Hogestraat, director design and strategy, Partner Ship Design; Trevor Young, new building director, MSC Cruises and moderator Nick Borbone, head of European business development, Trimline Ltd. Click here for speaker insights ahead of the discussion.




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