Exhibitors at Marine Interiors will showcase their far-ranging know-how on interior design for ferries and cruise ships

From neutral and minimalistic to lavish and luxurious, the bandwidth is impressive: While a standard cabin on board a ferry for a night crossing between two ports mainly has to meet practical requirements in a compact format, a custom “Panorama Suite” on TUI’s new “Mein Schiff” series cruisers offers a generous 70 square metres of space that must be designed and decorated so appealingly that at the end of a three-week cruise up to six passengers will still feel more comfortable here than at home.

At the Marine Interiors Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM, which will take place from 11 to 13 September 2019 for the first time and be held in parallel with the Seatrade Europe – Cruise and River Cruise Convention at the Hamburg Messe fair complex, international exhibitors will demonstrate their full expertise in Interior Design for ships.

“Interior design of ships poses special challenges for owners, yards and suppliers, not just in terms of safety,” said Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

It is just as important to precisely understand and fulfil the needs of the target customer groups, he adds. From the design phase through to implementation, smooth interaction between the project partners is essential. “All the leading suppliers which have the capability to handle these challenges will be present at MARINE INTERIORS.”

Enormous dimensions

The new business fair in the cruise industry hub of Hamburg encompasses the entire value chain for hospitality on board passenger ships: All areas on board that are accessible to passengers contribute to an enjoyable holiday experience and are therefore key to a cruise operator’s long-term success. It is the perfect combination of individual elements that makes the difference: From custom bathroom pod solutions to non-slip balcony or deck floor coverings or high-quality equipment for on-board entertainment programmes, the list of must-haves is long.

The dimensions of outfitting projects are gigantic: More than 800 partner companies on average are involved in building a cruise ship. They are in charge of installing things such as 40,000 square metres of carpeting, 2,000 kilometres of electric wiring, or 1,800 toilets.

“It is a privilege to work on something as beautiful as a ship,” says Jürgen Trost, Managing Director of the outfitter Kaefer Schiffsausbau. The Bremen-based exhibitor has more than 40 years of experience in the cruise ship interior design business. One of the highlights of this career was the “Norwegian Bliss”, completed last year: Designed specifically for cruises in the polar region, the vessel was built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

The Kaefer team was tasked with implementing the interior design of the “Texas Barbecue Club”, the “Horizon Lounge” and the 1,000-seat “Bliss Theatre”. “The greatest challenge for our industry in general is to make sure the ship will be completed in time. Everything else must serve this single most important goal. It is our responsibility to allocate our manpower accordingly,” says Trost.

Changing tastes

A cruise ship has a lifespan of at least 20 years. After several years of intense use it requires a thorough overhaul, which usually goes hand-in-hand with a redesign to cater to new style preferences. The interior design experts at the Finnish company Almaco recently had to complete an especially demanding task: Assisting in the transfer of the ship “SuperStar Virgo”, originally delivered in 1999, from Star Cruises to her new owner, Dream Cruises, which will operate the vessel under the name “Explorer Dream”.

The cabin upgrades included re-wallpapering, replacing the carpeting, artwork, curtains and other furnishings and fittings for 543 cabins, as well as building two new 90 square metre Palace suites and converting 44 passenger cabins into 22 suites. All this had to be accomplished on an ambitious schedule. Among other things the company had to air-freight 160 tonnes of material to Singapore, says Jean-Pierre Lepage, President of the Almaco Service Division.

Wide variety of tasks

Flooring, carpentry, light installation – as little as six years after “Europa 2” was first commissioned, the Hamburg-based company Bez Marine Interiors, which specialises on cruise ship interiors, handled a major portion of the work to optimize the classy ambience on board the vessel. “Elegance without warmth is arrogance,” was the motto proclaimed by Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag Lloyd Cruises. Luxury also means exchanging the furnishings before they begin to look worn, he added.

Ferry interiors are no less demanding but more sturdy by design. The Polish manufacturer Fast was recently involved in the construction of a hybrid ferry at Crist shipyard where, among other things, they provided all interior furnishings, including seating sets as well as cabin and kitchen furniture. Functionality is everything – this also applies to signage on decks, in functional areas and along escape routes. Marahrens, a specialist for guidance systems in the maritime industry, supplies signs that help passengers find their way easily on board ships.

Kaefer, Almaco, Bez Marine Interiors and Fast are just a few of the numerous companies which will present their know-how at the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo. Managing Director Jürgen Trost from Kaefer Schiffsausbau is looking forward to MARINE INTERIORS: “We have been exhibiting at SMM for many years. Of course, we are extremely pleased that a new trade fair is now available specifically for ship interiors. We wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to present ourselves prominently at this fair. We hope to meet up with many of our existing customers at MARINE INTERIORS, make contact with potential new customers and capture inspiring impressions everywhere.”

About the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM

The MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM will take place every odd year. At the inaugural event from 11-13 September 2019, exhibitors from all areas of ship interior design will be present to meet up with numerous top-ranking visitors, including decision-makers from shipowning companies, shipyards and design firms. The new trade fair will be held in parallel with the Seatrade Europe – Cruise and River Cruise Convention. Visitors will have free access to both events.

(Marine Interiors Cruise & Ferry Global Expo)