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MORE THAN JUST A FABRIC Textiles not only create an atmosphere of well-being, they can also contribute to your health. The intelligent additional function drapilux bioaktiv reduces up to 99 % of the bacteria on the fabric. The hygiene aboard the cruise ship is thus optimally supported. You can find out how this works on youtube.com/drapilux www.drapilux.com

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01.12.20 09:55



MAIDEN VOYAGE Qetaifan Island Floating Hotels


Viking Saigon


SH Minerva


American Melody


Kontiki Wayra


Mekong Jewel


Havila Castor


Spirit of Adventure



VOYAGES Scarlet Lady


Costa Smeralda


Costa Smeralda Design Collection 063 Sirimahannop 066

FEATURES Shipping Forecast 071


From health and hygiene to new dining concepts, Shipping Forecast explores the trends and news from the water.

Meeting...Giacomo Erasmo Mortola 044 With a career spanning four decades, the industry veteran talks planning to perfection, passenger flows and preserving his legacy.

Breaking New Ground


With demand for far-flung and immersive travel experiences on the rise, a host of operators are venturing into new waters with purpose-built expedition ships.





Mini Vision Urbanaut


Joyn 079 The Hotel of Tomorrow


Trend: Take it Slow





Spaceship Neptune


Virgin Galactic


Radical Innovation


Jet Blue


Lunar Loo Air New Zealand


Trend: The Jet Set



FEATURES Take to the Skies


As Covid-19 shakes aviation to its core, the sector turns to new forms and concepts to regain passenger trust and weather financial turbulence.

REGULARS Welcome 013 On the Surface


Cargo 105 Final Call



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ON THE COVER Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages

Journey to Anywhere


hen we first set out on this journey two years ago,

setting. On water, the lifting of the CDC’s no-sail order in US

the aim was to create a new magazine that serves the

waters just a few weeks ago has opened up the possibility of a

growing cruise ship design community. The sector

return to operations, plus a number of operators have pushed

was seeing unprecedented growth thanks to a renewed interest

on with their newbuild and refurbishment projects. On land,

from holiday-makers, and operators were investing heavily

train travel is seeing a resurgence while Virgin successfully

in the look and feel of their ships in a bid to attract a new

completed the world’s first Hyperloop trial with passengers

generation of sailor. At the same time, those at the forefront of

on-board. And in the air, commercial space travel is edging

creating new hotels – a network we’ve built-up over the past

ever-closer thanks to new spacecraft concepts that centre

20 years with sister publication Sleeper – were being asked

around the astronaut experience. So despite the uncertainty,

to bring their expertise to both seafaring projects and luxury

there is optimism.

trains. And so, crossing the realms of hospitality and travel, Starboard was born.

What hasn’t changed here at Starboard is our commitment to the sector. We remain on hand to showcase your designs, to

Fast-forward to 2020, and both sectors have been dealt a

connect product- and service-providers with specifiers and to

catastrophic blow courtesy of Covid-19. The impact of the

share solutions that will help the sector get back to business.

global pandemic has been so hard-hitting that even those

It may be a bumpy road ahead, but for those in doubt as to

with the best crisis management plans couldn’t have prepared.

whether travel and hospitality will ever return, look no further

Hotels have been closed, ships moored, aeroplanes grounded

than the ‘flight to nowhere’ – a seven-hour trip that departed

and the world at a standstill. It has left an industry that was

and landed back on the same runway – which sold out in a

previously on an upward trajectory, in a state of flux.

record 10 minutes. Appetite for travel remains unchanged,

Like many, we at Starboard made the decision to step back

and with travellers comes hospitality. The challenge now is to

and reassess. Having examined market conditions and future

effectively balance enhanced health and safety protocols with

prospects – and witnessed a unified response to help kickstart

the level of design and experience that travellers have come

the sector – we’re delighted to be back and bringing you the

to expect. Given the response so far, we’re in no doubt that

very best of style in travel. You may notice a few changes

the sector will rise to the challenge.

however. With 2020 delivering very few new ships, this issue focuses largely on previews of projects in the pipeline.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this latest issue of Starboard. Enjoy the journey.

And while we’ve always featured other design-led forms of transportation such as sleeper trains, aeroplane cabins and spaceships, the magazine is now split into clearly defined sections of water, land and air. Despite the headwinds, we’ve found positive stories in every

Catherine Martin • Managing Editor


THE CREW @StarboardMagazine




Editor-in-Chief Matt Turner

Design Manager David Bell

Finance Director Amanda Giles


Group Financial Controller Sarah Healey


Managing Editor Catherine Martin



Assistant Editor Ben Thomas


Editorial Assistant Eleanor Howard






Brand Director Amy Wright

Group Credit Controller Lynette Levi

Events & Marketing Millie Allegro

Accounts Assistant Kerry Mountney

Data & Readership Hayley Redston







Business Development Rebecca Archacki r.archacki@mondiale.co.uk



Chairman Damian Walsh


To subscribe to Starboard, register online at: www.starboardmagazine.com

Starboard Issue 4 • Published December 2020 Subscription records maintained at Sleeper Media Mailed by Spatial Global • Printed by Buxton Press

Strawberry Studios Stockport, SK1 3AZ, UK Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8390 www.starboardmagazine.com

We create tailor-made unique spaces to meet each client’s individual needs ysa.no



Qetaifan Island North Floating Hotels KATARA HOSPITALITY

In preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in

ships. After the World Cup, they can be placed

Qatar, Qetaifan Projects – a subsidiary of Katara

at any coastal location where the water is at

Hospitality – has signed a memorandum of

least 4m deep. We are excited to be part of the

understanding with real estate firm Admares for

solution for the amount of accommodation

the construction and operation of 16 floating

needed for the tournament.”

hotels on the shores of Qetaifan Island North.

H.E. Sheikh Nasser bin Abdulrahman Al-

Designed by Finland-based Sigge Architects,

Thani, Managing Director of Qetaifan Projects

the units – measuring 72m long and 16m

and Vice Chairman of Katara Hospitality, adds:

wide – will each comprise 101 guestrooms, a

“We are pleased that there are investors who

restaurant and lounge bar. All 16 four-storey

share our vision and see the development of

hotels will be identical, offering a total of 1,616

Qetaifan Island North as a promising project

floating guestrooms. They will also be built in

that has a future as the first touristic destination

accordance with strict sustainability standards

in Qatar.”

and powered by solar energy for minimum ecological impact.

Located within close proximity of Lusail City and Lusail International Stadium – the latter set

“This is the first time ever that pure floating

to host the opening and final games of the World

real estate has been used as a temporary solution

Cup – Qetaifan Island North is a waterfront hub

for accommodation needs at this scale,” says

that aims to provide all the needs of tourists

Mikael Hedberg, CEO of Admares. “These hotels

and fans during the tournament, from luxury

do not require major ports and deep water as

accommodation to retail, dining, entertainment

their draft is significantly less than large cruise

and beaches.


Viking Saigon

Aiming to set a new standard for river cruising

three decks, all with hotel-style beds and floor-

in Southeast Asia, Viking has announced plans

to-ceiling sliding glass doors with a private


to launch a new ship on the Mekong.

veranda or French balcony. The two Explorer

Currently under construction at Vard Vung

Suites, each measuring 735ft2, also have a

Tau, the 80-guest Viking Saigon is scheduled

separate living room and spacious bathroom

to debut in August 2021 for routes between

with bathtub and glass-enclosed shower. In line

Kampong Cham in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh

with the rest of the fleet, interiors will follow

City in Vietnam.

a Scandinavian aesthetic, characterised by

“For many of our guests, Vietnam and Cambodia remain top destinations because of

ON DECK Route: Mekong River Maiden Voyage: August 2021 Owner / Operator: Viking Shipyard: Vard Vung Tau www.viking.com


contemporary clean lines, blonde wood accents and an elegant, neutral colour palette.

their significance in world history,” explains

Facilities on board include a spa, fitness

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “We

centre and infinity swimming pool, as well as a

have led the river cruise industry with our

restaurant with natural daylight on deck 1, a bar,

fleet development and experiences that bring

library and lounge on deck 2, and an open-air

travellers closer to the cultures of the world for

sky bar on the upper deck.

more than two decades. This will be the most

Viking Saigon is just one of a number of new

modern vessel on the Mekong and will feel like

projects for the Basel-based operator; 2021 will

home to our loyal Viking guests who are familiar

also bring new vessels to the Nile, the Seine and

with the comfortable design of our ships.”

the Mississippi, while 2022 will see a move into

Purpose-built for the Mekong, Viking Saigon will comprise 40 outside staterooms across

the expeditions market with Viking Octanis and Viking Polaris.




SH Minerva

Tillberg Design of Sweden has been selected

The 115m-long vessels feature the latest

design the accommodation and public spaces

polar ice-class technology and are designed to


for two luxury expedition vessels owned and

journey to remote destinations; SH Minerva will

operated by Swan Hellenic. Part of the Vega

cruise the Arctic and Antarctic during the winter

Class project, both will be delivered by turnkey

and in tropical waters in the spring.

contractor Almaco.

ON DECK Route: Arctic and Antarctic Maiden Voyage: November 2021 Owner / Operator: Swan Hellenic Flag State: Malta Interior Design: Tillberg Design of Sweden Contractor: Almaco Shipyard: Helsinki Shipyard Inc www.swanhellenic.com


Interiors follow a Scandi-design aesthetic that

Currently under construction at Helsinki

extends to the observation lounge, restaurant

Shipyard, SH Minerva and its yet-to-be-

and club lounge as well as the 76 cabins.

named sister ship are part of ambitious plans

“Defining a new generation of expedition

to relaunch the British-born cruise line, which

ships for the legendary Swan Hellenic has been

was acquired by a private consortium earlier

incredibly inspiring and rewarding for us,”

this year. “I am proud to announce the rebirth

comments Fredrik Johansson, Tillberg Partner

of Swan Hellenic, a pioneering iconic travel

and Executive Project Director. “We are humbled

brand with the mission to be the leader in

by the trust and confidence that has been placed

cultural expedition cruising,” commented CEO

in us throughout the design process, working

Andrea Zito at the launch. “The new Swan

closely with a team that has a very clear vision

Hellenic retains its British heritage whilst being

for its iconic brand but which also gave us the

international in outlook. Aimed at the traveller,

creative freedom of a blank slate.”

who wishes to explore, experience and enrich

SH Minerva will take its maiden voyage in

whilst the infinite beauty of the world and its

November 2021, while the second vessel will

inhabitants in a safe and sustainable way.”

debut in April 2022.


American Melody

Studio Dado – the Miami-based hospitality

leading to a series of intimate lounges, each

design firm founded in 2016 – has been named

with its own unique atmosphere, while the 91


as the sole interior architect for American

staterooms – ranging in size from 250-650ft2

Melody, a new riverboat from American Cruise

– all come with full-size bathrooms and private

Lines set to debut on the Mississippi in 2021.

balconies. Studio Dado’s interiors feature an

The venture marks Studio Dado’s first foray into

elegant yet approachable palette with a refined

the domestic river cruise industry, while it’s the

selection of textiles, finishes and furniture to

first time American Cruise Lines has partnered

create spaces that encourage comfort, relaxation

with an external firm to design its ships.

and the enjoyment of the river views.

ON DECK Route: Mississippi River Maiden Voyage: 2021 Owner / Operator: American Cruise Lines Interior Design: Studio Dado Shipyard: Chesapeake Shipbuilding www.americancruiselines.com


“The magnitude of the American Melody

“Studio Dado has a remarkable ability to blend

build reaches beyond the normal anticipation

the sophisticated and the modern. Their design

we see with clients celebrating the expansion

vision closely aligns with our mission to provide

of their fleet,” comments Jorge Mesa, Studio

sophisticated experiences on modern ships,”

Dado’s Founding Partner. “From our first

notes Charles B. Robertson, President and CEO

insightful meeting through the entirety of

of American Cruise Lines. “We have been proud

the collaborative design process, our team

to partner with them in creating the new class

was honoured to step into the moment with

of modern riverboats. American Melody and its

American Cruise Lines and create a fresh, but

sister ships will be the biggest step forward in

still cultured atmosphere aboard its new ship.”

American Cruise Lines design history, but will

American Melody is designed around a four-

still offer the same great experience that has

storey glass atrium with encircling stairway

defined us since our founding.”


Kontiki Wayra

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) – a

sites, forests and wetlands, pristine beaches and

global collection of independently minded

protected ecological reserves.”


hotels – has revealed details of its first ever water-based member.

ON DECK Route: Ecuador Maiden Voyage: November 2020 Owner / Operator: Kontiki Expeditions Affiliation: SLH www.kontikiexpeditions.com


Kontiki Expeditions also has firm objectives regarding conscious travel, with measures such

Named Kontiki Wayra, the private yacht from

as eliminating single-use plastics, reducing its

Kontiki Expeditions will explore destinations

CO2 footprint, and supporting the activities and

along the coast of Ecuador, travelling between

traditions of local communities.

Manta and Guayaquil and providing authentic

For SLH, it is hoped the partnership will be

immersion into the local cultures, traditions

the first of many, with the group believing

and cuisine of each stop. The vessel features

that such concepts will serve to meet rising

nine luxury staterooms complete with king-size

demand for private group travel and tailor-

beds and walk-in showers, while communal

made itineraries. “SLH is thrilled to welcome

areas include an on-deck hot-tub surrounded

Kontiki Expeditions, the first ever water-based

by loungers to soak up the sunshine. There’s

SLH member, to our portfolio of independently

also a bar, dining room, gym and spa.

minded luxury hotels,” notes Kenan Simmons,

“We are pioneers in offering luxury sea

Vice President of The Americas at SLH. “The

expeditions along seldom-travelled routes,”

outstanding excursions offer unique and

comments Carlos Nuñez, Kontiki’s founder and

sustainable ways to explore the captivating

CEO. “Our new expeditions reveal the beauty

destinations off the coast of Ecuador, and we are

and authenticity of coastal Ecuador, passing

delighted to provide a global support network to

through small, uncrowded towns and historical

celebrate these exceptional expeditions.”

from the

marine division at Creative Matters, a spectacular custom design for an onboard jewellery store. A carpet where the colour needed to play with the surrounding fixtures and the pattern with the off-centre column. CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL’S DESIGN TEAM.


inspired wall and floor coverings CM_STARBOARD AD_NOV 2020_FAindd.indd 1


Label STEP Partner – Improving the working and living conditions of carpet weavers, as well as promoting environmentally friendly methods of production.

2020-11-10 5:51 PM


Mekong Jewel

Boutique river cruise operator Uniworld has

the way. Its design scheme honours the region’s

announced plans for four new Super Ships set

French Colonial heritage, with handcrafted


to join the fleet over the coming months. S.S. La

timber furniture, natural textures and ornate

Venezia will bring enhanced luxury to Northern

ceiling fans, complemented by exotic plantlife

Italy following renovation, while S.S. Sphinx

and a rich palette of materials.

ON DECK Route: Mekong River Maiden Voyage: 2021 Owner: The Travel Corporation Operator: Uniworld Shipyard: Damen Song Cam Shipyard www.uniworld.com


will make its debut on the Nile in 2021, closely

On-board facilities include two lounges, a

followed by S.S. São Gabriel on the Douro River

library, swimming pool, gym and spa, as well

and Mekong Jewel on the Mekong.

as a sauna, steam room, hair salon and nail

The family-run business, which is modelled

bar. There’s also two dining venues: one main

after sister company The Red Carnation Hotel

restaurant and an al fresco eatery on the upper

Collection, was founded by Beatrice Tollman

deck. The 34 suites – ranging from 339-924ft2

with the aim of bringing a boutique hotel

– feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private

experience to the world’s rivers. As such, each

balconies to maximise the views, along with

vessel is unique, designed by Tollman and her

sumptuous Savoir Beds of England and spacious

daughter to reflect the spirit of the destination

marble bathrooms with double vanities.

through locally sourced antiques, custom fabrics and original works of art.

In line with other Uniworld vessels, Mekong Jewel is constructed with sustainability in

Mekong Jewel will sail from Ho Chi Minh City

mind; the propellers increase performance

in Vietnam through to Phnom Penh and Siem

and efficiency while special paint on the hull

Reap in Cambodia, stopping at floating villages

decreases drag and diesel electric propulsion

and the temple complex of Angkor Wat along

systems reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Graphite black. Pure matt.

LS 990


JUNG_AZ_LS990_matt_graphite_black_236x275mm_EN.indd 1

23.09.20 09:28


Havila Castor

Havila Voyages has announced details of a new

Design opting for furniture and fittings that

fleet of environmentally friendly ships to sail

are both sustainable and locally produced. The


the Norwegian coast from Spring 2021.

observation lounge features a glass roof and

The family-owned company, a subsidiary

reclining chairs – ideal for viewing the Northern

of Havila Holdings, has ordered four newbuild

Lights – while other on-board facilities include

vessels to cruise the coastal route from Bergen

two restaurants, a café, fitness room and sauna,

to Kirkenes; Havila Castor and Havila Capella

as well as a large deck to take in the fjords.

will operate from 2021, with Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux following in 2022.

ON DECK Route: Bergen to Kirkenes Maiden Voyage: Spring 2021 Owner: Havila Kystruten Operator: Havila Voyages Architecture: Steen Friis Design Interior Design: Norwegian Marine Interior Shipyard: Tersan Shipyard www.havilakystruten.no


“The voyage along the Norwegian coast is iconic, and a journey we wish to preserve for

Each of the new ships will be fitted with the

future generations. We therefore felt it was only

world’s largest battery packs, meaning they

right to utilise the latest technology and make

can sail through the fjords for up to four hours,

environmentally based decisions when ordering

quietly and emission free. The batteries will

ships that will sail through these pristine

then be charged in ports along the route using

waters,” comments Matthew Valentine, UK

clean hydropower. A combination of factors,

Country Manager, Havila Voyages. “Our guests

including a specially-designed hull and energy

will be able to immerse themselves in this

management system mean that CO2 emissions

magical experience, staying in spacious cabins,

will be cut by around 25% and NOx by 80-90%.

enjoying gourmet cuisine and participating in a






whole host of local excursions – all while sailing

contemporary Nordic design across 179 cabins,

on the most environmentally ships running

with Norwegian Marine Interior and Steen Friis

along the Norwegian coast.”

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Spirit of Adventure

With Spirit of Adventure handed over to Saga by

collection showcases British and UK-based

shipbuilder Meyer Werft, SMC Art has revealed

talent in a continuation of Spirit of Discovery,”


details of the specially curated art collection set

SMC explain. “Recently there has been a greater

to adorn the public spaces and staterooms.

focus on and appreciation for craftmanship and

The vessel, scheduled to take its maiden

the maker, so this time, the artwork delves

voyage in 2021, is the second purpose-built

deeper into craft techniques, executed in a

boutique cruise ship to join the fleet following

thoroughly modern way. Craft is an extremely

the launch of Spirit of Discovery in 2019.

important part of Britain’s heritage and design,

“Over the past 18 months, we have been focused on creating a British boutique

ON DECK Route: Europe Maiden Voyage: 2021 Owner / Operator: Saga Cruises Art Consultant: SMC Art Interior Design: AD Associates Shipyard: Meyer Werft www.travel.saga.co.uk

and passengers will find reference to this in a contemporary and playful way.”

cruising experience for our guests that is not

The collection was curated by SMC’s Jennie

available elsewhere on the market and Spirit

Drummond and Emmie Ratter, and features oil

of Adventure is an important milestone in

paintings, hand-cast bronze sculptures, digital

this plan,” explains Nigel Blanks, Managing

illustrations and multimedia pieces – each

Director of Saga Cruises. “While she shares

selected for a specific location on the ship.

some similarities with her sister ship, Spirit

“Conversation will flow as viewers discover

of Adventure is unique in her own right with

unexpected details on hearing the stories

distinct design features and characteristics.”

behind the artwork,” SMC concludes. “The

Though there are a number of new facilities

overall feel is of quality design and production,

on board, much of that uniqueness comes

with traditional methods being interpreted in a

from the art. “The Spirit of Adventure artwork

contemporary, playful way.”

Spirit of Adventure features works by (clockwise from top left) Timorous Beasties, Ariadna Dane, Anastasya Martynova, Rian Hotton, Alison Johnson and Esther Miles




Beacon of Hope Prior to 2020, demand for cruise holidays was on the rise. The

l’Atlantique shipyard for interior fit-out. Celebrity Cruises

need for newer, larger and ever more ambitious vessels was

meanwhile marked the keel laying of Celebrity Beyond, the

growing and shipyards were booked up for years to come. 2018

next ship in the Edge Series, and P&O took delivery of Iona,

saw the arrival of the 6,680-capacity Symphony of the Seas

its new LNG-powered ship. The benefits of those ships under

– the largest cruise ship in the world – and there was no sign

construction or in the pipeline, is that layouts can be altered

of a slowdown. But of course 2020 came along and has since

and new antimicrobial finishes specified for a post-Covid

thrown the very existence of mega-ships into question thanks

generation of traveller – the work goes on for the sector’s

to concerns over confined spaces and proximity to others.

suppliers of products and services.

However there is hope. Despite the immediate headwinds,

Operators meanwhile are working together to come up with

interest remains robust and new construction has continued.

solutions to get ships back on the water, and they can take

There have inevitably been delays, and potentially a drop in

some comfort from the pent-up demand that will inevitably

future orders, but vessels already in the works have pushed

see bookings return when it’s safe to do so. The passenger

ahead. In September, Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas

experience may be a little different, but with enhanced

hit a significant milestone as it transferred to Chantiers de

measures and the right communication, cruising will return.


Making Memories Hotels are combining overnight stays with adventures on the water to bring one-of-a-kind travel experiences to their guests.

Creating a memorable stay is the holy grail when

with guests revelling in the prestige of a private

it comes to hotel development. While the focus

transfer rather than having to wait for the public

is often on the range of facilities, the interior

ferry. The hotel check-in process even takes

design and the level of service, a growing number

place on-board, meaning travellers can enjoy the

of properties are looking further afield to delight

facilities the moment they step ashore.

their guests, even encouraging them to go offsite to explore their surroundings. In recent years, a number of hotels have taken

The vessels – perfect for wildlife viewing and

to the water, either through partnerships with

tranquil sunset cruises – were first introduced to

independent operators or by launching their

the national park in 2014, but Chobe is the first

own ventures. Despite the current challenges,

to operate a full fleet, with each one customised

the trend has continued through 2020, and the

to a high specification. As well as setting a new

desire for one-of-a-kind travel experiences is

standard for ecotourism in Africa, the venture

now greater than ever.

enables guests to go on safari direct from the

Croatia’s Maslina Resort for example, has


In Botswana, Chobe Game Lodge has enhanced its offer with a fleet of solar-powered boats.

resort’s jetty.

invested in a new luxury boat to impress guests.

Hotels in Asia meanwhile, have been looking to

The recently opened Relais & Chateaux property

the continent’s extensive network of waterways

on the island of Hvar offers to collect visitors

to develop bespoke experiences. Anantara

from the mainland in a customised Colnago 45

Riverside Bangkok has launched Loy River Song,

TS, designed bespoke to align with the hotel

a luxury cruise on the Chao Phraya River, and

interiors. The hotel believes that the new addition

offers packages that combine a stay at the hotel

will serve to enhance the overall experience,

with two-, three- or four-day voyages sailing


to Siam’s ancient capital of Ayutthaya. The

experiences such as Lan Ha Bay’s first floating

vessel features four staterooms, a lounge and

movie theatre.”

dining room, all designed to evoke the elegance

And finally, Nihi Sumba – a remote hideaway

of old Siam, with handcrafted furniture, locally

in Indonesia – has teamed up with Aqua

sourced antiques and intricately woven textiles

Expeditions to create a new adventure exploring

in rich jewel tones. Cuisine comes courtesy of

the nearby islands of Padar, Flores and Moyo.

Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn of Michelin-starred

Sailing on Aqua Blu, a recently refurbished

restaurant Le Du Bangkok, and rounding out the

superyacht, guests will experience off-the-

offer, there’s a range of guided shore excursions.

beaten track adventures, locally inspired cuisine,

Paradise Vietnam has also built on its portfolio

high levels of service and quality comforts. Both

of hotels with two new ships for overnight

parties believe that the combination of land- and

excursions to Lan Ha Bay. The five-deck vessel

sea-based explorations and their shared focus on

features 39 spacious cabins with separate walk-in

authentic, tailor-made experiences will enable

closets, en suite bathrooms and private balconies

them stand out from the crowd, stating, “guests

affording views of the towering limestone

will embark upon a once-in-a-lifetime journey

karsts. “Lan Ha Bay is breathtakingly beautiful

sure to stamp indelible memories”.

and Paradise Grand makes for an exciting new

And it’s those indelible memories that will

horizon for us,” comments Nguyen Cao Son,

be talked about, shared and liked, whether in

Chief Operating Officer of Paradise Cruises.

communities, social media networks or the press,

“We are drawing on the best of everything we

creating a buzz that no marketing campaign can

have learned since launching our first boat

replicate, and crucially, attracting new guests in

more than a decade ago, and introducing new

an increasingly competitive market.

Nihi Sumba has partnered with Aqua Expeditions (opposite) for trips around Indonesia; Croatia’s Maslina Resort transports guests in a customised speedboat; Anantara Riverside Bangkok has launched Loy River Song (top); and Paradise Vietnam has built on its portfolio of hotels with two new ships



Belmond Afloat Craftsmanship and sustainability win judges over in the Belmond New Designers Award.

Luxury river cruise operator Belmond has

Geyer, Senior Vice President, Design & Project

announced the results of its design competition,

Development at Belmond. “Our business depends

with the winners set to contribute to a

on the creative thinkers, makers, designers and

forthcoming barge renovation as part of the

craftspeople who help us to create exceptional

Belmond Afloat portfolio.

and storied properties with timeless heritage.

In partnership with New Designers, the

There has never been a more important time to

competition asked graduates to take into

support the next generation, who will help us to

account the global pandemic and consider how

shape the future of travel and transform many

the ensuing shift in values and perspectives will

other industries beyond.”

influence design; submissions were made online

Alexandra Carr’s approach, entitled Plastic is

before shortlisted candidates were selected for

Not the Enemy, aims to demonstrate the value

interview by an expert panel of judges. Beating

of the often-disregarded material. “Through my

off competition from over 3,000 entrants, the

designs, I am trying to demonstrate that plastic

winners have now been named as Alexandra

does not need to be our enemy, but rather a

Carr, 3D Design graduate from the University of

valuable recycled material that – in the right

Plymouth, and Hari Gordon, 3D Design & Craft

hands – can be transformed into a beautiful

graduate from the University of Brighton. Both

and precious item,” she explains. Having used

were selected for their skilled craftsmanship,

lockdown to build a 3D printer, Carr’s submission

sensitivity to the natural world and sustainable

showcases techniques to generate bespoke shapes

design ethos – all of which are a good fit with

from recycled plastic.

Belmond’s own design philosophy.

Hari Gordon’s Origins project meanwhile, is

“Our search this year for disruptive and

built on the belief that people can have a tangible

visionary new designers was very different,

experience with the natural world through

but the calibre of talent to choose from proved

handmade wooden objects that are carved to

to be as remarkable as ever,” explains Celia

resemble elements of nature. His submission seeks to make use of sustainably sourced and reclaimed materials, brought to life through an appreciation for craftsmanship and a passion for traditional woodwork. As part of their prize, Carr and Gordon will receive a cash bursary and a commission to design a one-off piece to be manufactured and displayed on board a Belmond Afloat barge due to undergo renovation in 2021. Geyer concludes: “As we embark on a renovation project that will transform two barges within our Afloat in France fleet, we are delighted to have found two designers who have a deep understanding of the role that design plays in enhancing our slow-travel experiences, helping our guests to forge a closer tie to the people and the places they seek to connect with. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Alexandra and Hari and look forward to unveiling their exclusive designs in 2021.”



he cruise industry has long been plagued

recommendations will help inform strategies for

by tales of passengers spending their entire

a safe resumption of sailing.”

holiday unwell; not just a little green

Designers and operators are also doing their

around the gills, but struck down with flu or a

bit. Foreship’s Project Hygiea – which aims to

gastrointestinal infection that reportedly swept

limit the presence, spread and potential impact

through the ship leaving hundreds bedbound.

of pathogens by way of interception, prevention,

Norovirus outbreaks have been rife in recent years

mitigation and evacuation – has been verified

for example, often resulting in an early return to

by classification society Bureau Veritas and

port and disembarkation. However there’s now

deployed on an undisclosed cruise ship. YSA

a much greater beast at loose, this time bringing

Design meanwhile is collaborating with energy

the industry to a complete standstill.

services and engineering firm Scenso on Ship

Coronavirus put a stop to cruising back in

Planner, a new solution that enables shipowners

April, and since then, the sector has been battling

to analyse air quality on board and ensure a

to find solutions that will get boats back on the

safer, more hygienic environment for guests.

water, and above all, allow passengers and crew

And in a groundbreaking innovation, Viking

feel safe at sea. Despite the sector’s already

has completed the installation of the first full-

Sail Healthy On-board innovations and a newly-formed taskforce – the cruise sector comes together to tackle Covid-19.


stringent standards, operators have committed

scale PCR laboratory at sea. The facility on the

to enhanced health and safety measures, taking

new 930-passenger Viking Star enables daily

steps to install new air filtration systems, add

testing of all crew members and guests with a

sanitation protocols, recruit expert medical teams

non-invasive saliva test. “This moves us one

and devise schemes for daily crew screenings.

step closer to operating cruises again, without

One of the most influential parties spearheading

compromising the safety of our guests and

a return to operations is the Healthy Sail Panel,

crew,” comments Matt Grimes, Vice President

formed by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian

of Maritime Operations for Viking. “The recently

Cruise Line Holdings to bring together globally

announced CDC guidelines are clearly aligned

recognised experts in medical practice and

with our public health research, and we welcome

research, public health, infectious diseases,

the agency’s push toward testing, as we believe

biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations.

this is the only way to safely operate. In our view,

In response to the pandemic, the panel has

continuous PCR testing, along with our extensive

submitted a plan – 74 steps to safeguard the

on-board hygiene protocols, will lead to making

health of guests, crew and communities – to

Viking ships a safe place to get away to and

the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

explore the world.”

(CDC). “The Healthy Sail Panel spent the last four

What’s particularly interesting about many

months studying how to better protect the health

of these strategies and measures is the level

and safety of guests and crew aboard cruise

of collaboration and information-sharing;

ships,” comments Dr Scott Gottlieb, the panel’s

there’s a unified response to the pandemic, with

co-chair. “Taken as a comprehensive approach,

competitors coming together for the first time to

we believe the panel’s robust public health

help save a struggling sector.

© Marc McAndrews

he ubiquitous buffet is a staple of every


When it comes to dining in a post-Covid world,

cruise, the dozens of self-serve stations

cruise lines can also look to their land-based

often the only way to efficiently feed

counterparts for inspiration; bars and restaurants

hundreds of passengers within a limited

in some parts of the world have reopened and

timeframe. But with the onset of Covid-19 and

are the testing ground for new ideas. Removing

concerns over the spread of pathogens, their very

tables to allow for social distancing is perhaps the

existence has been called into question. Queueing

most straightforward solution, however this puts

in close proximity to others, open food displays

pressure on the already-tight profit margins for

and the handling of serveware have all been red-

independent restaurants, while on cruise ships,

flagged as super-spreaders, forcing cruise lines

it could mean that there simply isn’t enough

to rethink their dining concepts on a major scale.

capacity to seat everyone at mealtimes. Perspex

The organisers of Cruise Ship Interiors

screens have also proved effective, often to the

Expo (CSIE) recently published a whitepaper

pains of the designer, who sees their interior

addressing the challenges ahead for on-board

scheme marred by unsightly shields. As such,

dining. Entitled The Future of Cruise Dining and

there have been a number of more aesthetically

backed by a Cruise Conversations webinar, the

pleasing solutions since those early days; Adam

Food for Thought With buffets off the menu, what does the future hold for post-pandemic dining on board a cruise ship?


report cites the traditional dining room – usually

Tihany for example has revisited a number of

full to capacity out of necessity – as a potential

his projects to design bespoke screens that better

problem. But with insight from the community,

coordinate with the interiors.

it proposes possible solutions, such as wearable

CSIE’s report meanwhile suggests a range

technology, one-way passenger flows and

of technology-based solutions to ensure a safe

changes to seating arrangements in a bid to see

dining experience. Wearable devices could alert

spaces operational once again.

passengers as to when a table becomes available,

While cruise lines are undoubtedly up against

while the implementation of apps to order

it, the pandemic could be an opportunity for a

and pay for food reduces the need for person-

complete overhaul of their dining experiences.

to-person contact. Another idea is to install

Recent years have already seen a flurry of new

individual dining pods, much like those that

ideas, not least the enlisting of big-name chefs

have popped up on the terraces of a number of

to head-up culinary programmes. Daniel Boulud

land-based restaurants; as well as combatting

is a brand ambassador for Celebrity Cruises;

the spread of disease, they provide a memorable

Thomas Keller has created The Grill exclusive

dining experience for passengers. Many believe

to Seabourn; and MSC Cruises has brought in

that the buffet is no longer viable, so 24-hour

Ramón Freixa and Roy Yamaguchi for its ongoing

diners, takeaways and grab-and-go options

fleet expansion. There’s been a notable move

could all help ease the pressure on reduced-

towards choice too, with a greater number of

capacity dining rooms. Unfortunately, there’s no

smaller à la carte restaurants rather than one

single solution, but with Covid-19 still lingering,

vast dining room, largely inspired by the number

now could be a good opportunity to redesign on-

of options available in cities.

board dining once and for all.

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he current global health crisis has had a

for crew members, enabling them to maintain

measurable impact on businesses in almost

distance. Public areas meanwhile will be adapted

every domain, and those in the cruise

to accommodate fewer people per square-metre

sector have been hit harder than most. Having been brought to a complete standstill earlier

and to keep groups farther apart.”

this year, the industry is now making tentative


steps towards its return. Yet the fallout from the

As has proven to be the case in wider society,

coronavirus outbreak is expected to have lasting

reducing human traffic in public areas is an

consequences, and operators have exercised

effective strategy in preventing the spread of

caution in pushing their restart dates back to

pathogens. However, cutting cruise capacity

2021. For all of the optimism surrounding a

alone will not keep coronavirus off ships; there

potential recovery, there remains uncertainty.

are other, equally essential considerations,

Accordingly, the cruise ship of the post-

says Piantino. “Passenger flow is a key topic,”

pandemic era will have to be flexible. “We all

he notes. “Even if vessels are carrying just

like to envisage a return to normality in which

two-thirds of their usual number of guests,

vessels are full and guests can once again enjoy

congregation in certain areas – such as check-

Preparing for all Eventualities With a comeback on the horizon, cruise operators face a new set of challenges; if the industry is to make a successful recovery, it will require a radical rethink across the board, say YSA Design.

the traditional cruise experience – and maybe

in and disembarkation stations – is unavoidable,

one day that will be possible,” states Georg

so these will have to be optimised to prevent

Piantino, YSA Design’s Senior Architect. “For

congestion and bottlenecking. The kind of

now, however, further outbreaks cannot be

social-distancing measures we have seen in

ruled out, and shipowners will want the ability

supermarkets could apply here.”

to increase or decrease the capacity of interior

Maintaining a safe distance between individuals

spaces and implement or remove certain facilities

and groups will be of little help if the virus is

depending on circumstances.”

spread via a surface, he points out. “Clearly,


be more thorough and frequent, and the products

When cruise ships do set sail again, one of the

used may be more abrasive, so surfaces have to

most immediately apparent changes will be the

be resilient. Antibacterial materials, which are

reduced number of guests. To maximise the

already widely used on board cruise ships, are

amount of space between passengers – or parties

likely to become even more prevalent.”

of passengers – and thereby cut the risk of illness


hygiene is of utmost importance. Cleaning will

spreading, vessels will be operating far below


capacity for the foreseeable future.

According to studies, coronavirus can survive in

YSA Design’s CEO Anne Mari Gullikstad

aerosol droplets for several hours, meaning that

explains that this will be reflected in ship interiors:

clean air is just as important as clean surfaces.

“Fewer guests means more unused space. Spare

For this reason, YSA Design is collaborating

cabins will be converted into additional facilities

with energy services and engineering company

such as medical rooms or extra accommodation

Scenso on Ship Planner, a new solution that


enables owners to analyse air quality on board

the interior experts have been working to uphold

for hygiene and passenger flow shouldn’t mean

their vessels and ensure a safer, more hygienic

their usual high standards of service using state-

sacrificing charm and character.”

environment. As a unified platform for the cruise

of-the-art communication and collaborative

sector, Ship Planner is currently in development

tools. Video conferencing services with screen


with several pilot projects under way.

sharing capabilities have allowed YSA Design to

As a company whose core activities range from

Leading this joint venture from YSA Design’s

remain connected with clients to discuss plans

developing general arrangements to project

side is Senior Architect Kristian Englund, who

and reflect on progress. The two parties are able

management, YSA Design is positioned to

argues that while adequate distancing, efficient

to streamline the project workflow using business

assist cruise operators with potentially complex

passenger flow and the right choice of materials

information modelling and 3D file sharing.

preparations. The Oslo-based architecture and

are all crucial to the revival of the cruise industry,

Crucially, virtual reality and other remote

interior design firm has served the industry for

the sector needs to pay more attention to air

support tools enable YSA to inspect both retrofit

35 years, during which time it has consistently

hygiene. With an approach based on the slogan

and newbuild projects from afar and assist cruise

innovated and overcome challenges.

‘analyse, optimise, manage’, Scenso’s interactive

operators with the entire adaptation process.

With a demonstrated flair for optimising and

software solution is designed to monitor this,

“Our increased implementation of modern

reinvigorating interior spaces, YSA Design aims

enabling operators to define goals and develop

technologies highlights our involvement from

to ensure that cruise ships retain their appeal

a road map for achieving cleaner air across their

design conception to delivery and is part of our

despite the intensified safety and hygiene

fleet. “Should air quality be found lacking, the

efforts to restore public faith in cruise holidays,”

requirements to which they must adhere. The

issue can be addressed by upgrading filtration

says Piantino. “We are committed to giving the

company’s ability to think outside the box,

systems, optimising existing air zoning and

industry the kick-start it needs.”

combined with the technical expertise to turn

actively cleaning air in venues through ionisation

concept into reality, will prove invaluable to

and particle capture,” states Englund, adding that


useful findings from the data harvesting tool can


also be applied in the construction of newbuilds.

modifications and safety measures to ensure a

“In the future, passenger ships will be designed

resumption in operations in the near future is


to further limit the flow of air between cabins,

clear, though it’s important to remember that

Although the sector looks set to return in the

as well as circulation between public spaces and

hygiene measures are not selling points, but

not-too-distant future, it is likely to feel the

crew areas,” he notes. “They may also be fitted

minimum requirements. “As the most basic

impact of the pandemic for years to come.

with systems to shut down or reroute airflow in

of necessities in any hospitality setting, safety

Social-distancing measures and stricter hygiene

an emergency.”

and hygiene are innate parts of the customer

standards will inevitably alter the cruise

Although Scenso’s platform is a sustainability

experience,” explains Gullikstad. “In the

experience for holidaymakers, but hopefully

solution at its core, its potential in helping cruise

current climate, they have understandably taken

not beyond recognition. “Our job is to guide

owners to improve on-board air purity is clear.

the spotlight, however operators must strike a

shipowners through these challenging times,

“The development of air quality technologies is

balance between such measures and what they

helping them to conform to new standards

accelerating, and as these solutions become more

are actually selling to guests – an experience.”

without neglecting what makes their vessels



shipowners readying their vessels for this new for


chapter in history.

advanced, the benefit of the Scenso platform

Gullikstad believes that achieving this balance

and on-board offerings so attractive,” concludes

will become increasingly apparent. We are

needs to be part of the discussion for any

Gullikstad. “But we cannot do this alone; it

confident that by using the knowledge gained

adaption project, explaining that even if health

will require close collaboration between cruise

in our collaboration with Scenso, YSA can play a

and hygiene standards are guaranteed, tourists

lines, shipyards, naval architects and technology

significant role in ensuring safer ship operations

will be in no hurry to return to cruise ships if

service providers, as well as input and feedback

in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,”

the on-board experience is lacking. “We know

from the general public. After all, there will be

concludes Englund.

that vessels will be emptier, and passengers

no cruise industry comeback if the passengers

may even appreciate the extra personal space,

are not on board.”


but the conviviality of a cruise is a unique draw

YSA Design’s collaboration with Scenso is just

that we must take care to protect,” she says.

one example of how the Norwegian company has

“Social distancing has to be realised in a way

embraced modern technology to aid the cruise

that doesn’t make people feel isolated from their

sector’s recovery. In these unprecedented times,

fellow holidaymakers, while optimising interiors



Meeting… Giacomo Erasmo Mortola With a career spanning four decades, Giacomo Erasmo Mortola has designed for many of the world’s leading cruise lines. Here, the industry veteran talks planning to perfection, passenger flows and preserving his legacy. Words: Lauren Ho


hat began as a holiday sailing around

which at the time, was the cruise line’s flagship and the

the Caribbean on board Sitmar’s

largest, most expensive passenger vessel ever built at a cost

Fairsea in the late 1970s, turned into

of approximately US$450 million.

a defining moment for both the cruise

Today, the design firm’s impressive portfolio is a roll call

industry and the then newly-qualified

of the industry’s biggest players including – amongst others

architect Giacomo Erasmo Mortola. For,

– Cunard, Silversea, P&O and hip newcomers Virgin Voyages,

in the same way that, say, the late David Collins shaped

for whom Mortola is the head architect for its upcoming

London’s dining scene or Philippe Starck set the design

four-ship fleet. “Another important milestone in my career

bar for Ian Schrager’s boutique hotel concept, Mortola has

was achieved when I was engaged by Virgin Voyages for the

put an indelible stamp on the cruise business. “While on

architectural coordination of their newbuilds,” he explains.

board Fairsea, I noticed the shopping area was not very well

“During this project, I had the great pleasure of working with

arranged, so I took several photos, drew some sketches, and

Dee Cooper and Tom McAlpin on their innovative and unique

when I returned home, prepared a proposal for a new design

approach to the world of cruise ships.”

with handmade renders,” explains Mortola. This enthusiasm,

The cruise line from Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group,

in turn, led to a meeting in Monte Carlo with Sitmar’s owner,

which has touched everything from gyms to motorsports,

Boris Vlasov and, as Mortola says: “My adventures in the

though is probably best-known for shaking up the aviation

cruise business began.”

industry in the 1980s with the launch of the relentlessly

By 1985, Mortola had set up GEM, his own Genoa-based

cool Virgin Atlantic airline, is the company’s latest €3bn

firm, and when Sitmar merged with Princess Cruises four

undertaking. Assembled to Virgin’s exact specifications by

years later, his longstanding partnership continued. That

Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri, the new line is

fateful meeting has resulted in over 30 projects for the

certainly hyped to throw out the rule book with a vibrant

brand, including one of Mortola’s career highlights: the

lifestyle-driven product – not least by tapping a series of

design of the mega 109,000-tonne Grand Princess in 1998,

prominent designers from Tom Dixon to Roman & Williams,




Mortola is working with Silversea to design its expanding fleet, which includes Silver Muse and Silver Origin

“There is a tension between preserving a cruise line’s identity and introducing elements of innovation that enhance the passenger experience. You can’t do that with a production-line mentality.”

Silver Origin is one of the designer’s many

45-years in the business, he knows better

ongoing projects with the expanding brand,

than anyone the importance of adaptation.

Newfangled innovation aside, Mortola is clear

which also includes the recently launched Silver

These days, he manages GEM alongside his

that the key to staying at the top of the game

Moon, the upcoming Silver Dawn (2021) as well

son Lorenzo, who joined the firm in 2012 after

is a personal, tailor-made approach and says

as Silver Muse (2017) and Silver Spirit (2009),

completing degrees in naval architecture and

that cruise ship design is not just about using

with Mortola noting the latter two as particular

interior design. Naturally, with Lorenzo having

up-to-date materials and following the latest

career highlights. “I was responsible for the

spent much of his life in close proximity to the

colour and design trends. “There is a tension

entire project, from the masterplanning to the

cruise sector, Mortola says: “Lorenzo was raised

between preserving a cruise line’s identity and

interior design of passenger suites and public

in a family that has close ties to the shipping

introducing elements of innovation that enhance

venues,” he says proudly.

industry. He has brought new ideas and energy

of which none had previously worked on a cruise ship before.

the passenger experience,” he says. “You can’t

He also notes Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio,

to the studio helping to improve our creative

do that with a production-line mentality.” He

the chairman and former owner of Silversea

process and the way we manage projects. He has

also explains that functionality and aesthetics

Cruises, as an especially significant figure in

also enhanced the digitalisation of the studio

are equally important, stating: “Functionality,

his career over the years, referring once again

and streamlined many of our processes.”

passenger and service flows, as well as technical

to a personal touch being key to his success.

For some, this might mean taking a step back,

constraints are all important factors that need

“During the development of the latest Silversea

perhaps slowing down to enjoy some of the cruise

to be addressed in conjunction with the interior

newbuilds and refitting projects, I have had the

ships he has designed. Mortola, however, is as

design project of the single areas.”

pleasure of approaching design in a similar

keen as ever to keep going, eagerly remarking

Indeed, from the evocative Art Deco opulence

way to the process I followed in the seventies,”

that design is a passion for him and that he

of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth ocean liner to

reminisces Mortola. By this, he means a good

“cannot foresee a future that doesn’t involve

the understated elegance of the 51 all-suite

old-fashioned face-to-face meeting, which

continuing to work on new designs and having

staterooms on Silver Origin, Mortola’s designs

he feels is important for both creativity and

an active role in the management of the firm”.

are planned to perfection and are certainly

communication. “Face-to-face meetings makes

Up next GEM will continue its ongoing

not pinned down to one particular style.

it possible to propose alternative solutions based

collaborations with both Virgin Voyages and

The latter is, in fact, Silversea’s contribution

on the owner’s feedback,” he explains. “It also

Royal Caribbean on Silversea, which includes

to the growing expedition cruise market; a

allows us to have a clear understanding of how

the 2021 launch of Silver Dawn. When asked

destination-specific ship built especially for

to finalise the design by the end of the meeting.

what he enjoys most about his job, Mortola

sailing around the Galápagos, its stylish cabins

With the advent of the internet, the process

replies: “Being able to tackle the complex

designed by Mortola to make the most of the

of presenting designs and getting feedback

design solutions and bringing forward a design

island landscape with ocean-view bathtubs and

has become much faster. As a consequence,

that is both functional and elegant, and which

balcony showers. “Destinations are playing the

projects are presented again and again with new

provides added value for the client as well as

major role and the cruise experience is being

solutions as owners increasingly seek to achieve

the passengers.”

redefined as a journey to cultural enrichment,”

their version of perfection.”

says Mortola.

But while Mortola might feel nostalgic, after




Scarlet Lady VIRGIN VOYAGES Virgin’s much-anticipated entry to the cruise sector brings energy, razzle dazzle and a touch of rebellion to the sea. Words: Ayesha Khan • Photography: Courtesy of Virgin Voyages


lthough the latest venture of Richard Branson had a shaky start – she launched as the world was on the verge of lockdown and reluctantly went back

into hiding – Virgin Voyages’ first ship is here and ready to party. Scarlet Lady, as she is so aptly named, is touted as the antithesis to the modern-day megaship. With Virgin having already stamped its signature-red on a range of products and services, from trains and aeroplanes to health clubs and hotels, the burgeoning cruise sector seemed the next logical step. But this wasn’t to be just any cruise line; in true Richard Branson-style, Virgin Voyages confidently announced it would redefine how the world views sea travel. “Virgin has always avoided stuffy formalities and brought a lot of excitement and a bit of rebelliousness to our customer experiences,” Branson is quoted as saying, and the group’s first vessel is no exception. While many of today’s megaships do everything they can to not look like a ship, Scarlet Lady was founded on a mantra of recalling a nautical spirit. “We wanted to celebrate the modern romance of sailing, and to enjoy the beauty of a ship and how it is built,” recalls Dee Cooper, Virgin’s Vice President of Design. Cooper’s second MO was to assemble a veritable roll call of interior and experience designers, ones


The vast array of facilities on board includes no less than 20 restaurants and bars as well as retail outlets, a tattoo parlour and blow-dry salon


that have brought new hotel concepts, vibrant

of product and interior designers, artists and

restaurants and bars with a buzz to the world’s

architects, who worked closely with Cooper and

cities. “We stood back and asked, ‘what does a

the individual teams to ensure the look and feel

modern, young-at-heart customer want from

was on-brand. Headed up by Callie Tedder-

a cruise holiday?’ Our customer likes hanging

Hares, formerly in-house at Virgin Atlantic,

out in London or New York, loves staying at Ace

Volume took on the design management and

or Soho House, and lives that modern, design-

creative direction of the entire ship, as well as

media-fashion-orientated life. We wanted

the design of the retail spaces and development

guests to feel like they were part of that club.”

of the art strategy.

The line-up includes a wide range of names,

Along with the impressive design talent, a key

some with a proven track record in cruise ship

differentiator from the passenger perspective

design, others complete newcomers. Bringing

is the facilities on offer. The Virgin Voyages

40 years of experience, Giacomo Erasmo

brand is entirely adult-only, so no kids running

Mortola of GEM was enlisted as head architect.

around, no overly-themed entertainment and

The ship’s livery was conceptualised by Magpie

no wild attractions. And there’s no buffet lines

Studio in London; RWD created the iconic red

either. With a grand total of 20 F&B offerings,

Virgin funnel; and the Scarlet Lady herself, a

Virgin sought to throw the cruise ship dining

beautiful mermaid, is designed by artist Toby

playbook out the window. The first order of

Tinsley. Inside, Roman & Williams, Tom

business was to do away with the vast dining

Dixon’s Design Research Studio and Concrete

room that often serves generic cuisine en

Amsterdam, amongst many more, brought the

masse. Perhaps the most stately of the venues

interiors to life. Tying the collective together

is The Wake, designed by New York-based

was Volume Creative, an independent agency

Roman & Williams of Boom Boom Room and Ace



Public spaces include Test Kitchen, Pink Agave and The Manor, and feature lighting by Chelsom and Tom Dixon, and furniture by UHS


Hotel fame. Interiors recall the glamour of Art

monochrome zigzag. “Razzle Dazzle is a pattern

Deco with a decidedly 21st-century ethos. “The

that’s all about the art of being so visible you

Wake restaurant’s glamorous entrance flows

become invisible,” explains Lisa Hassanzadeh,

down the stairs in a Titanic-inspired moment,

Partner at Concrete, the Amsterdam-based

with elegant brass and pink marble stairs

design and experience powerhouse behind pod

complemented by a 3.6m-high conical Lasvit

hotel brand Citizen M. “It was used in World

chandelier,” Cooper explains, truly invoking the

War 1, where ships were painted in this striped

cinematic experience and explaining how she

pattern to be so disturbing and confusing that

sees sailors as “the star of their own movie.”

they became invisible to the enemy among the

Equally glamourous is Pink Agave, the ship’s

waves and horizon.” Concrete painted diagonal

Mexican restaurant, which shuns the cantina

zigzags on every surface they could find and

aesthetic for more of an urban chic look. For the

arranged furniture on a dynamic diagonal to

design of this space, Cooper solicited the retro-

bring energy to the space. To the back of the

futuristic prowess of British design superstar

room, a bar covered in Virgin red is equally

Tom Dixon. Past an entrance portal decked out

fun. Everything from tiles and tile grouts to

in no fewer than 60 of Dixon’s signature Melt

the mirrored walls and ceilings is doused in

lights, sailors are surrounded by blush pinks and

the vibrant hue, making for a sultry, late-night

cobalt blues that combine with mood lighting,

drinking experience. Concrete is also behind

while a backlit tequila and mescal feature wall

The Test Kitchen, a laboratory-like restaurant

recalls the bar carts of the 1960s.

that also serves as a cookery school.

Over at Razzle Dazzle, the ship’s quirky vegan

Of course, the key to any cruise holiday is the

and comfort food outpost, guests are entertained

time spent worshipping the sun on the upper

by drag queens among a room decked out in

decks. Known for its own brand of health club,





Cabins feature the Seabed, which converts from a L-shaped sofa to a king-size bed at the touch of a button

Virgin sought to bring the athletic experience to Virgin

aren’t ideal about cruising, and found it was the fact

Voyages in a new way. Concrete were on hand once

that you’re in a small room that tries to behave like

again to bring this desire to reality and started with

a morning, evening and nighttime space,” recalls

the pool. “The pool itself was limited in size and

founder Luke Pearson. “In the daytime, you want to

depth so we extended it visually with a 10cm-deep wet

get rid of the bed, and at night, you don’t need the

perimeter called the beach,” Hassanzadeh explains.

sofa,” he adds, speaking to the genesis of the iconic

“We wanted to bring the feeling of a luxury yacht

Seabed, which, at the touch of a button converts from

to the deck and so introduced leather seats featuring

L-shaped sofa to king-size bed. “It allows people to

bespoke stitching and inbuilt champagne holders,”

have much more fun and bring people back to their

she adds. The pool deck also boasts a catamaran net

cabins,” Cooper adds. By moving the Seabed closer

suspended over the water and the largest Jacuzzi at

to the window or balcony wall, Pearson Lloyd were

sea. Encircling this deck and perched right over the

able to give more space to the room and bathroom,

water is an extensive jogging track inspired by New

which features a generous walk-in rainshower – quite

York’s High Line. An extensive athletic club pays

a novelty on a ship. Designed by Tom Dixon, the 78

homage to 1930s New York, where men would see and

elite Rock Star suites feature larger spaces clad in Tom

be seen, and indulge in delicacies like oysters while

Dixon’s signature retro-futuristic design complete

sweating it out and showing off their buff bods. Other

with dichroic mirror accents throughout and smart

facilities on board include a world-first tattoo studio;

lighting by Chelsom. There’s also marble bathrooms,

the Redemption Spa – with hydrotherapy pool, mud

where some lucky sailors can take a peek-a-view

room, salt room and cold plunge pools – designed by

shower, which allows them to bathe with stunning

Knibb Design; a mani-pedi spa; and an upscale barber

ocean views. And in the case of the aptly-named

shop created by Softroom.

Massive Suite, there’s even an array of guitars to play

And finally, after all the sensory overload, sailors

while lounging on the huge circular sofa.

can retreat to their cabins, which, in typical Virgin

“We have combined brilliant design and Virgin

fashion, are the antithesis to your typical cruise ship

Voyages’ epic sailor experience vision to create a

cabin. Given both Virgin’s and Cooper’s background

completely new version of luxury – Rebellious Luxe –

in aeronautical design, Virgin Voyages know a thing

which is at the intersection of luxury and a rebellious

or two about maximising small spaces. They enlisted

attitude that makes everything we do different,”

the help of Pearson Lloyd, who famously designed

explains Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAplin, perfectly

the airline’s seat, to create the ingenious cabins that

summarising Scarlet Lady in all her glory. Scarlet will

convert from comfy lounge by day to tranquil sleeping

soon be joined by her three sisters, due out of Italy’s

chamber by night. “We thought about the things that

Fincantieri shipyard over the next three years.

ON DECK Route: Caribbean Owner: Virgin Group Operator: Virgin Voyages Architecture: GEM Interior Design: Volume Creative, Roman & Williams, Design Research Studio, Concrete Amsterdam, Softroom, Knibb Design Flag State: Bahamas Shipyard: Fincantieri www.virginvoyages.com


Costa Smeralda COSTA CRUISES Celebrating Italy’s finest, the new flagship from Costa Cruises brings together a stellar line-up of design talent under the creative direction of Adam D. Tihany. Words: Ben Thomas • Photography: Courtesy of Costa Cruises


rom furniture to fashion to fast cars, Italy has been

carry out this vision, I set out to commission a diverse,

at the forefront of design for decades. Its exports are

international team of creatives whose individual expertise

known the world-over for their elegance and style, so

and point of view would bridge the vision of Italy and Italia.”

when Italian-born operator Costa Cruises was looking to

Under Tihany’s leadership, Dordoni Architetti, Rockwell

launch a new flagship, where better to look for inspiration

Group, Jeffrey Beers International and Partner Ship Design

than its home nation.

were tasked with building on the history of the Costa brand

Costa Smeralda – named after Sardinia’s coastline and translating to ‘emerald’ in Italian – is a true celebration of

philosophy using their experience in hospitality design.

Italy’s finest, its history and its expressions. Constructed

Entrusted with the staterooms was Dordoni Architetti,

in Finland by shipbuilder Meyer Turku and powered by

the Milan-based studio founded by Rodolfo Dordoni, Luca

liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning

Zaniboni and Alessandro Acerbi. National pride meets

fossil fuel, the 2,612-cabin vessel has been brought to life

Italian style across the ship’s cabin decks, leading guests

by a collective of four internationally renowned architecture

on something of a grand tour through the country. Each

and interior design studios, all of which were handpicked

deck is associated with a different Italian city, which acts as

by Costa Cruises’ Creative Director, Adam D. Tihany, who

reference point for tone, atmosphere and decor; the journey

initially made his name in restaurant design before taking

begins on deck 4 in Palermo for example, before heading

on full hotel schemes and now cruise ships.

north through Capri, Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan,

“The theme is an authentic celebration of Italian design,

ending with Bellagio on deck 17.

culture and spirit,” he says proudly. “Since its inception,

Elsewhere, Rockwell Group brings its trademark theatrical

Costa has been an ambassador of Italian hospitality and

designs to the mix, creating a sense of drama in flexible

culture to the world; it is an intrinsically Italian brand.”

events space Colosseo, theatre-cum-nightclub Teatro

It’s clearly a concept that’s close to Tihany’s heart. “This dynamic fuels two perspectives of Italy: the Italy the world


while crafting a bespoke realisation of the Italy’s finest

Sanremo, and a beach club and pool deck reminiscent of the terraced landscapes of southern Italy.

dreams of, and the authentic Italia as the Italians live it.

“Evoking an Italian piazza, the three-storey Colosseo is

Together, Italy and Italia create ‘il bel paese’, and their

inspired by our interest in theatre and offers an immersive

synergy and interaction is the basis of our design concept,”

arrival experience that can host a range of performances,

he continues. “When it came to selecting designers to

from acrobatic shows to late-night music,” says David



National pride meets Italian style across the ship’s cabin decks, leading guests on a grand tour through the country


Rockwell, founder and President of Rockwell Group.

and colours. The Beach Club, for instance, references

“The floor-to-ceiling columns are clad in LED screens

its coastal landscapes and seaside towns, whilst the

that display a different story in each port of call,

bars by the main swimming pool couple turquoise

serving as a backdrop to performances, while the

shutters and handmade cement tiles one might find

venue’s dynamism is amplified by a domed ceiling and

in Portofino. Another space recalls a grotto off the

large stage, activating the entire space and engaging

Amalfi Coast, with carved walls and a hammered metal

guests on all three levels.”

ceiling that create a rippling, reflective effect.

Inspired by the Teatro alla Scala opera house in

“Whether it’s a hotel, resort or restaurant, there is

Milan meanwhile, horseshoe-shaped theatre and

always emphasis on storytelling in our designs,” notes

nightclub Teatro Sanremo features a grand staircase

Rockwell. “While hotels have long been driven by a

and stage, the latter of which converts to a dance floor

mix of public spaces for socialising and private spaces

and DJ area once the sun goes down. A radial light

for sleeping, travellers increasingly value experience

installation hangs above, with handcrafted gold-leaf

over opulence. This has tipped the focus to public

surfaces highlighting a central oculus and tracing the

areas, where storytelling is more important than ever;

theatre’s circular form.

nomads demand unique, immersive experiences.

Other Rockwell-designed spaces include several

“The design concept of Costa Smeralda really lends

fine-dining and casual restaurants bars and lounges;

itself to this idea. Italy is a culture that always pursues

a shore excursion and photography gallery; and

the new through the lens of the old. As a designer, it

kids and teens clubs. As with the staterooms, each

was exciting to create a contemporary narrative that is

represents a different Italian city, meaning materials

relevant today but rooted in this philosophy.”

and furnishings – supplied by manufacturers such

Taking charge of the planning and design of the

as Alessi, Cappellini, Cassina and Dedar – capture

vessel’s casino and jazz club as well as a number

the spirit of every location through motifs, patterns

of bars and restaurants, Jeffrey Beers International



In line with the ship’s approach, furnishings on-board Costa Smeralda are designed and manufactured in Italy

also sought to create an immersive experience.

designed by Gio Ponti for Venini, adds to the

Each venue celebrates Italian art, culture

vitality of the vessel and is coupled with an

and craftsmanship by way of Murano glass

emphasis on colour, with hues of aquamarine,

chandeliers, colourful furnishings and floors

plum and rosso corsa.

that pay homage to the nation’s palazzos,

Rounding out the design team, Partner

while bespoke carpeting and abstract paintings

Ship Design (PSD) brought a wealth of marine

honour icons past and present.

expertise to the table, devising restaurants,

“I love the harmonious balance between

outdoor decks and a promenade, as well as

boldness, colour and originality, and elegance,

speciality venues for workshops and personal

tailoring, and style,” confirms founder and

care. The Hamburg-headquartered firm

CEO Jeffrey Beers. “Bella Vista is particularly

took inspiration from a spectrum of design

special to me as it speaks to my personal love

influences, ranging from Italian classicism to

of nautical design. In designing the upscale

contemporary motifs.

restaurant, we drew from our experience

“For us at PSD, this project was special

collaborating with talented culinary masters

because Costa Smeralda is based on the Helios

like French chef Daniel Boulud. The venue pays

XL Class, a platform design we developed

tribute to the seafaring traditions of Italy’s

together with Costa,” says Senior Partner Kai

yacht-building towns like Iseo, with polished

Bunge. “Having designed the first Helios Class

chrome detailing, high lacquer walnut and

ship for Aida Cruises, it has been extremely

custom-made furniture by Rubelli very much

interesting to work on the same platform for

reminiscent of a Riva yacht.”

another brand and give the ship it’s very own

This layering of iconic Italian furniture and accents, like a stately Murano glass chandelier


character and appearance.” The first step for PSD was to modify the


floorplan of Costa Smeralda, with the type,

Taking this creative nous further, the ship

number, layout and positioning of public areas

also features the world’s first design museum

amended according to the brand’s requirements.

at sea featuring pieces from a variety of fields,

Following this, the practice designed interior

while art collections – curated by Fp Art,

spaces such as the spa and Venus Beauty Salon

ArtLink, Samuelis Baumgarte Art Consulting –

on deck 16, as well as Pizzeria Pummid’oro,

delve into Italy’s culture and passion.

Ristorante Lab, Bar il Barco, and Trastevere Lounge on deck 8.

“For me, Italy’s finest is a national pride that has been passed from generation to generation;

“We were eager to develop a design language

it’s a place where every taste feels like a dream

of proportions, colours, detailing, lighting and

and where time itself seems to slow,” Tihany

decorations that reflects the Italian lifestyle

concludes. “Style is king, beauty is queen

and culture,” continues Bunge. “Above that,

and the attitudes of the people could change

we integrated the latest technology to create

the world. These ideas have helped shape the

inspiring environments for passengers.”

identity of the ship.”


The designer – who began his career working

craftsmanship were also key to PSD’s scheme,




as an apprentice in a Milan design studio in

with fine grain timber and soft leather appearing

the late 1960s – describes Costa Smeralda as a

alongside marble (and plenty of it), dazzling

“dream concept” and it’s easy to see why. “It’s

crystal and polished metal. Like every other

a true celebration of all that makes Italy one of

space on board, these finishes were paired with

the most beloved destinations in the world,”

loose furniture designed and manufactured in

he says. “Nature, beauty, culture, art, design,

Italy by Molteni & C, Roda, Flos, Poltrona Frau,

fashion, food and, most of all, its friendly and

Kartell and Moroso.

generous people. Costa Smeralda has it all.”

ON DECK Route: West Mediterranean Owner: Carnival Corporation Operator: Costa Cruises Flag State: Italy Coordinating Architect: AMK Creative Director: Adam D. Tihany Interior Design: Dordoni Architetti, Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers International, Partner Ship Design Shipyard: Meyer Turku Art Consultants: Fp Art, ArtLink, Samuelis Baumgarte Art Consulting www.costacruises.com


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Costa Design Collection COSTA CRUISES Costa Cruises captures the spirit of Italy in the firstever design museum on board an ocean liner. Words: Ben Thomas • Photography: © Andrea Martiradonna




ust as every major city has a proud display

craftsmanship of the bel paese as well as its

of local art and culture in its museums,

global influence on design from the 1930s to

Costa Design Collection (CoDe) was created

present day. 90% of the selected pieces are

as a celebration of heritage; on board Costa

still currently in production too, emphasising

Smeralda, that heritage is of an Italian-born

the popularity of items that go beyond passing

cruise line and a nation inextricably linked to

trends to become lasting classics. This show

the world of design.

of longevity is joined by a section on memory,

Billed as the world’s first design museum at

which presents a series of nostalgic items that

sea, the 500m2 gallery – located on deck 7 of

have long been a part of everyday Italian life and

the ship – showcases ‘Italy’s Finest’ by way of

passed down from generation to generation.

themes such as design, fashion, transportation,

“CoDe crowns the new ship with a celebration

cinema and memorabilia – each featuring a

of modern Italian design, from fashion and

curated collection of artefacts.

film to transportation and household objects,

The venture has been designed by Costa

showcasing the broad and renowned Italian

Cruises’ Creative Director Adam D. Tihany

talents that transformed the world with

– who studied in Italy and spent time at a

innovation, design and style,” Tihany explains.

number of renowned firms before establishing

His design of the space is defined by a captivating

his own studio – and is curated by Milan-based

stainless-steel tunnel that draws passengers

architect Matteo Vercelloni together with Paola

in. As the rings of the tunnel separate, winding

Gallo. On display are 470 objects – including

walkways lead around the exhibits, each housed

lighting, furniture and apparel – all connected

in a curvilinear display cabinet.

to the history of ‘Made in Italy’ – a sentiment

Celebrated products from the worlds of

that represents the value of creativity and

furniture and lighting include armchairs and


table lamps presented as icons of Italian design

Chiesa, Carlo Scarpa, Fulvio Bianconi and

through the decades. The Lady Chair by Marco

Ettore Sottsass. Sottass, a founding master

Zanuso (1951) sits alongside a red leather

of The Memphis Group, is also honoured

version of Sanluca by Achille and Pier Giacomo

by the inclusion of his Carlton bookcase and

Castiglioni (1960), while the Pipistrello lamp

laminated background Bacterio, which has been

by Gae Aulenti (1965) makes a statement along

specially reproduced for CoDe by Abet Laminati.

with a black gloss Atollo Lamp by Ludovico

Completing the collection is an homage to

Magistretti (1977). All are illuminated from

Milan-born designers Achille and Pier Giacomo

above by Patricia Urquiola’s contemporary

Castiglioni, presenting their famous pieces.

Caboche chandelier (2005).

“CoDe is an intricate profile made up of the

Elsewhere, the transportation zone shows

many professional and personal initiatives of

models of Ferraris and Fiat 500s as well as

designers, entrepreneurs and artisans, who

full-size bicycles and mopeds in recognition of

still speak to the world with the same pride

the nation’s love for scooting around the city

and prowess today,” says Vercelloni. “As Gio

on two wheels; the fashion display, curated by

Ponti wrote in 1953 on the pages of Corriere

Augusta Grecchi, presents the catwalk creations

della Sera: ‘An Italian ship is a piece of Italy;

of celebrated Italian designers; and there’s

it has to represent the finer aspects of greatest

even a food and drink feature that tells the

prestige, of Italian taste, culture, arts and crafts.

gastronomic story of Italy’s identity.

It should be a thrilling documentation of the

A collection of objects further underlines the

cultural, civil, human climate of our country.

tradition of Murano glass production in Venice,

The tourist ought to learn about Italy on the

with historic pieces such as the Veronese vase

ship.’ CoDe links back to these words, offering

by Vittorio Zecchini (1921) and those of Pietro

a mosaic in objects of Italian taste over time.”

ON DECK Museum Design: Tihany Design Design of Exhibitions: Matteo Vercelloni Curators: Matteo Vercelloni and Paola Gallo; Augusta Grecchi, Roberto Dassoni Graphic Design: Cristina Menotti www.costacruises.com


Sirimahannop MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL Marriott’s first Marquis-branded hotel in Asia Pacific takes to the water to create a new social venue on the Chao Phraya River. Words: Catherine Martin • Photography: Courtesy of Marriott International


s the hotel industry continues to seek out new ways to entertain its guests, operators are looking to other sectors for inspiration. Some have turned their

lobbies into retail outlets in a bid to keep guests on-site and spending, others have partnered with local experts to develop a cultural events programme. For Marriott International, it’s the cruise market that beckoned. The group was the first of the big players to enter the sector in a meaningful way with the launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, and now, one of its hotels in Asia has got on board with the idea and created a new social venue on the water. With 1,388 guestrooms, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park is the largest hotel in the city, and became the first Marquis-branded property in Asia Pacific when it opened in 2016. Despite already offering a vast array of facilities including 5,000m2 of function space and a variety

of restaurants and bars, the opportunity to create a unique new destination proved too good to miss. Permanently docked at Asiatique The Riverfront, a waterfront development a short drive from the hotel, Sirimahannop is a multi-purpose venue hosting up to 300 guests for dinners, private events and weddings. The vessel itself is a replica of the Royal Thai Navy’s last three-masted






sailing ship from the reign of King Rama V

global trade routes – think citrus-marinated

(1868-1910), which played an important role

salmon, smoked pepper mackerel and Gulf of

in transporting goods between Thailand and

Thailand spicy eggplant curry – made with a

Europe and protected Bangkok from invasion

fusion of ingredients from Thailand, Europe

during the Franco-Siamese War.

and ports-of-call along the journey. And at

Having been immaculately recreated,

the captain’s invitation, guests can open the

Sirimahannop transports guests back to a

hatch to a hidden rum bar, an intimate venue

bygone era of Thai trade and heritage. The upper

serving handcrafted cocktails, such as a spiced

deck is an al fresco space beneath the mast, with

rum inspired by trading-era Captain Hans Niels

a bar, DJ booth and casual seating from which to

Andersen’s own recipe, paired with preserved

take in the skyline. There’s also a stage area for

fruit or bitter chocolate.

live bands or theatre acts. Inside, the lower deck

“We are excited to welcome the world aboard

features two private dining rooms alongside

Sirimahannop; the ship will take a journey back

the main dining room, with the interior

in time to the reign of King Chulalongkorn, one

scheme referencing the world of maritime

of the most illustrious periods Thai history,”

travel. Luggage trunks have been repurposed

notes Simon Bell, General Manager of Bangkok

as seating, while tables appear to be suspended

Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. “This regal

from the ceiling by rope. Portholes peek out to

vessel will set the scene for unforgettable

the water, brass lanterns provide atmospheric

evenings and one-of-a-kind events, with

lighting and black-and-white photography tells

original beverages and light gastronomy, while

the story of the original vessel.

also shining a light on Thailand’s rich maritime

Up on The Bridge, small groups can feast on shared plates that reflect the ship’s historic

heritage; Sirimahannop will take you on a magical and memorable voyage.”

ON DECK Route: Chao Phraya River Owner: Asset World Corporation Operator: Marriott International www.marriott.com



Breaking New Ground With demand for far-flung and immersive travel experiences on the rise, a host of operators are venturing into new waters with purpose-built expedition ships. Words: Lauren Ho



“There is greater demand for travellers to discover the ends of the earth and experience the rush of setting foot on the unknown and rarely explored.” CONRAD COMBRINK – SILVERSEA

W The 100-suite Crystal Endeavor (top) is set to launch in 2021; Viking (bottom and previous page) has announced its entry into the expedition market with Octanis

hile the pandemic has prompted

ship was delivered in July this year – along with the

many of us to pause and reflect

first hybrid electric polar exploration vessel powered

on what really matters in life, the

by liquefied natural gas (LNG), scheduled to launch

truth is that the travel industry

in 2021. “Travellers are increasingly looking for an

has long been making strides

escape and are eager to reconnect with nature,”

towards a more considered

observes Nicolas Dubreuil, Ponant’s Polar & Tropical

approach. Responsible travel, for example, has risen

Expedition Expert and Director of Sustainability.

exponentially in recent years. Whether it’s reining

“This is certainly one of the reasons that has made

in long-haul trips in exchange for microcations,

the concept of expedition cruises so attractive.”

consciously hunting out planet-friendly eco

Robin West, Seabourn’s Vice President of Expedition,

accommodation or booking with tour operators who

adds: “In the luxury travel category, today’s traveller is

carbon offset entire trips, it has been reported that

really inclined to seek out memorable experiences. The

over half of us are determined to make responsible

focus has shifted from tangible goods to spending on

travel choices. The bottom line is that we are keener

encounters that are much more focused on providing

than ever to slow down and appreciate the moment, to

fulfillment and enrichment in people’s lives.”

connect and fully immerse ourselves in a destination

Indeed, now with two new expedition ships in

and, most importantly, to look after the environment

the pipeline – the first of which is due to launch in

and give back to local communities.

December 2021 – West says that Seabourn’s guest

This too explains the rise in expedition cruising.

capacity has increased by 20,000 and that both of the

So much so, the industry authority, Cruise Lines

new ships will “offer a true ultra-luxury expedition

International Association (CLIA), reported that cruises

product with no compromise”. In short, the ships,

to far-flung destinations like the Galápagos Islands,

which are being built by Genoa-based shipyard T.

Antarctica, the Arctic and Greenland, grew by almost a

Mariotti, will be kitted out with top-of-the-range

third between 2017 and 2018. This, in turn, has spurred

hardware and technology, two custom-built onboard

cruise lines such as Silversea, Ponant, Viking, Crystal

submarines, a complement of double sea kayaks,

Cruises and Seabourn to launch their own purpose-

mountain bikes, e-bikes and 24 zodiacs, alongside

built expedition ships, with Ponant dedicating an

the usual slick Seabourn offerings, including plush

entire six-fleet series to expedition cruising – the last

interiors by Adam D. Tihany, which will unfurl over


Š Nicolas Matheus



Ponant (top) now has a six-fleet series dedicated to expedition cruising, while Seabourn (bottom) has two new expedition ships in the pipeline

a handful of restaurants and bars, as well as Seabourn Square – otherwise known as the ship’s living room – and 132 ocean-front veranda suites. “These two new ships build upon the success of our Ventures by Seabourn programme,” says West. “Seabourn Venture and her sister ship have been designed specifically for the ultra-luxury expedition traveller by leading travel experts with deep levels of knowledge in expedition, fine dining and luxury cruising. The environment we’re aiming to create follows in the traditions of expedition travel, with a highly social, inquisitive vibe, where guests share the experience of a lifetime.” For Crystal Cruises, the launch of its expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, is the

“Travellers are increasingly looking for an escape and are eager to reconnect with nature. This is certainly one of the reasons that has made the concept of expedition cruises so attractive.” NICOLAS DUBREUIL – PONANT

is greater demand for travellers to discover the ends of the earth and experience the rush of setting foot on the unknown and rarely explored,” says Conrad Combrink, Silversea’s Senior Vice President of Expeditions, Turnaround Operations & Destination Management. Silversea has, in fact, recently welcomed Silver Origin, its first destination-specific ship, to its fleet. Specifically designed for immersive travel in the Galápagos Islands, the vessel, which was built by Dutch shipyard De Hoop, bears all of the brand’s luxury hallmarks along with being one of the most environmentally-friendly cruise ships ever built. Features includes a dynamic positioning system that will automatically allow it to maintain position to protect the

result of direct feedback from loyal guests.

sea floor, in-suite fresh water purification

“Avid Crystal fans have expressed new ways

systems to reduce single-use plastic bottles

in which they want to explore the world with

and the highest standards of energy efficiency.

the brand they love,” explains Mark Spillane,

“The technological innovation of Silver Origin

Director of Sales & Marketing Crystal Yacht and

will complement Silversea’s significant efforts

Expedition Cruises. “The expedition focus will

to make a positive impact on the natural and economic environment of the Galápagos

offer these guests new experiences, destinations and adventures with the superior standard of

unique experiences. Viking, for instance, has

Islands,” remarks Combrink. Dubreuil, from

luxury and service they’ve come to expect from

developed The Hangar, an industry first in-

Ponant, adds: “Luxury is a mix of authentic

Crystal.” Due to launch in 2021, the 100-suite

ship marina, which allows the launch of rigid

and committed experiences. Travellers are

ship, which is being constructed by German

inflatable boats (RIBs) or zodiacs from a flat

increasingly wanting to travel sustainably and

shipyard MV Werften, will feature no less than

stable surface – away from the wind and the

will certainly be more inclined to prioritise trips

six drinking and dining options including the

waves – through the ship’s slipway. The new

with minimal impact on the environment.”

much-loved Umi Uma & Sushi Bar from chef

vessels, including Viking Octanis – set to embark

This growing trend for responsible travel

Nobu Matsuhisa, an indulgent spa and a series

on voyages to Antarctica and North America’s

paired with a desire to experience far-flung

of luxury expedition essentials including a

Great Lakes in 2022 – also offer Nordic Balcony

destinations that only a smaller vessel can reach

submarine, two helicopters, 18 zodiacs, ocean

staterooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows

– not to mention the current climate of wanting

kayaks, a drone and – unique to Endeavor –

that lower for a sheltered al fresco lookout.

to escape the crowds – can only mean good

a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) with an

Of course, as lavishly decked out as each of

things for the sector. The sheer number of new

underwater camera that will feed live footage

these new ships are, their common objective is

vessels is a sure sign that expedition cruising,

and images to screens around the ship.

to access some of the world’s most far-flung

once a small niche for adventure-hunters, is

Indeed, with competition so high, it’s not

destinations for travellers who are looking for

now poised for dramatic growth.

surprising that brands are looking to offer

an intimate and immersive experience. “There




Train on the Bridge Throughout the 20th century, developments in

would pull-up overnight in the 1920s, when

commercial aviation together with the mass

visits to the park were first allowed.

production of automobiles led to a dramatic

Due to open in December 2020, the restored

decline in train travel. Rail was no longer the

train features 24 guestrooms across 12 carriages,

fastest or most reliable way to get around, and

as well as a lounge, bar and restaurant, and

so eventually, tracks were left to rust, carriages

an outdoor viewing deck with cantilevered

fell into disrepair and stations along the route

plunge pool. A further seven land-based

were abandoned.

rooms will open at The Bridge House in 2022.

In recent years however, train travel has

The interiors scheme celebrates African design

seen a resurgence, and a number of projects

through collaborations with local artists and

are seeking to adapt and reuse these former

craftspeople, and honours the natural world by

networks. Last issue we reported on a Infinite

way of organic furnishings and textiles.

Explorer by SB Architects, a concept that

“This is our opportunity to revitalise and

proposes to revive the USA’s defunct railways,

recapture an important part of Kruger’s history,

transporting guests from place to place in luxury

while at the same time increasing both the

sleeper carriages. Now, Thebe Tourism Group

range and quality of product on offer in the

has unveiled Kruger Shalati, a train-turned-

park,” says General Manager Judiet Barnes.

hotel on a disused stretch of track in South

“The product design is largely the differentiator

Africa’s Kruger National Park. Permanently

in this project – not only have we not seen

stationed on Selati Bridge above the Sabie River,

anything alike in our country, but neither is

the hotel occupies the exact spot at which trains

there anything similar in the world.”


A Mini Adventure BMW Group unveils a new concept for Mini, creating a car that transforms into a lounge.

When it comes to long-distance road trips,

including the distinctive radiator grille, along

space and comfort tend to be high on the list of

with new flourishes such as wheels finished in

priorities, so chances are, a Mini – one of the

turquoise, headlights that can display multi-

more compact cars on the market – isn’t going be

coloured graphics and a body that transitions

the first choice of transportation. However a new

from a metallic green to a subtly toned grey.

concept from BMW Group, the brand’s owners, seeks to change that. Launched as part of a streamcast examining

and on arrival at the destination, the car

the future of mobility, the Mini Vision Urbanaut

transforms into a living room in just a few

is an evolution of the classic vehicle, offering

simple steps. The dashboard lowers and the two

more interior space and versatility than ever yet

front seats rotate to form a daybed, while the

still on a minimal footprint. “The Mini brand has

windscreen can be opened upwards to become

always stood for clever use of space,” explains

a balcony. The rear of the car provides a second

Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group

seating area, in which a textile-covered ‘loop’

Design. “In the Mini Vision Urbanaut, we extend

with LED lighting extends overhead to create a

private space far into the public realm, creating

cosy corner.

completely new and enriching experiences.”


The driver can choose to utilise automated driving functions or take the wheel themselves,

Sustainable materials and an all-electric drive

The concept was presented as three scenarios,

system are also part of the concept, along with

or Mini Moments, to showcase a variety of uses

the Mini Token, a smart device that activates

that go way beyond getting from A to B. The

preconfigured moments such as fragrance,

vehicle itself is 4.46m in length yet unusually

ambient lighting and music, resulting in a truly

tall for a Mini, and comes with signature features

personalised experience.


Joyn the Revolution Benjamin Hubert designs an autonomous ride-sharing platform built around safety, style and sustainability.

With increasing urbanisation, rising traffic

comfort or convenience, and also engage in a

congestion and a lower rate of car ownership,

community with shared sustainable goals.”

ride sharing has grown exponentially over the

The eight-passenger vehicles – designed for

last decade. The sector is now valued at US$61.3

journeys of 30-60 minutes – are based around

billion globally, and though success is set to

the footprint of a Ford Galaxy, with the exterior

continue, there are challenges ahead when it

conceived as a smart glass bubble displaying

comes to safety, accountability and sustainability.

upcoming stops and time to destination.

As a result, Benjamin Hubert of experience

Passengers use the Joyn app to locate nearby

design agency Layer, has created Joyn, a concept

vehicles, and can instantly see what seats and

for autonomous transport that makes ride

storage space is available.

sharing more desirable. After extensive research,

Inside, the human-focused space features

Hubert identified a gap in the market and set

tactile upholstery and vegetable-leather details.

about developing a solution that offers users a

Modular seat pairs face opposite ways and are

more private, safer and eco-friendly alternative

separated by wings that can be kept closed or

to existing models. “This near-future concept

opened out to ‘joyn’ seats for passengers travelling

addresses both the need for a more comfortable

together, while seatbacks feature stowable tables

ride-share system that people actually want

with smart tech provisions including charging

to use as an alternative to private commutes,

ports and folding tablet stands.

and a growing need for environmental action

It is hoped that Joyn will become not only a

and awareness,” explains Hubert. “Passengers

simple way to book a ride, but also an exciting

using this platform could alleviate the eco-guilt

and engaging social network that creates a

associated with car travel without sacrificing

community to drive environmental action.



The Hotel of Tomorrow? The Gettys Group relaunches its global think-tank to develop hospitality concepts that respond to the challenges posed by Covid-19.


How has the pandemic affected travel and

cutting-edge ideas spanning transportation, food

hospitality? What will the guest of the future

and beverage and guestrooms. Amongst them is

expect? And how can we deliver on design and

Hotel Rover, a self-driving adventure vehicle

experience as well as heightened health and safety

that provides a form of mobile hospitality for

measures? These were just some of the questions

up to four passengers. Expanding services well

that The Gettys Group asked participants of its

beyond the limitations of a single property, the

global think-tank when they met to consider the

autonomous, electric-powered concept offers

challenges and opportunities posed by Covid-19.

on-the-go comfort and is designed for work,

First launched in 2003, The Hotel of Tomorrow

sleep and socialising as well as transportation

project brought together owners, operators,

between partner hotels. The integration of AI

designers and manufacturers to exchange ideas

digital assistance also means that guidance and

– the kind of information, goals, tools and

entertainment options are available via voice

processes that could transform the sector. With

command, intuitive touchscreen and smartphone

the hospitality industry now in a state of flux,

app, further extending the services of a hotel

the Chicago-based design and development firm

brand into the vehicle.

decided it was time to resurrect the initiative,

“We needed to think beyond room cleaning

now updated to meet the needs of today’s reality.

initiatives and air purifying systems and develop

Major players from the world of hospitality

long-lasting solutions that address health,

– including senior representatives from Four

safety, sanitation, technology, aesthetics and

Seasons, Hilton, IHG and Marriott – joined

environmental concerns,” explains Ron Swidler,

research institutions and tech specialists to

The Gettys Group’s Chief Innovation Officer.

create and review new concepts. A total of 79

“Hotel Rover meets a number of emerging and

proposals were submitted by 16 teams from

tried-and-true consumer demands, including

around the world, then shared with over 1,000

romanticised nostalgia, untethered exploration,

hospitality executives who selected the concepts

exclusivity and both autonomy and autonomous

they believe have the greatest potential. The

vehicles. It literally can break the hotel free from

entries were eventually whittled down to five

its foundations.”

the new easy Cu

t l e r y p a rts


Ma t e r i a l s





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hen The Future Laboratory published


Train travel has other benefits too; there’s no

its Future Forecast 2020 report towards

two-hour wait in departures before setting-off,

the end of 2019, its authors could

and stations tend to be right in the centre of

hardly have known the scale of the impending

the city for easy access to accommodation and

pandemic, nor the impact it would have on global

attractions. For longer distances, trips will likely

travel. Yet remarkably, the forecasting agency

take longer by rail than by air, but sometimes,

named staycations as one of the trends set to

that’s the point. Slow travel has been a rising

shape the year; little did they know that with

trend over the last decade and was highlighted

international travel off the cards, discovering the

in Wunderman Thompson’s The Future 100

wonders of one’s own country would become the

report for 2020. “Travellers are embracing a

defining travel trend of 2020.

longer journey as an opportunity to savour the

And with staycations comes a rise in rail travel.

moment,” it states. “The journey, once simply

According to new research conducted by YouGov

a means to an end, is being relished as much

for rail operator LNER, Covid-19 has changed the

as the final destination.” The report goes on to

way British people holiday, with nearly a quarter

say: “Train travel, which harks back to a slower

(24%) revealing they intend to go on more

pace of life, is redefining modern luxury travel as

Take it Slow… With train travel on the rise, will restored heritage trains or their shiny new counterparts win the race for the consumer?

staycations in the future. The report also found

consumers hunger for opportunities to step back

that one-in-five are reconsidering air travel for

from the stressors of daily life and engage more

future trips, whilst a third are looking to increase

deeply with the world around them.”

their use of trains, with 46% of those aged 18-

From the Yukon railroad through Alaska to the

24 selecting rail as their preferred method of

epic Trans-Siberian railway that links Moscow

transport for holidays within the UK and abroad.

with Vladivostok, there’s countless great railway

Aside from the current restrictions on

journeys of the world, often famed for the routes

international travel, an increasing desire to

they take and the landscapes through which they

take the train is being driven by environmental

pass. When it comes to on-board luxury however,

concerns. It’s no secret that trains are one of

few beat the beauty of Belmond. Its trains are

the most sustainable ways to travel – LNER’s

designed to celebrate the Golden Age of Travel,

new fleet of electric bi-mode Azuma trains

with interiors inspired by stops along the way,

produce less than a third of the carbon of other

whether it be Cusco’s ancient Inca Empire on the

modes of transport – plus, a number of high-

Andean Explorer, or Istanbul’s Ottoman palaces

profile endeavours have drawn attention to the

on the Venice Simplon-Orient Express. The latter

matter. Last year, supermodel Edie Campbell

features restored carriages from the 1920s and

opted to take a 12-hour train journey from

1930s, though it’s worth noting that the original

London to Milan for fashion week in a bid to

Orient Express, which first departed Paris in

reduce her carbon footprint, while activist Greta

1883, ceased operations in 2009, reportedly a

Thunberg spearheaded the flight-shaming

victim of high-speed trains.

movement, promoting train travel over flying on environmental grounds.


The world’s high-speed rail network has been developing at pace since the turn of the century;


so while one corner of the market aims to reignite

touted as the fastest way to cross the surface of the

the magic of slow travel – where the experience

Earth and the first new form of transportation in

is as much about the journey as the destination

over a century. Ever since Elon Musk announced

– another is focusing on transporting passengers

the concept – a vactrain that could potentially

faster than ever before. Japan’s Shinkansen

transport people or cargo at hypersonic speeds

network, colloquially known as the bullet train,

while being energy-efficient – engineers,

is widely regarded as the world’s first high-

technicians and developers have been battling it

speed rail system and continues to set the

out to make it a reality. And having been the first

standard thanks to its unblemished safety record,

to safely test human travel in a Hyperloop pod, it

expansion projects and innovative carriage

seems Virgin is winning the race.

design. Its current trains travel at a speed of

The trial took place at Virgin’s DevLoop test

320km/h, but in October 2020, trial runs of the

site in the Nevada desert in Las Vegas, with

next generation bullet train reached 400km/h,

Josh Giegel, co-founder and Chief Technology

shaving precious minutes off journey times.

Officer, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger

Set to come into service by 2030, the state-of-

Experience taking the momentous trip. The

the-art Alfa-X has a range of groundbreaking

occupants travelled on the newly-unveiled XP-2

…or Life in the Fast Lane features, not least an aerodynamic 22-metre

vehicle, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and

nose – longer than any train’s in history.

Kilo Design and custom-built with safety and

The record for high speed however goes to the

comfort in mind. The successful trial will now

Shanghai Maglev, or magnetic levitation train,

pave the way for the certification of commercial

which launched commercially in 2004 and has

Hyperloop systems around the world.

a maximum operational speed of 430km/h.

“For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop

China in fact has been at the forefront of new

team has been working on turning its

rail development in recent years, with the nation

groundbreaking technology into reality,” says Sir

now accounting for two-thirds of the world’s

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. “With

total high-speed railway networks. It’s also the

today’s successful test, we have shown that this

longest and most extensively used, with over

spirit of innovation will in fact change the way

two-billion passengers per year.

people everywhere live, work and travel in the

In Europe, Spain is leading the way thanks to

years to come.”

the ongoing development of the Alta Velocidad

While high-speed trains and Hyperloop

Española network, now the second longest in the

models are markedly different to the restored

world, while France is working to extend its LGV

carriages that meander through the countryside,

lines. Germany and the UK are also investing in

they do have something in common. Whether

new high-speed networks, but with escalating

racing from city to city on the daily commute

costs and lengthy delays, the public are beginning

or leisurely taking in the sights of the

to lose patience.

surroundings, passengers have the same desires;

Arguably the most significant development in land travel in recent years is the Hyperloop,

style, comfort, good service and above all, a memorable experience.



Journey Beyond While 2020 has been a turbulent year for commercial aviation,

a six-hour trip. “We wanted to make sure that passengers

exploration into space travel has continued to accelerate.

would be able to get 360-degree unobstructed views and that

This year has seen test flights, rocket launches, landings and

we created an efficient space that would enable them to move

talk of spaceports, but perhaps one of the most interesting

around during the journey,” Goode continues. “Meanwhile,

innovations is a spaceship designed with the passenger

we needed to minimise weight and create a highly functional

experience in mind.

environment for the pilot. All these elements guided the shape

With commercial space travel edging ever-closer,

Flown by a pilot, Neptune will take up to eight passengers

a high-performance balloon and pressurised capsule that will

to the edge of space, where only 20 people have been before.

fly to the edge of space. “Neptune is the culmination of a long-

Following a gentle two-hour ascent, the spaceship will

term collaboration that has resulted in the only spaceship that

cruise at an altitude of 100,000ft, above 99% of the Earth’s

is designed with the human experience at its core and will pave

atmosphere, where there’s time to relax and take in the sights.

the way for the future of commercial space travel,” explains

The balloon attached to the top of the capsule then allows

Nigel Goode, co-founder of PriestmanGoode. “We looked at

for a leisurely descent into water, where a ship retrieves the

all the different elements that would make the experience not

passengers and the spacecraft.

just memorable, but truly comfortable.” Designed from the inside-out, the vessel features comfortable seating as well as all the essentials needed for


of the final capsule.”

PriestmanGoode has worked with Space Perspective to develop

The first un-crewed test flight is scheduled for early 2021 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. If successful, day trips could soon be on the horizon.



Experiential Expeditions Virgin Galactic reveals the experience-focused interiors of VSS Unity.


One of the defining hallmarks of the Virgin

material created by Under Armour, which also

brand over the past 50 years has been the use

developed the spacesuits, while seatback screens

of inspired and bold design to transform the

provide digital flight data to connect each

customer experience. It’s an ethos that has been

astronaut to the flight deck.

successfully applied across various sectors, from

SpaceShipTwo’s cabin is deliberately sized

health clubs to hotel rooms, and now, thanks to

to allow for an out-of-seat weightlessness

Virgin Galactic, spaceship cabins.

experience, so soft surfaces as well as intuitive

In a live-streamed event, the space travel

handholds allow astronauts to explore the cabin

company revealed the cabin interior of VSS

freely. Completing the scheme, multi-coloured

Unity, its SpaceshipTwo vehicle designed with

LED halos concealed within the 12 window

the astronaut experience in mind. The elegant

surrounds are programmed to subtly change

yet progressive scheme has been carefully

according to the stage of flight; at the pinnacle

planned for both safety and comfort, and features

of the experience, as the Earth comes into view

colours and textures selected to inspire a sense of

against the black sky of space, all lighting is

confidence from the moment astronauts board.

extinguished, bringing instant focus to the vista.

Individually sized seats are created using the

Virgin Galactic’s community of future

highest-grade aluminium and carbon-fibre

astronauts have always been clear that having

manufacturing techniques, while the importance

photos and videos of their spaceflight is of

of comfort to optimise performance is accentuated

paramount importance, so in true 21st century

by a pilot-controlled recline mechanism that

style, the output from 16 cabin cameras plus

positions astronauts to manage G-forces. The

those mounted externally will provide everything

seats are upholstered in a breathable 3D knit

from Instagram posts to personal movies.

Le Méridien Lav, Split, Croatia, furnished by SNS Group.



Radical Ideas A hotel suite in a hot-air balloon makes the shortlist for the annual Radical Innovation competition.

Challenging designers to reimagine the future

time, in the air. Conceived by US-based studio

of hospitality, Radical Innovation has long been

Populous, Dream Pod is a series of lightweight,

known for bringing forward-thinking concepts

self-sustaining accommodations that would

to the fore. Now in its 14th year, the global

allow guests to experience both personalised

competition has announced its finalists, with

hospitality and the wonder of flight. Using

three wildly different ideas hoping to take home

existing technologies, the concept enables guests

the grand prize.

to fly solo or float as a part of a community,

In recent years, successful entries have

with an app to control ascent and descent. The

increasingly looked to the world of transport

Dream Pods are 3D printed with a durable lattice

for inspiration. In 2017, Brandan Siebrecht

structure, and feature curved photovoltaics for

won in the student category for his Hyperloop

capturing sunlight as well as moist gathering

Hotel, a concept that sees shipping containers

strategies to harvest water. Each pod is fitted out

transformed into travelling guest suites. In 2018,

with a bed, storage space, shower and waterless

Aprilli Design Studio took home the grand prize

toilet, while dining and retail facilities are

for its Autonomous Travel Suite, a cross between

available at a docking station.

a private rental car and a hotel room. And in

Dream Pod will go up against Camp Sarika by

2019, SB Architects was highly commended for

Luxury Frontiers and The Modern Monastery

its Infinite Explorer proposal, which suggested

by Indidesign in an online showdown in which

a revival of the USA’s defunct rail lines with a

judges assess the creativity of each concept, as


well as its feasibility and ability to impact the

The 2020 competition has once again brought hospitality and transportation together, this


industry. The winner will be announced in a virtual ceremony on 3 December.

bespoke switches www.hoadandmore.com +44 (0)1525 222 364 info@hoadandmore.com

Perfect Partners Jet Blue announces new partnerships to bring dining and wellbeing experiences to the sky.

As the first airline to disrupt the domestic

feel their best throughout their journey; featuring

business-class category with the introduction

healthy snacks and personal care items, the kits

of Mint in 2014, Jet Blue is once again taking

will be distributed according to the time of day.

affordable, premium air travel to new heights.

To enhance the sleep experience, Jet Blue has

The airline has refreshed its service with a new

partnered with digitally native mattress company

line-up of on-board partners, each selected

Tuft & Needle to provide a memory foam pillow, a

to bring the same high quality of product and

blanket featuring built-in foot pocket and snooze

service to the sky as on land.

kits. And for passengers tuning in to the in-flight

Heading up the new dining offer, Delicious

entertainment, luxury audio brand Master &

Hospitality Group – the team behind acclaimed

Dynamic has created custom designed over-ear

New York City restaurants Charlie Bird, Legacy

headphones with noise reduction qualities.

Records and Pasquale Jones – will introduce its

Services from the new partners will be rolled

inventive culinary style to passengers travelling

out across all flights, as well as the forthcoming

on any of Mint’s 90 daily flights. Executive Chef

London route. “Jet Blue’s reimagined Mint is

Ryan Hardy has curated a rotating menu of small

turning the journey itself into a destination,

plates prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients,

offering the comforts of a premium travel

while Wine Director Grant Reynolds has put

experience at a more affordable price point,”

together a selection of international wines and

comments Elizabeth Windram, Vice President of

craft cocktails to be shaken on board.

Marketing, Jet Blue. “This onboard refresh allows

Wanderfuel meanwhile has created new

us to reset that high bar we set in 2014, with the

amenity kits, designed in collaboration with

very best in dining and hospitality, comfort and

nutritionist Sarah Wragge to help passengers

wellness at 35,000 feet.”

© Christina Holmes



40 winks at 40,000ft Air New Zealand brings new innovations to economy class. Unless you have the means to travel first-class, long-haul flights can be cramped and uncomfortable, making the prospect of quality sleep unlikely. However Air New Zealand looks set to change that, having unveiled a prototype for a lie-flat bed for economy class. The Economy Skynest is the result of three years of research and development at the Hangar 22 innovation centre in Auckland, and comprises six full-length bunk-style beds housed within a sleep pod. “This is one of the highlights of three years intensive work centred on customer wellbeing,” explains Nikki Goodman, General Manager of Customer Experience. “We see a future flying experience where an economy-class customer on longhaul flights would be able to book the Economy Skynest in addition to their Economy seat, get some quality rest and arrive at their destination ready to go. We’re sure this innovation is going to be a game changer for the industry and bring significant

When Nature Calls

improvements to long-haul flying.” Air New Zealand operates some of the world’s longest flights, such as the Auckland to New York service, so the promise of sleep

NASA’s Lunar Loo challenge pioneers new concepts that help astronauts relieve themselves in space.

on board might just make those 17 hours and 40 minutes pass by a little faster.

If you’re about to embark on a six-week mission hurtling through space at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour, chances are you’ll want to be sure there’s a reliable toilet close by – after all, there are no reststops en route to the Moon. So astronauts on the forthcoming Artemis programme – which aims to land on the lunar surface by 2024 – will be pleased to hear that NASA’s Lunar Loo challenge has found a number of innovative solutions. Although space toilets already exist and are in use at the International Space Station, they are designed for microgravity only. As such, NASA called for scientists, designers and engineers to devise a next-generation device that is smaller, more efficient and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity. The challenge aimed to attract radically new and different approaches to the problem of human waste capture and containment in space, with the winning concepts set to be incorporated into NASA’s final design. Judges evaluated submissions on capability, technical maturity, safety and innovation and selected three winners. First prize went to THRONE (Translunar Hypercritical Repository 1), which proposes a bladeless fan to entrain waste, while second prize was awarded to Individualized Collapsible Astronaut Toilet (ICAT), a new approach to the Apollo bag system. Finally the third prize went to Franziska Wülker, development engineer at Duravit, who designed The Centrifugal Lunar Toilet. Wülker’s concept uses suction to remove excretions, with a centrifuge compensating for the absence of gravity. It is also designed to be comfortable for both male and female astronauts thanks to its optimised sitting geometry. So for hotel operators looking to plant their next flag in space, rest assured the bathroom facilities are already taken care of.


© Courtesy of Air Charter Service


espite the health and safety measures

In the Maldives, hotels rely on privately-

being taken by the aviation industry, the

operated seaplanes to transport guests from

thought of spending several hours in the

the capital’s main international airport, but The

enclosed cabin of a 500-seat aeroplane doesn’t

Nautilus – a recently refurbished resort on the

really appeal right now. The global pandemic has

Baa Atoll – has taken the idea a step further.

all but put a stop to holidays, weekend breaks and

In partnership with Dominvs Aviation, it is now

business trips, with travellers understandably

offering private jet transportation direct from

apprehensive about crowded airports, confined

London. The ultra-luxury travel experience

cabins and being in close proximity to others.

begins with a with a non-stop flight on board

For those who just can’t go without their

a Bombardier 6000, departing at the guest’s

annual getaway, private jets have stepped

convenience from a private jet terminal at one

in to save the day. Benefitting from flexible

of London’s airports. Bypassing the crowds at

departures, speedy boarding and limited capacity,

Velana International Airport in the Maldives, the

charter services provide the peace of mind that

jet will land directly at Noonu Atoll’s Maafaru

passengers demand. As such, many operators are

Airport, where the resort’s yacht awaits, ready

reporting a rise in bookings. “We have seen a

to sail guests to their island escape.

The Jet Set As travelling en masse loses its appeal, could private jets help save the hospitality sector?


dramatic increase in new enquiries for private

A number of other private jet companies have

jet travel,” comments Justin Bowman, CEO at Air

been expanding their routes and highlighting

Charter Service. “With many commercial flights

their ability to offer crowd-free travel. Aero for

still grounded and the post-pandemic traveller

example, has launched in Europe, with routes

favouring hygiene, personal space and flexibility,

between London, Ibiza, Mykonos and Nice. Billed

private air travel provides a secure and hygienic

as a new category of travel that bridges the gap

means to get from A to B.”

between commercial and private charter flights,

The UK-based charter broker has also entered

the Silicon Valley start-up offers direct first-class

into a partnership with Mandarin Oriental,

flights via private terminals on shared jets. The

facilitating tailored flights to any of the group’s

experience allows passengers to skip the lines

properties around the world. Such affiliations

and avoid the crowds, while the jet itself features

mean that family groups can travel safely in their

hand-stitched leather seats, generous legroom

own bubble, while for Mandarin Oriental, it could

and guaranteed window views thanks to the

mean more heads in beds.

singular seating configuration. Aero also states

This trend was already beginning to take-

that it is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of

off pre-Covid. In 2018, Anantara announced a

its passengers, with mandatory face coverings,

partnership with MJets to provide transportation

low-contact services via an app and regular jet

between its signature properties, and in 2019,

sanitation. With prices starting at €825, Aero’s

Aman launched into the air space with its

service is more affordable than most, but with

own specially designed Bombardier Global

European travellers traditionally driven by price,

5000, described as an airborne extension of its

it will be interesting to see whether they will now

hospitality philosophies on land.

put greater value on their health.

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Take to the Skies As Covid-19 shakes aviation to its core, the sector turns to new forms and concepts to regain passenger trust and weather financial turbulence. Words: Kristofer Thomas


ot since 9/11 has there been

2020 has seen Dubai-based Emirates

such a major shift in air travel.

grounding its entire 200-strong fleet, with the

A cursory glance to the sky is

Middle Eastern airspace clocking fewer than 50

evidence enough; what was

planes in the sky at any one time. In the US,

once a busy grid of intersecting,

over 600 Delta jets have been grounded since

criss-crossed contrails is now

April as the number of passengers screened by

the occasional silent jet cutting through a

the TSA fell below 100,000 for the first time; a

blue expanse. Since the turn of the year and

veritable nosedive from the two-million-plus

the spread of Covid-19, our airtime has been

tallied just a year previous.

severely limited. Attempting to flatten the

After 9/11, it took only three days for North

proverbial curve, all but essential travel is

American airspace to reopen and flights to

discouraged or outright illegal in many cases.

resume. Covid-19 on the other – and the range

Where air travel is permitted, a health security

of containment measures put in place to quell

paranoia and genuine exposure risk has seen

its spread – have lasted longer, occurred on

passengers reconsider. Throw in a slew of viral

a wider scale and unfolded with a great deal

anti-mask freak-out footage, privacy concerns

more uncertainty. Throughout this year, the

tethered to state tracking programmes and

International Air Transport Association is

widespread uncertainty regarding bookings and

predicting a 50% revenue decrease from 2019,

refunds, and a seven-hour drive alone becomes

marking potential losses of US$314bn.

considerably more attractive. All of a sudden,

There have been claims that this crisis will

after decades of connecting the world, it might

mean the end of air travel. Though this seems

just be the aviation industry’s day of reckoning.

unlikely, a shift away from the norm is already





Factory Design’s retrofittable screen (top) and PriestmanGoode’s Pure Skies concept (bottom) show what the future of air travel might look like

industry processes, but in the short term, it is

“Pure Skies offers a cabin where you can combine no-frills seats at low prices while offering options for seats with more personal space, which can also generate revenue for the airline.”

more likely to fall to designers. The situation


in motion. A surge of staycations has seen the passenger plane cut entirely from the holiday experience, whilst substantial job losses and economic damage will see less money available for adventurous long-haul travel even after a vaccine is synthesised. As the predominant method of global connectivity, aviation will never be in danger of becoming entirely redundant, but it will nonetheless require some adaptation to weather this significant patch of turbulence. Long term, this could mean wholesale transformation of

with increased focus on privacy and individual separation in line with the growing desires for personal space. However, whilst this system could be phased out within the passenger service, it has solidified its presence elsewhere. No matter how luxurious and separated their seat may be, those with the means have been turning away from the passenger plane in favour of private, more experiential services. What was once an indulgence has come to be perceived as inherently safer as sharing space with strangers became a point of anxiety. Four Seasons was an early, pre-Covid player in this field with the launch of its own branded

may be fluid, but the brief is simple: passengers

jet in 2015, and recently announced plans

need to feel safe again.

for a new custom-outfitted Airbus A321neo. of

Currently in service is a bespoke Boeing 757,

communication,” explains Nigel Goode,

designed by London studio Factory Design to

co-founder of transport design specialist

fuse Four Seasons’ core service values with the

PriestmanGoode. “Airlines have many measures

touchstones of luxury aviation, creating a hotel

in place, from standard health and safety

in the sky. “The idea was to seamlessly join

requirements to increased hygiene that make

up Four Seasons hotel experiences around the

flying safe; it’s about finding a way to relay that

world, like an ocean liner in the sky, travelling

information to passengers.”

from one exceptional destination to the next,”





Published at the onset of the pandemic, the

explains Peter Tennent, one of the studio’s

London-based studio’s Pure Skies concept

directors. “For the interior, whilst the colour,

communicates to passengers what the future

lighting and finishes provide the best clue to the brand, the most interesting thing for us

of air travel might look like via a series of cabin design and technology interventions.

removal of every other seat, has been the cause

was, in a world of increasingly higher and

Created around pillars of personal space,

of commercial anxiety for a business model

more private suites on commercial aircraft, we

hygiene and a touch-free journey, the system

that has traditionally relied on volume. “It’s

were actually designing a space more akin to

pairs structural alterations including staggered

important to remember that the move towards

a private members club, with an open, relaxed

seating plans and the installation of divider

more seats – and therefore less space – has been

and warmly confident interior, using much

screens, with more subtle aspects like the seat

driven by consumer demand for lower prices,”

lighter colours than would pass the biro test on

recline mechanism being contained within the

Goode notes. “Going forward, I think we’ll see

a regular aircraft.”

fabric skin. The use of antimicrobial fabrics,

a clearer distinction between passengers who

This exclusive mode of transport might

along with the replacement of pockets, trays

are driven by cheap ticket prices, and those who

not dominate the future of air travel, but

and shared components meanwhile, seeks to

require more space, privacy or services. Pure

nonetheless is an indicator of where experiential

eliminate dirt traps and cross-contamination.

Skies was designed with that in mind, and offers

alternatives could find space in the market. For

Colour too plays an important role: “Cyan is

a cabin where you can combine no-frills seats at

the passenger model meanwhile, Factory Design

perfect to communicate the cleaning, protection,

low prices while offering options for seats with

has proposed retrofittable screen and division

hospital-like environment that then would

more personal space, which can also generate

components that could be added and subtracted

transform into a positive, relaxing experience

revenue for the airline.”

as needed, though with a potential vaccine now on the horizon, wholesale permanent change

provided by warm, peach tones,” Goode notes.

Conversely, this could also mean the end

With one of the pandemic’s first casualties

of the longstanding class system that has

being proximity however, the prospect of

dominated aircraft seating plans. Pure Skies

“We have steered clear of proposing an all-

distanced seats, or in extreme cases the

instead proposes a series of rooms and zones,

new cabin design in light of Covid as we believe

may not be so pressing.




“There are a lot of improvements that can be made in all aspects of the on-board product; we need to take advantage of what we’ve learnt over the past six months.” PETER TENNENT – FACTORY DESIGN

that a pandemic is not a reason to go back to the

vehicles that are efficient to clean and maintain

drawing board and start again,” Tennent notes.

to ensure widespread adoption by large

“However, there are a lot of improvements

numbers of people. We need to make sure we

that can be made in all aspects of the on-board

design vehicles and systems that are good for

product; we need to take advantage of what

people and the planet.” For an industry that has

we’ve learnt over the past six months.”

taken significant flak for its green credentials, a

If privacy and personal space continue to drive bookings however, we might well see

degree of environmental empathy going forward could prove key to its rehabilitation.

the accelerated adoption of concepts that have

Though there are reasons to be optimistic

until now been the follies of science fiction.

with vaccines starting to materialise, it will

Even before the pandemic, some of the sector’s

nonetheless take some time to observe the

major players had been tinkering with the idea

full effects of this pandemic on the aviation

of personal aviation vehicles. Airbus debuted its

industry. Many major changes to the cabin

vertical take-off and landing Vahana concept

space will take a minimum of three years to

in 2018 with the first test flight of a self-

gain the certifications required for widespread

piloted prototype, whilst Boeing teamed up

use, whilst ineffective state responses to the

with Porsche in late 2019 to develop a flying

outbreak could see longer than necessary

taxi division. So too a selection of traditionally

disruptions cause irreparable damage to

landlocked companies; Hyundai expect the

national industries. Meanwhile, another few

urban air mobility market to be worth US$1.5

months without bailouts could see a number of

trillion within the next 20 years, and is now

firms fold entirely.

working with Uber on its Elevate rideshare

What is certain, is that the industry is

vision for a fleet of flying taxi vehicles that

entering a period of significant change in terms

take to the city skies to alleviate ground-level

of form and function. “The biggest change will

congestion. The concept was created in part

be digital,” Goode predicts. “We are working

through Uber’s open design process, a NASA-

towards a seamless integration of digital and

inspired approach that jump-starts innovation

physical services, where passengers are able

by publicly releasing vehicle design concepts so

to control and customise their travel journey

any company can use them to innovate their air

through their own devices.”

taxi models and engineering technologies.

Tennent meanwhile foresees a shift in

“The pandemic is accelerating R&D into all

visuals: “Covid may well lead to decorative

sectors, including personal aviation vehicles,

layers being peeled back to a degree and an

passenger drones and autonomous travel

aesthetic more in keeping with the clinical

technology,” Goode notes. “Ultimately, I

perfection of aviation engineering, but I think

think we need to focus on developing vehicles

equally as important will be airlines continuing

for shared use. For me, it’s about ensuring

to demonstrate their differences by making

that vehicles, no matter what type, are fit-

the on-board product echo more generally

for-purpose, designed around the user and

contemporary lifestyle, rather than what’s

accessible. It’s about ensuring we design

available from the manufacturers’ catalogue.”


On the Surface As the cruise industry looks towards its return, surfaces materials and finishes endeavour to meet new standards of hygiene. Words: Eleanor Howard


ore than most settings, cruise ships

is through face-to-face contact and close

have always put focus on health and

proximity between passengers, vessels also

safety; the fear of a fire or an outbreak

feature an abundance of high touchpoint surfaces

of foodborne illness are common concerns in

on which the virus can remain for up to 28

the marine sector. To combat these potential

days. The propensity for pathogens to linger on

threats, the industry’s fabrics and finishes must

surfaces is evident in the case of the Diamond

meet stringent regulations, including those of

Princess cruise ship: there were still traces

the IMO (International Maritime Organisation)

of Covid-19 on board the ship 17 days after it

and MSC (Maritime Safety Committee). Touching

evacuated all passengers.

mechanical components to upholstery, the wide-

While there is now a glimmer of hope in

reaching industry requirements are responsible

the form of a vaccine, the way in which the

for creating a safe environment for all on board.

marine sector operates will never be the same.

Then came coronavirus. In the face of a

In terms of surface materials, it is possible that

global pandemic, hygiene has never been more

cruise operators will replace carpets with hard

important – particularly in enclosed spaces

surfaces for ease of cleaning, though designers

such as ocean liners. According to the Centre

must continue to consider the uncompromising

for Disease Control & Prevention, the current

weight restrictions on board. They will also need

scientific evidence suggests that cruise ships

to be more resilient than ever before to withstand

pose a greater risk of Covid-19 transmission

the level of cleaning required to ensure a safe

than other settings due to the high population

conditions for passengers and staff.

density on board, typically more closely packed than cities or most other living situations. Though the most obvious risk of transmission


In response to the pandemic, manufacturers are already producing marine-specific surfaces, materials and treatments which cater to a post-


Fil Doux has launched a degradable vinyl alternative (opposite) while Bolidt, Fidivi and Vistona (clockwise from above) are finding new ways to meet both design and hygiene requirements

Covid world. From antimicrobial decking to the


same antimicrobical benefits for its fabrics. Corte

first degradable vinyl alternative, these materials

Coronavirus also has the ability to transfer onto

by Fidivi meanwhile is an IMO-certified, yarn-

have been designed to tackle the limitations of

soft furnishings such as cushions, throws and

dyed chenille fabric made with polyester Trevira

marine environments as well the current global

curtains – all elements of a cruise ship’s cabins

CS yarns. Available in 20 two-tone versions,

health crisis.

and public spaces - so future projects will need to

the interlacing of two different types of yarn

consider textiles with a range of qualities.

creates an iridescent surface where colours


Already experts in antimicrobial fabrics – all

change depending on the light and the angle of

So far, research indicates that Covid-19 lasts

of which are IMO-certified for marine use –

perspective. Its soft touch, sophisticated look

longer on hard surfaces than on soft furnishings.

Agua Fabrics has worked with HeiQ to develop

and fire-retardant properties make this contract

Leading natural stone supplier Vistona has

Aguaguard265, an antibacterial protection

fabric ideal for upholstery.

partnered with La Ponte Marmi and a liquid

system for upholstery fabrics that is also

Also suitable for furniture upholstery on board

resin manufacturer to create an antimicrobial

effective against viruses. Using both a patented

ships is Fil Doux Textiles’ Otratex series, billed

resin that ensures 99.99% of all coronavirus,

and registered silver technology and a patent-

as the first ever degradable vinyl alternative,

norovirus and other pathogens are killed within

pending fatty vesicle technology, fabrics treated

designed with the hospitality, cruise and contract

60 minutes. The solution – which is injected into

with Aguaguard365 actively inhibit viruses and

settings in mind. Made with natural enzymes

the stone prior to processing the block – provides

kill bacteria upon contact.

embedded within a material that enhances

resistance to mould, bacteria and viruses, as well

Drapilux has taken a similar approach with its

degradability, Otratex will fully decompose

as strong resistance to carbonation, ensuring

Bioactiv treatment. The coating reduces bacteria

within 30 years in an anaerobic environment.

ease of cleaning. The new antimicrobial stone

on the fabric surface by more than 99%, reducing

All Otratex products, including the just-launched

protection can be used in conjunction with

the effort required for cleaning and disinfection.

Brussels and Chalet subcollections, are available

Vistona’s wide range of stone solutions – from

Initially created to support the healthcare sector,

with the brand’s proprietary protectants – Pro-

table tops to vanity units – with flamed, bush

the ability to treat any Drapilux fabric with

Tech, Pro-Tech Plus and Copper Shield by Pro-

hammered, antique finish or polished surfaces.

Bioactiv means the marine sector can reap the

Tech, the latter of which is antimicrobial and can



Clockwise from top left: Morbern, Radici and DuPont have created solutions that cater to a new generation of interiors

be cleaned with bleach to meet the demands and


spread of multi-resistant bacteria on ships and

needs of the industry and its customers.

The volume of passengers on board cruise ships

support the safe and successful return of the

Indoor and outdoor coated fabric Americana

equates to a high concentration of foot traffic.

cruise industry. Originally designed for use in

by Morbern Europe presents an alternative vinyl

Thus, longevity and durability of flooring –

land-based applications such as hospitals, the

for the marine sector. By adding proprietary

whether that’s carpet or decking – is key.

material is applied as a coating to the Bolideck

wear layers over digitally applied ink, Morbern

Creative Matters’ marine division caters for

525 decking used for indoor spaces on passenger

has perfected the durability of printed vinyl. This

these heavy traffic areas with its Axminster

vessels. The decking can also be designed to

enables the Martindale abrasion to meet 300,000

carpets. IMO-certified, the pile and backing

incorporate safety messaging such as social-

cycles and provides excellent bleach resistance.

materials are woven together on Axminster

distancing markers.

In addition to being IMO MED-certified, the

looms in a single operation, allowing for very

digital print technology behind Americana offers

large repeat patterns.

total creative flexibility, from custom patterns to

Meanwhile Italian carpet manufacturer Radici

Flooring’ concept comprising a layer of carpet

Marine’s Virex system is an innovative treatment

fitted on top of Bolidt’s antimicrobial decking.

Similarly durable are DuPont’s Tedlar

capable of reducing the viral load of Covid-19 by

In the event of a future outbreak, the carpet

Wallcoverings. Making their way into marine

99.9% on natural fibres and 99.4% on synthetic

would be stripped away to reveal safety markers

vessels in 2021, the Type II commercial

fibres. The treatment also acts against other

underneath, also activating the solution’s

wallcoverings are now available for use in

bacteria, without compromising the technical

hygienic and bactericidal properties.

cabin interiors. Not only are the wallcoverings

features and comfort of their carpet. Virex will

designed to withstand the harshest industrial

soon be available on Radici’s Tufting, Wilton

cleaning products without discolouration, but

and Axminster carpets, as well as on custom and

they are also tested to show no bacteria growth

luxury products.

corporate branding.

on the surface, are UL Greenguard Gold-certified and mould and mildew verified.


Looking to the future, Georg Piantino, Senior Architect at YSA Design, has proposed a ‘Hybrid

Bolidt is taking a similar approach with its antimicrobial decking in a bid to limit the

SAVE THE DATE: 8 – 9 JUNE 2021 B O O K A B O OT H TO D AY AT: www.cruiseshipinteriors-expo.com











Chelsom Edition 27 Created specifically for the hospitality and marine sectors, Chelsom’s Edition 27 range brings together brass tones, textured Venetian glass and LED lightsources across an array of pieces – each suitable for guestrooms, corridors, restaurants and other public spaces. More than 40% of the collection is completely new, and all pieces are available with LEDs to accommodate the latest developments in technology and energy efficiency. www.chelsom.co.uk



Morgan P&O Oceana


Working alongside London-based interior design practice RPW Design, Morgan was recently tasked with creating a refreshed, contemporary and comfortable environment for passengers aboard P&O Oceana. Along with being aesthetically pleasing, furniture needed to be lightweight and have a compact footprint, allowing spaces to be easily reconfigured throughout a voyage. To meet these demands, RPW Design specified the Katerina Zachariades-designed Goodwood lounge chairs for the Explorers Bar on deck 5. The calming white and sapphire palette complements a background of retro dark greens and earthy browns to create a relaxing atmosphere. Elsewhere, the loyalty desk now features a combination of neutral-toned Siena swivel chairs and Havana lounge chairs, both of which use CMHR reflex foam. Warm timber detailing and frames are accentuated by the carpet’s colourful, geometric pattern. “With the growing popularity of holidays on the water and visual social media, the ‘luxurisation’ of the cruise industry is being

reflected in maritime décor,” comments Simon Fleming, Senior Account Director at Morgan. “Expectations are high and operators are challenged to provide a level of sophistication comparable to that offered by land-based hoteliers and venues.” He adds: “Since cruise interiors tend to be used both day and night, unlike in their onshore counterparts, the accommodation is often the attraction, so furniture plays an even greater role on the sea.” Alongside its standard collections, the contract furniture designer provides a bespoke service that offers customers the chance to tailor their products in order to meet the specific requirements of a project. From minor dimension changes, bespoke unholstery and custom finishes, right through to the creation of an entirely custom-made piece, the British manufacturer can create items that cater to the demands of any design brief. www.morganfurniture.co.uk


Hepp Talia The slim, graceful design of Hepp’s Talia cutlery line embodies both natural elegance and well thought-out design language. With its unmistakable, filigree profile, the 16-piece series conveys a feeling of stylish table culture, whilst also covering the gastronomic needs of cruise ships throughout the entire menu sequence. For special accents, the collection is also available in different surface treatments – with its distinctive length, Talia’s slender design can be made even more striking with the addition of a copper PVD coating. Meanwhile, the PVD gun metal coating transforms the range, highlighting its subtle Asian features. www.hepp.de

Vistona Caza Whilst better known for its commercial fit-out work within the cruise ship sector, Vistona recently launched Caza – a range of crafted stoneware – to further enhance its offering. The collection comprises products designed for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living space, all using the highest quality stone sourced from some of the remotest quarries. Produced by a team of passionate craftspeople, each item is unique, as no two natural stone products have identical markings or colouring. www.vistona.ie

UHS – Table Place Chairs Battersea Modular The Battersea Modular seating system from Table Place Chairs is a Chesterfield-inspired button back roll-top sofa that comes in a number of modules – internal corner, single seat, two-seater, external corner – to enable projects to create their own seating configurations. The collection is upholstered in highly durable linen-blend fabric or super-soft foam and leather, while its tufted back and cushion are finished with an attractive nail head trim. The seat and back are both built for comfort and sharply angled, resulting in a sense of expansive luxury. Available in a range of IMO-certified fabrics and wood furnishings, the modular seating can be fully customised to fit any interior setting. www.tableplacechairs.com


Janus et Cie Anatra Modular Seating Patricia Urquiola has introduced modular seating to Janus et Cie’s Anatra collection, along with two new lounge chair designs. Sophisticated and intricately designed, the lounge elements are constructed using the same textured rope braiding as the other seating pieces in the range, wrapping the frame to create a harmonious weave. Anatra’s seven modular pieces allow for numerous sofa configurations and are furnished by cushions for maximum comfort in outdoor spaces. The Anatra Teak High Back Lounge Chair – a unique interpretation of the collection’s signature open, handwoven rope and deep, rich hues – juxtaposes Anatra’s naturally dark shades with a honey-toned premium teak frame. Moreover, a petite version of the classic lounge chair is ideal for smaller spaces. Rope finishes include Cadet with a platinum or cyan cross weave and Oxford with a nickel or cyan cross weave, while the powder-coated aluminium tables can be paired with a choice of two sleek tabletops: a cool textured Alabama ceramic or a classic Carrara Marble. www.janusetcie.com

© Alberto Strada



Sunkist Commercial Juicer The Sunkist Sectionizer and Sectionizer Jr can be used to wedge, slice, core or half fruits and vegetables into uniform pieces. Recognised within the industry as one of the most reliable commercial citrus juicers on the market, the Sunkist Commercial Juicer comes with three extracting bulbs and a two-year warranty. Its unique oscillating metal strainer can easily produce 15-20 gallons of juice per hour using pre-cut fruit, while the Pro Series Juicer extracts up to 10 gallons of juice per hour. www.sunkistequipment.com

Tuuci Equinox Miami-based manufacturer Tuuci has unveiled Equinox, an outdoor cabana built to custom specifications; shape, size, finish, walls, seating and lighting, meaning it can be tailored to suit the surroundings. Each cabana can mix-and-match between translucent trellis walls, curtains or a bare frame. The roofs can be fitted with either a trellis or covered with Tuuci’s waterproof Tuff-skin fabric, balancing aesthetic with practicality by providing privacy and the perfect amount of shade from the sun. The seating options – a classic sofa, L-shaped bench or fully-upholstered daybed – are all made with water resistant and colourfast materials available in various colours. To ensure the ultimate customisation, Tuuci offers eight powder-coat finishes and four aluma-teak options, a wide selection of fabrics including anodised satin, in addition to various technical upgrades. With LED spotlights to integrated Bluetooth speakers, power outlets to heating systems, Equinox can be specified for any occasion and any time of year. www.tuuci.com


Bromic Platinum Smart-Heat Marine

Bromic Heating is unique in being the only company to design, engineer and manufacture gas, electric and portable outdoor heating products. From luxury hotels and restaurants to distinguished exterior kitchens and backyards, Bromic heaters are recognised worldwide for their superior design and performance. The latest addition to the brand’s portfolio is the Platinum Smart-Heat Electric Marine heater, made from AISI316 stainless steel and specifically engineered to provide resistance to the corrosive elements of marine environments – every Bromic heater with Smart-Heat technology is designed in-house and crafted from premium materials to ensure products balance reliability and elegance. The Marine range can be ordered in 2300W or 3400W


models for heat coverage of up to 108ft2 and, in addition to advanced heat technology, features a translucent ceramic glass screen on the outside, which spreads radiant heat evenly while minimising unwanted light emission. The slim, aesthetic design and wind-resistant output of the heater makes it ideal for superyachts and cruise ships, allowing owners and operators to add an extra layer of comfort and luxury to the passenger experience. Available in a white or black finish, the Marine series can be recessed directly into the ceiling of a vessel to ensure seamless integration and meet the design expectations of today’s marine industry. Bromic also offers a range of smart control options to precisely regulate heat output. www.bromic.com


WMF Professional Coffee Machine German manufacturer WMF’s fully-automatic coffee machines are thought to be in use on around 75% of the cruise ships currently in service – a global network of subsidiaries, partners and WMF-certified service providers ensures that vessels are always equipped with the high-performing and durable machines as well as quality coffee. The company offers a range of models suitable for different locations on a ship; the fully-automatic WMF 1100 S machine is an efficient solution for limited space when no more than 80 cups are to be prepared daily, whereas the WMF 9000 F is able to supply a large number of guests with filter coffee – the internal storage model prepares up to 500 cups per hour, while the external storage model with integrated high-quantity brewing function can prepare up to 100 litres in the same amount of time. All WMF machines – which meet the highest of hygiene requirements – are extremely durable and easy to handle when preparing coffee or cleaning. www.wmf.com

Jung KNX System Jung’s KNX System – a cross-product and crossnational communication system for data transfer between all smart devices – is billed as the only globally uniform standard for system technology, meeting the tough demands of the yacht sector. The German manufacturer’s control units, featuring button and rotary sensors, can control comfort aspects such as lighting, room climate or multimedia functions, as well as providing security and access control with the surveillance of energy consumption and the control of automatic cameras. The smart technology increases convenience in every cabin and provides more security on board superyachts. The unit’s modular design also means the on-board network and system technology can be extended or reconfigured at any time. Available in 63 original Les Couleurs Le Corbusier colours and partly finished by hand, the control switches and frames integrate themselves into any interior scheme. All product lines can be implemented with the KNX system, blending intelligent system technology with sophisticated design. www.jung.de



© Michael Verdue

Creative Matters Marine Portfolio Through its marine division, Creative Matters works closely with cruise ship designers to achieve their vision while observing any practical constraints. The company’s extensive design and production knowledge allows it to meet various interior requirements, as well as addressing repeat and colour restrictions. Recent projects include several venues aboard Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Edge, such as The Gem and Blu Restaurant. In addition to offering a custom design service, Creative Matters also has the manufacturing capabilities to offer IMO-certified woven Axminster and hand-tufted area rugs. www.creativemattersinc.com

Harlequin Momentum Comprising eight wallpapers, 11 drapes and several upholstery fabrics, the versatile and design-led Momentum range by Harlequin features architectural elements and the subtleties of nature, both of which are combined with inspiration from hospitality spaces around the world. Microscopic close-ups of rock formations, tidal patterns, honeycomb structures, city shadows, butterfly wings and irridescent shells capture the tones and hues of the natural world, creating a juxtaposition between delicate softness and architectural statements. Momentum is available in a range of colours, from warming tones of Tulip and Cayenne to Titanium and Graphite. www.stylelibrary.com/harlequin

Roman Shower Enclosures Roman has manufactured shower enclosures for over 35 years and now offer a variety of products for residential and hospitality settings. All Roman products are designed and created in Britain and offer quality, precision and craftsmanship. Using only the finest quality of materials, Roman guarantees unsurpassed quality and certainty in its manufacturing process, ensuring all products reach exceptional levels of style and performance. After supplying shower enclosures to various hotels, Roman has now ventured into the marine sector, offering custom designs to undisclosed clients. www.roman-showers.com



Platinum Electric Marine 2300 Series Black

Join the outdoor heating revolution at bromic.com/heat

Platinum Electric Marine 3400 Series White


A Night on the Seabed

Proposals for an underwater research station with liveable habitat floats the idea of subaquatic tourism.


Just as the International Space Station paved the

kitchen and dining areas. It will also include

way for recreational space travel, a revolutionary

the first underwater greenhouse, allowing

research facility anchored to the seabed is set to

inhabitants to grow fresh plant life for food.

open up new possibilities for subaquatic tourism.

The initial concept was co-conceived by Yves

The vision of aquanaut, ocean explorer and

Béhar, founder of innovative design agency

conservationist Fabien Cousteau, Proteus is the

Fuseproject. “Proteus’ design intent is to offer

world’s largest and most advanced underwater

an effective, comfortable and attractive facility

scientific research station. Its primary purpose

for researchers, and an exciting underwater

is to gain a better understanding of the ocean –

structure that garners the same passion for ocean

discover new species of marine life, determine

exploration as we have for space exploration,” he

the effects of climate change and test advanced

explains. “The spiral architecture houses social

technologies for robotic exploration, for example

and work spaces as well as a communication

– however the concept also shows just what’s

studio and a submersible moon pool. Proteus is

possible down below the surface.

both practical and an icon that will change the

Proteus is envisioned to be more than

way we experience ocean research.”

four times the size of any previously known

Cousteau describes the concept as a network of

underwater habitat, and will feature state-of-

underwater habitats; so who knows, maybe it will

the-art labs, sleeping quarters, a living room,

forever change the way we holiday too.

Registered European Community Design 007575014-0001/0002/0003/0004/0005. US Design Patent Application US29/729,141


44825 Chelsom LED EYE_STARBOARD_236X275_AW.indd 1


12/11/2020 16:37

Hinged shower door with in-line panel and frosted hinged toilet door with chrome fittings. Solid surface illuminated basin unit with inset concrete effect panel and integrated mirror column.

▪ UK Manufacturer

▪ Bespoke Product Capability

▪ Products Exceed all Compliance Standards

▪ Dedicated In-House Design Team

▪ Experienced in Large Project Work

▪ Global Manufacturer to over 60 International Markets

▪ Supplier to Major International Hotel Groups

▪ Solid Surface Fabrication

▪ Promotes Sustainability and Circular Economy



Profile for Mondiale Media

Starboard - Issue 4  

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