Sailing the world’s oceans on one of today’s state of the art cruise ships is just as luxurious and flamboyant as it was on one of the great liners from a hundred years ago. The boundaries of marine interior design, like international hotel design, are constantly being expanded by the world’s top design practices and the scope of things to do on board. The result is that many ships are beginning to surpasses many land based hotels and resorts. It’s no wonder the whole cruise industry is booming with millions of satisfied passengers returning year after year. However, in terms of decorative products which contribute to such amazing interiors, there could hardly be a harsher environment with its pitching seas, salt air and constant motion. It takes a certain kind of design, a certain range of skills, an amount of specialist technical knowledge and a lot of commitment to successfully service such a demanding industry.
The interior designers who create the spectacular interiors of today’s ships are real specialists in their field. They have an overall brief to be extravagant, breath taking, original and awe inspiring and in the case of public areas they can work on a massive scale within the huge spaces which can sometimes transcend three or four decks. Subtle and understated are rarely the design watchwords so there is often the need for sparkle, drama and statement. The product designer must embrace these interior concepts and interpret them so that they function perfectly within the marine environment. Nothing must be allowed to sway about in rough seas, components must not vibrate, everything must be bolted down so it never falls over, weight restrictions must be considered and installation or maintenance must be as simple as possible. For cabins, space is often a driving feature so scaling down individual components whilst still maintaining perfect ambient light levels is important. Switching and dimming options are also usually essential.
As a specialist marine lighting supplier, we respect our role as just one of the huge teams of contractors ensuring that a cruise ship has stunning interiors with product that functions perfectly over a long period in a challenging environment. Our team work extends to collaborating with interior designers, lighting designers, shipyards, outfitters and cruise operators all around the world. Whereas a hotel stays where it is, there is a date on which a ship sails away and everybody in the team focusses 100 per cent on that date which is final!
Some of the manufacturing and structural technicalities of marine lighting are testing to say the least but lighting technology itself plays an ever increasing role in cruise interiors. Energy saving light sources are of course mandatory but colour rendering, colour changing, easily controlled dimming and remote switching are all increasingly important and indeed successful. Mostly it’s about creating the most luxurious and inviting ambience but it’s also about ease of lighting control and ease of maintenance. We work as part of the team of marine experts to bring all the lighting requirements to fruition.
There can be literally thousands of contractors on a ship at any one time when it is in build. Every one of them is working diligently to complete their own task whilst cooperating with all those around them so nothing gets in the way or delays some other part of the process. We have our own specialist and qualified marine installation team who will be on board at the right time to take delivery of our lighting products, assemble on site, install and commission. This on board presence not only allows successful installation but also allows any last minute adjustment or changes which can occur due to the sheer scale and complexity of the working environment.
Chelsom is a 70 year old company with vast experience in the cruise ship sector. Its knowledge of and close relationship with the industry’s specialist interior design practices, shipyards and operators gives us the closest possible understanding of what the industry needs. The company’s own in-house marine specialists in product design, manufacture and installation ensure that it meets those needs. Chelsom is proud to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of marine lighting today.
Main image credit: Chelsom/Harmony of the Seas