Red Dot Winners and innovative cruise interior lighting specialists Chelsom talk with us about what it takes to design for cruise.

Marine expertise

Sailing the world’s oceans on one of today’s state of the art cruise ships can be just as luxurious and as it was in the days of the great liners. The boundaries of marine interior design are constantly being expanded by the world’s top design practices. The scope of things to do on board surpasses most land-based hotels and resorts. It’s no wonder the whole cruise industry is one of the most vibrant arenas for design in the world.

However, there could hardly be a harsher environment to design for. Designers must account for 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.

Chelsom were awarded the prestigious Red Dot Award in 2021. Check out the other award-winning companies that have exhibited at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe.

Specialist Design

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. 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? Sometimes.  But often the design watchwords are ‘drama’ and ‘statement’. Product designer must embrace these interior concepts and interpret them so that they function perfectly within the marine environment.

Cruise interior lighting consisting of gold finishes and white pearlescent globes.
Chelsom’s Constellation: a striking modern cruise interior lighting solution

Nothing must be allowed to sway about in rough seas, components must not vibrate, and 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 it is important to scale down individual components whilst still maintaining perfect ambient light levels. Switching and dimming options are also usually essential.

Team work

As a specialist marine lighting supplier, Chelsom respect their role as just one of the huge teams of contractors executing the design vision. All players work to create stunning interiors with product that functions perfectly over a long period in a challenging environment. Their team work extends to collaborating with interior designers, lighting designers, shipyards, outfitters and cruise operators all around the world. Chelsom know that the date a ship sails away is a hard deadline – and everyone on the team gives 100% to meeting that date.

Technical ability

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 mandatory. However, colour rendering, colour changing, easily controlled dimming and remote switching are all increasingly important. Mostly, it’s about creating the most luxurious and inviting ambience. But, it’s also important to consider ease of lighting control and ease of maintenance. Chelsom 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. Visit them on stand 1406 at Cruise Ship Interiors Design Expo Europe 2021.