Lukas Otte is the cruise division manager at Shores Global, a preferred partner for the cruise and hospitality market when it comes to quality furniture and fabrics. Working closely with architects and designers, Shores Global meets its clients’ needs and in the process shapes the experience of interior space, theme, and storyline. Ahead of Shores’ exhibit at Cruise Ship Interiors Europe, we spoke with Lukas to find out more…

Hi Lukas. Thanks for sitting down with the #CSIB19 team today! Firstly, tell us a bit about Shores Global as a brand and its current role within the cruise market?

Shores is specialized in delivering refits and newbuilds and handling all loose items in regard to furniture and cushions. Our focus is on creating quality items suitable for cruise ships at a medium price level. In short, Shores is specialized in delivering cruise quality loose furniture in a beautiful design within budget and time frame. This, combined with highly organized project management, is at the heart of Shores.

For more than a decade now, Shores has been providing the world’s leading cruise lines with quality furniture. Primarily, however, Shores has worked with ocean cruise lines, such as Carnival Cruise Line, Seabourn, Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, and many more. Was venturing into the river cruise market a natural step for Shores?

The decision to focus more on the river cruise industry was decided very quickly (and unanimously) by our team. We want to continue focusing on areas where we can gain experience over the years, in order to always be able to offer more value to our customers. Although there are of course differences between the two markets, shipping is still our life and soul.

In your view, what differentiates the ocean cruise market from the river or expedition cruise market?

One difference, which I personally realized quickly, is that significantly fewer people are involved in a river cruise project than in an ocean cruise project. This makes communication much easier and suggestions can be implemented quickly.

In general, the basic requirements in both industries are pretty much the same but the lead-time is shorter. In addition, more functional outdoor furniture is needed, especially in the outdoor area.

For example, there is a high demand for foldable furniture since the height of the bridges must always be taken into account, especially in Europe. It is not uncommon for the entire deck to be cleared to pass a bridge. This is also one of the reasons why Shores is working on a foldable furniture collection to give the river industry even more options. It is precisely with such requirements that we can contribute our experience in the field of custom-made products.

How would Shores go about tackling a river or expedition-based project versus an ocean cruise project? Are there any special circumstances you need to consider?

At first, the timeline is much shorter. This means that less time passes from the first look at the specification to the realization of the project. This is exactly what I appreciate about this industry. But basically, we want to guarantee our river and ocean customers the Shores service. One of the most important tasks of such projects is the daily planning and follow-up. This is why Shores assigns a project manager to each project to ensure that the ultimate goal of delivery within the timeframe is met.

Unlike the Miami event, Cruise Ship Interiors Europe will act as a platform for Europe’s river, expedition, and ocean cruise market. Can you tell us why it’s important for Europe’s river and expedition market to be served?

I think communication and networking is one of the most important key points in our industry. Especially in the area of interiors, there has, until now, been a lack of events that specifically focus on this area. Since there are so many different requirements for ship projects in the interior, it is very important to have a good network of suppliers with experience and knowledge of our industry.

I think Barcelona is a great location for such an event as the city is so inspiring, especially for architects and cruise companies.

Using just three words, how would you describe the state of the cruise market as a whole?

Intense, exciting, dynamic

The Europe edition of Cruise Ship Interiors has been strategically positioned in Barcelona. In your opinion, what makes Barcelona an attractive destination for the river cruise market, specifically in December?

I think Barcelona is a great location for such an event as the city is so inspiring, especially for architects and cruise companies.

Finally, what are you looking forward to achieving at Cruise Ship Interiors Europe?

I hope to meet with the majority of our industry and be able to connect with existing and potential customers. I am looking forward to hearing more about the challenges faced by each company and which projects will be imminent in the future. I believe that, as partners within this particular area in our market, coming together in one place will simplify the work for many of us in the future.