What Will Cruise Ships Look Like Post-COVID-19? Look To

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, talk to turns to all aspects of interior design of ships, particularly cruise ships that can carry thousands of passengers in relatively close quarters. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, SMM has been postponed to February 2-5, 2021. 

According to the organizers, as of today, about 90 percent of exhibitors have committed to the new date. Apart from Green Shipping, Security & Defence, and Digitalization, the interior outfitting of passenger ships will play a key role at the fair: At Marine Interiors @ SMM 2021 exhibitors will showcase innovative products and services for the future of ship interior design.

“Today more than ever, interior ship design confronts owners, yards, suppliers, designers and ship architects with special requirements,” said Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. “Safety has always been a core concern in passenger ship design. Now COVID-19 adds further challenges.”

For example, the design firm AMK Architecture & Design took the challenge of eliminating as many touchpoints on board as possible to protect the guests, from automated door opening and closing systems that can don’t require pushing any buttons, through to water taps with touch-free operation. Further, design and outfitting teams from YSA Design believe that traditional buffets may soon cease to exist, and that dining halls will have to be redesigned to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on board cruise vessels. Similar considerations lead to the preference of specific surface materials which are able to withstand the increased use of antibacterial cleaning agents.

In several discussion panels, architects, designers and decision-makers will highlight how safety requirements can be incorporated into the interior design of ships in an aesthetically pleasing manner, how the owner’s brand identity can be reflected adequately, and how the cruise experience can be enjoyed post-corona. A special focus will be on health and safety topics.

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