Design companies Omega Architects and YSA Design have co-operated to create a ‘Boutique Cruise liner’ concept.
According to the designers, this concept promises the exclusivity of luxury yachting to a high-end cruise clientele.
YSA Design has been involved with river cruisers for Viking Longships, ’MSC Europa’, NCL’s ’Norwegian Prima’ and Holland America Line’s flagship ’Rotterdam’, as well as with other cruise ship operators.
Omega has won awards for various superyacht designs.
In a challenging business period for largest yachts and small cruise ships, Omega Architects Founder and Lead Architect, Frank Laupman, said the unique concept is the timely result of a long-running conversation between the two companies.
The Dutch-based company has already developed an exterior concept for the Boutique Cruise liner, with Oslo-based YSA Design taking responsibility for the general arrangement (GA) development, cabin and suite lay-outs, guest flow-through and SOLAS compliance.
“There’s an exciting market opportunity for a small cruise ship with the characteristics of a luxury yacht in its DNA,” Laupman explained.
“A strict division of public and private spaces provides the key to ensuring that the attractions of the yachting experience are available to premium-end cruise guests.”
“Premium cruise guests are always open to the offer of fresh luxury experiences, and we are delighted to partner Omega in offering the very best in yacht and cruise ship design in a single concept,” added Jan Krefting, Chairman, YSA Design.
“Our contribution draws on YSA’s near 40-year track record in designing for cruise ship spaces, owners and builders and – critically – for safety of life at sea.”
All of the cabins and suites are located in the mid-section where an individual fire zone 2 provides the limit for the length of the hotel block and which also includes a separate block for power.
Meanwhile, the ‘yacht DNA’ is embodied in the public spaces aft, from the sun deck, down to a beach club deck near the water level, in what Laupman described as a “blanket of entertainment”.
“Designs for the bow and stern will be tuned to the philosophy and revenue model of the ship,” he said.
In combination, the bow, hotel block, power block and stern will define the ship’s exterior but YSA Design’s 3D modelling will bring refinements. The company has already modelled a first variation – an 8-deck ship accommodating 200 guests.
Other variations could include ships with a smaller capacity for a mixed business model of corporate charters interspersed with seasonal direct bookings.
“It’s been clear post-pandemic that demand for high-end, small scale luxury cruising is a growth area, and that people want increasingly special experiences,” Anne Mari Gullikstad, YSA Design CEO, said.
“A growing cruise constituency seeks to ‘custom-build’ vacations.”
Design work will also focus on sustainability, and how best to accommodate lower carbon fuels, power sources, including batteries and fuel cells.
“It’s also fair to say that builders of high-specification ships other than the traditional cruise shipyards can compete for the Boutique Cruise liner,” Gullikstad added.