Den Breejen Shipyard begins building an on-spec river cruise ship

Den Breejen Shipyard begins building an on-spec river cruise ship

Omega Architects

The 135-metre-long ship has been designed by Den Breejen and Omega Architects

Den Breejen Shipyard has begun building an on-spec river cruise ship with a customisable design by Dutch architecture firm Omega Architects. 

Project Rheingold will deliver a 135-metre-long ship with capacity for 182 passengers. It will be the first on-spec project that the shipyard has carried out. 

“The Covid crisis has severely affected the cruising industry,” said Johan Kaasjager, commercial director of Den Breejen. “Clients are waiting for the market to recover. When that happens, often quite rapidly, clients want to quickly gear-up their operation, expand their fleet and benefit from a short delivery time.” 

The profile of the vessel has been designed as one straight line, integrating the hotel area with the restaurant.  

“Although the basic form of a river cruiser seems optimised to the max, there are still significant opportunities to improve and stand out,” said Joris Manders, exterior designer at Omega Architects. “We have changed crucial and recognisable design features on the bow, entrance and aft part of the ship. One of the functional improvements that we accomplished is the see-through frontal part of the upper deck. When the wheelhouse is lowered to pass a bridge, the captain’s view remains unobstructed, guaranteeing safe manoeuvring.”  

The interiors are intended to create a contemporary chic ambience, with hidden lighting solutions breaking up the long linear spaces onboard. Clients will be able to choose from various styles, colours and materials. 

“We wanted the interior to really stand out from the traditional designs you see in these vessels,” said Sabrina Zenone, interior designer at Omega Architects. “It had to be welcoming, comfortable and luxurious, while at the same time fitting the budget. That required us to think out of the box and come up with innovative solutions.” 

The on-spec project is intended to limit the risks taken on by clients, as they will be able to enter the project when development work is largely completed. They will still be able to customise the design once the platform hull is under construction without changing the scheduled delivery date in spring 2023. 

“We are seeing a strong interest in this project, especially from clients who are new to this business and don’t have a reference vessel yet,” said Kaasjager. “They want a solid and reliable build from a trusted shipyard, without any negative surprises.”

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
18 October 2021

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