Embracing the luxury of onboard space

Marco De Jorio gives Alice Chambers an insight into De Jorio Luxury & Yachts Projects’ recent work for MSC Cruises and Explora Journeys

Embracing the luxury of onboard space
The firm has created a sense of luxury onboard Explora I with spacious interior design

Italian ship design firm De Jorio Luxury & Yachts Projects (DJLYP) has been working closely with MSC Group to develop its upcoming vessels.  

DJLYP acquired De Jorio Design International while the firm was working on MSC Seascape and MSC World Europa, both of which are scheduled to debut in the MSC Cruises fleet in December 2022. DJLYP is now focused on developing innovative designs for all five ships that will be sailing for MSC Group’s new luxury brand, Explora Journeys. 

When beginning a project, DJLYP seeks to understand both the experience the operator is aiming to create onboard its ship and the target market. “The aim of any design is not to detract from the cruising experience, but to evoke a sense of excitement while guests are travelling towards their destinations,” says Marco De Jorio, president and CEO of DJLYP. “MSC World Europa is a great example of how different areas onboard a ship invoke different moods and experiences. As a 200,000gt ship, it has to be packed full of character, so we’ve combined traditional styles with a modern twist to create the ‘wow’ factor.” 

MSC World Europa showcases both a three-deck-tall indoor galleria at the heart of the ship, which features an LED sky screen portraying different ambiences throughout the day, as well as an outdoor promenade that will be open to the sky and lined with restaurants and bars. 

“Much like Portofino in Italy, with its shops and colourful buildings, the outdoor promenade has been designed as a vibrant village on the sea,” says De Jorio. “It also offers sea views from the stern of the ship and green areas for passengers to relax. One of the main features of the promenade is The Venom Drop @ Spiral, a dry slide that spans 11 decks and is incorporated into the architectural design of the area.”  

Lighting, windows and the variety of venues throughout the indoor galleria will help to create a lively space where restaurants and bars are just a walk away from one another. The reception area is also at the centre of the inside space. “Our approach was to imagine the promenade as a street and plan for the potential flow of guests that it would receive,” says De Jorio. 

DJLYP is also focused on understanding what experience Explora Journeys wants to offer to its target market. Explora I is the first of five ships that will join the fleet and will be delivered in May 2023. The full fleet will be delivered by 2026. 

Despite having the typical dimensions of a 3,000-passenger ship, Explora I will accommodate 1,000 passengers and will have 1:1 guest-to-crew ratio. DJLYP will create a sense of luxury onboard the ship by designing spacious interiors and taking a minimalist approach. For example, it has opted to only accent areas with artwork when necessary to avoid spaces feeling cluttered.  

“Less is more and spaciousness is luxury,” says De Jorio. “That’s the philosophy that we’re using for Explora I and the following Explora Journey ships. Space is valued on luxury ships and brands are less focused on controlling the flow of passengers, preferring to prioritise providing a relaxing place for guests to feel at home on the sea, without queues or waiting times.”  

As the cruise industry becomes more focused on sustainability, so too has DJLYP, which has adapted its processes to deliver environmentally conscious spaces at sea. DJLYP is prioritising sustainability at every stage of its projects, doing everything from sourcing new materials and supply chain partners to incorporating elements such as onboard water refilling stations to encourage guests to adopt sustainable practices while onboard the ships.  

“It’s important that we make our designs as green as possible,” says De Jorio. “For example, we are using fewer synthetic materials and aiming to use more natural materials. We also consider water treatment, opportunities to recycle and energy usage.”  

DJLYP is also looking into sourcing energy from solar panels, something which is already being trialled on some of the company’s recent yacht projects. It plans to incorporate these into its future designs. 

“We are continuing to be flexible with our designs, to incorporate sustainability and safety measures onboard all new vessels,” says De Jorio. “A ship becomes alive once its passengers and crew are onboard, but it is the design that is at the core of its personality.”

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.         

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Alice Chambers
By Alice Chambers
26 October 2022

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