The class of 2022: Outstanding new onboard spaces

With new ships launching at such a phenomenal rate it’s hard to keep up with the latest output of the creative powerhouses that shape the onboard experience. In this feature, Alice Chambers highlights a series of interior spaces that are sure to appeal to passengers onboard some of the cruise ships and ferries debuting this year

The class of 2022: Outstanding new onboard spaces
The open-air amphitheatre, AquaTheater, is located at the stern of Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas with the deepest at-sea pool at its centre

AquaTheater – Wonder of the Seas 

Royal Caribbean International has spared no expense on developing entertainment offerings onboard newest fleet member Wonder of the Seas, which is currently the largest cruise ship in the world with accommodation for 6,988 passengers.  

The open-air amphitheatre, AquaTheater, is located at the stern of the ship with the deepest at-sea pool at its centre. The area hosts Olympic-level diving performances and aerial acrobatics as part of the vessel’s ‘inTENse’ production, as well as ice-skating, superhero-battling and musical theatre productions. 

Guests can watch the water-themed show from either the tiered seating or from the balconies, which span six decks. Lights and music will be used to further enhance the unique performances on offer. 

Wonder of the Seas began its maiden season on 8 May 2022, offering seven-night cruises from Barcelona, Spain, and Rome, Italy. 

Family picnic area – MyStar  

Tallink Grupp’s MyStar has 14 public areas, each of which have been designed around the theme of the ‘Beauty of the Baltic Sea’ by Finnish agency dSign Vertti Kivi & Co. Each onboard area has been given unique colours, lighting and surface materials to provide different atmospheres.  

The family picnic area uses natural materials and is brightly coloured, with a large Lottemaa (Lotte Land) play area to the side of the seating, as well as large panoramic windows to give passengers easy access to sea views. Passengers can relax, eat and play in this area while travelling between Talinn, Estonia, and Helsinki, Finland, from the first half of 2022. 

“Throughout the public areas onboard, we have played with the colours and the idea is that each and every area on the ship is meant to create a different emotional charge,” says Vertti Kivi, head of design at dSign Vertti Kivi & Co, in a Tallink blog. “We have used many reflective surfaces that come to life by reacting with various lighting solutions.” 

Hyperspace Lounge – Disney Wish 

Disney Cruise Line’s newest vessel Disney Wish has been designed to offer fun and relaxation for family members of all ages. The Star Wars Hyperspace lounge will be an adults-only area designed to reflect the renowned Star Wars movie franchise, with gold-clad, robotic-style furniture, themed lighting and projected images of space replicating an out-of-this-world feeling. 

The interstellar floor patterns and complimentary tableware are one of the most striking aspects of this venue, which will offer interactive tasting experiences and signature beverages inspired by Star Wars destinations such as Batuu, Tattoine and Mustafar. 

Disney Wish will embark on her maiden voyage from Port Canaveral in Florida on 14 July 2022. 

SkyDome – Arvia  

P&O Cruises’ Arvia will feature a two-level leisure facility called SkyDome. With a retractable sunroof to let the sunshine in and keep bad weather out, the space has been designed to help guests make the most of the pool and onboard leisure facilities. 

The SeaScreen at the centre of the space will play blockbuster and classic sing-along films for entertainment. P&O Cruises will also host family shows, game shows, interviews, cookery demonstrations, live music, guest tribute acts, and dancing and DJ sets in the SkyDome. 

Arvia will begin operating in the Caribbean from December 2022. 

Carnival Central – Carnival Celebration  

Located at the front of Carnival Cruise Line’s new Carnival Celebration, the three-deck-high Carnival Central atrium will have vast floor-to-ceiling windows to provide guests with views of the ocean and destinations. The area will be packed full of onboard entertainment facilities including 14-foot LED screens, a ceiling of 1,400 colour-changing lights, a stage, bars, cafes and restaurants. 

The atrium is a multifunctional area that offers a relaxing, casual and quiet atmosphere during the day and transforms into an entertainment venue at night.  

Carnival Central is split into smaller areas, each with their own specific colour, furniture and lighting schemes. All these areas will come together to create an open and welcoming space. 

Carnival Celebration is set to debut in November 2022. 

Retail area – Aura and Luna Seaways  

DFDS Seaways’ newest ferries, Aura Seaways and Luna Seaways, are now operating on routes in Sweden, having been launched in January and April 2022 respectively. The ro-pax ferries were built by COMEC Guangzhou Shipyard in China.  

Both sister ships feature well-lit retail areas, where the contemporary design has created spacious areas that allow passengers to browse freely and shop conveniently.  

In the shops, DFDS sells a variety of cosmetic products, including perfumes, make up and other travel necessities. According to Iveta Žutautiene, travel retail category manager at DFDS, local and international produce such as spirits will also be available. 

Grand Suite – American Symphony  

American Cruise Lines has embarked on a project to build a fleet of modern riverboat ships, which provide luxury comfort and are designed for river cruising convenience. American Symphony will join American Melody, American Jazz, American Heritage and American Splendor in August 2022, operating on the Mississippi River in the USA. 

The ship’s Grand Suite will offers panoramic views through floor-to-ceiling glass windows and feature a separate bedroom and living area. Created by Studio DADO, the space will offer an elegant and refined aesthetic, with a colour palette and architectural design that pays homage to the line’s American origins. This, combined with Scandinavian-style furniture, will create an overall atmosphere of relaxation. 

Promenade – MSC World Europa  

MSC Cruises' MSC World Europa, which will welcome her first guests in December 2022, 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 a new outdoor promenade that will be open to the sky and lined with restaurants and bars.

At the core 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 promenade will contribute towards an energetic atmosphere where restaurants and bars are just a walk away from one another. 

Torget – Viking Glory 

The market square area onboard Viking Line’s Viking Glory was designed by Swedish architecture firm Koncept Stockholm. Known as Torget, the area has been created with a focus on Scandinavian simplicity and playfulness to cater for all types of passengers. 

Views of the sea and archipelagos have been prioritised to make the most of the scenery on Viking Line’s Turku-Mariehamn-Stockholm route. 

“We’ve placed various elements borrowed from nature in the archipelago here and there on the ship: waves, beacons, flags, skerries and lighthouses,” says Niclas Makowsky, architect at Koncept. “These are seen both as moving images on giant LED screens and as abstract figures, for example, in carpets and lighting fixtures. The colour palette on the vessel was inspired by the sea, the cliffs, the forests and the nuances of the different kinds of wood.” 

Viking Glory began service on 1 March 2022. 

Plaza Mayor – Salamanca  

Plaza Mayor, the main bar onboard Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca, is designed to reflect its namesake Spanish city, particularly its baroque-style city square which is a popular area with several bars and restaurants. The ironwork detailing and interlinking woodwork contributes to this feel. The bar is flooded with natural light, as is the whole atrium, and features a big screen for sports events and music.  

The vessel, which was chartered from Stena RoRo, began operating on 27 March 2022.  

Observation Lounge – SH Vega 

SH Vega, Swan Hellenic’s upcoming vessel was completed on 5 May 2022 and will offer similar onboard features and amenities to her sister ship 
SH Minerva, which launched in January 2022.  

Designed to reflect the landscapes that she sails through, SH Vega’s observation lounge is one of the key spaces at the heart of the ship and has floor-to-ceiling windows that will enable guests to connect with the outdoor world. 

The lounge was one of several public spaces created by Tillberg Design of Sweden, all of which provide open, unobstructed views of the ocean. Some of the other highlights of the lounge include soft furnishings and a palette of natural colour tones, as well as a transparent grand piano, which contribute towards an overall calming environment. 

Sea Thermal Suite – Celebrity Beyond  

Celebrity Beyond was delivered to Celebrity Cruises in 2022. The cruise line worked with Kelly Hoppen CBE to design the Sea Thermal Suite.  

Wellness has been prioritised onboard Celebrity Beyond and there are eight separate facilities on offer for guests to use, all located within the Sea Thermal Suite. This area was inspired by the cruise line’s already popular Persian Garden, which is an aqua therapy space onboard nine other ships in its fleet. 

Each space in the Sea Thermal Suite offers a different type of spa experience including crystal healing, water therapy and Turkish bathing to relax the muscles. 

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

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Alice Chambers
By Alice Chambers
29 July 2022

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