What’s new in the world of cruise ship interiors for 2022?

Elite Exhibitions identifies the biggest trends for cruise ship interiors this year

What’s new in the world of cruise ship interiors for 2022?
Tattoo parlours onboard Virgin Voyages’ fleet exemplify how new spaces are being added to cruise ship interiors

By Abigail McMahon |

The cruise ship interior trends of 2022 reflect the turmoil and change of the last two years.

Some indicate the new drivers that have emerged from the impact of the pandemic on social behaviour, others continue a long thread of interior trends extending back several years. Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America (CSI) has identified durability, sustainability, guests staying longer onboard vessels, and the ability to refresh and reconnect as the four biggest trends in the cruise ship interior industry for 2022.  

In a recent survey for CSI Plus, 50 per cent of buyers named durability as their biggest priority when sourcing products and materials. Budget and sustainability are top of mind for cruise lines and designers when they are looking for long-lasting products. International Maritime Organization-certified materials already need to withstand rigorous cleaning regimes and high traffic usage, but the pandemic has prompted cruise brands to increase the frequency of cleaning routines and they are now looking to repair, rather than replace, where possible. 

The industry is also going beyond using sustainability as a buzzword and instead having deeper conversations about carbon neutrality, the supply chain, repairable and recyclable materials, and the circular economy. Cruise ship interiors suppliers, designers and buyers are breaking down the concept of sustainability to define what it means and develop practical, long-term solutions. For example, Eumar Design’s gelceramic lightweight, composite stone material recently won CSI’s sustainability award. Materials such as gelceramic lightweight make a business case for sustainability, offering not only material longevity but also radical weight savings and long-term cost savings.  

Passengers preferring to stay onboard cruise ships is another element that impacts trends within the cruise ship interior industry. Guests are remaining onboard cruise ships for longer periods of time during their holidays than ever before and the vessel interiors need to be carefully designed to accommodate this. Cruise ships are already designed to keep their passengers engaged through the use of intriguing details, multifunctional spaces and customisable experiences to ensure they can derive renewed enjoyment out of the same spaces throughout the duration of their stay. Now, the pressure is on to create richer experiential design that sets the stage for even more varied entertainment, new health and well-being opportunities and bespoke experiences at every price range. New spaces are being added to cruise ship interiors, from small areas such as tattoo parlours onboard Virgin Voyages’ fleet, to much bigger areas like Bolt, the world’s first at-sea rollercoaster onboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Celebration. 

If 2020 was the year that newbuild and refurbishment projects paused, then 2021 was the year they resumed with full force, calling on all resources of shipowners, shipbuilders, designers, outfitters and suppliers. Now, in 2022, there’s an opportunity for the industry to refresh, catch-up with the latest samples, update personal knowledge and learn more about the latest innovations.  

As Petu Kummala, senior director of interior design and architecture at Carnival Cruise Line said during a ‘Cruise Conversations Live’ discussion at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America 2021: “There are certain things that you need to do in person. Looking, touching materials, you can’t do that remotely. Photographs lie. For example, a chandelier. Light is a special element which you cannot do virtually.” 

To hear more about these trends and discover the latest products and innovations in the cruise ship interior industry at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America, which will take place between 7 and 8 June 2022 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Florida, USA. Attendees will also be able to enjoy speed networking opportunities and immerse themselves in sustainability on the sustainability-themed second day. Register at www.cruiseshipinteriors-expo.com. 

Abigail McMahon is content manager at Elite Exhibitions  

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

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