Cruise & Ferry Interiors 2021

KEYNOTE Building a commitment to excellence MSC Cruises has launched several newbuilds in recent years and has another 10 on order, including two in new ship classes. Jon Ingleton asks Trevor Young about the interior design challenges that lie ahead S hipbuilding is a family affair for MSC Cruises’ approach, and every employee plays an important role. “We have our own very particular brand when it comes to the design of our ships and that’s very much inspired by the owners of the company, particularly Rafaela Aponte, as well as our executive chairman Pierfranceso Vago,” says Trevor Young, the company’s vice president of newbuilding. “Under their guidance, the company style has evolved into a unique flavour that is now instantly identifiable.” Discernible design characteristics include upmarket, contemporary and elegant interiors. “We’ve tried to convey these ideals throughout the interior spaces of all of our vessels, underpinning our design philosophy,” says Young. “This philosophy has evolved through us relentlessly pushing boundaries, driving innovation and stretching imagination. However, we always retain our unique style to satisfy the 190 nationalities that cruise with us.” MSC Cruises ships are instantly recognisable, with an exterior architecture that often belies their size. “This will be particularly apparent with our new World Europa,” says Young. “She will be a 205,700gt ship with a cutting-edge design but she doesn’t feel big when you look at the pictures or when you’re flying around her in 3D on the computer. She’s going to be incredible.” Although each class of ship is very different, they all share the same design language which is driven by Rafaela Aponte, who helps with the layout and flow, oversees material and furniture selection and the artwork. “Her vision helps to keep everything in harmony and on message and she drives the quest for perfection and invention,” says Young. He notes that World Europa is a beneficiary of this relentless pursuit of perfection, although many details are still shrouded in secrecy. “We’re not ready to reveal the details yet but she has a variety of new venues and features reflective of the promise that her unique exterior design bestows.” Good design must flow seamlessly throughout every MSC Cruises vessel to help guests transition between spaces. “When guests leave a restaurant to walk in the promenade or anywhere else, we want the transition to be seamless,” says Young. “It’s very important that we get the right balance – the new venue has to be very different, whether it’s a bar, restaurant, lounge, shop or somewhere else. However, it still has to precisely relate to our style.” The same balancing principle applies when MSC Cruises is designing new vessels, says Young. “We consciously try to create something different to our existing ships so that when our guests move from one vessel to another, they get something new but with the same sense of style.” Young continuously catalogues new ideas to make this process easier. “I 1 0