Cruise & Ferry Interiors 2022

9 4 Elly Yates Roberts speaks with Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Mathieu Petiteau about the design considerations for Ponant’s latest luxury icebreaker, Le Commandant Charcot Designing the interior spaces of cruise ships is a complex procedure that includes everything from organising the project schedule and familiarising architects with the yard process to making final decisions surrounding colour schemes and onboard ambience. However, the ultimate aim is to meet and exceed customers’ expectations, says Mathieu Petiteau, director of newbuilds and research and development at Ponant. The cruise line works closely with its interior designers to deliver these experiences. “At the very beginning of the project, we issue a mood board for the vessel and outline the atmosphere we want to achieve,” says Petiteau. “This acts as inspiration for the architect to find the right colours and materials, and strike the best balance between exploration, nature and luxury, all while delivering the distinctive French touch of Ponant. “Our newbuild team spends a lot of time onboard our vessels so that they truly understand the way our vessels operate and what our guests want. This is how we are able to create aesthetic and practical onboard interiors.” As the only French-owned cruise ship operator, Ponant offers a unique approach to sea travel, with small capacity ships that DES IGN PERSPECTI VE AN HOMAGE TO OCEAN EXPLORAT ION Jean-Philippe Nuel Studio incorporated leatherwork, handles and drawers into the suites and staterooms to emphasise the concept of sea travel and recall the cabin trunks of the past. Design note: Photo: Ponant/Gilles Trillard Exploration, nature and luxury