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Cruise Ship Design

Conference speech presented at the Seatrade Mediterranean Cruise and Ferry Convention (Genoa, 17-20 September 1996)

By Fabio Mosetti (Gerolamo Scorza Spa) (10/12/96)

Before we speak of the design ideas for the next generation of cruise vessels, we must take a step back.
The first initiatives to expand the concept of ship were carried out by the most qualified European and American architects in the late 80s.

This concept had so far been dependent on - and sacrificed to - rules and traditions that were still very much linked to the historic periods of the naval world, and that were often in contrast with the purpose of the big cruise ships, where the passengers comfort and safety are kept in the same - or in greater - consideration as tradition.

After the initial successes of these innovative ideas, in some cases not well definable yet clearly perceived by the shipbuilders and by the majority of passengers, a fast revolution occured both from the point of view of design and from that of materials.
The outfitter was finally given enough space to use his experience in the apllication of the modern technologies and of the most advanced materials offered by a market in constant growth in order to translate the architects ideas into practice.

From our experience as outfitters we are constantly seeing and experimenting with new and successful working ways based on strong involvement of the architects.

The role of the outfitter thus focuses on the help he can offer the architects on construction techniques and on the different materials and their use in the various shapes of the modern architectural design, which he derives from his market knowledge.

As evidence of what has been outlined so far we can confirm that our experiences in the last couple of years have been extremely positive and exciting just for the reason that we have been actively involved in putting the architects ideas into the process of becoming creations of great aesthetics and functional value.

An important contribution to the success of many new designs was given by the great variety and availability of materials that come from the European and the North American markets, markets in costant evolution.

It must be realised that only ten years ago it would have been unthinkable and impossible to complete some of the challenging works we have had the honour to be involved in.
We are thinking, in particular, of glass in its various shapes and colours, of stainless steel extruded material, aluminium and brass, and of course all the different types of wood which, when used in a rational way adds to the aesthetics with its warmth and tone-variety.
In addition, we must not forget marble, ceramics and stone, now largely used thanks to manufacturing technologies that allow thickness - and consequently weight - reduction, a critical factor in shipbuilding.

To give some pratical example of what outlined before we can point out the fact that is now normal to build ample B Class fire protection walls entirely made of glass, so as columns, beams, balustrades and stairs modelled in the most various shapes.

The same can be said of marble and stone, where, with the help of modern technologies, we can obtain huge void columns which allow to save weight still keeping the exterior aspect.

As time is running out and as I would like to leave enough space for the discussion, I will now conclude my short intervention on a subject which would indeed deserve a longer and deeper analysis.
But before, allow me to point out that all of the above considerations are the fruit of our direct participation in the realisation of many cruise giants and of our collaboration with outstanding architects and designers, well-known in the marine field, who are undoubtedly among the major contributors to the completion of such beautiful ships.

For further information about the Convention:
Seatrade Convention Review
Seatrade Convention Preview

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