De­sign Time

Mas­sive cruise ship hull art pro­vides char­ac­ter and rec­og­niz­abil­ity when pulling into port.

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - What’s Inside - BY JA­SON LEP­PERT

Cruise ship hull art pro­vides char­ac­ter and rec­og­niz­abil­ity when pulling into port.

A SIM­PLE WHITE­WASHED HULL HAS LONG BEEN A CLAS­SIC CHOICE FOR cruise ship ex­te­ri­ors, but more and more cruise lines are em­ploy­ing bold de­signs to don their ships’ bows. So when a ship pulls into port th­ese days, chances are you may rec­og­nize it from quite a dis­tance, thanks to mas­sive and vi­brant hull de­signs. Th­ese ap­pliqués are not only at­ten­tion grab­bing, they are, them­selves, beau­ti­ful works of art.

DIS­NEY CRUISE LINE _ Dis­ney Cruise Line refers to its bow tips as “fil­i­grees tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from the fig­ure­heads of his­toric sail­ing ships and ren­der­ing sin­u­ous art nou­veau waves off of a medal­lion” — with none other than Mickey Mouse fea­tured in the cen­ter. Upon closer in­spec­tion, you’ll find other Dis­ney char­ac­ters in­cor­po­rated as some ride per­sonal wa­ter­craft over the crests. Also in­ter­est­ing is how Dis­ney Dream and

Dis­ney Fan­tasy specif­i­cally in­clude four stars in their de­signs to rep­re­sent the cur­rent count of ships in the fleet. Fur­ther dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing the ex­ist­ing ves­sels is the na­ture of Mickey at the bow of each. “Sor­cerer Mickey” is seen on

Dis­ney Magic, “Helms­man Mickey” on Dis­ney Won­der, “Cap­tain Mickey” on Dis­ney Dream, and “Sor­cerer Mickey” on Dis­ney Fan­tasy. Par­tic­u­larly play­ful, though, are Dis­ney ships’ aft sec­tions where Dis­ney char­ac­ters are sculpted three-di­men­sion­ally in ser­vice of paint­ing the name on the stern. Goofy is on Dis­ney Magic; Don­ald Duck and his neph­ews Huey, Dewey, and Louie (only the eyes of the last two are seen) are on Dis­ney Won­der; Sor­cerer Mickey and the Magic Brooms are on Dis­ney Dream; and Dumbo and Tim­o­thy Q. Mouse are on Dis­ney Fan­tasy. After all, “What’s more fan­tasy than a fly­ing ele­phant?” asked Bob Zalk of Walt Dis­ney Imag­i­neer­ing (the com­pany’s de­sign team), es­pe­cially one with an im­pres­sive “ear-span” of seven feet.

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL CRUISE COM­PA­NIES _ Ger­man cruise line AIDA Cruises uses geo­met­ric lips and eyes on its hulls that equally take cues from the art world. Ger­man artist Fe­liks Büt­tner drew from the princess of Giuseppe Verdi’s name­sake opera when ap­proach­ing a blend of Egyp­tian-in­spired mo­tifs and modern art for the line’s first ship, AIDA­cara. Of course, the main goal then was to be strik­ing and garner in­ter­est in cruise travel — an ob­jec­tive that con­tin­ues to this day — with the wel­come smile since ap­plied to the brand’s lat­est AIDAperla.

Gen­er­ally, AIDA’s ship lips mea­sure around 16 me­ters (52 feet) over­all while the eyes en­com­pass some 150 square me­ters (492 feet) with about 140 me­ters (459 feet) of eye­liner at its long­est.

Other in­ter­na­tional cruise com­pa­nies that fea­ture hull art­work in­clude P&O Cruises UK, whose ships boast the Union Flag along their hulls; Dream Cruises ships fea­ture whim­si­cal and in­tri­cate Asian mo­tifs; and Star Cruises’ hull art re­flects the as­tro­log­i­cal signs of the ship names: Su­per­Star Virgo, Su­per­Star Libra, Su­per­Star Gem­ini, Su­per­Star Aquarius, and Star Pisces.

PRINCESS CRUISES _ Tak­ing a graphic ap­proach is Princess Cruises, which has newly be­gun ap­ply­ing its iconic Seaw­itch logo on its bows. First in­tro­duced for its new Ma­jes­tic Princess, the flow­ing fe­male sil­hou­ette and her wavy hair will even­tu­ally be painted ex­pan­sively across ev­ery bow in the fleet.

“For nearly half a cen­tury, our Princess logo has rep­re­sented the ad­ven­ture of cruise travel around the globe,” said Jan Swartz, pres­i­dent of Princess Cruises. “Now our ships sail to more than 360 ports of call world­wide and will be in­stantly rec­og­nized from afar.”

On the new­est Royal class of ships, that has meant blue paint wrap­ping nearly the en­tire front edge and sur­faces as the graphic opens back up to white amid­ship, but on some older ves­sels, the logo has been added with more neg­a­tive space around it.

NOR­WE­GIAN CRUISE LINE _ Nor­we­gian Cruise Line hulls show­case the most var­ied can­vases of all. It might seem that its ships have al­ways sported such vivid pat­terns, but its im­ple­men­ta­tion only dates to 2002 when

Nor­we­gian Dawn first launched with its graph­ics, the Statue of Lib­erty in­cluded. Ev­ery new ship since has re­ceived sim­i­lar treat­ment, and ex­ist­ing ones prior to Nor­we­gian Dawn have retroac­tively re­ceived full paint jobs in­clud­ing Nor­we­gian Star, Nor­we­gian Sun, Nor­we­gian Sky, and Nor­we­gian Spirit.

In­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture de­sign firm SMC was charged with the ex­te­rior art of those ships en­ter­ing ser­vice in or prior to 2008.

Nor­we­gian Epic’s bow de­sign was han­dled in­house by the Nor­we­gian Cruise Line cre­ative ser­vices team. And the line has teamed up with a va­ri­ety of world-renowned artists to ap­ply their dis­tinct touch to Nor­we­gian Break­away in 2013 and on each ship since.

Pop artist Peter Max once more uti­lized the Statue of Lib­erty, bring­ing it full cir­cle to cruises from New York City, on Nor­we­gian

Break­away with his sig­na­ture “Lib­erty Head” fea­tured promi­nently on the bow. Later, Mi­ami’s David “Lebo” Le Batard went from cos­mopoli­tan to trop­i­cal on Nor­we­gian

Get­away. Then, Guy Har­vey show­cased ocean con­ser­va­tion ex­ter­nally on Nor­we­gian Es­cape with beau­ti­fully ren­dered marine an­i­mals, and in­ter­nally with the line’s sup­port for his Guy Har­vey Ocean Foun­da­tion. Nor­we­gian Joy brought Chi­nese artist Tan Ping, who cre­ated a large red phoenix for the ship’s Chi­nese mar­ket. And soon, Nor­we­gian Bliss will boast an artis­tic ren­di­tion of con­ser­va­tion ef­forts by Wy­land, as the artist’s marine life is fea­tured on the ship’s hull when it sets sail for Alaska in June 2018.

But whether you’re sail­ing in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, or any­where else in the world, the next time you pull into port, look around and see if you can dis­tin­guish the ships by their color­ful can­vases.

P&O Cruises’ Bri­tan­nia Nor­we­gian Get­away

More than 400 liters (105 gal­lons) of paint were re­quired for AIDA­diva’s lip­stick.

Ma­jes­tic Princess

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