The MSC Meraviglia is a new-generation mega-ship and the first of a new fleet of high-tech cruise ships that MSC Cruises is launching over the next decade. Built by STX France at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard, the 5,700-passenger capacity cruiser is outfitted with the latest in cutting-edge technology, including a large energy-efficient Elation Professional LED lighting package used in the ship’s entertainment and relaxation areas.
For several years, Audio Effetti of Genova, Italy, has collaborated closely with both the technical department of MSC Cruises and the renowned engineering design studio CM by Claudio Mazzucchelli. The latter was commissioned by MSC to define and optimise the technical equipment on board. “We have worked with MSC for years as a partner in the research and supply of the most suitable solutions and products to meet the strict naval requirements in lighting, video and audio technologies on board cruise ships. Therefore, it was only natural they involved us from the beginning,” stated Roberto Villa, Product Specialist at Audio Effetti. The established synergies as well as the high level of professionalism and competence of these three companies have resulted in two splendid and innovative ships: MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside.
In such a competitive industry, exceeding passenger expectations is crucial. One of the most important ways of doing that is by using intelligent lighting systems to enhance on board entertainment and dress the public areas of a ship in enhancing color and effect. The MSC Meraviglia project is the first MSC cruise ship on which such a large amount of Elation products have been chosen and installed. This is a significant milestone since each type of product was carefully evaluated and passed the very strict selection criteria imposed by studio CM with regard to level of reliability, energy efficiency, type of technology used, maintenance and service procedures, etc.
The list of fixtures includes ZCL 360i and ACL 360i beam effect lights, ACL 360 Bar moving bar effects, Arena Q7 Zoom Par lights, Colour 5 Profile ellipsoidal spots, DW Fresnel white lights, ELAR 108 PAR RGBW Par lights, Rayzor Q12Z wash lights, Rayzor Q7 moving head wash/beam fixtures, SixPar 200IP and SixPar Z19 IP outdoor rated Par lights, TVL1000-II white light LED array panels and TVL CYC RGBW cyclorama wall wash lights.
“Elation was chosen because of its know-how in this particular sector,” Villa comments, referring to Elation’s experience in supplying lighting for cruise ships the world over, including Royal Caribbean fleets and the world’s largest cruise ship Harmony of the Seas. “The unquestionable quality level of the products present in the catalogue, the availability of products dedicated to outdoor use, also with ‘marine grade’ specifications, and the extensive choice of LED solutions available were all key factors.”
That last point was not just important; it was a mandate from MSC Cruises, which Studio CM subsequently paid particular attention to. “The owner’s primary request was to set up the ship and all its areas with the most modern and green technologies available, which meant LED solutions for the lighting,” Villa said. “Since Elation is a market leader when it comes to using these very high-level technologies, it was not difficult to convince designers and the ship owner that Elation was the right partner.”
The benefits to switching from incandescent to LED are marked and especially relevant to cruise ships. Villa mentions two main advantages for choosing LED for MSC Meraviglia. First is energy savings. The second, and the most important reason according to Villa, is a substantial decrease (almost elimination) of the maintenance required on the lighting fixtures, which translates to substantial savings over the lifetime of the ship. Using an LED system also means less cabling and no dimmers to contend with.
The Elation lighting is used in several public areas of the ship – mainly in the Promenade (40 ZCL360i), Broadway Theatre (Colour 5 Profile), Atrium (ACL 360 BAR), Children’s Area (ZCL 360i, ACL 360 Bar), Karaoke | TV Studio (DW Fresnel, Rayzor Q7, TVL 1000 II, TVL CYC RGBW, ZCL 360i, ACL 360 Bar), Lounge (ZCL 360i, Rayzor Q7, ACL 360 Bar), discos, pool deck (where products with marine-grade specifications have been highly appreciated), as well as various halls dedicated to entertainment activities. The ship’s main reception hall also benefits from Elation lights, where designers from Studio CM have fully exploited the potential of both Elation static and automated products to create enticing atmospheres that vary depending on the time of day.
It almost goes without mentioning that support and team work on such a large project is crucial for a successful result, something that Villa and his team at Audio Effetti appreciate well. “The support we receive from Elation is always positive,” Villa says. “We mainly work with Frederik Afif and Nancy De Lang at Elation and we know that the team around them is always there to support us whether for a large-scale project like a cruise ship, for a smaller project, or for a large exhibition such as Music Inside Rimini 2017 where Audio Effetti had an impressive stand and remarkable live stage with plenty of Elation products.”
MSC Meraviglia is currently sailing the Mediterranean, calling on ports in Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Valletta. A sister ship, the MSC Seaside, also recently set sail with a large scenic and architainment lighting package specified by MSC Cruises, Audio Effetti and Studio CM , the vast majority of which is Elation Professional products.