The future of cruise design

When the pandemic emerged at the beginning of last year, the global cruise industry was unfortunately brought to a halt. During this downtime, many cruise providers have been looking at ways to adapt their fleet to ensure that when passengers are allowed on board again, the spaces they occupy are as safe and as hygienic as they can be. Jan Beck, Head of Transportation at Forbo Flooring Systems explores how floor coverings can help achieve this goal by improving overall levels of cleanliness on board a vessel.

At the very beginning of the pandemic, the global cruise industry was thrown into the spotlight, with attention fixed on several outbreaks that occurred on cruise ships. This media coverage served as a serious blow to the public trust in the safety of the vessels – trust that will be difficult to win back.

Jennifer Holland, Tourism Lecturer at the University of Suffolk, carried out a piece of research in partnership with the University of Western Australia, that found following the pandemic, almost 45% of those interviewed have lost faith in the honesty and transparency of cruise lines, regarding safety and health issues. The report also found that 67% of interviewees are now less willing to take a cruise as a result of the pandemic. These figures demonstrate the uphill battle the industry will face in the coming months, in its efforts to win back confidence in its services. The question is then, how does the cruise industry regain public trust?

According to EHL Insights, in order to emerge from the crisis in a stronger position, cruise line companies must adapt and cater to the higher post-pandemic standards of hygiene and cleanliness desired by their guests. They suggest that it is imperative for providers to consider how public behaviours and expectations have changed, and that standards are improved to prepare for future outbreaks. One option is to introduce more stringent rules and protocols, for both staff and guests. Additionally, implementing products that boost cleanliness and hygiene on board is something that should be embraced by all providers.

Coral Marine FR entrance flooring has been designed to improve the cleanliness of a vessel from the moment guests take their first steps on board. With its ability to remove and absorb up to 95% of walked in dirt and moisture, Coral Marine FR actively prevents this dirt from being spread further – greatly improving overall levels of hygiene. By containing the transmission of dirt to primarily entrance areas, Coral Marine FR helps to reduce the cleaning and maintenance required across a whole vessel. The benefit of this will be seen in the resultant time and financial savings associated with minimized cleaning. Furthermore, this reduced maintenance will help to prolong the lifespan of other floor coverings.

Containing over 70 million upright fibres per m2, Flotex FR is a unique, textile, flocked floor covering that offers exceptional benefits regarding hygiene and cleanability. All textile floorings capture fine dust and allergens from the air, which are then removed by vacuuming. However, thanks to its unique construction, Flotex FR has been proven to capture twice the amount that conventional carpet does – part of the reason the range was awarded the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of Approval™. This fantastic quality helps improve indoor air quality, something that will be highly sought after following the pandemic. What’s more, the upkeep of Flotex FR is easy as it can be cleaned with a large range of products, with mechanical wet cleaning also supported. The textile floor covering is also quick to dry, thus maximizing the efficiency of the cleaning process.

There are two products within the Flotex FR range, Flotex Colour FR and Flotex Vision FR. Both share the same performance properties but offer different design options. With a vast range of semi-plain designs to choose from, including vibrant hues and stylish shades, Flotex Colour FR is available in a colour to meet every requirement. Thanks to our advanced digital printing process, Flotex Vision FR is available in over 500 high-definition patterns and styles, offering more complex designs.

As many reports have stated, winning back public trust in cruise line services will be a challenge. Providers that want to be successful post-pandemic should seriously consider the type of materials used as part of the interior design schemes, that helps towards improving standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Forbo’s Coral Marine FR and Flotex FR floor coverings can both aid providers in achieving this goal. Find out more about our IMO certified range of floor coverings for marine vessels here: https://www.forbo.com/flooring/en-gl/products/transport-flooring/marine-floor-coverings/bp2aw1

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