DISCOVER Magazine #6

A new adventure. Damen enters the cruise market

Published in category: Cruise
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“Look at this,” says Andrea Trevisan passionately. “It’s beautiful.” He’s indicating the latest artist’s impressions of Damen’s Expedition Cruise Vessel. Images that demonstrate the ship’s literal go-anywhere capability. Some showing the vessel in the type of crystal clear tropical waters that cannot help but make you long for warmer climes. Others, in contrast, show the same ship ploughing dramatically through ice to a backdrop of rocks and polar bears.

Fulfilling dreams

Andrea is Senior Vice President Cruise at Damen and has held a passion for cruise ships since his childhood in Italy.

“It was this that led me to enroll at the Nautical College in Venice, in order to fulfill my dream of sailing on such ships. I became a Master Mariner and served as a Senior Navigation Officer on large cruise liners for 11 years.”

Gorcums Museum Warrior Statue

At Damen there is a genuine passion for ships and a commitment to client satisfaction. You hear the word ‘pride’ a lot here; people are proud of working here and proud of what we deliver. This pride flows through everything we do and, ultimately, it’s this that will set Damen apart in the cruise world.

Andrea Trevisan

Building bridges

Now, he is busy injecting that same, life-long passion for cruise ships into the latest venture of the Damen Shipyards Group. Something, he asserts, is a logical move.

“Damen already has extensive experience in the repair of cruise ships – something that requires a fundamental understanding of the industry and the need for a highly optimised logistical operation. For newbuild though, this is new ground to us. But we have a solid track-record in breaking new ground and we are ready for this.

“We bring to the table a controlled operation with proven effectiveness and a well-deserved reputation for quality. Besides this, we already have wide experience in numerous maritime segments that provide a natural bridge to the cruise industry.” He gives a number of examples, including the large, complex ships of Damen’s defence & security and offshore energy industry portfolios. Perhaps the most convincing case though, is made by the group’s experience within the yachting sector.

“Damen came up with the SeaXplorer Adventure Yacht, which of course has the same versatility for extreme environments as the Expedition Cruise Vessel.

“As well as this, superyacht builder Amels is part of the group. With a track-record of over 60 high-end superyachts up to 83 metres, Amels has clearly demonstrated its deep understanding of the luxury experience.”

Damens Expedition Cruise Vessel lava land

Success in symbiosis

This synergic approach is a theme to be found in the DNA of Damen’s cruise adventure. Another example is the contribution being made by another group member – Denmark-based naval architect KNUD E. HANSEN.

“As (Managing Director) Finn Wollesen so often says, KNUD E. HANSEN has experience in designing every type of floating structure, with the one exception of nuclear submarines, for literally every continent on Earth.”

It’s a long history of designing passenger vessels for which the company is most renowned, however and this includes some notable cruise designs.

“KNUD E. HANSEN came up with the design of the Phoenix – World City, what would have been the largest cruise ship ever seen. The vessel wasn’t actually built, but the design featured a number of characteristics that went on to redefine the cruise industry of the late 20th century,” Andrea states.

Beauty is not only skin deep

This expertise penetrates every level of cruise design. You can see it expressed, for example, in the interior designs of the Damen Cruise Vessel.

“Creating the perfect cruise interior requires very specialist expertise. There are so many elements, many of which are completely invisible to the casual observer, that fuse together to create a harmonious whole. Great care has been taken with our vessel to ensure this runs through both private and public spaces,” says Andrea.

Damen’s collaborative approach to its cruise debut reaches outside of the group. Damen has teamed up with Expedition Voyage Consultants (EVC) and, in so doing, has taken a unique approach to the development of its vessel, as Andea explains: “We had worked with EVC’s sister company EYOS on the development of the SeaXplorer, so we knew we had a good collaboration that would translate into an optimised traveller experience. EVC has a lot of experience advising cruise line executives, investors and operatives with the planning and operations of all aspects of an expedition.”

Proud to deliver

Damen’s offering to the cruise industry, Andrea concludes, is about much more than these tangible components, however. “At Damen there is a genuine passion for ships and a commitment to client satisfaction. You hear the word ‘pride’ a lot here; people are proud of working here and proud of what we deliver. This pride flows through everything we do and, ultimately, it’s this that will set Damen apart in the cruise world.”

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