Wärtsilä further strengthened its portfolio by incorporating the latest lighting and entertainment solutions provided by Wärtsilä FUNA.

Let us entertain you

While the lighting, background music and public address announcements are not the primary sources of entertainment on a cruise ship or in amusement parks, they are key in setting the mood and managing the venue. Nowadays, many of those technologies and solutions are built by Wärtsilä, through an expansion of its business into entertainment know-how.

Text: Hannakaisa Markkanen Photo: Wärtsilä

 

LIGHTING THE WAY FORWARD

Wärtsilä has always understood the needs of cruise operators and prioritised passenger comfort. Already an industry leader in the marine business, Wärtsilä further strengthened its portfolio by incorporating the latest lighting and entertainment solutions provided by Wärtsilä FUNA. The FUNA Lighting concept is something new for cruise ships, but it is applicable to other industries as well.

“Our clients count on us not only to figure out how to do something spectacular but also to deliver it. In the process, we often create new solutions to old problems,” tells Paul Weber, Managing Director for Wärtsilä FUNA.

The Genting Dream, the first of two cruise vessels being built for an Asian luxury cruise line, is soon to serve cruise passengers in the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. Suddenly its balconies come alive with light. The lights move, creating patterns, even texts.

The unique LED matrix lighting system is created by Wärtsilä FUNA, a company well-known for designing and building entertainment, security & safety, communication and lighting solutions in cruise vessels but also for amusement parks and football stadiums. By widening its scope into this new business area, Wärtsilä can provide better in-house packages for customers and strengthen its share in the traditional cruise business. Having in-house know-how for different entertainment systems and technologies, Wärtsilä is able to extend the scope of delivery and scope of application for customers in a variety of industries and business sectors.

“The unique lighting concept on Genting Dream was developed in close cooperation with the lighting design company, the ship owner team and the lighting department of the shipyard to provide a truly special visual effect on the outside of the ship. The lighting concept will change the way people see a cruise ship arriving or departing the harbours of the world,” explains Andreas Köhler, Sales Manager, Wärtsilä FUNA GmbH, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.

The unique LED matrix lighting system is created by Wärtsilä FUNA, a company well-known for designing and building entertainment, security & safety, communication and lighting solutions in cruise vessels but also for amusement parks and football stadiums.

SETTING THE MOOD

Many cruise ships, like Harmony of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Celebrity Reflection and Norwegian Breakaways, have lighting or entertainment solutions provided by Wärtsilä FUNA. The lighting and entertainment systems play a key role in setting the mood on board.

“With our technology, passengers can ease into the right mood everywhere they go. We are able to connect local systems via network, making them easy to control. In addition, we provide the shipyard with the possibility to test a dimming system as early as possible. This is a great opportunity for the shipyard to find any possible trouble with the lighting circuits before the commissioning starts,” Köhler says.

On a cruise ship, the timing of the installation process is critical because the ship needs to be ready for the entertainment crew to start their rehearsals. Wärtsilä FUNA is well known in delivering the equipment on time and within budget.

“We provide all our systems – high quality sound systems, effect light systems, architectural lighting solutions, video and broadcast systems and public address systems ­– to cruise ships worldwide. Depending on the customer, we are able to provide the whole service package from design to commissioning,” Köhler explains.

Wärtsilä Funa provides all our systems – high quality sound systems, effect light systems, architectural lighting solutions, video and broadcast systems and public address systems – to cruise ships worldwide.

FUNCTIONAL YET NOVEL

The scope of Wärtsilä FUNA is not limited to the marine market. The technologies can be utilised also on land.

“Our technology is used on cruise ships and other vessels, in airports, stadiums, amusement and theme parks, hotels, museums and other facilities. Our speciality is integrating FUNA systems into public areas, whether the area is small or large, and also with third parties,” says Köhler.

The technology used for the variety of applications and systems is basically the same, but it is the expertise at Wärtsilä FUNA that is the cornerstone in making its excellent, specially integrated systems. Because its designers and builders have years of experience designing public address systems, Wärtsilä FUNA’s products are always reliable, functional and novel.  

Announcement systems and systems for evacuation and broadcasting need to work flawlessly day in and day out. As systems for public areas need to meet many safety requirements that can vary from country to country, it takes experience and expertise to be able to design something new and functional but that still meets safety requirements.

“There are different aspects that need to be taken into consideration when designing and installing systems for public areas. With our equipment and long experience, we are able to provide our customers reliable and safe solutions,” tells Weber.

Wärtsilä FUNA’s solutions offer notable benefits to customers. Integrating new systems into public areas may be time- and money-consuming, as there are many separate systems like a public address system and local sound and lighting systems.

“One of our assets is in integrating some of these systems with each other. Normally, a public address system and local music systems are separate, but we can combine these two systems to save costs to the customer. This kind of integrated system saves cable, too, and the solution is architecturally nicer than two separate systems. It also sounds better and is easier to maintain,” explains Köhler.

Wärtsilä FUNA solutions are provided all around the world

CREATIVE SPIRIT

Wärtsilä FUNA solutions are provided all around the world. “We have global flexibility and strength,” says Weber.  

“For instance, in Dubai,” he adds, “we designed, built and installed audio, video and control systems for two new theme parks.  We were able to tender that project as a local vendor, thanks to Wärtsilä’s office in Dubai which was willing to provide local assistance and shop fabrication facilities. This gave us a significant advantage over our competitors, who were forced to create local joint ventures and complicated partnership arrangements.” Wärtsilä FUNA provided almost 100% of all the audio-video and control equipment that you encounter as you go through the theme parks.

To come up with new creative ideas and solutions that truly benefit customers, you need the right people on the design team. You need creative people who are ready to explore the boundaries of implementation and execution – something Weber coins as the “FUNA spirit.”

“Especially on cruise ships, novelty is a desired quality in attracting new customers and providing an unforgettable experience for passengers. Therefore, our experience in amusement parks is an advantage also in designing and building cruise ships,” explains Köhler. Some ideas that have been used in an amusement park may be applicable for cruise ships or might encourage implementation of something different on a cruise vessel.

To bring the “FUNA spirit” alive, “means being creative and challenging the existing systems. One might say that we need to have slightly crazy people, who can think out of the box and are ready to put their ideas into practice,” says Weber.

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