When the youngest and largest ship of the Aida fleet is going to be launched next weekend, the team of Guido Alrich will have more than one reason to celebrate. For, after all, not only the "AIDAprima", the eighth cruise liner equipped with Pfleiderer products will set to sea. Almost simultaneously the „MS Koningsdam" and the „Harmony of the Seas" will enter into service, both with Pfleiderer products built in all 2700 cabins and public spaces.

"The industry is booming," says Guido Alrich, responsible for the shipbuilding business at Pfleiderer. "This year, more cruise liners than ever will be launched." Five of them will accommodate more than 2,500 passengers. The Harmony of the Seas even provides space for up to 6,410 passengers, making Royal Caribbean’s youngest cruise liner the largest in the world.

Number one wood-based panel manufacturer for the shipbuilding market

However, says Alrich, no matter at what shipyard the ocean liners were built, who designed them and what shipping company they belong to: "Wood-based panels from Pfleiderer were used for the interior fitting of the five most important ships of the year". Besides the AIDAprima (3,300 passengers) and the MS Koningsdam (2,850 ) these are the Mein Schiff 5 of TUI (2,534) and the Ovation of the Seas (4,180), the smaller sister of the Harmony of the Seas.

"It makes us proud that we are regularly aboard when it comes to the interior fitting of much-noticed vessels", says Alrich, who has already provided support to numerous shipbuilding projects of various companies. "This is due to our close cooperation with major shipyards such as Meyer Werft Papenburg, Meyer Turku (Finland), STX Werft (France), Fincantieri (Italy) and Mitsubishi (Japan). Although there are no relevant statistics or data available ", he explains, "we can tell from the number of major projects we were involved in that Pfleiderer seems to be the privileged partner for wood-based materials and HPL in shipbuilding."

Pfleiderer has its own product line for shipbuilding applications

This may be attributed to the fact that Pfleiderer has its own product line designed for planners and architects of shipbuilding projects. All the materials ranging from the classic HPL up to the non-flammable vermiculite panels have been certified by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which testifies that they are particularly suited for use on the High Seas – but with no concessions in terms of design. After all, most of Pfleiderer’s special products are integrated in our DST system. This means: They allow for up to 300 design and 17 surface combinations within our range of matching decors and textures.

Making use of this unparalleled wide choice, the architects of Royal Caribbean installed about 40 different decors from Pfleiderer in furniture as well as in wall sheathing on the Harmony of the Seas. Depending on the application, they either chose HPL, direct laminated raw boards and fibreboards or flat bonded elements as core material.

Light-coloured wood and sunny plain colours provide a feeling of summer – also in winter

Not less than 20 different decors define the Mediterranean design of the AIDAprima – from the lobby to the shops and bars and to the Beach Club. For the passenger cabins, the architects used limed oak as well as sunny sand colours: "A wise choice", says Alrich. "Because light woods and colours make rooms larger. The combination of both produces the perfect maritime holiday ambiance."

Its beneficial effects will be felt from now on by up to 3,300 passengers per week. Heading for the West European capitals, the largest and most sustainable vessel of AIDA Cruises built so far will leave Hamburg on a weekly basis. It has a new foil roof. "Hardly visible, it extends over some of the outdoor areas", says Guido Alrich. "Therefore, you have summer all year round aboard the AIDAprima."