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Lindblad Expeditions signs up with Versonix Seaware

Lindblad Expeditions, a global provider of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, has signed an agreement with Versonix to implement Versonix’ Seaware reservation system.

“We are very pleased to partner with Versonix, a recognized leader of booking systems for cruise lines. The features of Seaware that most attracted us are the built-in Revenue Management capabilities that will help us optimize revenue, their advanced inventory management capabilities, and the new Seaware Analytics platform that will provide us with a 360-degree view into our business and customers. We also plan on taking advantage of Versonix Seaware OTA API to reach additional distribution channels” said Arthur Theodorou, Director of Information Technology for Lindblad Expeditions.

“At Versonix we are very excited to have Lindblad Expeditions as our customer. This solidifies our position as a leader in providing solutions for the fast-growing expedition cruise sector. Our experience and R&D efforts are directed to improving our offering to this evolving industry. In addition to providing solid solutions for standard functionality, we are also taking advantage of the latest technologies such as machine learning and cloud hosting options to stay leaders in this market,” said Yuri Polissky, Chief Operating Officer of Versonix.

ABB signs breakthrough contract for marine automation in China

ABB has won its first marine automation system contract for a cruise ferry in China, after the technology package for Chinese-built Viking Line vessel has been extended to include the ABB Ability System 800xA.

ABB Ability System 800xA integrates power, propulsion and vessel management systems into one platform, enabling both crew and onshore teams to get a comprehensive overview of all the information needed to operate the vessel in the safest and most efficient manner. Adding marine automation to the technology package will improve project management, as well as result in greater vessel efficiency and digitalization.

“On her delivery, this vessel will be the most efficient cruise ferry operating in the Baltic, if not the world,” says Jan Hanses, President and CEO, Viking Line. “Extending our arrangement with ABB to include the full automation package made perfect sense, given that ABB has the dedicated local automation team and access to global engineering resources that will ensure both responsiveness and delivery of a vessel benefiting from the highest levels of systems integration.”

The 63,000 gross ton LNG-fueled cruise ferry, which is being built at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry co., Ltd, will have space for 2,800-passengers when she joins services connecting the Finnish port of Turku in Finland, the Åland Islands and Stockholm, Sweden, in 2020.

“Chinese shipbuilding is one of the most significant markets for ABB’s power, propulsion and automation system,” says Alf Kåre Adnanes, head of ABB’s Marine and Ports business in China. “Chinese shipyards are diversifying their portfolios, and ABB’s long history in the cruise sector is particularly relevant to China’s shipbuilders. We are part of an existing shipping cluster and can support Chinese shipyards in their strategy to build cruise vessels for China and for global customers.”

As well as the ABB electrical power generation, distribution systems and bow thruster motors, the vessel will be the first cruise ferry in the world to feature twin XO 2100-type Azipod units – the propulsion solution of choice in the cruise ship market.

“As ABB’s first marine automation contract for a cruise ferry in China, this is a breakthrough in a crucial territory where our marine business continues to increase, but it also confirms that our ‘Electric. Digital. Connected’ strategy is gaining traction in a growing number of sectors and markets,” says Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports. “Integration that is available from the ground up meets today’s requirements and positions ABB to incorporate future technologies in a straightforward way.”

ABB’s vision for an “Electric. Digital. Connected.” maritime industry is based on the principles of simplicity, efficiency and safety, and seeks to leverage the power and automation group’s comprehensive bridge to propeller expertise to set shipping’s course towards the vessels of the future.

ABB Ability is the company’s unified, cross-industry offering extending from device to edge to cloud, integrating data to and from products, systems, solutions and services to deliver actionable information. The ABB Ability platform uses Microsoft Azure as the cloud for its integrated connectivity, so users can access enterprise-grade infrastructure that benefits from Microsoft’s significant investment.

Adonis integrates with Brightwell Navigator payments platform

Adonis, the leading provider of integrated Human Resource and Payroll Systems for the maritime industry, announced an integration with the Brightwell Navigator payments platform, available in the latest versions of Adonis Personnel Manager.

The Brightwell Navigator payments platform is a web-based technology that delivers access to money transfer services and Brightwell's OceanPay® Prepaid Mastercard®, to meet the needs of geographically dispersed, multinational maritime employees. Now transactions from Adonis Payroll flow automatically through the Brightwell Navigator payments platform — saving time and money.

“This product integration increases the platforms overall flexibility and provides an easy way to handle worldwide payroll transactions with less cost,” says Erick Meijer, Product Director at Adonis AS.

For Adonis, the Brightwell Navigator interface represents an opportunity to take a major step forward in helping our many customers to simplify the life of employees who are on the move all over the world.

Miami-based Studio DADO named 'Giant' in design

In just two short years since opening their doors, boutique design firm Studio DADO has established themselves as a leader in hospitality design by landing on Interior Design Magazine's annual ranking of Giants in Hospitality -- the best of the best in design firms and billings -- at #58. This prestigious annual survey ranks the largest hospitality design firms by design fees for the 12-month period. Studio DADO is the only firm based in Florida to be included in top 75 Giants in Hospitality.

Studio DADO is the first creative hospitality design firm to launch within the cruise vessel industry in the last few decades. Since launching the firm in 2016, partners Greg Walton, Javier Calle, Jorge Mesa and Yohandel Ruiz, have brought their combined 60 years in the cruise industry to earn a reputation as stand-out firm helping cruise ship brands rebuild their luxury standards. Setting themselves apart from legacy firms by enhancing the human experience through functional, memorable design.

“We’ve been blessed to have a strong community of people that have believed in us from day one.” Said Studio DADO founding partner, Greg Walton. “Our being ranked among Interior Design’s Hospitality Giants is a validation of their support, and our work product. For such a young and relatively small firm, we’ve been entrusted with significant projects and opportunities, including the total transformation of an entire line of luxury ships, as we’ve done with OceaniaNEXT.”

Studio DADO has recently garnered international attention with their pivotal role as the design architects in the reimagination of Oceania’s four Regatta Class Ships, dubbed as OceaniaNEXT and their role in Princess Cruises’ Sky Suites design. Other noteworthy projects include the design of Norwegian Bliss’ seafood restaurant, Ocean Blue, as well as Teppanyaki, their Japanese hibachi restaurant, and the chocolatier fountain for Norwegian’s dessert nirvana, Coco’s.

Studio DADO’s growth continues with upcoming projects including: Norwegian Cruise Line's new build, Norwegian Encore and the staterooms and public venues for Norwegian’s next- generation new build, Project Leonardo. Studio DADO is also working with Carnival’s Reflection new build, for which they’re designing the spa & fitness spaces, staterooms and suites. Other projects the Studio has been commissioned for include Regent Seven Seas Cruise’s 2020 new build, Seven Seas Splendor, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay for which they’re designing and planning their exclusive lagoon retreat, spa, beachfront luxury villas and public areas.

Hospitality design is big business. With hospitality fees as a percentage of total revenue rising by 73% in the past 15 years - it is one of the largest drivers of the growth in the design industry, according to research from Interior Design Magazine. Studio DADO’s success is reflective of a growing industry, the firm's solid reputation and a penchant for problem-solving that looks beyond design and considers operations and revenue implications. For more information on Interior Design Magazine’s Hospitality Giants and industry research please visit:

ABB, SINTEF to test viability of fuel cells in ship propulsion

ABB and SINTEF Ocean are undertaking groundbreaking research to test the viability of fuel cells as an energy source for main ship propulsion, ABB said in a statement.

The new research project seeks to provide the answers required for fuel cell technology to be delivered at the scale needed to power commercial and passenger ships.

The testing methodology, to be developed at SINTEF Ocean’s Trondheim-based laboratory, will use two 30kW fuel cells, set up to model the operation and control of a complete marine power system in a megawatt-scale propulsion plant. ABB’s own software together with SINTEF Oceans vessel simulator capabilities will imitate and play back different load profiles and diesel/battery/fuel cell combinations, and tested in a scaled down laboratory environment.

The trials will explore more than the technicalities of scaling-up and optimized fuel cell/battery combinations alone. “SINTEF is contributing the hydrogen supply and infrastructure, while having a test lab gives ABB and SINTEF Ocean the opportunity to increase in-house competence for integration, control and safety of fuel cell technology in marine applications,” says Anders Valland, research manager for maritime energy systems at SINTEF Ocean. "SINTEF has extensive capabilities with regard to fuel cell technology, maritime energy systems, electric power systems and power electronics, which gives us an edge in developing innovative solutions."

“Fuel cell technology is maturing quickly. These trials are expected to provide the platform for fuel cells to build on, so that they can take a position in the maritime sector that is competitive with fossil fuels,” says Jostein Bogen, product manager for energy storage and fuel cells at ABB Marine & Ports. “Finding unknowns and coping with them in a controlled environment, rather than risking surprises on board ship will be central to these trials.”

Another key objective will be establishing how to enhance the control of fuel cell plant in combination with energy storage, and how to optimise efficiency, reliability and the lifetime of fuel cell stacks.

“We will be seeking the decisive and practical solutions to develop fuel cell technology for main propulsion,” says Kristoffer Dønnestad, R&D engineer, ABB Marine & Ports, Trondheim. “Research will focus not only on fuel flow and fuel handling, but on what a hydrogen ship bunkering infrastructure might look like.”

The laboratory in Trondheim has been a key research resource for ABB, providing a focus for research into the fine details of its design innovations and helping to bring its most advanced maritime technologies to market, including ABB Onboard DC GridTM.

Using hydrogen as fuel, the proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEM) separates electrons and protons, with protons passing through and electrons used as electrical output. Hydrogen is converted directly to electricity and heat without combustion. PEM fuel cells operate at a lower temperature, are lighter and more compact than their solid oxide counterparts.

ABB is a front-runner in sustainable marine e-mobility covering electric vehicle power, protection, control and installation. It has also had close involvement in ferry projects deploying battery power over short distances or for hybrid power plants to optimize ship efficiency. Battery power will certainly be key to meeting Norway’s target for zero ship emissions in the Fjords from 2026, according to Bogen.


Certainly, Bogen believes that deep-sea shipping will not have to wait until 2050 for the combustion-free generation of electricity, heat and clean water. “With the use of renewables to produce hydrogen for fuel cells and stored energy for batteries, the entire chain can be clean,” he says.