Viking Line’s new passenger ferry, the Viking Grace, will be equipped with entertainment and conference technology in which the foremost brands, with the newest and best technical features, will be represented. Planning work has taken a couple of years, and some of the solutions are being unveiled for the first time in Europe and on the Baltic Sea.
The vessel’s entertainment activities
There is a general perception that a show is ready to go when the orchestra has placed its instruments on the stage, all set to perform. Unfortunately, the reality is not this easy. Before we can speak of a real show or performance, we need microphones, music stands, mixers, processors, amplifiers, smoke machines, light consoles, static and moving lights and above all, lots of cables. Nowadays better shows also include background videos and thus require cameras, media servers, screens and large LED walls. Technical productions presuppose expertise, programming knowledge and know-how in handling live performances. Each cruise will offer a unique, memorable experience for passengers.
All lighting for the entertainment on board the Viking Grace will employ light-emitting diode (LED) technology. LED spotlights are a bit more expensive than conventional halogen and arc lamp ones but pay for themselves quickly. For the Viking Grace, this translates to savings of about €10,000 per year in spotlight replacement costs. The electricity consumption of LED spotlights is also a fraction of what ordinary spotlights use, so this will also save vessel fuel. Viking Line’s other ferries have also switched almost completely to the use of LED spotlights for this reason.
Major investments have been made in video displaying on board. In every nightclub or other entertainment venue, there are large video walls that use either LED or LCD (liquid crystal display) technology. In addition the venues have smaller 46 or 55 inch LCD displays. Each cabin will be equipped with an IPTV (Internet protocol television) set. In the public areas of the vessel, there will also be more than 200 information and entertainment boards.
The Viking Grace has so far been, and will remain, a pleasant challenge for the people working with entertainment and conference technology. It is impossible to overstate how many planning hours they have spent or how much time they have devoted to making the equipment work together to achieve the best possible results.
"Have you become tired of inaudible loudspeaker announcements? We have, too, so we decided to buy audio equipment we are certain will be loud enough According to the information we have received, so far no vessel has been equipped with a sound reproduction system that is as powerful and comprehensive. We will naturally also acquire sound level meters for the entertainment venues, to make sure that the sound is not too loud. Personally, I’m really looking forward to programming and begin using this technology on board the Viking Grace, and finding out how the circuit diagrams that we’ve created using computer-aided design (CAD) – our sound processor programmes – and our other planning works in real life," explains Jouni Sironen, Audiovisual (AV) Manager of the Viking Line fleet.