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dSign Vertti Kivi and Microsoft collaborates to design Viking Grace teen areas

Viking Line Abp has entered into an agreement with Microsoft regarding the game technology on-board Viking Grace. Operational in January 2013, this next-generation ferry is a testament to the latest developments within eco-friendly technology. Viking Grace will also offer an entirely unique onboard experience in terms of comfort, design and entertainment.

dSign Vertti Kivi and Microsoft have collaborated to design TEENS, a space developed exclusively for the use of teenagers. TEENS will be equipped with Microsoft’s latest innovations and games, including Xbox 360 consoles with the revolutionary Kinect. Through this technology, teenagers will be able to walk in the shoes of their greatest heroes, drive exotic cars down open roads, or dance the night away. Teenagers will now be able to enjoy a truly amazing experience on-board, Viking Line says in its blog.

ABB's EMMA Advisory Suite

The environmentally designed and built Viking Grace is to be made even more eco-friendly with a complete energy monitoring tool called EMMA Advisory Suite. This ABB-provided suite contains all the tools relevant for onboard monitoring as well as options for optimization and fleet level follow-up, tells ABB Marine's Jukka Ignatius in Viking Grace blog.

"The automatic onboard monitoring tool EMMA Onboard Tracker clearly visualizes the overall status of the vessel’s energy efficiency. The vessel’s performance is divided into four KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): cost of operation, energy production/consumption, navigational aspect and finally the optimization level. EMMA uses state of the art machine-learning algorithms to adjust KPI target values dynamically according to operational conditions such as speed and weather. This gives the crew realistic goals and the possibility of improving their operations.

Viking Grace also has the option of being equipped with the EMMA Advanced Optimizer module for dynamic trim optimization. This tool enables the operating crew to reach the optimum floating position, again by using modern adaptive algorithms developed by ABB, in all operational conditions.

All the onboard tools can be connected to EMMA Fleet Control – a modern web-based data discovery tool which allows the shore personnel to further analyze and follow-up on the collected data and calculated KPIs."

Entertainment technology aboard the Viking Grace to be among best in the industry

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. 

Lighting

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.

Moving images

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. 

Audio engineering

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.

EU Commission approves Viking Grace environmental grant

Viking Line, the Finnish cruise ferry company, says that the European Commission has approved an environmental grant issued to the company by the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The grant amounts to €28 million and it forms part of financing for the 58,000 gross ton cruise ferry Viking Grace that the company is building at the Turku yard of STX Finland. This will be the first large passenger vessel to use lng as fuel.

 The Commission concludes that the grant is in line with European Union guidelines and regulations, Viking Line Managing Director Mikael Backman said in a statement.

Hibox equips Viking Grace

Hibox and Viking Line, a Finnish shipping company, have signed a deal to install Hibox’s IPTV system on Viking Line’s future vessel, the Viking Grace. The cabins on the ferry will be equipped with Hibox’s next generation IPTV platform that allow guests to access a world of entertainment and information while using Philips’s new Internet enabled MediaSuite TVs.

The new cruise ship is expected to begin service in January 2013 between Turku, Mariehamn and Stockholm and is under construction at the STX Finland shipyard in Turku.

"Hibox was willing to implement all the modifications we wanted to be able to offer something special and new," tells Kenneth Kronström, it project manager from Viking Line.

"With new state-of- the-art technology the system will enable interactive entertainment and information services without any requirements for smart cards or external boxes in the cabins," says Staffan Granholm, CEO of Hibox Systems.

Hibox Systems Ltd is a Finnish company, which offers advanced interactive information and entertainment solutions for the hospitality industry as well as IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) solutions for broadband providers. The company is partly owned by the Anvia Group, another Finnish ict company.

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