The magnificent chandelier aboard Norwegian Epic.
Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Interior design is one of the most intricate and fascinating aspects of building a cruise ship.  While two ships may share the same overall hull design and exterior, their interior construction, design, and fittings can be entirely unique.  Through the clever use of onboard artwork, artifacts, colors, and varied materials, designers create an environment that stimulates the senses and helps to inspire a sense of exploration and wonder amongst passengers.  You never know what is around the next hallway or corridor.

This commitment to design became evident yesterday when NCL unveiled one of the most striking interior design elements of their newest ship, Norwegian Epic.  If her exterior is boxy and ungainly, her interiors are shaping up to be some of the most striking at sea.  As if to prove that point, NCL has fitted the largest chandelier at sea in – fittingly – the largest casino at sea.

Occupying an atrium space three decks in height, the LED-lit chandelier is 21 feet in length, 11 feet wide, and weighs two metric tonnes.  Built by Austrian glassmaker Kalmar, the chandelier is fitted with approximately 40,000 crystal glass pieces and is capable of changing into any one of 255 possible variations of color, helping to give the space it occupies an ever-evolving feeling. 

The chandelier will be visible not just from the casino, but also from the Teppanyanki restaurant, Wasabi Sushi Bar, Maltings Whiskey Bar, Shakers Martini bar, and of course, the atrium area itself.  It took a team of workers three solid weeks to install the massive structure, but their hard work will likely pay off as the ever-changing array of colors and unique design seem destined to ensure this will likely become one of the most-photographed areas of the ship when it launches next month.

As if to provide the final icing on the cake, the line is quick to point out how energy-efficient the chandelier is: it uses over 10,000 LED diodes, all of which are individually programmable and can be dimmed independently of each other.  A UK-based firm is hard at work on optimizing the chandelier for the best combination of light output and overall efficiency. 

When we saw the first renderings of the Norwegian Epic, her almost outlandish exterior design threatened to put us off the ship for good.  The more her interiors are revealed, however, the more we realize this may be a true case of never judging a book – or a ship – by its cover. 

For more information on the ship, be sure to visit NCL’s Norwegian Epic micro-site.


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