Vessel cabins are renovated from floor to ceiling about every 15 years. During the refurbishment, it is important to choose timeless design and sustainable solutions instead of jumping onto the latest interior design trends. When M/S Gabriella’s balcony cabins on Deck 11 were renovated, Viking Line’s architect, Johan Nordberg, let the sea views play the leading role.
M/S Gabriella, which sails between Helsinki and Stockholm, has a private corridor of cabins on Deck 11, and the 22 balcony cabins there always sell out first. What is special about these cabins in the Junior Suite and Seaside Premium classes are the large floor-to-ceiling windows and the balconies with their Baltic Sea views – the only cabins of their kind on Viking Line’s vessels. These popular cabins have now undergone a major overhaul of everything from the walls to the furniture, carpeting and textiles. The inside cabins on the same deck were also refurbished at the same time. The renovation was planned by Viking Line’s own architect, Johan Nordberg, together with M/S Gabriella’s intendant, Krista Öhman-Jalonen, and the chief steward for the cabins, Mira Ylitalo.
“For the renovation, we focused on getting the most possible out of the view and creating a more spacious feel in the cabins. People can admire the sea views through the windows from the queen-size bed and the sofa, which can be turned into an extra bed. The cabins have been painted in light, fresh tones, but for the fixed furnishings like tables and closets we chose a trendy, slightly darker tone. We replaced the heavy textiles with brighter, lighter ones,” says architect Johan Nordberg.
Vessel cabins are totally renovated about every 25 years, so interior design solutions are chosen that will stand the test of time. At the same time, it is a good opportunity to take into account passenger requests and changes in behaviour.
“Passengers have wanted more outlets to charge their devices. Now there are certainly enough electric outlets and USB sockets in the balcony cabins to meet the needs of the whole family or travel party,” says Gabriella’s chief steward, Mira Ylitalo.
The balcony cabins are booked by couples and families as well as commuters. Along with the sea views, other appealing features are the calm and seclusion in the private cabin corridor and the comfort of the well-equipped, spacious cabins.
“Calm and seclusion as well as comfort have become the new luxury in maritime travel. The balcony cabins on Gabriella offer a hotel-class experience, which is something that many people want when they go on a cruise. Our passengers want to sleep on comfortable mattresses with top-quality linens and preferably in a queen-size bed,” says Johan Nordberg.
The price of a balcony cabin includes sparkling wine, beer and soft drinks from the mini bar as well as a premium breakfast. When booking, people can also order a fruit platter, chocolate-dipped strawberries or a bottle of the vessel’s own champagne, for example, with their cabin.
“Chocolate-dipped strawberries are an absolute summer favourite. Many people order a Ville Viking backpack filled with sweets for the cabin as a welcome gift for their children,” says Mira Ylitalo.
Domestic suppliers were favoured in the renovation of Gabriella’s cabins
- The new sofas were delivered by the Turku-based company I.S. Mäkinen, which specialises in marine interiors
- Fintom Services Oy in Naantali reupholstered the old sofas
- The Turku-based company Illyria Interior hung the wallpaper and installed the furnishings
- The Porvoo-based company Wall to Wall Oy replaced the carpeting
- The electrical work was carried out by Alandia Engineering Oy, based in Åland
- The new sinks in the inside cabins came from Liedon Kiviliike Oy
- The interior fittings were delivered by Porin Puukaluste Oy and the textiles came from Vallila
- The fabric for the sofas and pillows came from Hocus Interiors Pocus Oy