Over the past 14 years, a talented team of naval architects, interior designers and marine surveyors have been making waves in the cruise industry – and now Thalia Marine is set to make waves in the superyacht industry too as part of the Viken Group, of which it became a part in 2021.
Founded in 2009 in Trieste, Italy, Thalia Marine has quickly established a reputation not only for the engineering and naval architecture services it offers but also for its advanced approach to innovation, and emphasis on environmentally friendly solutions in engineering, and in particular for the refit segment.
CEO and Partner Maurizio Eliseo’s own experience of 30 years of design, surveillance, refurbishment, brokerage and special consultancies to the major industry players, reflects the depth of talent that lies within the Thalia team of 12, whose clients read like a Who’s Who of the cruise ship industry. It is this deep vein of knowledge that is now being combined symbiotically with sister companies under the Viken Group umbrella such as cruise and yacht design studio Tillberg Design of Sweden and superyacht design studio Hot Lab that is delivering impressive results for superyacht and cruise clients alike.
The cruise industry is notoriously difficult to crack, especially when it comes to the refit sector – clients expect their projects to be completed to the agreed day and within the agreed budget, because to let either slip can have a catastrophic impact on cruising schedules and, therefore, the bottom line. That Thalia has proven time and again to be a trustworthy partner both for design and engineering and for project management speaks to the skills and dedication of the team.
As an example, Thalia’s Technical Director Nicolò Capus – who joined the Thalia team 11 years ago and who holds a Masters degree in yacht and cruise ship design from Venice University – cites a recent one-year long project that started in July 2022, covering the interior refit of two vessels in the luxury cruise sector for Crystal Cruises.
“The project included refurbishment of the accommodation and public areas, including completely rebuilding three decks of both vessels,” Capus enthuses. “We were retained by the vessel owner as project managers for the entire refurbishment, handling the budgets, sourcing materials and loose items, overseeing ordering quantities, managing the logistics and scheduling everything. The project also drew on our engineering expertise, analysing the interior designs created by our Viken Group partners Tillberg Design of Sweden – who were responsible for the public areas, restaurants and spa – as well as those of design studio GEM, and checking all the workshop drawings.”
“At the end it was a tough project but very important for us – the team grew a lot and learnt a lot,” Capus continues. “The project involved works on more than 220 cabins for each vessel and we renewed nearly all the public areas, as well as some refurbishing of crew cabins and lounges. I think we touched everywhere in the vessels – and it’s all experience that we can use in yacht refits and new-builds, because dealing with everything from leading furniture and interior brands to high-quality materials and other finishes, all while keeping the project on time, on track and on budget, are key elements of a successful project and a happy shipowner.”
There’s now even more to celebrate with the Thalia proposition, though. Working alongside Italian superyacht design studio Hot Lab as well as with the Viken Group’s Tillberg Design of Sweden is not only reinforcing Thalia Marine’s presence in cruise newbuild and refurbishment projects, but is also creating an opportunity for clients in the yacht segment.
“The Thalia team have considerable expertise in the cruise sector covering everything from engineering to project management, and now alongside Hot Lab as part of the Viken Group we are further extending that knowledge in the yachting sector,” says Antonio Romano, co-founder of Hot Lab and Commercial Director of the Viken Group. “Hot Lab is using Thalia for all sorts of elements, from three-dimensional drawings to creating hull lines and general arrangements with them – in effect we have a true 360-degree vision into the superyacht sector covering all facets of design, engineering, naval architecture and project management.”
What’s more, he says, there is a wider vision to position the Viken Group and Thalia Marine at the forefront of an holistic approach to more sustainable yachting. “The Viken Group has Swedish roots and we have grown up with environmental considerations at the centre of everything we do – as a group we are undertaking a lot of study and research into eco-friendly technologies and solutions both from a materials side and an engineering side,” Romano offers.
“Thalia Marine plays a central role in this 360-degree view for environmental considerations in order to reduce CO2 and the carbon footprint of vessels, and in moving to aspects such as more easily recycled materials,” he continues. “We call it ‘Engineering the Future’ – and that really captures the essence of what the talented Thalia team can accomplish for yacht and cruise projects.”