On board with Chelsom

As well look into the the cruise sector this month we have taken the opportunity to speak with BCFA member Chelsom about their work in the Marine sector and two of their recent projects.

Marine Expertise

Sailing the world’s oceans on one of today’s state of the art cruise ships is just as luxurious and flamboyant as it was on one of the great liners from a hundred years ago. The boundaries of marine interior design are constantly being expanded by the world’s top design practices and the scope of things to do on board surpasses most land based hotels and resorts. It’s no wonder the whole cruise industry is booming with millions of satisfied passengers returning year after year. However, in terms of decorative products which contribute to such amazing interiors, there could hardly be a harsher environment with its pitching seas, salt air and constant motion. It takes a certain kind of design, a certain range of skills, an amount of specialist technical knowledge and a lot of commitment to successfully service such a demanding industry.

Product design

The interior designers who create the spectacular interiors of today’s ships are real specialists in their field. They have an overall brief to be extravagant, breath taking, original and awe inspiring and in the case of public areas they can work on a massive scale within the huge spaces which can sometimes transcend three or four decks. Subtle and understated are rarely the design watchwords so there is often the need for sparkle, drama and statement. The product designer must embrace these interior concepts and interpret them so that they function perfectly within the marine environment. Nothing must be allowed to sway about in rough seas, components must not vibrate, everything must be bolted down so it never falls over, weight restrictions must be considered and installation or maintenance must be as simple as possible. For cabins, space is often a driving feature so scaling down individual components whilst still maintaining perfect ambient light levels is important. Switching and dimming options are also usually essential.

Team work

As a specialist marine lighting supplier, we respect our role as just one of the huge teams of contractors ensuring that a cruise ship has stunning interiors with product that functions perfectly over a long period in a challenging environment. Our team work extends to collaborating with interior designers, lighting designers, shipyards, outfitters and cruise operators all around the world. Whereas a hotel stays where it is, there is a date on which a ship sails away and everybody in the team focusses 100% on that date which is final!


Some of the manufacturing and structural technicalities of marine lighting are testing to say the least but lighting technology itself plays an ever increasing role in cruise interiors. Energy saving light sources are of course mandatory but colour rendering, colour changing, easily controlled dimming and remote switching are all increasingly important and indeed successful. Mostly it’s about creating the most luxurious and inviting ambience but it’s also about ease of lighting control and ease of maintenance. We work as part of the team of marine experts to bring all the lighting requirements to fruition.


There can be literally thousands of contractors on a ship at any one time when it is in build. Every one of them is working diligently to complete their own task whilst cooperating with all those around them so nothing gets in the way or delays some other part of the process. We have our own specialist and qualified marine installation team who will be on board at the right time to take delivery of our lighting products, assemble on site, install and commission. This on board presence not only allows successful installation but also allows any last minute adjustment or changes which can occur due to the sheer scale and complexity of the working environment.

Chelsom is a 70 year old company with vast experience in the cruise ship sector. Our knowledge of and close relationship with the industry’s specialist interior design practices, shipyards and operators gives us the closest possible understanding of what the industry needs. Our own in-house marine specialists in product design, manufacture and installation ensure we meet those needs. We feel proud to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of marine lighting today.

Chelsom supplies lighting for Celebrity Edge

Working in tandem with the design team at Kelly Hoppen and shipyard STX France, Chelsom provided an array of bespoke lighting products for the public areas and cabins onboard Celebrity Cruises’ luxurious Celebrity Edge cruise ship.

Chelsom created a range of stunning custom feature chandeliers, wall lights, reading lights, and floor lamps. Channelling the ship’s neutral, chic scheme, Chelsom also provided statement centrepiece chandeliers for restaurants, the on-board spa, and lounges. The crowning glory onboard the ship was the stunning centrepiece fitting designed for the spa. Chelsom created a 10metre cascade of shells and organic shapes to create a feeling of calm and serenity, perfect for the oasis onboard. Additionally, sleek LED reading lights from Chelsom’s standard collection were supplied for the bedside in the suites and cabins.

Chelsom supplies lighting for MS Anna Katharina

MS Anna Katharina is one of the latest additions to Scylla’s state of the art fleet of 29 luxurious modern river cruise liners sailing across Europe under Swiss flag. The ship’s uniqueness lies in the Scylla passion for design, construction and service.

Chelsom collaborated with the in-house design team at Scylla to create a lighting scheme for the public areas and cabins on board the ship with a selection of fittings from Chelsom’s latest collection,Edition 26, specified for the project, all of which meet the strict maritime regulations required for such a project.

Public area lighting includes the stunning ‘Solar’ wall light specified for the corridors. Heavy circular Smoke glasses with deep concentric rebates create a decorative light effect of ripples on a pond teamed with Black Bronze and English Brass metalwork. Waist floor and table lamps featuring heavy bases with solid steel bars in a ‘waisted’ design finished in Textured Black adorn the main restaurant and bar area on board.

Cabin lighting includes the statement Reflector wall light in Brushed Brass featuring warm white LED light which glows back off the faceted reflector plate. LED Dock wall lights in Brushed Nickel were specified for the bedside enhancing the sleek and contemporary design created throughout.

Contact Chelsom through BCFA Product Finder.

The BCFA Product Finder is a unique search engine created especially for interior designers to source contract furnishing companies. Utilising this platform will support your findings for upcoming projects, with over 200 members profiles showcasing the latest product launches, new materials available, industry news and design trends.


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
View all posts by Alys Bryan →