By Jiska Bazuin, Business Development Manager at Pronomar
Going on a cruise to unique destinations such as Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands or Iceland to admire the wonders of nature is an emerging trend amongst adventurous people. The expedition market is growing fast and therefore an intriguing market to explore. In May 2018 Cruise Industry News reported that twenty-eight new expedition ships are scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2022. A cruise expedition holiday involves going to unique places with an exclusive sense of adventure, yet comfort and safety are extremely important in these weather conditions.
The relatively small cruise vessels make it possible to sail into fjords and bays where you can get really close to nature and wildlife, but the passengers are also offered the possibility to step into smaller inflatable boats (zodiacs) or kayaks to further explore the surroundings. As tough weather conditions will be faced, these passengers are obliged to wear warm protective clothes such as parkas, gloves and winter boots. You would expect that when the passengers pay tremendous amounts of money for a luxurious, comfortable and once-in-a-lifetime experience, they would be handed out warm and dry clothing before they start exploring the scenic wonders of an area. However, it unfortunately seems a rather common complaint on cruise critic websites that passengers cannot dry their clothes during the whole cruise. And then to think that not only the passengers on-board have to deal with wet clothing. How about the staff that is available day and night, to guide the guests to different sites. Such transfers always involve either dry or wet landings. The latter consists of taking a plunge into the water (or penguin poo, if you’re unlucky) before stepping ashore.
Already back in 2014, company Seabourn Cruise Line, an ultra-luxury cruise line headquartered in Seattle, Washington, faced the problem of wet workwear and was looking for a drying solution for the boots and gloves of the crew. When people start looking for a way to dry their thick-quality clothes that they cannot simply put in a drying tumbler, they often think of a room or cabinet which get heated up and maybe ventilated a little bit. However, this will maybe dry the outside of the clothes, but does not reach the problematic neuralgic zones such as the arm pits, sleeves, back or the very tips of the boots. As the gear is not properly dried from the inside, bacteria get the chance to grow with unwanted odours as a consequence. This is absolutely not favourable for the health of the wearer of the clothes.
In addition, heating up a room is not particularly sustainable and comes with high energy bills to pay. Hanging the clothes over a radiator is also not good for the materials and thus their lifespan. This is because radiators reach high temperatures that can dry out and ultimately damage the materials or reflective stripes. Finally, the time in between expeditions is limited, and often the traditional drying methods do not meet the required drying times.
To conclude, the best solution is one where clothing is dried from the inside out within a short amount of time. Also, the drying process must be an environmentally friendly and sustainable one, and to increase the lifespan of the clothing, the drying process must also be a material friendly method. To fulfil these needs, Seabourn Cruise Line came to Pronomar, a Dutch company that is specialised in professional drying systems for numerous industries, onshore and offshore. They are supplying an ingenious drying system that is promised to dry PPE (Personal Protective Equipment, in all shapes and sizes) the easy way by using a large amount of air flowing through continuous stainless steel, body-shaped hangers. The hangers contain nozzles, through which the air enters the clothing, reaching all internal areas.
Seabourn was the first of many cruise line companies to show interest in implementing Pronomar’s drying room equipment on-board, either as open systems mounted to the walls of the mud rooms, or fitted in lockers or cabinets which will create a sense of private space for the passengers, in order to give more of a luxury feeling. When it comes to drying lockers (singular use) or drying cabinets (for up to 8 people’s clothing), Pronomar has a wide range of options available, with variable interior fittings.
Note: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of World Maritime News.