Viking Line's Cinderella has a Ball

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It makes little sense to keep an expensive luxury vessel like the MS Viking Cinderella tied up in port when her whole ability to make money pertains at sea. Viking Line are past masters at managing such efficiencies, conducting most routine servicing whilst on the move; it is however inevitable that some things can only be done at the harbour-side. "She was docked for three weeks earlier this year" informed Mr Jouni Sironen AV Coordinator for Viking Line, "so scheduling a refit of the discotheque and an upgrade in the nightclub had to be achieved alongside many other functions, all of them virtually simultaneously."

If that sounds simple and routine, consider this, "The safety standards on the Viking Line's ships are even stricter than the law requires." Sironen continued. "Cables have to be halogen free and secured in piping or cable trays fastened every metre. Loudspeaker attachments have to stand not only the load of the cabinet, but the constant shaking and the roughness of the sea as well. Welding is only allowed under special conditions due to the fire-hazard. Electricity is not a constant 230V 50 Hz, it varies according to load; bow-propellers, winches, car deck lifts and so forth, all cause fluctuations. The level of usage and the conditions vary a lot from any other. Normally, entertainment equipment is designed to withstand shaking and rough conditions when on the road, but not when in use. More than eight hours usage each day of the year in these conditions make our fleet a good test-laboratory; you could say that anything that lasts onboard will last anywhere."

Well of course not everything lasts, which is why the Cinderella entered the port of Mariehamn, a Finnish Island in the middle of the Baltic late May (her home port curiously enough for a Finnish vessel, is Stockholm, Sweden). Helsinki based audio dealer Soundata already had a full manifest of equipment waiting for her. Because of the unique requirements of the maritime environment, Viking always conducts its own installation work. The nightclub already had a d&b loudspeaker system; the discotheque system would be completely new. The specification was done by the ships technician Johan "Backus" Backman with oversight and approval from Sironen. "Backus has the best knowledge of d&b in our company" said Sironen who is equally knowledgeable in these matters. The final specification was an installation based on E-Series loudspeakers, with Qi-SUBs."

"The old system in the disco' had to be serviced all the time," explained Sironen. "Elements had to be replaced regularly; after ten years playing eight hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year, the discotheque system's time was past. Elsewhere, besides the nightclub installation, we use d&b all around the ship and we know it is durable and sounds great, so it was a logical replacement in the disco'."

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