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Clay Paky helps christen AIDA Cruises’ new luxury flagship
Lighting Designer
Björn Hermann
Ambion Gmbh
Photo Credits
Ralph Larmann
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Germany – Multi-award-winning lighting designer Björn Hermann has incorporated Clay Paky Mythos and brand new Scenius fixtures into a spectacular light show at the christening ceremony of AIDA Cruises’ new luxury flagship AIDAprima.

AIDA Cruises is Germany’s largest cruise ship company, with AIDAprima the eleventh addition to the fleet. Built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding in Japan, the luxury liner holds up to 3,300 passengers. The christening ceremony took place in Hamburg during the port’s 827th anniversary celebrations.

Hermann was commissioned by Hamburg-based East End Communications GmbH to create an awe-inspiring light show in which the brand new vessel took centre stage. To ensure the show had maximum impact, Hermann specified 100 Mythos and eight of the super powerful new Scenius from Kassel-based Ambion.

“This was my first encounter with the Scenius and I must say it is a wonderful projector,” says Hermann. “I will undoubtedly use it again in my future projects.”

The Clay Paky Scenius’ advanced optical unit and new 1400W OSRAM discharge lamp provides a spectacularly high light output. The fixture produces a 6500 K output color temperature that does not vary over time and can count on a very high CRI, which is extremely unusual for a metal halide light source.

Working closely with artistic director Sven Sören Beyer of phase7, Hermann developed the idea of a mammoth pixel matrix that highlighted the grand scale of the ship and added an exciting perspective. Forty Mythos were positioned on the AIDAprima promenade deck, with the rest on lower decks and aboard the AIDAaura convoy ship. The eight Scenius were placed along the truss crossbeam over the landing stage to illuminate the AIDAprima’s entire length.

“We integrated the ship lighting system into the show, using the Mythos and Scenius beams to frame its silhouette and crossed the front light from the ground with the light from the ship decks to obtain a light matrix,” Hermann explains. “Since my first time using Mythos, it has continued to impress me with its powerful output versus its small size, low power consumption and fantastic versatility: I am able to use it as a beam, wash or spot fixture. I was pleased to discover the Scenius is very similar as it kept my rig uniform and colour palette consistent.”

Hermann also had to ensure his light show worked in perfect precision with the ceremony’s elaborate 15-minute firework display, which could not be rehearsed. He therefore needed fixtures that he could rely on to perform at each crucial moment.

“I have never created a show like this without completing a full test in my 20 year’s experience as a designer!” says Hermann. “However, we worked closely with Potsdamer Feuerwerk on the cue list of the big-impact moments and the Clay Paky fixtures performed extremely well.”

The christening ceremony of the AIDAprima took place on the 7 May. Its maiden voyage saw a seven-day round trip of beautiful European cities including Paris and Amsterdam.