Royal Carribean Cruise Lines – Harmony of the Seas


Helvar has supplied a sophisticated lighting control system to the largest cruise ship ever built, Harmony of the Seas, owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International.

Royal Caribbean operates the largest global fleet of cruise ships, six of which have Helvar lighting control systems. Harmony of the Seas is the largest of these, carrying just under 5,500 guests and weighing 226,963 gross registered tonnes

The ship boasts innovative features including the Ultimate Abyss, a thrilling slide – 10 stories high – that is the tallest at sea; robot bartenders, virtual balconies with real-time views of the destination for interior rooms, and VOOM – the fastest internet at sea.

The existing Helvar lighting control installations have performed so well that it was an easy decision for system integrator Wärtsilä FUNA and Royal Caribbean to specify the Helvar system for Harmony of the Seas, its latest and largest ship.

“Using Helvar lighting control was a simple decision for us,” says Andreas Köhler of Wärtsilä FUNA. “Harmony of the Seas is like a floating city, so we needed a lighting control solution that is simple to install and gives us all the capabilities we need on a project of this size and complexity. We have worked with Helvar on a number of Royal Caribbean projects and always found them a fantastic partner. The customer support is also second to none, which can be very important on challenging projects.”

Using Helvar technology across its fleet of ships meant that Royal Caribbean was able to feel confident that the lighting control system would work smoothly and that there would be consistency across the fleet. For Wärtsilä FUNA, the key was also familiarity; the team knew from past experience they could rely on Helvar’s superior lighting control to provide dependable performance and deliver exactly what was needed in a challenging installation. Wärtsilä FUNA also knew that it could rely on Helvar’s fantastic customer service for help with any issues that arose during the project.

The sheer size of Harmony of the Seas presented a significant challenge to Wärtsilä FUNA. The ship carries thousands of light fixtures across luxury suites, bars, restaurants, and outdoor spaces, and each individual fixture had to be managed by a lighting control system. A vast array of LED luminaires from different suppliers were used to light the different areas of Harmony of the Seas, which was a challenge in itself to Wärtsilä FUNA and Helvar. Helvar’s control system had to manage spotlights, pendants and track lighting alongside many other types of luminaires, providing the total flexibility Wärtsilä FUNA needed to work with all these different light fixtures.

Helvar’s lighting system controls a wide variety of public and private spaces throughout the ship, including the numerous restaurants and bars, as well as the theatre and the luxury suites. Wartsila FUNA installed 67 pieces of Helvar’s DIGIDIM 4 channel leading edge and trailing edge dimmer and 261 pieces of the Helvar DIGIDIM 4 channel 1-10V dimmer, so that staff in the restaurants and bars could set the lighting at exactly the right level. Wartsila FUNA also specified Helvar’s IMAGINE control panels, which combine an easy to use interface with the ability to control every aspect of the lighting. The outdoor lighting is controlled centrally from the bridge using modern graphical user interface also supplied by Wärtsilä FUNA using Helvar components.

Cruise ship guests expect the best when they travel, particularly on a vessel as luxurious as Harmony of the Seas. The restaurants on board feature top chefs and provide unrivalled dining experiences, catering for everything from the finest steaks, Italian cuisine and, of course, seafood. Helvar’s lighting control system was crucial to creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, regardless of the venue. Helvar’s comprehensive and sophisticated lighting control system can accommodate any kind of special requirement, whether that’s creating a relaxed ambience in a luxury suite or an atmospheric mood in a bar, and can also integrate with DMX lighting control which is essential when controlling the theatre on board.

Controlling the vast number of lights throughout the public areas on the world’s largest cruise ship was a significant challenge to Wärtsilä FUNA, due to the enormous scale of the project. Helvar’s lighting control solution easily rose to, and exceeded, the challenge, because it offers reliable performance, is easy to install and maintain, and has the capacity to achieve what Wartsila FUNA needed: sophisticated and comprehensive control of the lighting.