Holland America's luxury liner sets sail with CAST

Friday, 6 August 2010
Holland America's luxury liner sets sail with CASTThe Ms Nieuw Amsterdam was launched from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Venice last month
The Netherlands - Last month, the Ms Nieuw Amsterdam was launched from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Venice. It is the fourth Nieuw Amsterdam from Holland America, with the first dating back to 1906. With a capacity of 1380 passengers at a length of 780 feet (238 metres), the luxury cruise ship celebrates the glamour and history of New York City (formerly called New Amsterdam). The ship is also home to five Broadway-style shows, with lighting design and pre-programming completed in wysiwyg R25.

Four new shows debuted at the maiden launch: Avalon, Cantare, It Takes Two and NYC. Another show on board is Garage Band, which is a re-run of a show that was debuted on the Ms Oosterdam last year.

The creative team for all five shows (which will run for approximately five years) includes show director John Charron at the helm and lighting designer Brian Monahan of BPM Designs. Lighting and Media Programmer was David Horner, with all shows designed and pre-programmed in wysiwyg Perform. The wysiwyg drawing, wysiwyg equipment and part of the media content were carried out bym Visual Connection of the UK, under the direction of Horner.

Although initial meetings with Holland America began in Spring 2009, Horner and his team actually started designing and executing in May 2010, while the equipment installation was beginning on board. The drawing and wysiwyg setup took around two weeks, and the pre-programming happened for 10 days at the end of May; onsite work started on 1 June. The first public shows launched on 2 July for the shipyard workers and their families. The maiden voyage started on 4 July.

Horner says, "I do not think we would have been able to complete this project on time without the aid of wysiwyg. If all the shows were played one after another, it would last over five hours, so clearly a lot of lighting cues had to get programmed."

Total lighting equipment includes 43 VL2500 Spots, 38 VL2500 Wash, two DL3's, one Axon Servers, a 32' x 12.5' Barco LED Mi-trix wall, approximately 50 ETC S4's (spots and pars) with Wybron Coloram scrollers, six Martin Atomic Strobes, two Look hazers, six UV units with DMX dowsers, Low fog system, three fibre optic curtains and two sets of fibre optic legs. Control came from a Full size GrandMA console, a Pathport system with approximately 50 nodes, three 48-way sensor racks, and wysiwyg Perform.

(Jim Evans)

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