Over 120 Robe fixtures have been installed in four primary entertainment centres onboard P&O vessel Azura. The latest addition to the prestigious P&O portfolio, Azura's specification includes a length of 290m, 14 decks, 115,000 tonnes and a 3,500 passenger capacity. Inevitably, expectations for the lighting systems were significant, leading to close collaboration between multiple companies.
Specified by Carnival UK's entertainment sound & lighting manager Philip Yeomans, the lighting was delivered via Robe UK with Blackburn-based HSL undertaking the installation and providing ongoing technical support. The major project entailed close co-operation between Yeomans, Mick Hannaford from Robe UK and Simon Stuart from HSL.
Reliability and access to customised products were among the stipulations that led Yeomans to sift through a total of nine submissions from moving light suppliers and select Robe, whose equipment was ultimately installed in four areas: the 800-capacity proscenium arch Playhouse Theatre, the Manhattan and Malabar lounges, and the open deck area by the Forward Pool.
In the Playhouse, the need for a dynamic and flexible house lighting system able to cope with multiple productions resulted in a spec built around Robe's ColorSpot and ColorWash 700E AT Series fixtures, with 40 ColorSpots and 35 washes provided to cover all areas of the stage. In addition, this area of the ship also employs six ColorSpot 575E ATs and 12 ColorSpot 1200E ATs, along with six of the new Robe ROBIN 300 Beams ("the tight beam and the output is incredible", said Yeomans). Robe's DigitalSpot 7000 DT provides front and back projection, while control for the entire system - which also includes lots of generics - is run from a grandMA full size console.
Elsewhere, the rig in the versatile Manhattan lounge features six Robe ClubSpot 250 CTs, four Scan 250 XTs and four ColorSpot 170 ATs, while the "intimate" Malabar Lounge has been equipped with two ClubSpot 250 CTs. Finally, the open deck area - which is employed for shows when Azura is travelling through warmer climes - features a lighting set-up including four ColorSpot 700E ATs and four ColorWash 700E ATs. A customised version of the ColorSpot 2500, complete with grab-handles at the back and a small control/playback desk for colour and iris selection, has also been installed.
"I spoke to both Robe and HSL about what was needed here, and they came back with a [customised ColorSpot] solution which is now also available as a production model," said Yeomans, adding of the Robe spec in general that he is "really happy with the reliability of the products, and the three-year guarantee is a big attraction, plus superb technical support and the fact that they listened to us".
Yeomans also paid tribute to the contribution of HSL, which completed the installation in just three days of the scheduled five. "HSL have been amazing and I can't speak highly enough about them on this," he noted.
Based out of Southampton between April and October, Azura will offer holidays of 2-16 nights in the Mediterranean, Baltic and Canary Isles, with fly/cruise holidays from Barbados during the winter.