Kulovaara: Continuous Improvement at Royal Caribbean Group

“Safety and sustainability are really at the core of everything we are doing,” said Harri Kulovaara, executive vice president maritime and newbuilding, Royal Caribbean Group, speaking at the unveiling of the Celebrity Beyond.

Of note, the Beyond is bigger than her sisters, the Edge and Apex, and has been stretched as the vessel is 20 meters longer with 179 additional staterooms.

“Continuous improvement is very much the mantra,” he added, noting that with each new ship, the company looks to get more efficient.

Pushing the envelope technically results in better ways to build the ships, he continued, using better materials and better construction methods.

“Energy efficiency is an area where we (have looked at every detail),” Kulovaara noted.

He said that with each new ship, the company wants a 10 to 20 percent improvement in energy use per guest.

“We are going through all the emissions the ship is creating and looking at technologies that are available and trying to implement them.”

Future-proofing is also key, he added.

“We are looking at various materials we are putting into the ship not only from the building point of view, but from the lifecycle point of view,” Kulovaara said.

“We are looking constantly, even beyond where we are now, where we can go further and how we can implement a pathway to decarbonize the future.

“How can we not only reduce the emissions that are there, but also bring in future fuels that would be carbon free or carbon offset … we have a large group of people working on this on a daily basis.”


Kulovaara said that the idea of stretching the third of the Edge-class ships started being talked about in 2017.

“We took the better part of a year in order to think about alternatives,” he said. “Which are the most magical areas of the vessel? Where do we believe we have the opportunities?”

Celebrity Beyond

He said the company came up with six or seven options to make the ship bigger before getting together with designers and the shipyard, Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

“On a monthly basis we got together, we looked at the various options and we slowly started to select one or two options and develop them further,” explained Kulovaara.

This meant bringing together multiple departments across the Royal Caribbean Group, Celebrity Cruises, the shipyard, suppliers, designers and naval architects.

“It involves a very diverse groups of expertise which all need to work seamlessly together and share the same drive, passion and interest in constantly going beyond,” he added.

 The Celebrity Beyond sails on her first cruise April 2022.

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