Posted: 5 January, 2015


Apart from having an exterior makeover to rejuvenate the cruise ship’s look, P&O Aurora had a major interior overhaul in the 2014 refit. SMC Design was given the opportunity to inject contemporary and refreshing design solutions to the vessel, including restaurants, full refit to the kids area and a partial refit to the suites and cabins.

Several restaurants with different characters were introduced. The introduction of Sindhu Fine Dining saw the library transformed into an elegant Asian themed restaurant. This showcases chef Atul Kochhar’s spectacular fusion dishes. Horizon, former Lido Restaurant, is now an airy and vibrant buffet restaurant with fabulous ocean views, while The Glasshouse, in the style of an informal restaurant, serves a variety of high quality wines with every meal it serves. This restaurant has a private section called the Captain’s Room, intended to host private dining or wine tasting activities.

Sindhu stands out with its carefully detailed Asian style dividers and balustrades, and a bespoke selection of Indian artwork. Its opulent and elegant interiors showcase applications of dark timber, bronze, brass and sophisticated wall and upholstery finishes. The Glasshouse highlights the richness of the wine selection in the form of illuminated wine displays and atrium feature walls with carved letter descriptions of the wine.

A harder task for SMC was to translate the brief we received to replace the original Lido restaurant, which no longer met the new Aurora standard. It was transformed into a modern, pleasant and informal space for all day dining. The use of decorative toughened glass with etched silver lines applied on dividers and units gives a quirky detail that separates this restaurant from other buffet restaurants found on cruise ships. The patterns used on the glass were also applied to the metal window pelmets to create continuity of style. Contemporary wall tiles and mirror artwork complete the finishing touches, and together they form an excellent backdrop to both the informal buffet restaurant and the themed Beach House dining experience.

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