SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayer from Trosifol helps SkyDome create unique on-board venue in state-of-the-art cruise ship

According to recent research, demand for cruising has increased by more than 20% over the past five years, with the total number of passengers spending time on the waves creeping ever closer to 30 million per annum.


Image © P&O Cruises
The SkyDome during the day.
Image © P&O Cruises
Arguably one of the most exciting imminent launches is Iona from P&O Cruises.
Image © P&O Cruises
SkyDome promises to be one of Iona’s star attractions, providing guests with a magical venue.
Image © P&O Cruises

It’s easy to see why it has become so popular. There are cruise packages that cover almost every destination on the globe, from the fjords of Norway to the sun-kissed beaches of the Caribbean. Coupled to more affordable package deals, the demand can only really head upwards.

Higher passenger demand has led to more ships being built, as leading cruise companies look to gain greater market share. But how do they compete in what is steadily becoming a market with greater choice?

In addition to more exotic itineraries, all-inclusive packages and interesting shore excursions, many cruise companies are looking to make life on board that little bit more glamorous and special, creating wow factors that makes them stand out in what is becoming a crowded market.

Arguably one of the most exciting imminent launches is Iona from P&O Cruises, which as well as offering the first ever distillery at sea, exhibits the unique SkyDome on decks 16 and 17. The SkyDome will include a swimming pool that transforms into a stage at night, as well as a glass dome roof, which creates a temperate climate while providing guests with fabulous views of the surrounding environment.

Considering some of the diverse meteorological and climactic conditions the dome roof will face, it is of no surprise that the engineers and designers turned to SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayers from Trosifol, in order to deliver the most robust solution to this stunning piece of engineering.

According to Graham Coult, Technical Director at Eckersley O’Callaghan, the company that undertook the structural design of the dome: “We opted for SentryGlas® because it offers the stiffness the project required, especially in the creation of a glass composite such as the one used for the dome. We had to take into account elevated temperatures and in terms of other weather extremes, although snow loading was not perceived to be an issue, hail was. This led us to test the laminate construction by firing golf balls at it from an air canon.

“SentryGlas® is ideal for these types of applications, due to its better stiffness and excellent post-breakage behavior at higher temperatures,” he continues. “The ship could actually be in any number of environments, which can be hard to define, so we went with the interlayer that gave us the broadest performance spread on the market.”

The impressive 970 m2 (10,441 ft2), 115 tons elliptical dome has Frener & Reifer to thank for its engineering, fabrication and installation. At 41 meters (134.5 ft) long by 29 metres (95 ft) wide, it rises by 4 metres (13 ft) at its center. According to Frener & Reifer it was assembled directly next to the ship in the Papenburg shipyard and then lifted onto the 18th deck in one maneuver using a 750 tons crane.


Read more about the SkyDome by downloading the case study: