Vahali X river cruiser


Client: Vahali shipyard

Shipyard: Vahali shipyard

Year of design: 2021


The interior design of the Vahali X river cruiser, which got its name from the recognizable exterior and the unexpected profile with crossed planes in the shape of the letter X. It has a modern look and a non-standard form with a specific overlapping structure.


The idea was to challenge the established concept of a river cruiser. Traditionally, it is a place for sleeping between cities and it is used mainly by people over 60 years old. Our client wanted a river cruise that offers a lot of different content and is interesting by itself, which makes it attractive to younger passengers.


Nature, as a perfect whole, composed of many seemingly incompatible parts, inspired us for the design of this interior. We focused on five elements of nature that explain the overall complexity of the matter. According to Eastern philosophies, nature and the universe are created by the interrelationship of the five main elements (earth, water, air, fire, and ether). Therefore, each of the five restaurants on the cruiser is designed around one of these elements. We did the same with other areas – passenger cabins and bathrooms.  This way, each of them became unique, receiving colors, shapes, and details following the assigned style.


Casual dining restaurant has an industrial style. Dark colors are associated with earth and are visually “heavier”. The main detail is the tree that runs through the construction and connects the two spaces. The earth is connected to the ether and they form yin and yang. The spiral staircase forms a link between dark and heavy on the one hand and bright and light on the other. The cabin with the earth as an element also has dark colors and a touch of green to symbolize the plants growing from the earth. We specifically designed the entire lighting for this space, placing gears in several places. Using a special technique, we gave them a rusty look. The sauna and massage areas are characterized by calm tones, greenery and relaxation. “Grounding” that provides a return to the inner being fits perfectly into this element. It is followed by one of the passenger cabins with an attached bathroom.


We placed the ethereal lounge restaurant in a geometrical space. In this bright ambiance, we used the same bright floor and multi-colored furniture. Interesting lamps that resemble sculptures feature in the center. They extend through the opening that connects this level with the lower, “ground” level. The bar visually continues to the ceiling, with a large dance floor in front of it. The walls are painted with geometric shapes, which also repeat on the furniture, lamps, and bar.


Air, as an element, accompanies the a la carte restaurant – a place whose luxury is enhanced by marble and gold details. Inspired by airflow, the interior is designed with distorted curved forms that look as if they move. The floor was designed accordingly, and details in the form of waves were added to the windows. Important details are also the chandeliers, whose golden color leaves flicker, refracting the light and thus appearing as if they are constantly moving.


The Asian restaurant Dim Sum represents the fire sign. It is designed in warm colors, predominantly in red, and details with fire symbols. Lanterns resemble Chinese paper lanterns that are traditionally lit and released into the sky. Thanks to the mirror on the restaurant’s ceiling, it looks like the lanterns are floating.

The restaurant also has a stern terrace with comfortable chairs, sofas, and deckchairs.


The fish restaurant does not have images of water, but subtle hints of it. The lamps look like sea creatures from the depths of the sea, and the tiles on the floor and wooden blinds look like fish scales. On the ceiling, there is a form representing a fish net. The tables are covered with a special epoxy technique and look like a part of the ocean caught in space. We accented the space with a detail on the wall in the form of a coral reef.


The central part of the vessel consists of the reception, gift shop, sushi bar, and library. Separated from each other only by glass, they represent a whole that runs through all levels. They exude futurism, with curved planes and blue color lightning. The reception desk is reminiscent of space, with its counter and furniture projected by parametric designs. The gift shop is characterized by minimalism and fluid forms. The forms in the corridor also flow, which breaks the monotony common to long spaces. Here, the contrasts of colors and surfaces replicate the yin-yang relationship already applied in casual dining and lounge restaurants. The metal and reflective surfaces in the sushi bar are not far from futurism. Sitting on designer chairs designed by Konstantin Grcic, guests can watch the chef prepares sushi. The mirrors on the walls make the space seem infinite. The library is designed in a contemporary style, tucked in with a handmade carpet, and equipped with comfortable furniture. It is the perfect place for guests who want to enjoy a good book or daily newspaper.


The part of the cruiser dedicated to video games and movies is located on the lower deck, which makes it connected to the depths of the water. Special sea creatures who live and glow in them were our inspiration for the lightning on the ceiling of the cinema. The walls are covered in marine motifs. The arcade room has glass panels on the walls which thanks to lightning, resemble light passing through water.

Vahali X won the International Cruiser Award 2022 in the Best Spa and Fitness Design category