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Sneak Peek of the Helios Wine Bar on MSC’s Newest Cruise Ship

A first-of-its-kind, permanent, interactive wine tasting experience is now live on the MSC Euribia.
Authored by
Jim Spadaccini
Founder & Creative Director

Earlier this June, MSC’s latest cruise ship, the Euribia, sailed for the first time. I was lucky enough to be on this first voyage as we made some final touches to our installation in the Helios Wine Bar space. We will be posting more information about this unique experience in the coming months, but I wanted to share a few photos and other details from the first voyage. 

Officially a charter voyage, with a limited number of passengers, we sailed from the shipyard at Saint-Nazaire in France to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Ideum had been tasked with building custom touch tables and software to allow for two unique wine experiences: an open-ended tasting application with nearly 100 wines, and a Masterclass program that allows up to eight guests to take an interactive course on wine.

MSC captured this video of the exciting new wine bar experience during the ship's charter voyage.

The Helios Wine Bar space (officially called the Helios Wine Maker) hosts six touch tables. Two are large community tables that seat up to eight guests. These tables can accommodate both the open-ended wine tasting experience and more directed Masterclasses, which were designed by MSC’s award-winning Food & Beverage group. The remaining four touch tables, known as the couple’s tables, allow for more intimate tasting experiences.

One of the great pleasures of this project was to be able to work with such knowledgeable professionals, winemakers, and sommeliers. During the charter, as MSC staff were facilitating their first Masterclasses, it was gratifying to see the first visitors interacting with the custom tables and software. We received a lot of positive feedback and a few suggestions for improving the experience as well. Our biggest takeaway was that guests enjoyed the experience and found that it made fine wines more accessible and understandable, with a few participants mentioning specifically that having more information about the wines and winemaking process made the experience less intimidating. 

Sailing on MSC Euribia was an interesting experience. It is one the first LNG-Powered cruise ships, which reduces a voyage's average greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent. Additional innovations, such as the onboard wastewater treatment system and energy efficient equipment, improve the ship’s environmental footprint even further. From Amsterdam, the ship continued on to Copenhagen where it had its naming ceremony followed by a pretty wild party—fitting to celebrate a ship that was years in the making. 

Watch for more news about this new and permanent interactive wine tasting experience as we continue to refine and expand its offerings. Our team and the technology has come a long way since our  groundbreaking “pop-up” interactive tastings with JCB Wines and Starbucks several years ago.

Finally, this was one of those projects at Ideum where almost every group played a role. Our Creative Services group designed the software, which uses our Tangible Engine object recognition SDK, and our Fabrication group created the custom touch tables which use our Ideum Inline open-framed large touch displays. I am very proud of the role that our team played, and congratulations are in order for our excellent partners at MSC, Sponsiv Digital, and Malta Solutions. Cheers!