Glass on Cunard’s new Queen Victoria ocean liner has been treated with Ritec’s ClearShield System to ensure it stays clean and sparkling on the ship’s maiden world cruise last November. ClearShield’s glass surface protection was applied to 13,500m2 of exterior glass aboard the magnificent ship, including on the bridge, lido deck, cabin doors, balcony balustrades and hull glass.

ClearShield is a tried and tested solution to the well-known problem of glass corrosion and has been used successfully on all types of marine glass. Its proven formula bonds to the glass surface, providing a totally transparent barrier to contaminants such as seawater deposits, weathering and engine exhaust, which can corrode, stain and discolour on-board glass, making cleaning difficult and time-consuming. ClearShield protected glass stays looking like new, resulting in increased visibility and safety, plus improved passenger comfort and satisfaction. Protected glass can also be maintained without the need for harsh chemicals, which is a particular benefit for marine glass as the use of detergents is increasingly restricted to avoid contaminating the sea.

Keeping glass in pristine condition is vital to the luxury cruise experience and stained glazing can also present a safety hazard for the crew. ClearShield glass surface protection was applied by Ritec’s International Marine Services team to exterior glass after it was fitted on the Queen Victoria. Any glue from the protective film or excess paint was removed as part of the deep cleaning process prior to treatment. The service also included a thorough inspection of the glass and removal of any scratches before hand-applying the surface with ClearShield Industrial and Marine – a specialist product in the range for glass in harsh environments. The work was completed in just five weeks during the ship’s construction by Fincantieri Shipyard in Marghera (Venice).

The Queen Victoria is the latest addition to the Cunard fleet and has nearly 1,000 staterooms and a guest capacity of 2,000. ClearShield was specified for this luxury liner by Stuart Hawkins, Vice President of New Buildings for Cunard and Princess Cruises. Stefan Roelands, Business Development and Project Manager at Ritec International Marine Services comments, “Unprotected marine glass deteriorates very rapidly once exposed to the harsh sea environment so we recommend specifying ClearShield while the ship is being built, as with the Queen Victoria. Applying protection at a later date is more costly as the contaminated glass has to be cleaned and renovated before treatment and the ship has to be taken out of service while the work is completed.”

According to Ritec, the use of ClearShield in the marine sector has risen four-fold in recent years. In addition to cruise ships, the technology is also specified for other vessels, including ferryboats and superyachts. Summing up, Stefan Roelands says, “ClearShield has a proven track record for durability and fitness for purpose. It provides shipowners with a complete solution in terms of reduced maintenance, health and safety and, of course, passenger comfort. The cruise industry is growing and that’s increasing competition to provide ever-higher levels of service. ClearShield can play a part in this by ensuring onboard glass looks perfect when passengers step on board and stays that way throughout their trip and beyond.”