KAEFER in the Marine Industry

Setting sail together


KAEFER goes back to the roots – building upon the spirit that led Carl Kaefer to make a name for himself in the maritime industry.


KAEFER’s origins are in maritime insulation. But the company would not have gotten very far if it simply stuck with insulating cold storage with peat, as Carl Kaefer did in 1918. As technology and industry has changed, so has KAEFER. And one of the most important sources of impetus and inspiration has come from shipbuilding. The company has developed from an insulator into a service provider with the widest variety of solutions and products for the seven seas. From insuation, interior outfitting to passive fire protection and luxury exterior decks, KAEFER has developed strength in four pillars: cruise new build, cruise refurbishment, naval vessels, and mega yachts. In the process, they have evolved and changed together with its maritime clients and their unique needs.

Charting course through choppy waters

Normally, a storm at sea can be felt brewing. The tempest the maritime industry had to endure this year was both unprecedented and unexpected. Of the around 400 cruise ships around the world, every single one had to return to harbour or lay anchor just outside. This total stop of the cruise industry had never happened before. On top of that, shipbuilding projects that were still running were substantially affected by social distancing, limits to working shifts and the inability of specialist staff to travel. The KAEFER team is no stranger to a challenge, however, and pulled through together to keep things going even in the face of adversity.

“I’m incredibly grateful to the team and they’ve showed great resilience in this crisis,” says Jürgen Trost, Managing Director of KAEFER Schiffsausbau in Germany.

“I’m convinced that the storm will blow over and that the cruise industry will come back in full force.”

Jürgen Trost

Managing Director KAEFER Schiffsausbau, Germany

“I’m also convinced that the storm will blow over and that the cruise industry will come back in full force. There hasn’t been a single new build project that has been cancelled in Europe and some of our clients are aiming to extend their order book to account for a delay in new build orders. The main point is that things will recover, and I think the cruise industry will be larger in 10 years than it was before COVID-19.”

Making waves with LNG and heading for a safe harbour

Speaking of the state of the industry in 10 years’ time, it’s necessary to consider the increasing pressures to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The key here is liquified natural gas (LNG), which provides substantial reductions in emissions when used as fuel to propel cruise liners. “Our client Meyer Werft in Papenburg has already launched the first two cruise ships that run completely on LNG,” Jürgen Trost explains. “One ship received a Blue Angel Award for environmentally-friendly design and there are further vessels under construction in Papenburg and Turku.” KAEFER Schiffsausbau has been awarded the contract to insulate the LNG piping in these ships and is contributing to the push for increased sustainability in the whole industry.

When it comes to smaller vessels, KAEFER has managed to fulfil big expectations. Working together with beiderbeck designs in Bremen, KAEFER Schiffsausbau is increasing its activities in the area of luxury yachts with mega yacht refits.

From 40 to 140 metres, an experienced, skilled and creative team of naval architects, designers and engineers provides the highest level of services for the widest variety of yacht projects. When it comes to mega yachts and their captains and owners, it’s down to the last tiny detail and that’s what the team does best.

The tides are turning

Even though 2020 has been a year like no other, the KAEFER marine community has had one another to count on. By working closely together and leveraging strengths in various specialist areas, the teams have found resilience in the face of adversity. “We’re stronger together,” says Trost, “amongst other factors, the cross-selling we can do in the four pillars that we service helps put us in an advantageous position. On top of that, we’re at the forefront of new technology and are continuously expanding our portfolio of services.” As the industry changes, KAEFER Marine will change with it. The aim is to be a good companion and willing first mate to accompany their clients on their global journey, wherever they may be setting sail from.