Charting a new course: a discussion with Semra Aycicek

Harmony Marine Solutions’ founder explains to Alex Smith how she aims to make a mark on the global marine turnkey outfitting and design stage now Harmony Marine Solutions is an independent company

Charting a new course: a discussion with Semra Aycicek

Harmony Marine Solutions

By Alex Smith |

For Harmony Marine Solutions, 2023 was a year of reinvention. Founder Semra Aycicek acquired the shares of what was Vestnes Turkey and established it as an independent entity, launching a new era for the marine design and engineering firm. Rebranded under its new name, Harmony is now aiming to firmly establish itself within the global shipbuilding industry.  

“Harmony’s post-independence ambition is to be a global leader in marine outfitting by merging innovation with a human-centric approach,” says Aycicek. “The first step we needed to take in realising this vision was to set free the talent, the passion, the creativity and love we have in the company for designing and building memorable experiences for people. Now our focus is on global expansion, leveraging our values of creativity, problem-solving and trust. We aim to surpass global needs with unique solutions, reinforcing our position as a pioneering creative community.” 

The company emphasises the importance of the human element within its interior designs, as it seeks to create spaces that people can enjoy together during their time at sea.  

“We create living spaces that deliver comfort and elegance for people of all ages, focusing on the moments that define time spent together,” explains Aycicek. “This philosophy, rooted in our core values, guides us in delivering not just designs but also experiences, ensuring every project is an embodiment of our mission to build meaningful, innovative and sustainable spaces. We want guests to be able to cherish the vibrant colours of life, savouring the joy of a cup of coffee at the perfect moment of the day, in just the right spot onboard the ship.” 

Harmony is expanding its resources to support its aim of pushing into the global market. The firm has added new business units to its portfolio and further developed the capacity of its own factory to enable the production and assembly of sustainable furniture and wet units.  

Harmony Marine Solutions

Harmony Marine Solutions has already carried out outfitting projects on several passenger ships, including Havila Kystruten’s Havila Capella

“We’re equipped to meet the dynamic needs of the growing cruise market, adapting to trends such as the adoption of environmental technologies and the desire for more immersive travel experiences,” says Aycicek. “Our approach combines innovative solutions with skilled employees to address the increasing demand for quality marine interiors. We have improved our fixed furniture production capacity by increasing the plate sizing and shaping capacity up to 480,000 square metres since becoming independent, and we are still upgrading and optimising the production zones to be able to meet greater demand and be competitive on the budgets.” 

Harmony has completed a range of projects in the passenger sector, including full turnkey outfitting for cabins onboard Havila Kystruten’s Havila Capella and Havila Castor, and the delivery of soft furniture to sister ships Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux. The ships were designed to meet the noise and environmental regulations now in place on the traditional Norwegian coastal route, requiring Harmony to deliver weight savings in their designs and furniture. 

The firm also carried out a full turnkey outfitting and design project onboard Scandlines’ upcoming zero-emission ferry, which will sail between Puttgarden in Germany and Rødby in Denmark. For the project, Harmony created a team that coordinated parties involved in areas in the ship’s construction such as piping, HVAC and painting on behalf of the shipyard. Other clients have included Norwegian ferry operator Fjord1 and Scottish operator CalMac Ferries. 

“We are now becoming more specialised in cruise and passenger interiors, bringing a relatively younger and fresher perspective to the field of interior design,” said Aycicek. “Our portfolio includes a number of diverse, challenging projects that demonstrate our expertise and reflect our dedication to pushing industry boundaries to add significant value, aligning with our mission and vision.” 

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of  Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe  for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.  

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