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Author: Lindsay James/Wednesday, January 30, 2019/Categories: Report, Onboard experience
This article was first published in the 2018 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
Marine outfitting company MJM Group was rarely out of the headlines in 2018 thanks in part to the historic refit of Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Pursuit, which took place at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard.
Described as a ‘potential game-changer’ for marine refurbishments and revitalisations, the refit broke new ground. “This project was the first in history where a cruise shipowner has awarded complete project management responsibility to an individual organisation,” said Gary Annett, MJM Group CEO. “This contract reflects the trust and confidence Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and Azamara have in MJM Group’s overall capability and is an endorsement of the partnership approach that we adopt with all our customers.
“We have spent many years nurturing strong relationships with all the top cruise companies to get a full understanding of their company values and ethos, their customer approach and the spirit of their brand so we can reflect this in the work we do for them,” Annett adds. “This has been key to our ongoing success.”
Azamara Pursuit helped Brian McConville, founder and chair of MJM Group, fulfil a long-held ambition to refit a cruise ship in Belfast. “I am celebrating 35 years in business this year so it was a very proud day to see a cruise ship sail into Belfast in April for a complete refit entirely managed by MJM Group,” he said. “This is something that I have been striving towards for many years and it is testament to the exceptional team at MJM Group that we have achieved this.”
The Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast has a long history in the ship-building industry and has received a huge amount of recognition over the years. “The nature of the contract with RCL and Azamara allowed MJM Group to manage the shipyard services including docking and berthing of the Azamara Pursuit,” said Annett. “Harland and Wolff in Belfast was our preferred yard and we were delighted to secure its services.”
Annett is excited about what might lie ahead for MJM Group. “This project has enabled us to cement a strong relationship with this iconic shipyard and showcase our joint capabilities,” he says. “We believe Azamara Pursuit has shown the cruise industry the strengths of Northern Ireland’s marine industry and has put us on the global map for future projects. The shipbuilding and ship refurbishment industries are currently experiencing strong growth with cruise ship and ferry owners placing orders for new vessels and investing in existing tonnage. Our experience in the cruise and ferry markets and our ability to provide full turnkey project management services put MJM Group in a strong position to compete for these opportunities.”
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