Preparing for growth as the refurbishment market booms

Gabriele Mario Cafaro discusses how Marine Interiors has improved processes as demand soars  

Preparing for growth as the refurbishment market booms
Marine Interiors completed interior outfitting for the Martinis cocktail lounge on Oceania Cruises’ Vista

By Alex Smith |

Business has been booming for Marine Interiors, a subsidiary of Fincantieri Group. The outfitter has seen dramatic growth in demand, especially in the newbuild sector. According to CEO Gabriele Maria Cafaro, this growth is set to continue – but he anticipates a greater share of it to be in the refurbishment market. 

“The company has grown a lot over the last few years, with 70 per cent of our business focused on newbuilds,” he says. “However, I see the refurbishment market experiencing a significant level of growth over the next five years. 2023 is the first year after the pandemic where I’ve seen that shipowners are restarting projects. The onboard environment and experience is becoming more and more important for passengers, which is a positive driver for refurbishment projects because owners need to invest in their fleets to create new experiences and meet passenger demand.” 

In preparation for this demand, Marine Interiors has examined how it can improve and optimise its working practices. This has become an especially important priority for the company as it manages the recent expansion of its organisation. 

“We have performed a deep dive into our areas of weakness,” says Cafaro. “The rapid growth in business we’ve experienced has meant that the organisation has had to expand quickly, from 90 to 650 colleagues. Ensuring that this growth is handled well and that we make the best use of our new team is an important task for us. This means engaging in self-criticism, looking at how we can improve our engineering and design processes within the company, and learning how we can better harmonise with the yards and our subcontractors. 

“We’re studying how we can improve our processes and therefore improve the quality of the final product for the client,” says Cafaro. “Our experience on working on projects together with our clients has shown us the high level of quality they require, and we’re constantly looking to improve in order to match and exceed those standards.” 

Cafaro suggests that handling such rapid growth has given the outfitter an advantage when it comes to delivering challenging projects. 

“Our greatest strength is in managing variety and complexity,” he says. “We can deliver up to 40,000 square metres of public areas per year in 20 different typologies, split across seven different ships. We’ve grown up as a company dealing with and learning from the challenges of complicated projects, so that we now know how to manage that complexity in the best possible way.” 

This article was first published in the 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Interiors for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.

Contact author


Subscribe to the Cruise & Ferry newsletter

  • ©2024 Tudor Rose. All Rights Reserved. Cruise & Ferry is published by Tudor Rose.