Traditional craftsmanship with a modern twist

Isadora Cordazzo tells Rebecca Gibson how 121 years of experience and an innovative spirit have enabled Gerolamo Scorza to become a top choice for ship outfitting projects

Traditional craftsmanship with a modern twist
The Lounge area on Seabourn Odyssey, outfitted by Gerolamo Scorza, blends craftsmanship and excellent design solutions

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Founded on 6 June 1898 in Genoa, Italy, Gerolamo Scorza was established to provide carpentry services for wooden ships. After World War Two, it branched into providing naval refit and refurbishment services. Now, 121 years later, the company has a well-earned reputation as a reliable contractor that can provide high-quality turnkey interior outfitting solutions for any area onboard passenger ships and other vessels.

While changing passenger expectations and market trends have forced the outfitting market to evolve how it operates over the past 121 years, Gerolamo Scorza’s core values remain the same. This fact, combined with the company’s ability to blend over a century’s worth of craftsmanship with modern production methods, is exactly why it continues to be in high demand for both newbuild and refurbishment projects.

“We are committed to preserving our traditional values of hard work, high quality, continuous improvement and delivering complete customer satisfaction,” explains Isadora Cordazzo, executive and technical officer at Gerolamo Scorza. “However, we also keep our eyes on the future, so we invest in the latest technologies and regularly train our staff to enhance their skills and knowledge. This ensures that we’re able to evolve alongside the interior outfitting market and meet new challenges with ease, all while retaining our competitive edge.”

In addition to providing general refit services, Gerolamo Scorza specialises in designing and installing cabins and public spaces for both the passenger and crew areas of the ship, as well as wall panels, teak decks, doors and all types of furniture. Providing a wide range of services is all part of the company’s drive to create loyal customers.

“We work hard to obtain the trust and approval of both the shipowners and the shipyards – we know that if we continually prove how skilled and competent we are, they’re more likely to choose us for their future projects,” explains Cordazzo. “We achieve this by customising our services to each specific project and by acting as a pillar of strength for owners, architects and shipyards when they are outfitting a new ship or modernising an older vessel. At the same time, we strive to create long-term relationships with our suppliers to ensure that we always used the highest quality materials.”

Before starting each project, Gerolamo Scorza’s team carries out a feasibility and ad hoc study, then drills down into the finer details of planning and logistics management, and produces architectural and engineering drawings. Next, it embarks on the construction phase, where the experienced team uses traditional craft processes and technologically advanced tools and machines to manufacture wall panels, furniture, doors and decking.

“We collaborate closely with both the shipowners and the shipyards throughout every stage of the project to ensure that we meet their specific requirements and deliver both a first-class service and high-quality interiors,” says Cordazzo. “Our approach also means we can efficiently take every project from cradle to grave.”

Testament to Gerolamo Scorza’s success is the ever-growing list of cruise companies, ferry operators and shipyards who, impressed by the high quality of its work, request its services time and time again. Regular clients include major brands such as Attica Group, DFDS, Costa Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Group and Carnival Cruise Line. The latter, for example, returned to Gerolamo Scorza in February 2019 when it needed to refurbish the public toilets onboard Carnival Freedom.

“We designed a new layout for the space, taking into account Americans with Disability Act regulations, and installed the toilets while the ship underwent a short dry dock at Grand Bahama Shipyard in The Bahamas,” says Cordazzo. “In addition, we modified all the electrical and hydraulic connections, as well as the HVAC system. All this work was completed in less than a month.”

Several months later, two more loyal customers, sister brands Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises chose Gerolamo Scorza to supply and install new sliding doors in the passenger cabins onboard their respective ships, Sirena and Seven Seas Navigator. Both projects were carried out in France, the former at Chantier Naval de Marseille and the latter at Damen Shiprepair Brest.

“We’ve been appointed to complete various tasks during our recent outfitting projects – even some unforeseen additional works – and we’ve tackled each one with very good results,” remarks Cordazzo. More projects are on the horizon. French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique, for example, has appointed Gerolamo Scorza to fully outfit the Solariums and exclusive MSC Yacht Club areas MSC Cruises’ MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa, which will debut in 2020. The contract was awarded following the success of an identical project on MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellissima.

Meanwhile, Italian shipbuilder T. Mariotti has appointed the company as the main contractor for outfitting the public spaces for both the passengers and the crew on Seabourn’s new expedition ship Seabourn Venture, which will start sailing in June 2021.

“Our long list of projects shows that shipowners trust us to create concepts and expertly design and install solutions – even if we only have a few weeks,” says Cordazzo. “We’re always delighted to work with our long-term partners, but it’s exciting that we’re now getting interest from new clients too. Our active participation at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo in Miami in June 2019 certainly helped us to showcase to the cruise world that Gerolamo Scorza is well-equipped to take on any challenge it can throw at us.”

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
20 November 2019

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