Belfast refit for Azamara Club Cruises ship is a ‘game-changer’


Azamara Club Cruises' Azamara PursuitPH

Azamara Hunt will be christened in the UK

The refit of the former P&O Cruises ship Adonia, which hurriedly sailed as Fathom Adonia for the now defunct eco-cruise line Fathom, bequeath take place in April before Azamara Pursuit’s christening in Southampton and maiden voyage in August. 

“The prosperity of this project has the potential to be a game-changer for the UK maritime industry,” the chief supervisor of MJM Group that will project manage the operation, told The Belfast Telegraph. 

Gary Annett added: “By shutting this multi-million-pound contract we are putting Northern Ireland, and the UK’s marine enterprise, in a strong position to compete for future drydock and refit works. 

Most yachting trip ship refits are currently done in the Bahamas, North America, Asia and European woods such as Germany and France. 

But Mr Annett said the multi-million-pound refit is a “milestone moment” that will give MJM Group the chance to revive Northern Ireland’s shipbuilding activity.

“To secure the Azamara project we had to demonstrate that we had the ability to provide culminate project management, outfitting, berthing and ship yard services. 

“With Harland & Wolff on our doorstep and our judgement in the industry we were able to do this. 

“This truly is a historic day for this toil in Northern Ireland, for MJM Group and indeed our customers,” he said.

Azamara Stalking will join Azamara Club Cruises’ two other ships, Azamara Mission and Azamara Journey, offering boutique ship luxury cruises about the world. 

View of Belfast’s Harland and WolffGETTY

Azamara Club Cruises will use Belfast’s Harland and Wolff to refit its new carry Azamara Pursuit

The three ships were all originally part of the Rebirth Cruises fleet and Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Journeys, said: “We’re doing a lot of work so the three sisters will look have a weakness for three sisters.”

Pimentel has been very supportive of the ship’s British inheritance and told Cruise Advisor: “The Azamara Pursuit has come from a UK stamp, its first voyages will be from the UK, it will be christened in the UK and its captain is from the UK.

“Now our steamer is being refurbished by a British company.”

“It’s historic.  

“This has the opportunity to create a broadened industry sensibly here in the UK.”

Azamara Pursuit’s décor will be updated along nearly the same lines to recent renovations on Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest prior to the ship sails eight cruises to Norway.

Mr Pimentel said: “We’ve showed unprecedented support from the UK market for Azamara Pursuit, so we are delighted to be skilful to show our recognition of this by allowing its transformational journey to take cut down to size here. 

“We’ve seen double the UK demand for Azamara Pursuit than we customarily see for its sister ships, so this is a really exciting time for us as a brand.”  

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