Azamara Pursuit Begins Her Refurbishment in Belfast

A Newry company has won a contract for refurbishment work on the upmarket cruise ship Azamara Pursuit which arrived in Belfast today 

And what’s more – the work will be carried out in Belfast, at Harland and Wolff, with the possibility of more cruise ship modernisation and refurbishment work in the pipeline in future.

The Newry-based MJM Group will work on the Azamara Pursuit over the next three months, and the work is to be completed by the end of July.

MJM normally sends its workforce to undertake projects at docks in the Caribbean or mainland Europe. But this is the first time the MJM workforce will be involved in a cruise ship project in Belfast.

The company says the project has the potential to “open up Belfast for further work of this scale”.

Gary Annett, MJM’s Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to welcome the Azamara Pursuit safely to Belfast following its two-week journey from the Bahamas: “Watching her berth at Harland and Wolff is the fulfilment of long-held ambition of MJM Group founder and  Chairman Brian McConville to bring a project of this scale to Belfast.”

Brian McConville said it was fulfilling a dream bringing a ship back to Belfast to be refurbished here, previously MJM workers have travelled abroad to carry out the work in Europe and the Caribbean.

Azamara Club Cruises, a global brand of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, recently bought the ship and will bring it into service after the refurbishment.

Richard Twynam, Azamara Club Cruises Managing Director, UK and Ireland said: “We’ve seen unprecedented support from the UK market for Azamara Pursuit, so we are delighted to show our recognition of this by allowing its transformational journey to take place here in Belfast.”

The ship’s crew will spend the next few weeks familiarising themselves with the vessel before refurbishment work takes place during June and July.

The ship is due to sail for Southampton at the end of July ahead of its maiden voyage from Southampton to Norway on August 1, 2018.

There will be up to 800 people working on the project, reckoned to have a value of around £50m. Harland & Wolff will be providing the berthing, support and other services for the project.