Azamara Cruises

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Azamara Cruises fleet

Review of Azamara Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises (aka "Azamara Cruises") is a company that operates two cruise ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Azamara is a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises. Founded in 2007 as Azamara Cruises, the company was rebranded in 2009. Both vessels were refurbished during 2012–2013 winter.

Azamara Club Cruises ships were originally part of the R-Class cruise vessels built for Renaissance Cruises between 1998-2001. The 30,277 GT Azamara Journey and Quest were both built in 2000 and originally named R Six and R Seven.

Azamara Cruises logo

Larry Pimentel has been president & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises since 2009. He was formerly president & CEO of SeaDream Yacht Club, Seaboard Cruise Line, and Cunard Line, as well as president & CEO of Classic Hawaii tour company.

Each of the Azamara cruise vessels carries up to 694 passengers, and company's guest profile includes 45% from North America, 20% from the UK and Ireland, 10% from Australia/New Zealand.

Azamara Club Cruises has won many awards for its value, traveler experience, and service. Among its honors, Azamara won three awards in the same category with "Best Entertainment" to Azamara Journey, while Azamara Quest won "Best Fitness and Best Public Rooms" by 2015 UK Cruisers' Choice Awards. Azamara Club Cruises was also named one of Travel+Leisure's World's Best Awards 2014 in the large-ship lines category.

Designed to provide exotic destination-driven itineraries, the line presents an intimate onboard experience while offering access to less-traveled ports of call that experienced cruisers want to visit.

Azamara Club Cruises set a course to break the mold in the industry where the product falls into the traditional mainstream, premium and luxury categories. The line gives an exciting opportunity to experienced travelers who look for more than what a traditional voyage can deliver. They are more keen on traveling than cruising, but may still prefer the convenience that only a ship can deliver in exotic locales. Azamara Club Cruises provides this underserved group of vacationers what they want - an experience that is a bit different: more than premium, but not quite luxury. Azamara offers deluxe voyages with concierge-style amenities - for this one would have to upgrade to a suite on other lines.

Since its launch Azamara has added more inclusive amenities to guests’ fares, with no charge for bottled water, specialty teas, and coffees, standard wines, spirits, and international beers throughout line's ships during bar hours; complimentary self-service laundry and shuttle bus service to and from port communities.

The extensive overhauls of the two ships that formerly sailed for Renaissance Cruises (now-defunct) have resulted in brighter interiors with the addition of light and splashes of bold color in the drapes and upholstery. Areas that appeared stuffy now look welcoming, with contemporary artwork enhancing the decor. While the size of Azamara Club Cruises ships makes the ships easy to navigate and affords a high level of intimacy, there is no skimping on features that are abundant on larger ships, such as alternative dining and private balconies. Cruisers may feel like they have checked into an upscale boutique hotel that happens to float.

Translated as a bright, blue sea, Azamara Cruises are bursting with curiosity and adventure - they visit a wider range of ports than any other line.

Azamara Club Cruises inclusive luxury club experience includes:

  • A selection of complimentary spirits, wines, and international beers;
  • All bottled waters, specialty teas, and coffees, soft drinks;
  • AzAmazing Evening shore excursion, which includes local cuisine and entertainment ashore;
  • Onboard gratuities included in fare - guests are no longer required to tip Azamara crew members;
  • Onboard concierge services and English butler service in suites.

The AzAmazing evening shore excursions are complimentary evenings that offer a fabulous way to immerse in local culture. Guests spend an evening enjoying stunning locations, great entertainment, and regional cuisine.

Remaining rich, yet elegant, Azamara cruises are wonderfully decorated and manage to hold an inviting presence all the way through your stay. Of Azamara staterooms, 93% provide ocean views with 70% offering private balconies, meaning it's easier to find the perfect room for your vacation. Onboard service is outstanding: from butler service in every stateroom to the 1 staff member to every 2 guests ratio. In every stateroom, passengers receive a high level of service, which is rarely found on larger cruise liners.

New ship

NEWS: On September 26, 2017, Azamara Club Cruises (RCCL Royal Caribbean subsidiary company) announced an agreement with P&O UK (Carnival Corporation subsidiary company) to purchase the Adonia (Azamara Pursuit) ship. Adonia's last P&O cruise was a 15-day Barbados roundtrip itinerary (booking code D804) February 23 through March 9, 2018.

The vessel will join Azamara's fleet of 2 sister ships (Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest). The planned delivery is for March 2018. The ship will be renamed "Azamara Pursuit". During the scheduled drydock refurbishment, the cruise ship's decor will be changed, as well as the names of bars and lounges, cabin categories and amenities.

Itinerary of Azamara Cruises

Whilst enjoying stunning Caribbean, South American, Asian and European itineraries passengers can indulge in a variety of well-being treatments. Azamara Club Cruises offers a wide choice of in-suite treatments, acupuncture, facials and more, all conducted in beautifully decorated spa suite surroundings.

Azamara cruises take a more immersive attitude to shore trips. Offering special insights into the history, culture, geology, and wildlife of each destination, Azamara cruises ease away all cares whilst giving cultural food for thought. Each sailing includes one AzAmazing shore excursion, which is part of the cruise price - this could be ballet in Saint Petersburg or enjoying dinner while sitting on a 350-ft cliff, overlooking Amalfi coast.

Guests can enjoy a fly & cruise holiday to the Panama Canal, Caribbean, South America, Asia, and Hawaii with Azamara Cruises, or try an Alaska cruise with the world's most stunning destinations, filled with gold rush charm. For Formula 1 fans there is even a Monaco F1 Grand Prix cruise.

In 2019, many Azamara Club itineraries offer a range of unique sporting events ashore. Among those are Grand Prix (Monaco), L’Armada Rouen (Barcelona, tall ships event held there once every 5 years) and British Open (148th Open Championship held at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland). Promotions are planned on 9 “country-intensive” itineraries to Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, Italy, France, Croatia, Greece, Norway.

Azamara Club Cruises is due to debut in South Africa in 2020 with a series of ‘sail and safari’ options out of Cape Town. Fly-cruise and cruise & stay options are featured in January-February and at the end of 2020 with 6 departures in addition to repositioning cruises. The destination-focused line is offering 10- and 11-night itineraries with pre- and post-cruise land stays. Port of Cape Town will also become the departure point for a 109-night voyage to London departing February 2020.

The addition of a 3rd identical ship to the fleet of Azamara in 2018 gives the luxury brand more flexibility to expand global coverage. Among the highlights in the programme for 2020 is a new transpacific itinerary from LA to Tahiti via Hawaii to Auckland. Departing January 5, the first 18-night leg to French Polynesia is followed by further 15 nights to New Zealand.

Azamara Pursuit (former P&O Adonia) returns to run 5 ex-UK trips from Southampton after a gap in 2019. The ship debuts in summer 2018 with August 1 departure before being named in the port on August 28. Refurbished in Belfast, Azamara Pursuit operates 5 cruises in May-June 2020 from the south coast port, of which a 3-night taster trip to the Channel Islands and Saint-Malo. Other itineraries include Iceland, Norway, the North Cape, and round Britain & Ireland.

All three Azamara ships meet together in the port of Koper on Oct 8, 2020, for a special celebration prior to sailing together to Venice. Passengers have the chance to sail on the different vessels on 3 consecutive voyages from Athens to Barcelona, Barcelona-Southampton, and Southampton-Copenhagen between May-June 2020.

2020 features a total of 40 maiden port calls.

Azamara Club Cruises' first quarter 2021 itineraries include sailing across 4 continents from January through March. Changes include new country-intensive sailings in Japan, the introduction of Azamara Pursuit to Australia & New Zealand, additional experiences in South Africa and South America.

In Japan, Azamara Cruises features 15- and 16-night itineraries with calls at up to 13 cruise ports across the country, of which Aomori, Hakodate, Kobe, and Tokyo. Starting in 2019, the company offers a range of immersive shore excursions showcasing the local culture of the various regions in the country. Azamara Pursuit is due to debut in Australia & New Zealand in 2021 and visits 18 ports, including Melbourne, Sydney, Akaroa, Auckland, and Napier. The cruise line is also due to introduce new ways to experience South Africa and South America. During this time, Azamara will offer a Rio Carnival cruise aboard Azamara Quest and a new country-intensive trip aboard Azamara Journey in South Africa.

In April 2019, Azamara announced company's 2021 and winter/spring 2022 cruise schedule. Passengers can expect over 140 overnights worldwide and discovery-themed itineraries in Eastern Europe through an expanded Black Sea and Turkey program, including overnight stays in Istanbul and popular resort towns like Antalya and Sinop. Azamara's 10x Maiden Ports include Amami, Arica, Brest, Fraser Island, Guayaquil, Manta, Milos, Pylos, Tema (Accra), and Warrenpoint (Northern Ireland). In 2021, Azamara doubled the overnight stays in France and Spain (since 2015). Shore tour examples include Andalusian Gastronomy Experience in Seville Spain and Nantes/Loire Valley. Azamara also offers new "Grand Voyages" via B2Bs (back-to-back cruises) around the world with bookings receiving onboard credit for each leg of the voyage plus free WiFi. Grand Voyages are designed for travelers opting for longer itineraries with more destinations while saving money on the booking. An example is the 69-day South America Circumnavigation roundtrip from Miami (January 2022) covering a total of 32 countries - including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, passing through Antarctic Sound.

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