Azamara Cruises Coronavirus update
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, RCCL (shipowner) suspended its entire fleet's passenger shipping operations - first in the USA only (all US-homeported liners of the brands RCI-Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Azamara Cruises) then globally (worldwide) by cancelling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 13 through May 11, 2020 (operations resume on May 12).
All affected bookings received full refunds (100%), including on prepurchased through Azamara Cruises packages and services. The refunds were in FCC (Future Cruise Credit) to be used with rebooking before December 31, 2021. Azamara's Cancellation Policy was extended to allow penalty-free cancellations up to 48 hours prior departure (all itineraries departing up until September 1, 2020 / initially through July 31) and receive an FCC.
Azamara Cruises fleet
Review of Azamara Cruises
IMPORTANT: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, RCCL (shipowner) suspended its entire fleet's passenger shipping operations - first in the USA only (all US-homeported liners of the brands RCI-Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Azamara Cruises) then globally (worldwide) by cancelling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 13 through May 11, 2020 (operations resume on May 12). All affected bookings received full refunds (100%), including on prepurchased through Azamara Cruises packages and services. The refunds were in FCC (Future Cruise Credit) to be used with rebooking before December 31, 2021. Azamara's Cancellation Policy was extended to allow penalty-free cancellations up to 48 hours prior departure (all itineraries departing up until September 1, 2020 / initially through July 31) and receive an FCC.
Azamara Cruises (fka "Azamara Club Cruises") is a company that operates two cruise ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Azamara is a subsidiary of RCCL-Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Founded in 2007 as Azamara Cruises, the company was rebranded in 2009. Both vessels were drydock refurbished during 2012–2013 winter.
Azamara 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. On June 18, 2019, the company was officially rebranded from "Azamara Club Cruises" to just "Azamara". Company's logo was also changed.
Larry Pimentel is company's President and CEO since 2009. He was formerly President and CEO of the cruise companies SeaDream Yacht Club, Seabourn and Cunard Line. Each Azamara vessel carries up to 694 passengers. Most of company's passengers (45%) are from North America, ~20% from UK-Ireland, ~10% from Australia-New Zealand.
Azamara has won many awards for its value, travel 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 listed amongst Travel+Leisure's "World's Best Awards 2014" in the large-ship companies 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 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 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 former fleetmates of Renaissance Cruises (1989-2001/defunct) 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 liners makes supports easy navigation and high level of intimacy, there is no skimping on features that are abundant on larger liners, such as alternative dining and private cabin balconies. Cruisers may feel like they have checked into an upscale boutique hotel that happens to float.
Azamara's all-inclusive "luxury club" like experience includes complimentary beverages (spirits, wines, international beers, bottled waters, specialty teas-coffees, soft drinks), AzAmazing Evening (shore excursions themed on local cuisine and traditional entertainment), onboard gratuities, onboard concierge and butler services (in suites). The AzAmazing tours are complimentary evenings ashore offering a fabulous way to immerse in region's/destination's culture.
Remaining rich, yet elegant, Azamara voyages 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.
NEWS: On September 26, 2017, Azamara announced an agreement with P&O UK (Carnival Corporation subsidiary company) to purchase the ship Adonia (Azamara Pursuit). 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 sisterships (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 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 the 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.
Azamara 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. The 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 gave the luxury brand more flexibility to expand global coverage. Among the highlights in the program 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 debuted 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's 2021-Q1 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 offers 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 the 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 the 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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