I have one of the best kept secrets in the cruise industry to share with you – Azamara Cruises.
99% of Azamara business comes from travel agents (like myself) who recommend it to and book it for their clients. While Azamara does have some TV spot commercials, you won’t see the heavy advertising online and on television that you find with more mainstream cruises. Instead, Azamara carefully invests in travel agent training and in customer satisfaction to rely on word-of-mouth marketing.
Let’s get down to what makes Azamara stand out!
Azamara’s tagline is “The cruiseline for those who love to travel.”
Who are the perfect passengers for Azamara? Travelers who desire destination immersion! You want longer stays, more overnights, and night touring.
A sample port time is often docking at 8am and not leaving again till 10pm – an entire day and evening in the port, allowing passengers to truly feel relaxed and to explore the city.
Traditional cruiselines often spend only about 63 hours in port on a typical itinerary – yet Azamara spends an average of 123 hours in port! That’s practically twice as much port time as any other ocean cruise.
So, if you’re considered a different cruiseline, remember to carefully look at the itinerary and add up the time you’ll spend in port. You’ll often find that Azamara offers the superior value after doing these calculations.
Azamara offers a complimentary curated excursion each voyage
Almost every voyage also includes one wonderful “AzAmazing Evening” – a port excursion especially designed for their passengers. Examples of this complimentary evening include:
- going to the Russian opera
- visiting Liverpool’s majestic Anglican Cathedral
- a nighttime visit and cocktail reception at the Monte Carlo museum
- a cello concert in Dubrovnik, and more.
No other cruiseline offers a complimentary, curated event such as this! It’s their way of providing incredible access and VIP treatment to their guests, just for sailing.
Azamara is all-inclusive luxury
Azamara is a premium product for discerning travelers, and when you think about the “extras” you spend onboard for a regular cruise, you may be surprised at what a great value you gain from Azamara.
INCLUSIVE AMENITIES FOR ALL GUESTS
Complimentary AzAmazing Evenings event (on most voyages)
Select standard spirits, international beers and wines complimentary
Prepaid gratuities included
Complimentary bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas
Shuttle service to and from port communities, where available (even if you’re not taking an excursion!)
Concierge services for personal guidance and reservations
AND FOR SUITE GUESTS, SO IS THIS…
- English butler service
- 235 complimentary Internet minutes, per guest
- One free bag of laundry service per suite, each seven days
- Complimentary seating in specialty restaurants
- Afternoon tea service in-suite
- Guests in Club World Owner’s and Club Ocean suites may choose a complimentary Insider Access℠ or Nights & Cool Places℠ Land Discoveries® excursion
Azamara’s “Destination Immersion” focus
- Late nights/ overnight stays. A vast majority of Azamara’s itineraries have overnight stays in port, so you can really immerse yourself in the nightlife and culture. Even if there isn’t an overnight stay, the ship is often docked for more than 12 hours, so you have plenty of time to have dinner on shore if you wish. While many cruise ships are pulling up anchor around 4pm or 6pm, Azamara may be pulling up anchor at 10pm. This is a fantastic option for those want to combine cruising with “immersion travel.”
- Night touring. These are fantastic excursion options that take you into the heart of the port’s nightlife – “a showcase of local culture that will dazzle you after dark.” When sailing in Bangkok, attend an ancient water prayer ceremony on the river, or in Hong Kong admire the stunning views with a cocktail at the One Peking skyscraper.
- Shore excursions, which Azamara calls “land discoveries” – they try to have land discoveries that aren’t Googleable! ( In Sicily, guests are treated to a stunning opera and fireworks red carpet evening. ) Any excursion that’s marked Insider Access won’t have more than 15 guests, either.
Azamara now has an enhanced portfolio of over 180 land programs spanning across 40+ countries, now the largest selection of pre- and post-voyage programs in the cruise industry. Every sailing will now offer a selection of land programs, each led by a reputable independent travel expert, including the renowned Cox & Kings, Micato Safaris, and Belmond, to name a few.
Azamar is true small ship ocean cruising
Azamara only has three ships in its fleet: the Azamara Journey, the Azamara Quest, and the Azamara Pursuite. They carry at maximum 690 passengers, with 497 crewmembers. Staff onboard Azamara are trained to make every passenger want to return – they have a “can-do” attitude similar to those of the Ritz-Carlton staff, and passengers will return feeling impressed and looked after.
If you’d love to combine travel, cruising, and a special event, look no further than Azamara. Azamara has carefully selected itineraries and activities to coincide with major events such as
- Golf tournaments
- The World Cup in Russia
- New Years Eve
- And more!
So you don’t have to waste time trying to figure out how you can take advantage of these global events while on your cruise – Azamara already has it all figured out! For example, in June 2018, travelers took part in Azamara’s 12 Night Baltic and World Cup voyage! Or visit the Redentore Festival in Venice, Italy. Watch the Monaco Grand Prix, or the British Open golf tournament. It’s all included – and made possible by Azamara’s commitment to overnight and 2-day stops at their ports! You can take part in these amazing festivals/sporting events and still have time to sightsee. Let your travel advisor know if you’d like to find a voyage that features these types of sporting events.
Azamara only has sailings departing from the USA just a few months out of the year; from the USA, they have itineraries focused on the West Indies, Panama (from Miami to California!), and Mexico. It’s important to plan ahead as since these American itineraries are limited, cabins will sell out.
So, Azamara’s most popular journeys are in Europe and in Asia. I love Azamara’s commitment to choosing less-known ports and incredible destinations – for instance, on a trip to Italy, the ship will often dock right at the magical island of Capri, rather than the busy, more distant port of Naples so many other larger mass-market cruiselines will choose. (If you have a specific destination in mind, just let me know, and I can send you the best itinerary.)
Azamara Booking Tips
- Azamara, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity are all sister companies, and if you are a frequent cruiser with RCCL or Celebrity, Azamara will do its best to recognize your loyalty status. In fact, you can even earn points for Celebrity as the frequent cruiser membership number is the same for both brands.
- There are no kids’ programs at all on Azamara. While children or young adults are not forbidden, it’s important to take this into consideration and to make sure that you understand there are no entertainment options for young children onboard. Be aware there will be no special activities for them onboard.
- The average age of an Azamara cruise passenger is 45 years old. Younger passengers are becoming more prevalent, so Azamara is trying to introduce shorter (7 day) voyages to accommodate younger professionals’ schedules.
So, are you ready to sign up for an Azamara cruise? Are you intrigued by this “best kept secret” of small ship cruising? Send me an email and let me know what you think, or let’s start the process of getting you booked!