John Pond caught up with President and CEO of Azmara Larry Pimentel in Sydney last week, marking six months until the arrival of Azamara Journey to our shores.
Azamara is one of my favourite shipping lines, I love the size of their ships and their food and service plus all the extras that make this a truly 5 star line. In just six months’ time, the 690-guest Azamara Journey from boutique cruise brand Azamara Club Cruises will make her Australian debut. To mark the milestone, president and CEO Larry Pimentel is in Australia making final arrangements for the maiden arrival of the luxury cruise ship, fresh from a USD$25 million refurbishment.
“Wherever in the world we sail, the Australian effect is unmistakable. Australia is one of our top three source markets worldwide, which is why it made sense to finally bring our unique style of small-ship, slow cruising down under last season,” Pimentel said.
“We were incredibly impressed with the response when we debuted Azamara Quest in Australia last summer so the time is absolutely right to bring sister ship Azamara Journey down under for the very first time,” he continued.
“When Azamara Journey arrives, she’ll be completely unlike the ship you saw last season. She will sail to Australian shores refreshed and renewed after a multi-million dollar revitalization that took place earlier this year,” Pimentel concluded.
What to expect from the Azamara Journey
The revitalisation of both Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest saw not only the addition of new venues and technologies, but also a beautiful redesign and rework of her suites and staterooms, as well as a complete refresh of all public spaces.
Azamara Club Cruises worked with several of the world’s leading design consultants to help transform the ship, to ensure not only that they looked terrific, but so that they also offer all the modern services and amenities that travellers have come to expect on land, such as pervasive WiFi.
Azamara Journey’s new staterooms and suites feature an elegant redesign, which is both sophisticated and welcoming, making each room a sanctuary for guests for the duration of their cruise. The ship now also offers exquisite new Spa Suites, located adjacent to the refreshed Sanctum Spa and offering exclusive spa amenities. Each bathroom of these coveted suites is like a mini spa -showers have glass walls offering spectacular views while the outdoor soaking tub overlooks the ocean.
As well as completely reimagined public spaces and staterooms, additional new features onboard include The Patio, an al fresco poolside dining area; The Living Room, a casual bar, dining and entertainment room with beautiful views.
Azamara Journey’s maiden Australian season will see the small ship call to Australian ports 21 times, injecting more than $2.85 million into the local economy in passenger spend alone.
As with all Azamara sailings, each of Azamara Journey’s Australian voyages will see guests treated to a complimentary, bespoke AzAmazing Evening event arranged by the cruise line, unmasking more of the destination.
Renowned for its elegant cruising style and destination focus, Azamara Journey will first arrive to Darwin on 8 February 2017 as part of her Asia repositioning, and stay sailing in the region until early March, offering two Australia and New Zealand sailings and a return Asia repositioning voyage.
About Azamara Club Cruises
With smaller ships that are able to go to places other cruise ships can’t, Azamara Club Cruises differentiates itself – and gains loyal fans – by making destinations the hero. It does this by offering longer stays, more overnight calls and night touring, which gives travellers the opportunity to truly experience a destination – taking in the sights, sounds and flavours of local cultures in every port. More than half of all of Azamara Journey’s maiden season calls stay longer or overnight in port.
The brand offers unique and tailored Land Discoveries in each port to help guests uncover new destinations, from sailing in the Whitsundays, tasting your way around the Cairns Tablelands, exploring Hobbiton in Tauranga or visiting a local farm in Napier.
Azamara’s Insider Access takes guests behind the scenes at heritage estates, family farms, local shops and art galleries. In Australia guests go behind the scenes and meet the owners of The Botanical Ark in Port Douglas, or can experience a guided tour to hand feed animals at the Bonorong Wildlife Park during the call to Melbourne.
While Nights and Cool Places are exclusive after-dinner experiences in small, intimate groups, ranging from a Sydney Harbour yacht experience to a Crocodile watching River Cruise.
Although destinations are the highlight, what’s onboard also keeps guests coming back for more. Not only is Azamara Journey completely refreshed, guests onboard also receive exceptional and personal service and enjoy fine cuisine and boutique wines from around the world. More is included in each cruise – such as beverages, gratuities, self-service laundry, English Butler service for suite guests and shuttle transportation to city centres in ports, where available.