If you long to spend more time on shore excursions and find yourself scrambling to get back to your cruise ship for a 4 p.m. sailing time, there’s something you should know about Azamara Club Cruises.
Azamara and its two 690-passenger ships, the Journey and the Quest (plus the forthcoming Azamara Pursuit), cater to cruisers who enjoy having more time to get to know the culture, history and people of the ports they visit.The cruise line specifically plans its itineraries to give guests more time in port. In fact, half of all Azamara port stops extend until at least 8 p.m. or later. Azamara also offers late evening, overnight and even multi-day stays in a variety of ports.
All of this enables passengers to more fully explore port cities, enjoy the local cuisine, venture further inland for sightseeing and cultural experiences, or combine a day in a port city with a second day in the surrounding countryside. And, having more time to connect with the people and places on shore can provide a more meaningful and enlightening cruise experience.
Azamara even has a name for it: Destination Immersion.
Evenings on Shore
Azamara has several ways to immerse guests in a destination. One is AzAmazing Evenings, featured on cruises of seven nights or more. These experiences enable passengers to take advantage of a late departure time and enjoy evening cultural performances and other events on shore. Imagine watching elite ballet dancers perform at the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia; attending a Thai festival in Bangkok’s ancient city; or watching a thrilling polo match at the prestigious Lion Castle Polo Estate in Bridgetown, Barbados.There’s also Nights and Cool Places, which offers after-dinner nightlife experiences. This program features things that are best enjoyed after dusk, such as lighted art and architecture tours, an after-hours museum visits, and open-air live performances. You could even walk through a fragrant vineyard by moonlight, or take guided tour through an infamous red-light district.
If you’re looking for authentic dining experiences on shore, Azamara can help with that, too. The cruise line’s Cruise Global, Eat Local guide provides restaurant recommendations for dinner in ports around the world. Only restaurants that serve the authentic food of the region can be in the guide, so guests are assured of a wonderful and educational dining experience. Your ship’s concierge can even make a reservation and arrange transportation for you.
Azamara also arranges Overnight Adventures that enable guests to spend two or three days in places that deserve some extra time and/or are located some distance from the ship. For example, you might call on Venice, Italy, and enjoy its watery splendor, and also have time to travel to Florence to admire the city’s Renaissance masterpieces. Or, sail to Oman and travel deep into the desert, enjoy a barbecue feast, and experience the comfort of a luxurious Bedouin tent.
Special Daytime Excursions
Azamara’s attention to evening and overnight experiences doesn’t mean that the cruise line neglects its daytime shore excursion program. In fact, the Inside Access program takes daytime excursions to a higher level of cultural immersion. With a small group of your fellow passengers, you can visit a private home, farm, villa or other intimate setting for an authentic cultural experience presented by a local host.For example, call on Edam, the Netherlands, and visit with a young couple who will give you a tour of their beautiful 15th century home, which is full of classic Dutch architectural and decorative touches. You’ll also enjoy coffee, homemade apple pie, and lively conversation about life in the town best known for the delicious cheese that bears its name.
Enrichment on Days at Sea
Even days at sea on an Azamara ship present an opportunity to learn more about a destination. Azamara has a variety of on-board enrichment programs, including:
- Seminars and lectures by presented by experts in the culture of the region, with time for Q&A
- Port-of-call briefings that provide insider information on highlights, history and culture, and tips about off-the-beaten-path attractions
- Wine tastings and culinary demonstrations that provide a preview of on-shore dining.
A final note: Azamara has also added Cuba to its Caribbean destinations – offering additional destination immersion experiences for you to try.
Find out more about available Destination Immersion experiences by talking to a Cruise Specialists expert: (888) 993-1318