Supplier: Azamara Club Cruises
NEW YORK – Azamara will pause operations until the 2021 Europe season and return to service in March.
The destination-focused cruise brand says the decision was reached after reviewing individual country restrictions, as well as guest survey results indicating that Azamara guests will feel more comfortable waiting to cruise until 2021.
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The 2021 Europe season will kick off on March 20, 2021 with Azamara Quest’s originally scheduled 12-night Spain Country-IntensiveSM voyage, followed by Azamara Journey’s April 9, 2021 voyage from Lisbon to Barcelona, and Azamara Pursuit’s new series of Greek Country-Intensive Voyages starting on May 9, 2021.
“After very careful consideration, we have made the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season, as we are still confronted with the many global challenges resulting from COVID-19,” says Azamara’s Chief Operating Officer, Carol Cabezas. “We plan to return stronger than ever next season, with reimagined guest experiences that will protect the wellbeing of our guests and crew yet remain true to the Azamara spirit of connecting people to cultures.” Cabezas continues, “As we look at our long-term plan, we have already seen a strong demand to our 2022/2023 voyages, which was announced in mid-September. Within the first week of opening for sale, we experienced three times more bookings for new voyages compared to last year’s deployment of 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022 itineraries. This just further reinforces traveler’s commitment to cruising.”
Azamara is prioritizing the health and safety of its guests, crew and the communities they visit. As part of the Royal Caribbean Group, an expert panel has been assembled called the Healthy Sail Panel. The panel is a group of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality and maritime operations. Their insights and recommendations are helping drive the way forward as the company works to strengthen current procedures and create new ones across the entire cruise experience.
Highlights of the upcoming Europe itineraries, including the new Greece Country-Intensive voyage in 2021 include the following:
Setting sail on March 20, 2021, Azamara Quest will start the Europe season with her originally scheduled 12-Night Spain Intensive Voyage, taking guests on an immersive journey through Spain. Starting in Lisbon, Portugal, Azamara Quest will make its way to Seville for an overnight stay to discover the architectural wonders of this Gothic city, including the ornate Alcázar complex and the Seville Cathedral—the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. The itinerary includes an overnight in the dynamic city of Barcelona and overnight stays in Malaga, Spain and Valencia, Spain.
For travellers looking to explore the beautiful Iberian Peninsula, the Iberia Intensive voyage aboard Azamara Journey will begin April 9, 2021. In partnership with Perry Golf, one of the game’s leading providers of international golf vacations, this four-round golf and sightseeing voyage will take guests to seven ports. Embarking from Lisbon and sailing overnight for Portimao, home to The Faldo Course at Amendoeira Golf Resort, for the first round on one of Europe’s best clubs. The Royal Seville Golf Club, a Jose Maria Olazabal design, is next along with the city of Seville, whose rich history, excellent wine and tapas will be enjoyed for two days and an overnight. With a late-night stay in Gibraltar, golfers will play Spain’s storied Valderrama, consistently rated among the top clubs in continental Europe, while sightseers can take the cable car to The Upper Rock.
The new Greek Country-Intensive series of Voyages beginning May 9, 2021 on Azamara Pursuit will embark from Europe’s historical capital city of Athens and sail on to Greece’s cosmopolitan island of Mykonos, where travelers can enjoy activities like an authentic Greek cooking class in a Mykonian home, a mosaic-making class, and boat rides along the coast. Additional highlights will include an overnight stay in the iconic Greek island of Santorini and the medieval island of Rhodes, where guests can see the Colossus of Rhodes, another of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World; the “Holy Island” of Patmos; and the island of Crete’s Heraklion region to visit the renowned Archeological Museum. The round-trip journey will return back to Athens for the opportunity to further explore ancient sights including the Parthenon and the Acropolis.