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-Intensive 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, which submitted its first phase of recommendations to the CDC last month. Its 65-plus-page report included 74 best practices to protect the health and safety of guests, crew and communities where cruise ships call.
Highlights of Azamara’s 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 its originally scheduled 12-Night Spain Intensive Voyage. Starting in Lisbon, Portugal, Azamara Quest will make its way to Seville for an overnight stay followed by visits to Barcelona, Malaga and Valencia in Spain.
- For travellers looking to explore the 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. It embarks from Lisbon and sails overnight for Portimao, home to The Faldo Course at Amendoeira Golf Resort, for the first round, followed by The Royal Seville Golf Club, a Jose Maria Olazabal design. With a late-night stay in Gibraltar, golfers will play Spain’s storied Valderrama, consistently rated among the top clubs in continental Europe.
- The new Greek Country-Intensive series of Voyages beginning May 9, 2021on Azamara Pursuit will embark from Europe’s historical capital city of Athens and sail on to Greece’s cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. Highlights of the roundtrip journey include overnight stays in Santorini and Rhodes, the island of Crete’s Heraklion region to visit the renowned Archeological Museum and sightseeing in Athens.