Boutique cruise brand Azamara Club Cruises is excitedly counting down to the debut of its first ever season in Australian waters. The 686-guest Azamara Quest arrives in Darwin, the brand’s first ever Australian port, in less than three months’ time on 28 December 2015.
“We cannot wait for Azamara to arrive in Australia. We’re now the third largest market for the brand and we know that more growth will come with Azamara sailing from our doorstep,” said Adam Armstrong, commercial director, Azamara Club Cruises Australia.
“It has been a number of years in the making and Azamara Quest will sail down under for two months. She will offer a range of five unique itineraries that feature all of the usual hallmarks of Azamara’s cruises: more onboard inclusions such as beverages, gratuities and self-service laundry; longer stays in port; more overnight calls and exclusive AzAmazing Evenings,” continued Adam.
Every Azamara Club cruise offers an exclusive, complimentary and bespoke AzAmazing Evening to showcase a destination and its culture during the voyage. With only three months to go until the maiden arrival, Azamara Club Cruises has announced further details of the unique events to be held in Australian and New Zealand ports.
Azamara has revealed that guests sailing on the 16-night Australia & New Zealand cruise which departs Sydney on 15 January 2016 and sails to Auckland, will be treated to a night with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Hobart on the wharf during her overnight stay in the city. The evening begins with a warm welcome by the Tasmanian Police Pipe Band which has been performing together in Australia and around the world since 1969. After a rousing tattoo, guests will listen to the hospitable welcome of local dignitaries and hear the enchanting sounds of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Established in 1948 and a Tasmanian icon, the orchestra sets the tone for Tasmanian culture on a global scale. Afterwards, guests also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with orchestra members and the conductor before returning to the comforts of their ship docked in port for the evening.
Azamara has also unveiled the exclusive AzAmazing Evening event during the 13-night New Zealand sailing from Auckland to Sydney on 31 January 2016, which will allow guests to discover the rich culture of the Maori people during an evening of entertainment at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. Guests will be welcomed to the museum by traditional Maori chiefs before MC Temuera Morrison, best known for roles in Star Wars, opens the night’s performance and his distinctive voice leads into entertainment by the Modern Maori Quartet and a cultural performance, including the haka.
Other AzAmazing Evening events include an evening at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin as part of the 14-night Bali and Barrier Reefsailing, departing Indonesia on 22 December and arriving in Cairns for the beginning of Azamara Quest’s maiden season. In Darwin, the cruise line’s first Australian port, guests will meet the world’s largest captive reptile collection, including nearly 200 saltwater crocodiles. The can’t-miss moment of the night is the Cage of Death. As a handful of the ship’s brave officers drop into a protected tank, giant crocodiles — some of the largest in captivity — approach for a little nose-to-nose time. The unique event continues with a ceremonial demonstration by representatives of the Larrakia people. As the ceremony winds down, guests can hold some of the smaller reptiles that make their home at this incredible adventure centre.
On the 10-night Barrier Reef sailing from Cairns to Sydney, guests will enjoy a private night of spectacle and entertainment at historic Fort Scratchley in Newcastle. Overlooking Nobbys Head, home to the famous beach and lighthouse, the fortress boasts panoramic ocean, coastline, harbour and Newcastle city views. Settled by convicts in the early 19th century, guests will be mesmerised by the historic fort while being entertained by local artists including James Morrison, one of the nation’s most iconic jazz instrumentalists, before a splendid fireworks display caps off the enchanting evening.
During Azamara Quest’s last local sailing, the 17-night Great Barrier Reef cruise from Sydney to Bali, guests will be treated to a traditional aboriginal cultural performance from the Tjapukai people in Cairns at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Known as “the people of the rainforest,” the Tjapukai are the world’s oldest living culture. Guests will be able to discover and experience their history and ways during this night of music, dance and cultural talks. A tribal elder kicks off the evening with a warm welcome to Australia and an introduction to the values of his people. Listen as musicians play the didgeridoo, while dancers perform rhythmic moves that have been passed down for hundreds of generations. Afterwards, indulge in local desserts, cheese and fruit or explore the park.
The cruise line has also recently confirmed it will deploy a ship to the region for another two seasons, with Azamara Journey coming for the first time in 2017 and Azamara Quest returning in 2018, following extensive revitalisations that will see the ships undergo multimillion dollar facelifts.
Azamara Quest’s Christmas and New Year 14-night cruise, departing Bali on 22 December 2015, starts from $3,979 for the first guest and $1,990 for the second guest in an interior stateroom, when booked by 31 October 2015.