SEATTLE — Azamara specializes in small, luxury, 8-12 night cruises with country-intensive itineraries -- traveling to destinations like Africa, the South Pacific, Northern, and Western Europe, and the Mediterranean.
Most cruise ships are large and hold thousands of guests. Azamara's 3 ships have a maximum capacity of 700 guests, which means you'll get off the ship and onto the shore much quicker. Plus, you'll get to dock in less-crowded, smaller ports.
"A lot of people think of cruising and they think of being rushed in and out of a port of call, and not having as much time to see the destination," said Kelly Ross of Azamara Travel. "We dive deeper into the destination."
The on-board experience compares to that of a boutique hotel. The ships look and feel brand new because they were redone in 2016 and 2018, "It is a relaxed country club atmosphere. So there's no formal nights, there's no suits and ties required, things like that for dinner. But you're incredibly well taken care of."
Almost all voyages seven nights or longer come with a complimentary AzAmazing Evening, a private special event after sundown that brings you off the ship and onto the shore. "These are really designed to capture the essence of the destination."
Azamara offers over a hundred pre or post-cruise Land Programs for people wanting to spend more time at shore. These can last anywhere between 2 and 9 nights and allow guests to get even more immersed in the cultures of different countries. There are three different types of Land Programs:
- AzAmazing Journeys: Five-star experiences with small groups that bring guests to bucket-list destinations like the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu.
- Land Journeys: Sees cities "through the lens of a local."
- Stay Local: Shorter excursions to explore a city in depth.
Land Programs are open to people of all abilities and hosted at 4 and 5 star hotels. The average group size is 12-24 guests.
If you're interested in visiting South Africa, you can do so for a cause. Azamara is partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to provide special "People to Planet" voyages that are designed to support conservation efforts for wildlife and the natural world. Experts from WWF are on board to provide lectures, and excursions include experiences like sustainable cooking classes.
"What it's designed to do is to bring that recognition to protecting the natural habitat for a lot of the wildlife there."
Azamara will donate a total of $100,000 from all WWF People to Planet Voyages, in addition to $30 from each excursion purchase to WWF in support of the organization’s conservation efforts in beautiful South Africa.
TO BOOK: For more information or to book a cruise, visit AAA's website or talk to a AAA Travel Expert at 855-361-7667.