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Azamara's Fleet is Growing


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33 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

This largely puts the opinion that Sycamore's plan was to acquire and then quickly divest.  The revitalization of PP will be expensive (although they don't need to do the reconfiguration of Deck 8 that was done on Pursuit).  Surprised, though that no launch for almost 18 months. 

I remember hearing that they were shocked at how much work Pursuit required after years of deferred maintenance [and they already knew that deck 8 would require reconfiguration when they bought it], so this shows that they are prepared to do it right – good news!

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4 hours ago, Azamara Team said:

A message from our President, Carol Cabezas. 

 

"2021 has nearly just begun and we’ve already shared some exciting news. In light of these recent updates, we are kicking off this next era by introducing a fourth Azamara ship to the fleet! This additionpending the close of the transaction announced earlier this month that Sycamore Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Azamara, marks our new future of growth as well as new opportunities to reach more destinations and communities than ever before. 

 

Sycamore Partners has purchased the Pacific Princess, a former R-class ship comparable in size to our three sister ships. Just like Azamara Journey, Azamara Quest, and Azamara Pursuit, our newest addition will be able to sail into intimate rivers, visit smaller, as well as less-crowded ports other vessels can’t access. It will provide an excellent space for special connections to form while never feeling overcrowded. Prior to our return to service, we will complete a bow-to-stern refurbishment that will echo the soft, natural tones and elegant touches of her sister ships with a few new onboard elements. And, of course, you can expect those same intimate experiences and personalized touches Azamara is known and loved for. 

 

It is my pleasure to announce that our newest ship will sail its inaugural season in Europe of 2022. There is no better way to embrace Azamara’s defining spirit of Destination Immersion® experiences than by setting sail into one of the most historically rich and culturally diverse continents in the world. We know this will be more than memorable, it will be a transformative moment not just for the brand and crew, but especially for Azamara Circle℠ members like you. 

 

This news couldn’t have come at a better time, bringing fresh adventures to look forward to as we work towards resuming operations. Stay tuned in the coming months to learn more about our newest boutique hotel at sea with sneak peeks on interiors, itineraries, and more. We hope you are as excited for the future as we are and we can’t wait to embark into this new world with even more opportunities for deeper immersion."

 

Watch video: https://www.azamara.com/news-update

This is GREAT news - my home just got a "new addition" with a renovation!  I just wish I received the emails from Azamara as others do!

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1 hour ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I remember hearing that they were shocked at how much work Pursuit required after years of deferred maintenance [and they already knew that deck 8 would require reconfiguration when they bought it], so this shows that they are prepared to do it right – good news!

It's hard to say with Carnival. I heard from one with many more than 45 cruises on Azamara (he had a few stripes and worked in that area) that Pursuit issues were very much hidden from view and only becane apparent when the ship sailed and the issues arose. I was actually on that cruise in South America. I'm sure that the engine room team have learned from it. 

 

Phil 

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1 hour ago, excitedofharpenden said:

It's hard to say with Carnival. I heard from one with many more than 45 cruises on Azamara (he had a few stripes and worked in that area) that Pursuit issues were very much hidden from view and only becane apparent when the ship sailed and the issues arose. I was actually on that cruise in South America. I'm sure that the engine room team have learned from it. 

 

Phil 

That's a good, reliable source then.  😉  And it should be good preparation for what they're going to find on Pacific Princess.  [Just as Windstar got a nasty surprise when they opened up the engine room on Star Breeze and found undisclosed asbestos – that slowed up that refit but was then taken into account for the following two sister ships.]

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So let me understand. A 21 year old ship that is no longer good enough for Princess Cruises that will be 23 years old when it gets into service is good enough for Azamara, a so called “premium cruise line” .

 

It’s kind of insulting to the brand. Cheaper cruise lines get brand new state of the art ships and Azamara gets the scraps.

 

and the crowd erupts in applause! 
 

Most of the Azamara passengers I have talked to about the ships were wondering how long Azamara could sell us the old ship kool-aid before we woke up. I guess everyone here loves old slippers and is willing to overlook the irony of the situation.

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, MakingUpForLostTime said:

So let me understand. A 21 year old ship that is no longer good enough for Princess Cruises that will be 23 years old when it gets into service is good enough for Azamara, a so called “premium cruise line” .

 

It’s kind of insulting to the brand. Cheaper cruise lines get brand new state of the art ships and Azamara gets the scraps.

 

and the crowd erupts in applause! 
 

Most of the Azamara passengers I have talked to about the ships were wondering how long Azamara could sell us the old ship kool-aid before we woke up. I guess everyone here loves old slippers and is willing to overlook the irony of the situation.

I notice you took four AZ cruises during 2017--2020.   So 16-year-old ships are quite acceptable, but 21-year-old ships are old slippers?   I've only taken a handful of cruises in my life, and I could not begin to tell you the age of the ships at the time.  Although I can definitely recall experiences, crew, and itineraries.

 

Here in the US there is a nice little airline called Southwest.   They only fly 737s.   Not every business model calls for A350s. 

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54 minutes ago, MakingUpForLostTime said:

So let me understand. A 21 year old ship that is no longer good enough for Princess Cruises that will be 23 years old when it gets into service is good enough for Azamara, a so called “premium cruise line” .

 

It’s kind of insulting to the brand. Cheaper cruise lines get brand new state of the art ships and Azamara gets the scraps.

 

and the crowd erupts in applause! 
 

Most of the Azamara passengers I have talked to about the ships were wondering how long Azamara could sell us the old ship kool-aid before we woke up. I guess everyone here loves old slippers and is willing to overlook the irony of the situation.

 

 

 

 

No, we just happen to like the ships.  You've made clear you don't.  There's an obvious solution you can take so that you'll never have to set foot on an Azamara ship again.

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1 hour ago, MakingUpForLostTime said:

So let me understand. A 21 year old ship that is no longer good enough for Princess Cruises that will be 23 years old when it gets into service is good enough for Azamara, a so called “premium cruise line” .

 

It’s kind of insulting to the brand. Cheaper cruise lines get brand new state of the art ships and Azamara gets the scraps.

 

and the crowd erupts in applause! 
 

Most of the Azamara passengers I have talked to about the ships were wondering how long Azamara could sell us the old ship kool-aid before we woke up. I guess everyone here loves old slippers and is willing to overlook the irony of the situation.

 

 

 

 

If you want small ships keep this in mind.

 

Oceana's last two ships in the 1200 passenger size cost 960k per cabin.  A large 3000+ passengers new build ship runs about half of that  at around 500k per passenger cabin.  One of the main reasons there are few small ship new builds.  The lines that do pay the price charge accordingly.

 

The new owners picked up Azamara at around 190k per cabin (not even taking into account the value of the brand and assets other than the ships).  That means that they can put a lot of money into operations as they rebuild and expand the brand.

 

Clearly they are following the same script that Apollo did with NCLH.  Buy the brand, expand and build it, with the intent of making multiples of their investment when they take the company public a few years from now.

 

With the small ships being removed from many cruise lines there is a number of people that want the small ship cruise experience, especially if the service is good and well priced. Which they can do with the price they got the ships for.

 

 

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I'm jumping in here, yes great news and no doubt lots of planning behind the scenes going on.  I'm turning the discussions to itinerary now there's to be 4 ships.  To me and my valued Azamara Austrailain cruising friends we believe that, post Covid, when international travel might look different, there needs to be a ship based permantently in or out of Australia all year around. Australia has the largest growing cruise industry in the world.  It could be one of the small ships that could sail the entire year in Australian, New Zealand, Papua New Guinean, South Pacific and Hawaiian waters.  Very few ships go to places like Somoa, Port Moresby, Cook Islands, Bora Bora and the like to name a few......Just a thought....

Edited by aussie travel bird
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7 hours ago, Bloodaxe said:

If the prices are sensible they will have plenty of customers, recently they were way over priced for the product they offered.

That will be a key question for me. I know the product and thus what is worth paying. I truly hope that without the hand of RCG they will be more sensible and transparent with the pricing, stopping all this special deal nonsense with last minute huge drops in inflated fares. 

 

Phil 

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3 hours ago, aussie travel bird said:

I'm jumping in here, yes great news and no doubt lots of planning behind the scenes going on.  I'm turning the discussions to itinerary now there's to be 4 ships.  To me and my valued Azamara Austrailain cruising friends we believe that, post Covid, when international travel might look different, there needs to be a ship based permantently in or out of Australia all year around. Australia has the largest growing cruise industry in the world.  It could be one of the small ships that could sail the entire year in Australian, New Zealand, Papua New Guinean, South Pacific and Hawaiian waters.  Very few ships go to places like Somoa, Port Moresby, Cook Islands, Bora Bora and the like to name a few......Just a thought....

Those were exactly my thoughts.  Have had several cruises on all three ships and love the size, totally suitable for PNG and Pacific Islands.  However, I would say fewer cruises to northern Australia in cyclone season (we were caught while on Quest by cyclone Debbie and missed so many islands north of Brisbane). How popular our winter (June - October) cruises would be to the Islands in their better weather.  Would even enjoy longer cruise heading west to include places like the Maldives, Madagascar etc.

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Many of us thought the sale was the beginning of the end, well perhaps not. Buying an old ship is a quicker way to expand and probably a lot cheaper. Ships are supposed to be good for a 40 year life, but given changes in engine technology are these ships “clean”? Hurtigruten can convert theirs to cleaner fuels, will Azamara?

For those of us who don’t want gimmicky rides and stuff, a traditional looking ship is what we like. I agree with others that pricing will be a big issue. We are booked for 2022 on Pursuit out of Cape Town, but it was on the basis of a price deal. Competition for our business is going to be hot post COVID.

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1 hour ago, Westaussie said:

Those were exactly my thoughts.  Have had several cruises on all three ships and love the size, totally suitable for PNG and Pacific Islands.  However, I would say fewer cruises to northern Australia in cyclone season (we were caught while on Quest by cyclone Debbie and missed so many islands north of Brisbane). How popular our winter (June - October) cruises would be to the Islands in their better weather.  Would even enjoy longer cruise heading west to include places like the Maldives, Madagascar etc.

I am in New Zealand but would love the choice of cruising from Perth .  The  West Coast,  and the Maldives would be great. 

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9 minutes ago, harbourside said:

I am in New Zealand but would love the choice of cruising from Perth .  The  West Coast,  and the Maldives would be great. 

I'd love more circumnavigation itineraries for Australia and also would favour your suggestion to the east coast run. Not sure about the Maldives. I've been there a couple of times on Azamara and aside from being a beautiful spot, there really isn't a whole lot to do in a day. We missed being able to tender off the island of Kuda Bandos the second time which is now a private resort and had to dock in Malé. Definitely not that pretty there. 

 

Phil 

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1 hour ago, royallondon said:


An interesting and informative interview.

Apologies if it’s been posted under another thread. 

Thanks, the President continues to impress me. 

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13 hours ago, MakingUpForLostTime said:

So let me understand. A 21 year old ship that is no longer good enough for Princess Cruises that will be 23 years old when it gets into service is good enough for Azamara, a so called “premium cruise line” ....

 

....and the crowd erupts in applause! 
 

Most of the Azamara passengers I have talked to about the ships were wondering how long Azamara could sell us the old ship kool-aid before we woke up. I guess everyone here loves old slippers and is willing to overlook the irony of the situation.

 

You completely miss the point, or perhaps you are pressing buttons seeking a reaction! 

 

For context, we are NOT Azamites, having sailed 47 cruises across 15 different cruiselines. As we cruise mainly for itinerary we have never had a 'favourite' line. We really enjoy MSC Yacht Club, for the onboard experience, but their itinerary offering (for us) is not particularly attractive.

 

Azamara have some really interesting itineraries, so on a destination intensive cruise the ship matters much less. When we sailed Azamara, across numerous very interesting discussions with Azamites (some posting on these boards) we heard no-one complaining about the age of the ships! The only complaint from some was in relation to price, particularly how non regulars got last minute reductions....which we had availed ourselves of!

 

Frankly, your comment that 'most of the Az passengers you talked to about the ships....selling the old kool-aid...etc.' I do not believe. Our experience was that such discussion centred around the informal warm and friendly experience on board, and most definitely the amazing attitude of crew.....whom we found to be absolutely committed and proud of their brand and, most unusually, the most senior officers including the Captain were highly visible and interacted with all guests.

 

These are some of the things which attract true Azamites, and I for one fully understand the excitement that the additional ship announcement is generating amongst them.....surely they are entitled to 'erupt in applause'!

Edited by hamrag
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23 hours ago, Azamara Team said:

A message from our President, Carol Cabezas. 

 

"2021 has nearly just begun and we’ve already shared some exciting news. In light of these recent updates, we are kicking off this next era by introducing a fourth Azamara ship to the fleet! This additionpending the close of the transaction announced earlier this month that Sycamore Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Azamara, marks our new future of growth as well as new opportunities to reach more destinations and communities than ever before. 

 

Sycamore Partners has purchased the Pacific Princess, a former R-class ship comparable in size to our three sister ships. Just like Azamara Journey, Azamara Quest, and Azamara Pursuit, our newest addition will be able to sail into intimate rivers, visit smaller, as well as less-crowded ports other vessels can’t access. It will provide an excellent space for special connections to form while never feeling overcrowded. Prior to our return to service, we will complete a bow-to-stern refurbishment that will echo the soft, natural tones and elegant touches of her sister ships with a few new onboard elements. And, of course, you can expect those same intimate experiences and personalized touches Azamara is known and loved for. 

 

It is my pleasure to announce that our newest ship will sail its inaugural season in Europe of 2022. There is no better way to embrace Azamara’s defining spirit of Destination Immersion® experiences than by setting sail into one of the most historically rich and culturally diverse continents in the world. We know this will be more than memorable, it will be a transformative moment not just for the brand and crew, but especially for Azamara Circle℠ members like you. 

 

This news couldn’t have come at a better time, bringing fresh adventures to look forward to as we work towards resuming operations. Stay tuned in the coming months to learn more about our newest boutique hotel at sea with sneak peeks on interiors, itineraries, and more. We hope you are as excited for the future as we are and we can’t wait to embark into this new world with even more opportunities for deeper immersion."

 

Watch video: https://www.azamara.com/news-update

Azamara Team, can you tell me if it's possible to build bigger showers with doors during rebuild?  Thanks

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16 minutes ago, Tom47 said:

Azamara Team, can you tell me if it's possible to build bigger showers with doors during rebuild?  Thanks

Bigger?  Not likely.  With doors?  Yes.  Oceania has done it with their refurbished R class.  But it is really tight in there with doors.  After sailing O and then Az within a few weeks, I almost preferred the curtains.  And that is saying A LOT.

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5 hours ago, uktog said:

Thanks, the President continues to impress me. 


I’ll certainly agree with that.

 

Three themes seemed especially important: consistency, identity, and attracting the subset of travellers who will appreciate the Azamara experience. 

 

Nothing about creating “wow” or “state of the art”. To me that sounds about right.

 

I was also impressed by the knowledgeable interviewer

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