Azamara Club Cruises is rolling out a new initiative to target Baby Boomers with deep pockets. The line sails to exclusive ports and provides passengers with extensive experiences on land.
Azamara Club Cruises, the upmarket sister of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., recently announced a “Stay Longer. Experience More,” initiative. The program enhances the line’s two signature elements: long stays in port and immersive experiences on land.“ When we looked at why people travel, they didn’t talk about bigger spaces or more opulence,” said Larry Pimentel, Azamara’s president and CEO. “They talked about connection.”
Richard Twynam, the line’s United Kingdom director said “We’re predominantly a Boomer product.” As such, the line appeals to cash and time rich travelers, notes Twynam.
Ports and Local Experiences
To enable passengers to experience a destination more fully, Azamara already offers more than 250 overnight and evening departures of 8 p.m. or later. These enable guests to linger at a café, meet locals at a pub, or attend the theater. On most every voyage, the line hosts a complimentary AzAmazing Evening, an after-dark excursion that highlights a city’s culture or allows guests to attend a special event.
In Amsterdam, passengers explore the Anne Frank House and cruise the city’s canals. In Hamburg, guests visit the medieval town of Luebeck. In St. Petersburg, passengers attend a performance of the symphony. (Several other lines also overnight in St. Petersburg.)
Under the new branding, such experiences become part of the line’s Cruise Global, Connect Local initiative, a program that divides shore excursions into 12 themes, including Bike Local, Taste Local, Golf Local, Night Local and Celebrate Local. Azamara adds Stay Local in the Middle East. One of the possibilities is for guests to stay overnight in a luxury Bedouin tent in the Arabian Desert.
As part of Cruise Global, Celebrate Local, Azamara has lined up what it calls “once-in-a lifetime” experiences for passengers. These include cheering on the Grand Prix race in Monaco; attending the Cannes Film Festival, Cannes; watching the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia; and celebrating New Year’s in Sydney. Expect many of these experiences to be pricey.
Azamara also announced that it will increase its shore tour offerings from 500 to 1,200 throughout 2017 and 2018. By 2018, Azamara expects to be in more than 200 ports worldwide, 35 of which Azamara will visit for the first time. Both the Azamara Journey and the Azamara Quest, each carry 690-passengers. Currently, more than 50 percent of Azamara’s ports are ones that the mega-ships carrying thousands of people cannot access.