By Michael Coleman
Azamara Cruises, the deluxe smaller-ship, exotic-destination cruise line, will send its fleet to Europe for the third consecutive summer when the 694-guest Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest sail in the region in 2010.
Azamara’s Europe and transatlantic itineraries for 2010 will focus on additional time spent in ports of call — including overnight stays — and will offer a slate of port visits new to the brand. The line will also offer numerous land excursions and four cruise tour packages. â€¨â€¨Look for 39 overall voyages to some 93 different ports. The line will also visit nine European ports for the first time, among them: Bastia, one of the two largest cities on the mountainous Mediterranean island of Corsica; Chania, one of Crete’s most appealing cities, marked by stately neo-classical mansions and massive Venetian fortifications; Korcula, Croatia, an island rife with small, uninhabited beaches, breathtaking views of nature and medieval architecture; Katakolon, the Greek seaside town offering a gateway to Olympia, the birthplace of the competitive athletic games; Skiathos, one of Greece’s most environmentally protected islands, known for its pine tree forests as well as its long, shining beaches; Zakynthos, Greece (also known as Zante), part of the Ionian Islands and home to the endangered caretta species of sea turtle.
Look for 53 overnight stays in 13 ports across 33 of its 39 sailings. Fourteen sailings include more than one overnight stay. Overnight stays will be offered in Florence (Livorno), Sorrento, and Venice, Italy; St. Petersburg, Russia; Barcelona, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden; Istanbul, Turkey; Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland; and London (Greenwich), England.
Additionally, the line will stay overnight in four European ports for the first time in 2010, including Bordeaux, France; Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; and Monte Carlo, Monaco. â€¨â€¨Late-night stays departing at 10 p.m. or later will be offered in 21 ports: Dubrovnik, Croatia; Alexandria and Port Said, Egypt; and St. Tropez, France; Volos, Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini, Greece; Dublin, Ireland; Ashdod and Haifa, Israel; Ravenna and Trieste, Italy; Valetta, Malta; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Kotor, Montenegro; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Lisbon, Portugal; GijÃ³n, Spain; and Bodrum and Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey. â€¨â€¨
The line will again offer several series of four back-to-back, seven-night cruises. These will be offered in the spring and the fall. Guests can sail seven nights on Azamara Journey, or combine several consecutive itineraries to create 14-, 21- or 28-night voyages.
The line will also feature a number of 10- and 12-night sailings. Itineraries include 12-night “Holy Land” voyages sailing from Athens to Rome; 12-night “Eastern Mediterranean” voyages from Rome to Athens; 12-night “Black Sea” cruise from Athens to Istanbul, and 10-night “Greek Isles and Turkey” voyages sailing from Istanbul to Athens. The 2010 season also includes a 12-night Norwegian Fjords cruise. â€¨â€¨Azamara’s Europe sailings will be based out of six turnaround ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Athens, Greece; Rome and Venice, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and, for the first time, Istanbul, Turkey.