At 702-passengers, Azamara Pursuit is the line’s first new vessel in a decade. Built in 2001 as part of Renaissance Cruises (now defunct), and most recently the Fathom Adonia, the ship went through an extensive refurbishment before relaunching in August 2018. A number of staterooms—including two flashy spa suites with sunken tubs set next to windows—were added, and the casino was removed to make way for a cozy new lounge called The Den.
What We Love
Comfy Cabins: The 34 Club Continent Suites are lighter and brighter than any other onboard, with lovely white built-ins and floor-to-ceiling windows. Less than half of these have bathtubs, so if you want one, choose your suite carefully.
“White Night” Parties: The line’s festive deck-top barbecue and party has a white dress code, live music, and plenty of free-flowing wine.
Land-and-Sea Tours: Azamara Club Cruises has partnered with Belmond Orient-Express for train-and-cruise trips, and with Micato for African cruises that include full luxury safari tours. (Tip: These sell out quickly, so book early!)
Best Known For
Longer Stays: The line prides itself on staying later in many ports, as well as overnighting in those with nightlife. There are even evening shore excursions in some destinations.
Lesser-known Ports: Because of its size, Azamara Pursuit can get into plenty of smaller ports that larger ships can’t reach. In addition, the line creates itineraries that go off the beaten path: A whopping 200 of the 300 ports they visit aren’t on the docket for sister lines Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.
Country Intensives: Azamara Club Cruises offers a variety of trips that focus solely on one country, in some cases circumnavigating areas. Azamara Pursuit offers Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Israel, Spain, Ireland, and Italy; the Japan, New Zealand, and Iceland itineraries on sister ships are also especially popular.
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Who It's Best For
Couples: Retirees and empty-nesters looking to see a new destination—in comfort, and with plenty of hand-holding—flock to this line. Children as young as six months old are permitted to sail, but because there are no facilities or activities designed to cater to them, kids tend to be part of multigenerational groups.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Standard Cabins Run Small: The majority of the cabins onboard are a mere 170 square feet, not including the balcony if you have one. Expect to unpack your bags and stow everything carefully, or risk bumping into the coffee table and your bags.
Cabins for Three: Standard cabins have arm chairs that can convert to a bed for a third passenger, but you have to be very close to your travel mates to split these small rooms three ways… and still be speaking at the end of the sailing.
“Azamazing Evenings” Focus On Fun Rather than Authenticity: While the line prides itself on cultural immersion, these complimentary parties are just that, and some celebrate the most well-known aspects of a destination in a very accessible way rather than teaching you about the destination. Case in point: A cabaret-style show in France focused on icons, such as classic Edith Piaf songs, a tribute to Moulin Rouge, and can-can dancing.
Sherri Eisenberg is a New York City-based writer and editor. She is the former editorial director of ShermansCruise.
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Azamara Pursuit at a Glance
- Line: Azamara Club Cruises
- Number of Passengers: 702
- Ship Size: Medium
- Launch Date: 2018
- Australia and New Zealand
- Bordeaux, France
- Chobe River
- Eastern Mediterranean
- Irrawaddy River
- Repositioning Cruises
- Southeast Asia
- The Black Sea
- The British Isles