Azamara Club Cruises is enhancing its excursions programme and giving agents the chance to win places on sample events across the UK.
President and chief executive Larry Pimentel said the rebrand of Azamara’s excursions under the Cruise Global, Connect Local programme was an evolution of the cruise line’s “destination immersion” strategy.
There are 13 immersion options in the new programme, including Bike Local, Walk Local and Meet Local. The excursions run alongside its AzAmazing evenings.
Agents will be hosted at 11 events during 2017 to sample the options, including an Eco Local experience at Kew Gardens, which will host up to 15 agents. Dates are yet to be confirmed.
Pimentel said: “What we’re offering is not available anywhere else: you can’t even Google the experiences.
“Our clients want local authentic travel surrounded by human connection. If someone goes on a cruise and is asked about it, they will always talk about the destination more than the ship, so we are making that the best part.”
“What we’re offering is not available anywhere else: you can’t even Google the experiences.”
Azamara is one of the first lines to offer bike excursions using its own bikes, which are specially made and stored on the ship.
Pimentel said: “Guests will go out with a guide wearing a Whisper earpiece so they get to be more immersed and engaged in the local community.
“Each of the bikes is named after a specific city; we have a London bicycle. “This is another way we have thought outside the box, or outside the ship, to be the best destination cruise line.”
Agents wishing to take part in the taster sessions should contact their Azamara regional account manager.
Speaking at the first of the taster sessions held at The Gate, vegetarian restaurant in London managing director UK and Ireland, Richard Twynam said this was the next ‘evolution’ for the specialist cruise line.
“We have developed our experiences on a huge scale, we have gone from 500 to about 1,200 experiences for customers to enjoy across our ships and itineraries.
“Our development of Cruise Global Connect Local and its many branches has seen us go from enabling experiential travel to actually delivering it.”
The company also unveiled a series of intensive itineraries for 2018 that will explore the coasts of entire countries and coastal regions.
The 11 ‘Itinerary Intensives’ will visit countries such as Costa Rica, Norway, New Zealand and Japan and also regions such as the Iberian peninsula.
President and chief executive Larry Pimentel was confident the intensive sailings would entice a younger audience.
“Some of our highest scores and feedback come from millennials,” he added. “They love our cruises because they are active and our excursion programme allows them to experience authentic local things.
“These intensive itineraries will allow guests to fully immerse themselves, with our smaller ships able to go to ports other cruise lines cannot.”
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