Azamara switches focus to UK market ahead of Pursuit ship launch

Azamara switches focus to UK market ahead of Pursuit ship launch

Azamara Club Cruises has announced its new ship Azamara Pursuit’s first four voyages will all call in the UK after it launches from Southampton in August.

The luxury line’s commitment to strengthening its UK ties was also shown by its decision to carry out Pursuit’s refit in the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast this spring.

It is the first time Royal Caribbean Cruises, owner of Azamara Club Cruises, has chosen a UK shipyard for a refit project.

Larry Pimentel, Azamara’s president and chief executive, said these decisions were made following “unprecedented support” from the UK market for Azamara Pursuit.

The vessel, the line’s third ship, will depart Southampton on August 1 and travel to eight Norwegian destinations including Kristiansand, Flam and Haugesund with overnight stays in Oslo and Bergen.

Azamara Pursuit will then depart Southampton for an Iceland-intensive voyage on August 13, before a special christening voyage on August 28.

The ship will then depart Southampton once more on August 30 for its 13-night Wine & Romance voyage.

Richard Twynam, managing director for UK and Ireland, added: “Thanks to the incredible support from our UK guests and travel agents, 2017 was a record year for Azamara in this market.”

He added that the Azamara business had grown by 30% last year and the UK market has “generated more revenue for 2018 at this point than in 2015 overall”.

Pimentel said: “Let’s just say the stars have aligned and they happen to be shining on us.

“This third ship allows us in 2018 to go to 80 countries and 260 ports. In 2019 it is even more because we have the whole year, rather than half the year.

“[It] is a lot of product. It allows us to get into the Indian Ocean more and South Africa.”

Azamara Pursuit will join the line’s existing two-ship fleet after it has been transformed to be almost identical to its sister ships Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey.

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