Middle East Cruise News

Azamara rebrands and adds new Cape Town and Dubai options

Azamara Club Cruises is now simply ‘Azamara’ following a rebranding announced by the luxury cruise line as it seeks to reposition itself as an exclusive land tour operator, as well as cruise line.

The rebranding and new logo was accompanied by the announcement that the company would be rolling out the largest selection of pre- and post- voyage land programs in the cruise industry, with options that include Dubai and Cape Town.

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Azamara now offers 1,700 land programs designed to take guests closer to the heart of a destination, the company said, in a statement.

“Our passion for land has allowed our Destination Immersion programming to evolve over the past 10-years, from ‘You’ll Love Where We Take You’ to ‘Stay Longer, Experience More’ to now ‘Explore Further’,” explains Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara.

“Destination Immersion (Longer Stays, More Overnights and Night Touring) is what makes Azamara unique within the industry,” he adds. “This is just the beginning, we expect our land programming to grow even more as we continue to augment our services.”

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A selection of unique, carefully curated land tour options will now be available to guests on all Azamara cruises from October, 2019 onwards.

“These bucket-list type experiences are all made possible in collaboration with reputable, independent travel experts to show the Azamara traveler ‘a whole new world’,” Pimentel added.

Cox & Kings, which will operate over 75 percent of the land programming, is one such partner.

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According to Azamara, the logo’s three main features include: an open world symbol signifying infinite opportunities for world travel, two artistic strokes representing both land and sea experiences—the left stroke signifies the Earth and the brand’s expanded inland explorations, and the right stroke represents the sea and extensive vastness that Azamara crosses; the star in the design is representative of Azamara’s namesake “Acamar,” which means the brightest star in the southern sky.

Land tour options include searching for orangutans in Borneo, sampling a tagliere steps from the Pantheon, tracking the Big Five on safari in Africa, and winding through the Scottish countryside by train. All land tours can be booked as a standalone all-inclusive adventure, or tacked onto the beginning or end of an Azamara cruise.

There are two Dubai land tour options, for example, and four for South Africa.

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Dubai –

Stay Local in Dubai Longer – A three-night stay in Dubai that features a city highlights tour, showcasing the city’s inherent contrast between old and new, plus a visit to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, for unparalleled views of the city, followed by a sea plane ride over the city for a birds-eye view that very few get to encounter.

Highlights

Box Park: Home-away-from-home for Dubai’s hipster population, here you’ll find restaurants, art installations, pop-ups, and niche boutiques.

La Mer: Free to visit and very family friendly, this is Dubai’s hottest beach club (and an Instagrammer’s dream).

Comptoir 102: An exceptionally curated lifestyle boutique and delicious cafe.

Dubai Opera: Designed by Danish architect Janus Rostock, it’s a feat of architectural design.

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve: Escape the metropolis and get up close and personal with falcons, oryx, and gazelles.

Ripe: A Dubai-style spin on the farmer’s market, complete with food trucks, local crafts, jewelry, and free yoga classes.

Stay Local in Dubai – A two-night stay in Dubai with a city highlights tour, showcasing the city’s inherent contrast between old and new. Come the afternoon, enjoy a thrilling journey over the sand dunes, with a stop at a camel farm.

Highlights on this tour switch out Ripe Market for a visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi: An hour-and-a-half drive outside of Dubai, but worth the trip, the UAE outpost of France’s famed museum is home to a diverse art collection.

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South Africa –

Stay Local in Cape Town – A two-night stay in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Includes an evening at GOLD Restaurant, where you’ll enjoy a traditional 14-dish tasting menu while being entertained by the rhythms of the interactive marimba percussion and djembe drumming session. You’ll also have the unique experience of visiting the exciting and multi-chromatic Malay Quarter where you’ll meet locals who you’ll prepare and eat lunch with.

Highlights

Drive through the Bo-Kaap, formerly known as the Malay Quarter, the residential area of descendants of Malay slaves, with its 18th-century flat-roofed houses and mosques.

Visit locals in their private homes; you’ll also have the opportunity to prepare and enjoy lunch with a local family.

Leisure time to explore this beautiful city with all its fabulous sights, excellent shopping, and many fine restaurants.

Dinner at the famous Gold Restaurant, with an interactive Djembe drumming session.

Stay Local Longer in Cape Town – A three-night stay in Cape Town before or after your cruise. It’s similar to the program above, but includes an adventure in the Cape Winelands, a gin-tasting at the historic Vredenheim Estate, cheetah interactions and more foodie experiences.

Highlights

Cape Winelands: Travel into this fragrant wine country boasting some of the most spectacular scenery in South Africa.

Cheetah Outreach Project: Visit this conservation center dedicated to the survival of the South African Cheetah.

Vredenheim Estate: Enjoy a tasting of locally crafted gins at this historic estate that’s also home to an incredible vintage car collection.

Foodie Experiences: Enjoy an enchanting lunch in the home of a local family. Savor a superb dinner and wine pairing at the renowned Monneaux Restaurant.

Bo-Kaap: Explore this historic neighborhood of brightly painted 18th-century houses that were once home to slaves brought from Malaysia.

Cultural Connections: Meet the descendants of Cape Malay slaves, who’ll invite you into their homes and share stories of their family history.

Victoria Falls & Chobe Game Park Safari – Travel through Zimbabwe to Botswana on this five-night tour, during which you’ll experience one of the Seven Wonders of the World—Victoria Falls. This expedition also includes an optional helicopter tour of the falls and both dawn and evening game drives through Botswana’s Chobe Game Reserve where there’s a good chance you’ll see the Big Five: Water Buffalo, Lions, Elephants, Leopards, and Rhinoceros.

Highlights

Your Victoria Falls hotel, located minutes from the Falls, offers spectacular views.

A 2. 5-hour sunset cruise down the Zambezi River, a Victoria Falls ‘must-do,’ lets you relax on the river while enjoying sundowners and hors d’oeuvres while keeping an eye out for wildlife.

A half-day walking tour led by an expert guide with in-depth knowledge of the Falls and the surrounding wilderness areas.

Optional excursion: Flight of angels over the Falls.

Two early morning and two evening Chobe game drives.

Take a boat cruise or safari along the Chobe River and behold the sight of elephant herds crossing the river, or hippos and crocs basking in the sun.

Kruger National Park Safari & Winelands – This five-night, all-inclusive package introduces contrasting sides of South Africa. First, you’ll explore South Africa’s wine region, sipping on excellent local vintages paired perfectly with gourmet meals and snacks. Once you’re fueled up, kick things up a notch with exciting game drives in Kapama Game Reserve, home to more than 40 mammal species (including the Big Five). Through it all, you’ll enjoy luxurious hotel and resort accommodations, plenty of leisure time to relax, and all the thoughtful amenities that make every Azamara journey special.

Highlights

First-class accommodations throughout the program.

Operated by Micato, the gold standard of safari operators, and experts on South African travel.

Kapama Game Reserve renowned for its prolific and diverse wildlife and home to over 40 different mammal species, including the Big Five—namely the elephant, the lion, the leopard, the buffalo, and the rhinoceros.

Morning and afternoon game drives.

Walking exploration of the picturesque town of Stellenbosch while sampling local flavors through locally-produced artisanal food and drinks.

Visits to Vergelegen Estate, Morgenster Estate, and Anura Estate for wine tastings.

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