Azamara Cruises will replace Azamara Journey with her sister ship Azamara Pursuit for the 2023/24 South African cruise season out of Cape Town.
Azamara Pursuit will sail six roundtrip cruises from Cape Town between December, 2023 and February, 2024.
Each 12-night itinerary is identical, except for the second roundtrip Cape Town departure on December 21st, which is 13 nights and includes Mossel Bay as a port of call.
All the other cruises will call in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban and Richard’s Bay in South Africa, as well as Maputo in Mozambique, with the ship staying overnight in Durban, while the final three nights of the cruise will be spent overnight in Cape Town.
Azamara Pursuit will sail the first of these roundtrip Cape Town cruises on December 9th, 2023, with the final cruise of the season departing February 8th, 2024. On February 20th, she’ll then sail from Cape Town for Gran Canaria.
This 18-night repositioning voyage will be unusual in that it will not hug the West African coastline as most northbound cruises from Cape Town do, instead it will head out into the Atlantic after calling in Luderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia.
Azamara Pursuit will then visit Saint Helena, Ascension Island, Banjul in Gambia, and Dakar in Senegal, before ending the cruise in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands on March 9th, 2024.
Azamara Pursuit’s South African cruise season for 2023/24 is described as destination-intensive, and its homeport country features front and centre for every itinerary.
“The journey begins in captivating Cape Town. From the Cape Winelands to the Cape of Good Hope, there’s so much to see here,” says Azamara. “Following a relaxing day at sea, it’s a late-night stay in Port Elizabeth, where you can delve into its storied history on the Donkin Heritage Trail and visit the animal sanctuary of Addo Elephant National Park.”
After Port Elizabeth, Azamara Pursuit calls in East London, where passengers can discover the white-sand beaches and dunes of the Sunshine and Wild Coasts, before spending another day at sea bound for Maputo, Mozambique, where they can explore Portuguese colonial-era architecture and the markets, parks, and shops of the Old Town.
“Take advantage of a late-night stay in Richards Bay to go on a safari at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park—home to Africa’s ‘big five’ animals and the greatest density of rhino in South Africa,” says Azamara. “Then it’s on to Durban, where an overnight stay offers time to relax on the sandy Golden Mile, participate in a tour of traditional Zulu homesteads, or take an overland trip to spectacular Victoria Falls.”
The ship will then spend two nights and a day at sea cruising down the Wild Coast for Cape Town. Azamara suggests passengers “pamper themselves in Sanctum Spa, choose from specialty dining venues and fine wines, and take in some sensational performances” during this final day of the cruise.
The voyage ends with a three night stay in Cape Town, giving passengers time to sip their way around the Cape Winelands, the country’s largest wine region with six distinct wine routes to explore, or swim in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on one of the area’s many beaches.
In Cape Town, passengers can also visit the colony of African penguins at Boulders Beach, or peruse the shops and restaurants at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
An important highlight of the cruise for many passengers will also be a more sobering visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and other freedom fighters were imprisoned by the country’s Apartheid authorities during the struggle for democracy.