The Might christening of Azamara Cruises’ 684-passenger Azamara Onward is greater than only a new ship being added to the road’s fleet. It’s a celebration of the corporate’s independence. As soon as a part of the Royal Caribbean portfolio, the corporate was offered to Sycamore Companions with plans to leverage the small cruise ship firm’s destination-focused strategy over flashy onboard facilities as an impartial area of interest participant within the cruise business.
It competes throughout the identical house as different upscale traces like Oceania Cruises, however was not rising on the tempo it might have appreciated underneath its earlier possession. President Carol Cabezas shares her ideas on the corporate’s development plans, its main growth with a fourth ship and potential plans for its in style, but small, loyalty program.
Newly impartial, the place will Azamara be in ten years?
Azamara remains to be looking for its “finish level.” We’re taking issues slowly to ensure development is strategic, particularly as issues transition out of the pandemic. There will probably be extra ships, however there are not any plans to announce simply but. Whereas some issues might change, the concentrate on vacation spot immersion stays the identical. This consists of staying longer in every port than many different cruise traces, internet hosting extra in a single day port calls and the corporate’s well-known Azamazing Night expertise (a complimentary gala occasion for all passengers in an iconic location on every crusing).
A serious push proper now’s reviewing plans for pre and post-cruise actions. These land-based journeys are a part of Azamara’s portfolio, however usually contain iconic locations close to our ports of name like Machu Picchu in Peru or add-on safaris in elements of Africa. The corporate had deliberate a complete catalogue of journeys that have been offered simply earlier than Covid-19, however nothing ever occurred because of the pandemic. In the mean time, the corporate is methods to restart these choices in a means that’s related to the brand new means that persons are touring.
How do you resolve what onboard adjustments to make?
Azamara groups assume lengthy and arduous earlier than altering something when a brand new ship is added to the fleet. That is a part of an total technique to enchantment to a broad, however loyal, viewers and improve engagement on board. Azamara Onward options the brand new Atlas Bar, rather than the library, that’s drawing rave opinions. The top of resort operations got here up with the concept after seeing one thing comparable in New York. The craft cocktail bar serves dramatically ready drinks with gentle bites. Its modern design with giant home windows overlooking the pool and surrounding surroundings is a large hit and is complimentary for folks buying the premium beverage package deal. Relying on how company reply, the idea will probably be expanded to different ships.
Azamara Onward may also function 4 new signature reveals, a brand new chef’s desk in one of many signature eating places and an expanded onboard orchestra.
Is Azamara increasing its locations?
Sure. Few cruise traces have been crusing to West Africa earlier than, and it’s considered one of our extremely in style itineraries with intrepid and worldly company now. It offered out rapidly. Including a fourth ship is essential for Azamara not for increasing locations as a lot as it’s for rising the frequency of our current itineraries. Adriatic and Mediterranean sailings are in big demand, and now there will be extra of those every season in every vacation spot.
Azamara has the biggest variety of distinctive ports in Greece of any cruise line within the business, and this helps draw a number of enterprise. The itineraries transcend the usual ports of Santorini or Mykonos and go to smaller islands that many vacationers haven’t visited. Having extra time in port in distinctive cruise locations attracts a number of vacationers to Azamara.
Throughout the Grand Prix in Monaco this yr, Azamara had two ships and was the one cruise line to take action. It gave company a straightforward alternative to be part of this main sporting occasion with out having to pay for a resort. It suits properly with Azamara’s concentrate on vacation spot immersion.
How does the world cruise promote?
That has exceeded each metric, and it was unclear how in style that might be popping out of the pandemic. The one earlier blueprint to comply with was the world journey from 2018. In comparison with that, 4 instances as many company are becoming a member of Azamara’s subsequent world cruise for your complete 155 days than in 2018. The corporate has additionally opened up particular person segments on the market, and that has offered very properly with folks eager to do just a few weeks of the world cruise.
Will there be main adjustments from Sycamore Companions?
No, they’ve been clear that they wish to preserve and develop this area of interest in cruising. Small ships and extra time in port are what hold bringing folks again. The most recent addition to the fleet, Azamara Onward, has extra Ocean View staterooms. The acquainted “white evening” get together on each crusing will stay, too, with an extravagant buffet on the deck with dwell leisure. Self-service laundry, included gratuities, and complimentary home spirits, smooth drinks, beer and wine (two white and two purple altering day by day) may also stay as in style perks.
What adjustments are coming to the loyalty program?
There will probably be some adjustments to it as the corporate transitions off the identical platform that Royal Caribbean and Superstar was utilizing and builds its personal. This implies the reciprocity in elite advantages is not going to proceed, nevertheless it additionally offers the model an opportunity to create a brand new program from scratch. Recognizing that the corporate is smaller for loyalty program members (with no extra trade perks on different traces), Azamara Circle members can count on some new perks that they will get pleasure from on Azamara sailings. These are nonetheless within the works.
Individuals are staunchly loyal to Azamara, and they won’t lose any factors they’ve accrued. In reality, there may be one British couple who has sailed over 500 nights simply with Azamara and attended the christening ceremony of Azamara in Monte Carlo. To attract such followers, the corporate should be doing one thing proper.