Azamara Cruises “leaps” Into Exotic Europe in 2009

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Miami – (February 29, 2008 ) – A year which is not a leap year is called a “common year,” but there’s very little that’s common about what Azamara Cruises has planned in Europe in 2009. The deluxe, destination-driven brand today revealed a widely varied series of itineraries for both Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, including 20 new ports and overnight stays in some of the most romantic cities on the continent.

“We’ve been thrilled with the response to our 2008 European itineraries this year, and are really building on that in 2009,” said Azamara Cruises President Dan Hanrahan. “No other deluxe brand offers the number of ports that Azamara will visit next year, nor matches our breadth of distinct itineraries.”

Azamara’s series of seven- to 15-night Europe itineraries in 2009 will visit 91 ports in 36 countries, and depart from five different homeports: Athens, Greece; Barcelona, Spain; Copenhagen, Denmark; Rome and Venice, Italy. Overnight stays will be offered in Barcelona, Edinburgh, Scotland; Florence and Ravenna, Italy, Istanbul, Turkey; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Stockholm, Sweden. Late-night (10 p.m. or after) departures will be offered in 10 ports of call, allowing guests to capture more of the flavor of each locale’s nightlife.

Azamara Cruises’ 2009 Europe Highlights

  • An enhanced 14-night “Western Europe” itinerary includes a transit up the Thames River and into the heart of London, anchoring overnight within view of the Tower of London and including a new-for-2009 call on Antwerp, Belgium, with a unique downtown berth position and transit along the scenic River Scheldt before a sunset departure for the North Sea.
  • New, harder-to-access port calls, including:
    • Docking in Zadar, Croatia (where larger ships have to anchor)
    • Rouen, France, just one hour from Paris (as opposed to Le Havre, where larger ships dock, which is two-and-a-half hours from the city)
    • Volos, Greece, where Azamara will offer excursions to the Meteora Monasteries, high atop massive granite rocks(made famous in the film For Your Eyes Only)
    • Amalfi, Italy, near the postcard-perfect Sorrento, Positano and Isle of Capri
    • A docking in La Spezia, Italy, where larger ships have to anchor
    • Dartmouth, United Kingdom, inaccessible to larger ships.
  • A series of four consecutive 7-night Mediterranean cruises, which, for travelers interested in pairing itineraries back-to-back, will present no repeat ports of call.
  • A new “Iceland and Norwegian Fjords” voyage roundtrip from Copenhagen, Denmark, featuring three Icelandic ports. The sailing also includes calls on Scotland’s Shetland Islands, Denmark’s Faroe Islands, which received National Geographic Traveler’s top score among islands in Europe in its November/December 2007 issue, and Scotland’s famed Shetland Islands.
  • A continuation of Azamara’s successful 2008 Baltic itineraries from Copenhagen, with an extended, three-day stay in St. Petersburg, Russia, allowing guests ample time to visit the Hermitage or take an overnight shore excursion to Moscow.
  • A 15-night “Holy Land” itinerary from Athens to Rome featuring 11 cities, including an overnight stay in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • An enhanced “Best of Italy” itinerary with overnight stays in Venice and Sorrento, as well as in Ravenna, giving guests the opportunity to visit Florence by train to experience one of the world’s oldest republics, the independent state of San Marino; the Ferrari and Lamborghini factories; or the sixth-century church of Chiesa di San Vitale, noted on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and famed for its collection of Byzantine mosaics.
  • Three 14-night “Ancient Empires” cruises departing from Rome or Athens, calling on five different Turkish ports as well as various ports in Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.
  • A 10-night “Eastern Mediterranean and Adriatic Coast” voyage with only one sea day and calls in Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and Italy.

The new lineup will open for sale on April 2, 2008, allowing travel agents time to become familiar with the widely varied new sailings. Cruise enthusiasts are encouraged to call their travel agent, visit Azamara Cruises website or call 1-877-999-9553 for more information.

Azamara Cruises unlocks the hidden corners of the world for those who desire to immerse themselves in the rich details of every voyage. The deluxe ships – Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest – offer an intimate experience, while allowing access to exotic destinations experienced travelers long to reach. For the 694 guests on each Azamara Cruises ship, every moment at sea embodies the pinnacle of luxury, and each footstep on shore accentuates the difference between visiting a place and getting a true sense of place. This year, Azamara Cruises presents the best of South America and the Panama Canal, elite Asia, the most captivating Caribbean and enchanting Europe. For more information, travel agents are encouraged to call 1-877-222-2526. Guests are invited to call 1-877-999-9553. Or, visit Azamara Cruises website.