The Azamara Quest docked into Auckland on her inaugural visit to New Zealand at the end of January and we hopped onboard to catch a glimpse of the luxury liner. So, what's special about this boutique cruise line?
Not too big, not too small
From the outset, the Azamara Quest seems much smaller than some of the megaliners we've seen around our New Zealand ports this summer. While small in stature, the ship is plentiful in special gems to make for a unique cruise journey! Weighing in at around 30,000 tons, the Quest has a maximum capacity of fewer than 700 passengers, hosting an intimate, homely atmosphere. You won't get lost on a ship this size, but you won't get bored either with plenty of planned activities and overnight port stops to look forward to. There's one staff member to every two guests onboard and as we walked around, every one of them greeted us with a friendly smile. The best advantage to the smaller ship size though? They'll get you into ports that bigger ships won't fit, you'll be closer to the action and they hate to leave any destination too early - say goodbye to mid-afternoon departures and hello to more time exploring!
Experiencing the destination is a big focus on every Azamara cruise, but they take it one step further with their AzAmazing evenings. On most of their cruises, a private, bespoke evening event is organized at a selected port of call. Imagine a private James Morrison performance in Newcastle Australia followed by fireworks over the harbour, a medieval themed evening in Cannes or a tribute Beatles concert in Liverpool. You’re wined, dined and given first class treatment and the best part – it’s complimentary!
From a short cruise focused around an event such as the Monaco Grand Prix, a two week trip around New Zealand and Australia, to a 102 night world journey, Azamara have cruises to fill our entire bucket lists. We’re especially envious of anyone booked onboard the 102 night 2018 World Journey. Beginning in Sydney, they’ll cruise around Australia then onto Asia seeing everything from the jungles of Borneo, through the Saigon River then into India for a glimpse at the Taj Mahal. Travelling around the Middle East then onto the Nile through Egypt, right into to the Mediterranean. The ship will be in port for major events – think the Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix, before arriving to its final destination along London’s River Thames under the Tower Bridge – phew, quite an itinerary!
The onboard facilities and especially dining experiences are top notch, but their most unique offering sits on The Sanctum Terrace aptly named “Nights in Private Places”. The terrace is available for private hire for an evening of pampering and romance. You’ll get attended to by a personal butler, served champagne and dinner by candlelight. Enjoy the private whirlpool, wrap yourselves in robes and enjoy sleeping under the stars on the outdoor four post bed. It’s not an experience for everyone, but very popular for anniversaries, birthdays and honeymooners.
After departing Auckland, the Azamara Quest visited ports around New Zealand including Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Picton and the Marlborough Sounds before heading to Singapore for a $25 million refurbishment. The Quest will return to New Zealand waters in 2018. It's sister ship, the newly refurbished Azamara Journey will take its inaugural visit to New Zealand in February 2017.
To chat to us about your next cruise holiday, call 0800 24 35 44, or click here.