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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Azamara Club Cruises Kicks Off First Australasian Season and the Brand Will Return for a Third Season in 2018

Azamara Clubs Cruises has announced details of Azamara Quest's maiden season in Australasia, including its spectacular AzAmazing Evenings taking place at a number of ports such as Darwin, Newcastle and Cairns. The boutique cruise brand, renowned for its elegant cruising style and destination focus, will debut in Australia and New Zealand for the first time arriving in Darwin on 28 December 2015. The line has also confirmed they will deploy a ship to Australia for a third season, with Azamara Journey coming for the first time in 2017 and Azamara Quest returning in 2018.



Each Azamara Club voyage features Azamara Club's exclusive, bespoke AzAmazing Evening events - a specially created, complimentary night tour that offers a slice of a destination's authentic culture and character, and which provide a significant boost to the local communities to which the line sails.

In Darwin, guests will be treated to an evening at Crocosaurus Cove where they will meet the world's largest captive reptile collection, including nearly 200 saltwater crocodiles. The can't-miss moment of the night is the Cage of Death. As a handful of the ship's brave officers drop into a protected tank, giant crocodiles — some of the largest in captivity — approach for a little nose-to-nose time. The unique event continues with a ceremonial demonstration by representatives of the Larrakia people. As the ceremony winds down, guests can take the chance to hold some of the smaller reptiles that make their home at this incredible adventure center.

In Newcastle, guests will enjoy an incredible evening of local entertainment by local Australian artist, Olivia Chindamo, at Fort Scratchley. This historic and majestic site, which guards the Hunter River Estuary, is undoubtedly Newcastle's most spectacular vantage point.

In Cairns, the line will offer a journey into Australia's Aboriginal dreamtime for an unforgettable evening of world-class entertainment including authentic music, chanting and dance that culminates in a traditional fire making ceremony by the local Tjapukai people. Guests will be immersed in the spectacle of a corroboree depicting the thrill of the hunt and the ancient totems of the rainforest people.

Azamara Clubs Cruises is also revitalising its two 686-passenger jewel-box ships with an extensive makeover in time for their Australasian itineraries. Azamara Quest will be upgraded in September 2015 and Azamara Journey will complete her dry dock in January 2016, before she then commences her season down under in 2017.

“We love Australia – even before our ships have sailed local waters, Australians already make up one of the top three nationalities that cruise with us and Australia is one of our biggest growth markets. So it is a great pleasure to announce the details for the coming seasons, at the same time as both of our ships will be extensively upgraded for our Australasian guests,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO, Azamara Club Cruises in Sydney.

“Since 2007, more than 15,000 Aussies have sailed with Azamara Club Cruises. In 2014 alone, almost 4,000 Australian guests experienced the award winning Azamara difference. We are thrilled to finally be able to bring the brand to Australasian shores”, Larry said.

With smaller ships that are able to go to places other cruise ships can't, Azamara Club differentiates itself - and gains loyal fans - by making destinations the star of the show. It does this by offering longer stays, more overnight calls and night touring, which gives travellers the opportunity to truly experience a destination - taking in the sights, sounds and flavours of local cultures in every port.

Azamara Club's Insider Access takes guests behind the scenes at heritage estates, family farms, local shops and art galleries. Guests enjoy quiet conversations, shared stories and laughter with their hosts, gaining valuable insights and appreciation of local culture. Nights and Cool Places are exclusive after-dinner experiences in small, intimate groups, ranging from a harbour yacht experience to a private gallery tour with a famous local artist.

This year, Azamara Club has also launched its highly-anticipated Cruise Global, Eat Localprogram, featuring carefully curated dining experiences around the globe. We They do the sleuthing to lead guests to places the locals frequent, from a traditional family trattoria to a dim sum feast.

While destinations are the highlight, what's onboard also keeps guests coming back for more. Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest guests receive exceptional and personal service and enjoy fine cuisine and boutique wines from around the world. More is included in each cruise – such as beverages, gratuities, self-service laundry, English Butler service for suite guests and shuttle transportation to city centres in ports, where available.

Also newly launched its new Exclusive Nights in Private Places program, offering an evening of luxurious private pampering, dining and sleeping under the stars on the private Thalassotherapy deck. This reservation-only experience for two includes private butler service, champagne and canapés, a beautiful buffet and seafood and meats cooked over a sizzling hot stone grill. A plush outdoor bed can be opened to the stars or enclosed with a roof panel and curtains.

Full details of Azamara Club's 2018 Australasian will be announced in the coming months. Details for Azamara Club's 2017 season is available now and open for booking. For further information or to book an Azamara Club Cruise, visit www.azamaraclubcruises.com/en-au, phone 1800 754 500 or contact your local travel agent.

Azamara Club Cruises is a brand of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSX: RCL), a global cruise holiday company that also owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 per cent joint venture. Together, the six brands operate a combined total of 41 ships with four under construction. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 460 destinations on all seven continents.

RCL Cruises Ltd Australia commenced operation in December 2008 as the Australian arm of global cruise holiday company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The company offers three cruise brands in Australia and New Zealand: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. In the 2014/2015 cruise season, Royal Caribbean International will be the largest cruise operator in Sydney, with three ships sailing in the region: Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas. In the 2015/2016 local cruise season Royal Caribbean International will increase the local fleet to four ships:Legend of the Seas home porting in Brisbane; along with Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas home porting in Sydney. Celebrity Solstice will also sail her fourth local season out of Sydney.


Connect with Azamara Club Cruises

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AzamaraClubCruises

Twitter: @AzamaraVoyages

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