Destination Immersion Blog

The home of insider destination info, travel tips and things Azamara

Ten Days of AzAmazing from Alcazar to Gaudi, Part Two: It’s All About The Ship

Click here to read guest blogger Deirdre’s first installment, on destinations. 

Ship and itinerary go hand and hand and it’s a marriage in which one is linked inextricably to the other. If it weren’t, we’d all be content to sail bare-bones freighters to exotic ports or to board luxurious ships on cruises to nowhere. There’s no need for that, not when you have the stately Azamara Journey to give you both. We visited exciting and memorable ports, all the while sailing in comfortable and gracious style. A win/win, in my books!

P9050382A view from the balcony you will never get on a land vacation!

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Seven Things To Do in Tuscany

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The Italian port of Livorno acts as a gateway to Tuscany for cruise passengers. It’s an ideal location for late-night departures or overnight stays, so Azamara guests have plenty of time to explore and take advantage of Land Discoveries tours. It’s easy to fill your time when visiting an area that has so much to offer!

Here are seven of our favorite things to do in Tuscany. 

1. Eat!

Tuscany is a gourmet paradise. From street food to fine dining, the region has it all. Liver crostini and thinly sliced meats are popular menu items. In Florence, try pappardelle pasta and the city’s famous Florentine steak. 

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Try an assortment of meats and cheeses!

Look for dishes that include wild boar - cinghiale – a tasty local delicacy. And of course, eat plenty of gelato! The small medieval town of San Gimignano is home to the award-winning Gelateria di Piazza. Master gelato maker Sergio is known for such flavors as Cream with Saffron and Pine Nuts, and Pink Grapefruit with Sparkling Wine.

2. Admire Art

One of the many reasons Florence was recently voted the best city in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine is art. Galleria dell’Accademia is home to Michelangelo’s most famous masterpiece, the David. 

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The Uffizi Gallery boasts the greatest collection of Italian paintings, and is among the oldest and most famous art museums in all of Europe. There’s also plenty of art to admire in churches and public spaces.

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Nice, France: Hub of the French Riviera

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Nice is the fifth largest city in France, but in my mind it’s the most important after only Paris. Nice is not only a beautiful Mediterranean city with a lot to see and do; it is the hub for the French Riviera. Nice brings the world to the South of France and gives it reason to stay a while.

Nice is often overshadowed by its glitzy neighbors: Monaco and Monte Carlo and their aristocracy; or Hollywood (and my) favorite Cannes; or champagne jet-set favorite St. Tropez-but Nice can hang! Nice offers a lot of what the others don’t. Nice is a city for all budgets. Nice is a place where you can feel comfortable walking around Promenade Des Anglais or in the old quarter around Place Garibaldi over to the quickly improving port area. Restaurants and bars are easy to find but hard to leave.

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Local Flavor in Santorini, Greece

There are many ways to explore Santorini when visiting the island situated in the southern Aegean Sea. For me, it was all about destination immersion, which was delivered via an exclusive tour offered by Azamara Club Cruises. Guests who opted to get a sneak peak of the boutique cruise line’s new Cruise Global, Eat Local series, which will officially launch in 2015, headed off to the nearby town of Pyrgos Village.

Pyrgos Village

The Cruise Global, Eat Local tour in Santorini was perfect for cruise foodies; there were five of us and we had an amazing time. Heading off by tender, our small group was met by our local guide. On our way up the narrow cliffside road outside of Fira, we learned about the history, geography, and highlights of the island.

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Turkish Riviera: Yes, There Is Such A Thing

The Azamara Quest called on Marmaris, Turkey, a beautiful port on the Turkish Mediterranean that is said to be the location of the courtship between Antony and Cleopatra. For those cruise passengers wanting to pay homage to Cleopatra, Azamara Club Cruises offered a Land Discoveries tour to Sedir Island. It was quite popular, according to the buzz I heard among passengers who chose this exploration.

Azamara Quest in Marmaris

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