In 2018, we’re embarking on our inaugural Azamara World Journey. Over 102 days we’ll call on 60 ports in 29 countries from Sydney, Australia to London, United Kingdom. The only thing better than traveling in luxury aboard the beautiful Azamara Journey will be stepping onshore to explore the incredible places we’re visiting.
We believe the best way to experience a destination is as a local would—or #AzaLocal, if you will. That’s why we offer our guests a far-reaching list of unique Cruise Global, Connect Local shore excursions to immerse themselves in the culture of wherever we port. And the Azamara World Journey will provide ample opportunity to do just that.
We’ve put together a list of ten one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime, and must-do shore excursions designed to help you experience each destination #AzaLocal.
1. Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set in Tauranga, New Zealand
Movie buffs, rejoice! If you decide to start your World Journey early by extending your trip to New Zealand, a visit to Hobbiton must be on your to do list. Leave New Zealand’s beautiful countryside and enter Middle Earth (stage left). Hobbiton’s exactly how you saw it in the Lord of the Rings movies—Hobbit holes and their wonderful exteriors, enchanting gardens, The Green Dragon Inn, and the Mill are all here to explore. Even if you haven’t seen any of the movies, Hobbiton is a fascinating, enjoyable, and unique movie set location. There are spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set, which is still a working farm.
2. The Great Barrier Reef in Hardy Reef, Australia
This excursion is for the marine lover in your party. Your voyage from Australia to Asia isn’t complete without seeing one of the Seven Wonders of the World. On this shore excursion you’ll set sail on an exclusive catamaran where you can scope out colorful coral and plenty of marine life. While you’re sailing, you can partake in a little snorkeling or walk through the vessel’s underwater viewing chamber.
3. An AzAmazing Evening – Discover Bangkok’s Ancient City in Thailand
Our complimentary AzAmazing Evening is the way to experience Thailand #AzaLocal. You’ll walk among traditional townhouses from Yan Nawa, one of Bangkok’s oldest districts, and journey to The Sanphet Prasat Palace. These illustrious grounds, known to Westerners as the Grand Palace, serve as the official residence of the King who now uses it for special events. From there, you’ll take part in an enactment of the Festival of Lights, known as Loi Krathong. Krathong, lotus-shaped baskets, are released with intention along flowing water. Symbolic of worn-out emotions and behaviors, the ceremony is healing, rejuvenating celebration that resonates deeply throughout Thai culture—and with Azamara, you get to experience it first-hand.
4. Taj Mahal – Pink City – Incredible India in Agra, India
This four-day excursion along the Indian Ocean takes you off the beaten path, but it’s well worth it. Journey from Mumbai, to Delhi, to Agra, and sample delicious Indian cuisine along the way. In Agra, the real star of this excursion awaits—the Taj Mahal! This incredible monument took 22 years, 22,000 laborers, and 1,000 elephants to raise. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to marvel at the sheer scale and beauty of this Indian icon. No visit to India is complete without taking it in, and with Azamara you get to do it in a more authentic way.
5. Holy Towns of Jerusalem and Bethlehem in Israel
While we’re on the topic of storied landmarks and cities, our Oman, Luxor, and Israel leg of the World Journey gives you the opportunity to explore the places written about in sacred books—Jerusalem and Bethlehem. During this unforgettable tour of the Holy Land, whose religious significance is shared across faiths, you’ll explore religious landmarks and icons such as the Western Wall, the Way of Suffering, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
6. Excavations of Pompeii in Italy
While exploring the Greek Isles and Italy, enter one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever unearthed—the lost city of Pompeii. Once a thriving Roman port, all was lost on a fateful day in 79 A.D. when the Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted. For 1,700 years, Pompeii laid undiscovered under 30 feet of volcanic ash and debris. Today it’s widely considered the world’s most fascinating archeological discovery, and on this excursion you get to walk amidst its ancient history.
7. Old Antibes and Absinthe Tasting in Cannes, France
Next stop: The Grand Prix & Cannes leg of the World Journey, where you can visit the lively Cote d’Azur town of Antibes. Wander the city’s picturesque old lanes with a local, knowledgeable guide and explore the city’s historic market. Afterward—or, the main event, if you will—enter a traditional absinthe cave, a historic hideaway for philosophers long ago to indulge in the delight known as the green fairy. It’s not every day you get to sample the spirit known to inspire artists from around the world in such an authentic fashion.
8. An Evening of Spanish Flamenco in Barcelona, Spain
When in Spain, lose yourself in the stomping heels, sensual moves, and masterful guitar of a Spanish Flamenco performance. This shore excursion offers you a seat at an exclusive show and a fascinating glimpse into the world of Flamenco. Learn about the vibrant art form’s origins. Applaud as the dancers stomp and twirl to the master Flamenco guitarists’ intricate chords. Flamenco is known to exude romance and emotion and we promise this evening has all of that and more in store.
9. A Journey Through History & Wine Tasting in Gibraltar, UK
Before we embark on our final leg of the World Journey, there’s an excursion during our voyage through Spain and Portugal you won’t want to miss. In this experience, you’ll uncover the history of the Rock of Gibraltar at the Garrison Library, home to the world’s second-oldest English newspaper. The library is only open to the public on certain occasions, so it’s a treasure trove of history that few get to explore. Afterwards, head to the Angelo Hispano Vaults and hear the unique story of the Spanish bodega while sampling six distinctive wines from around the world. History and wine are a pairing made in heaven, don’t you think?
10. French Cooking Lesson in Honfleur, France
You didn’t think we could stop in France and not include a lesson in French food, did you? On this excursion, expand your culinary horizons and take a private cooking class hosted by a master French Chef. You’ll have all the ingredients you’ll need to prepare a three-course meal. If that sounds intimidating, don’t be. The chef’s sole purpose is to make cooking French cuisine fun, carefree, and absolutely delicious. Your new culinary skills will be one of the best possible souvenirs you could bring home; not just for you, but for the family and friends you entertain.
This is just ten of more than 100 excursions we’ve curated to help you experience your destinations #AzaLocal. Want to see all of the excursions available during our epic World Journey? Use our shore excursions brochure to find all of the excursions complete with pricing, highlights, and what to pack.
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