By Azamara Club Cruises on Monday, August 24, 2015
Azamara cruises are for those who love travel. But, we love to travel for different reasons. Some travellers love connecting with a destination’s culture through food, art or history. Others love to relax and unplug from their everyday lives, whether that’s on a quiet beach or a sidewalk cafe. And, some travellers love adventure. Luckily, we have cruises for everyone – including the adventurers.
Eight 2016 Itineraries That Are Perfect For Adventurers
Destination Immersion is perfect for the adventurous traveler. It’s all about longer stays, more overnights and night touring – meaning you have more time in port, and more time to soak in your experiences. In 2016, our two ships will visit 204 different ports in 70 countries. There’s so much to choose from! These eight voyages pack the most punch in the thrill department.
16 Night Australia & New Zealand Voyage
The Land Down Under has everything you want – breathtaking coastlines, stunning lakes and mountains, geothermal springs and more. In Hobart, you can visit the nearby Bruny Island – a rugged, gorgeous hub of eco-tourism. Taurunga, New Zealand, is home to lush parks, stunning waterfalls and gorgeous beaches.
If you love wildlife, this cruise is for you. The National Parks, rainforests and wildlife preserves of Central America provide an unforgettable experience. Fun fact: You can explore these unique destinations in 360 degree technology right now over at azamara3di.com.
Planning a trip through Asia can be stressful – unless you visit with us. This itinerary will take you through five different countries, with several overnight stays. Check “seeing real-life dragons” off your bucket list in Komodo, Indonesia. Explore Puerto Princesa‘s famed Subterranean River National Park. Visit the Taal Volcano of Manila, and the Taroko Gorge of Hualien. And of course, don’t forget to pack your camera – this might be the most photogenic cruise out there.
By Azamara Club Cruises on Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Note: This is a special feature post from Mark and Dale from Meet Me OnBoard, the largest gay cruise community online. Azamara is a proud partner with Meet Me OnBoard.
Like many LGBT travelers, we’re big fans of the opportunity to explore each local cultures’ food and drink. So for a day in Dubrovnik, we stepped off the lovely Azamara Journey and indulged in a Land Discoveries tour to a small working farm just outside the city. They produce olive oil and wine to sell, and vegetables for their own use. Speaking good English, the farm’s owner demonstrated the old method of first press and second press olive oil production, using his own 30 year old horse (we’d never seen olive oil pressed by any method—and after seeing it done in such a rustic manner we’ll forever pretend this is how the grocery store oil back home was pressed).
The farmer’s wife then hosted our group for lunch: homemade prosciutto, salad greens, vegetables and olive oil, local cheese and wine from their vineyard—served at tables in their backyard overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Simple and decadent for all our senses.
We’re making our first voyages to New Zealand in 2016, and the anticipation is almost too much to handle. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful and unique destinations on Earth. It’s the perfect place for a cruise line that breaks the industry mold with a unique focus on destination immersion.
We won’t be in “The Land of the Long White Cloud” until January, but until then we’re pouring over photos of New Zealand on Instagram. We just had to share our excitement here on the blog! Here are some of our favorites:
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, and has been developing a reputation as a cool, yet relaxed, cultural hub. You’ll find lots of art, fantastic coffee, and spectacular views from the top of Mount Victoria.
Akaroa also offers guests the chance to travel to Christchurch on a Land Discoveries tour, or journey into “Middle Earth” – the Southern Alps at Mount Potts High Country Station, where parts of The Lords of the Rings trilogy was filmed.
Tauranga is the most populous city on New Zealand’s famous Bay of Plenty, and another port where we’ve planned an overnight stay. You can visit the incredible Hobbiton Lord of the Rings film set on a Land Discoveries tour – trust us, this isn’t just for movie buffs! The natural landscape and the “hobbit holes” will have you pulling out your camera again and again.
Dunedin is known as “the Edinburgh of New Zealand”, thanks to the city’s proud Scottish heritage. It’s also known for the picturesque drive up Otago Peninsula. Don’t forget your camera, you’ll want to capture the rugged beaches and stunning panoramas that can’t be found anywhere else.
Dunedin also offers visitors great food and nightlife. You can tour the Cadbury World chocolate factory, relax in one of the city’s many local pubs, cafes and restaurants, pick up a bottle of Milford (Dunedin’s own single malt whiskey), or tour the Speights brewery.
Bring your appetite to Kaikoura. The town is known for delicious seafood feasts, particular crayfish. But the best thing to do in Kaikoura is watch for whales and dolphins. Take a tour, and then enjoy dinner at a local restaurant! That’s what late-night departures are all about.
Auckland is the most populous city in New Zealand, yet features pristine beaches, farms, rainforest. You can go horseback riding or shopping; spend your day touring a sheep farm or taking in the city from atop the Sky Tower.
The nearby island of Waiheke offers wineries and art galleries for those looking to unwind. Or for something more adventurous, climb to the top of Mount Eden for breathtaking city views.
We have two voyages calling on New Zealand in 2016. This 16 Night voyage embarks from Sydney, Australia and concludes in Auckland. This 13 Night voyage embarks from Auckland, and concludes in Sydney. Can’t join us? Don’t worry! We’ll be back in 2017. View those itineraries here and here.
By Azamara Club Cruises on Thursday, April 16, 2015
Want to get a taste of your upcoming vacation before you even leave the house? Now you can with Azamara 3DI, the latest groundbreaking (and seafaring) innovation from Azamara!
Here at Azamara, we tend to see the world differently, especially when it comes to cruising. We already spend longer in port than any other cruise line. We offer such inclusive amenities as international wines & beers and select spirits (big cheers to that!), plus, our complimentary AzAmazing Evenings are truly unprecedented and trendsetting—although so far, no one else has pulled it off like we do…if we do say so ourselves!
Well, once again, Azamara is ahead of the cruise line curve, as we’ve pioneered a new way to learn about cruising with Azamara 3DI, a 360-degree virtual reality tour that takes you from your stateroom to some of the most fascinating ports in the world.
On April 27, we’ll make our return to the Mediterranean with a voyage calling on Mykonos and Santorini. One of the things we’re most looking forward to? The food! After all, one of the best ways to experience a culture is to experience the food. The fresh, farm-to-table flavors of the Mediterranean are hard to top.
Can’t you imagine yourself having a leisurely lunch in Santorini, soaking up the sun? The wonderful thing about this July cruise is that the Azamara Journey will arrive in port at 7:30am, before the crowds of tourists, and won’t depart until 10:00pm. That leaves you plenty of time to eat, sightsee, and take in a famous Santorini sunset!
One of our favorite places to visit in Greece is Sparta. This former military powerhouse is now a hot destination for foodies. Sparta is nestled among mountains and the Valley of the Eurotas River. The fragrant lemon and olive groves in the valley provide the town with a heavenly scent. You can learn more about Greek culture and cuisine when you explore the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil. Visit in August 2015 during this voyage.
Though nothing beats the real thing, it’s easy to have a delicous dinner of Greek cuisine at home. To start, serve fresh pita bread with tzatziki dip. Grill some souvlaki skewers and halloumi cheese, and serve alongside rice pilaf and salad. And don’t forget the life of the party – Ouzo!
Robert van Rijsbergen is the Corporate Executive Chef for Azamara Club Cruises. He says, “A Greek Salad is quite simple and very popular. The perfect summer salad if you ask me.”
Though Americanized versions of Greek Salad often include lettuce or other greens, a true Greek Salad does not.
Make your Greek Salad stand out from the crowd by using Robert’s unique recipe! In this salad, Robert uses olive tapenade instead of regular olives, uses creamy feta instead of cubes of cheese, and chops vegetables on an angle rather than dicing. The result? A delicious Greek Salad with a twist that’s sure to wow your friends and family!
Greek Salad With A Twist (Makes Six Servings)
1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick in an angle
1 red bell pepper, large-diced
1 green bell pepper, large-diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large-diced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, julienned
5 scallions, sliced on an angle
1/2 pound feta cheese, blended until creamy (you can add a little sour cream)
1/2 cup olive tapenade
Small bunch flat parsley
Rosemary or thyme croutons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the chopped cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour most of the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Add the creamy feta, scallions and olives tapenade on top immediately before serving. Garnish with croutons and flat parsley. Drizzle the rest of the vinaigrette around each serving of salad, and serve at room temperature.