Croatia is a beautiful country, home to many ports we love to call on. But Dubrovnik, with its stunning coastline, sparkling turquoise waters, medieval city walls and red tiled roofs, has a special place in our hearts. These things also make Dubrovnik one of the most photogenic cities in the world, the kind of place you daydream about while sitting at your desk on a dreary Monday.
Dubrovnik’s ancient city walls are the finest in the world, and the main attraction for most visitors. They provide stunning views over Old Town, and the sparkling Adriatic Sea. Take your time as you walk the walls, stopping for breaks and photo opportunities. Don’t forget to bring a couple bottles of complimentary water from your stateroom for your day of exploring! Though as this next photo shows, Dubrovnik is stunning even in stormy weather.
Dubrovnik is just as beautiful – maybe even more so – at night. Try local wines and fresh seafood at restaurants in Old Town, and mingle with friendly locals at quaint pubs. Live music, especially at the jazz-focused Troubador Cafe. Absorbing the nightlife is one of the best ways to really get to know a city, and one of the reasons Azamara ships stay later in port. In fact, we have two upcoming cruises that include overnight stays in Dubrovnik:
In addition to incredible history, cuisine and shopping, Croatia is known for its beautiful beaches. Dubrovnik’s Banje Beach may be pebbly, but is still a favorite spot for swimming, sunbathing and people-watching. This August 2015 cruise includes a stop in Dubrovnik.
By Azamara Club Cruises on Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Love is all around. Especially in these romantic spots! It’s easy to be happy when you’re with the one you love, but visiting these swoon-worthy destinations during a luxury cruise will add to the enchantment.
1. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is the epitome of a Greek island daydream. The whitewashed villages, blue roofs, cliffside views and sparkling waters make it an idyllic paradise. Since we stay late in port, you can relax and watch the sunset with that special someone.
2. The Norwegian Fjords
Who said summer has to be hot? There’s something wonderful about snuggling up together with cups of hot cocoa and taking in some of the most breathtaking views nature has to offer. Cruising the Norwegian fjords on a small luxury ship is an experience you’ll never forget. Just like love, memories last forever!
Ooh la la! When we think of romance, we think of France. This transatlantic cruise was made for lovers. From Honfleur, you can enjoy an exursion to Paris, “The City of Love”. Cross the Atlantic and call on Montreal and Quebec City, two of Canada’s most beautiful (and most romantic) cities.
5. Venice, Italy
If France has a competitor for the most romantic country in the world, it’s Italy. If you want a dreamy, amorous atmosphere, look no further than Venice. Take in a sunset gondola ride, then listen to the orchestras perform at St. Mark’s Square at night. It will be a date night you’ll never forget. This June 2015 cruise embarks from Venice, so you can spend a few days there before setting off for other charming ports along the Adriatic.
Give the gift of world travel to the one you love! Our Valentine’s Day Special is on until February 16, 2015. Click here to view the offer.
By Azamara Club Cruises on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
When we think of summer, we think of Greece. The warm sunshine, sparkling blue seas and quaint, whitewashed villages make it the perfect destination for relaxing and slowing down. Athens, Mykonos and Santorini are tried and true cruise destinations. But there’s much more to this beautiful country! Greece includes more than 6,000 islands scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, and many stunning coastal towns. A small, luxury cruise ship is the perfect way to explore them. These Instagram photos of a few of our favorite lesser-known ports will have you daydreaming in no time.
Lesvos is the third biggest island in Greece, after Crete and Evia. It’s famous for producing Ouzo and olive oil, so make sure you sample both when you visit. Soak in authentic Greek culture by relaxing in one of the cafes surrounding the village square. June is a perfect time to visit, and this cruise will take you there.
Gythion is a charming Grecian town perched on the Mani peninsula, and a memorable stop on the way from Istanbul to Croatia during this 12 Night cruise. Quaint pastel houses and fishing boats dot the harbor, making it a picturesque stop for cruisers. The cuisine is fresh and local – think figs, olive oil, oranges and seafood. Swim, surf and relax at Mavrovouni Beach, or go on an excursion to historic Sparta.
Visiting Hydra is like traveling back in time. This island is home to one town, no real roads and no cars. Instead, you’ll travel by donkey or taxi boats to visit the beaches, tavernas, monasteries and churches that this unique destination has to offer. If you’re feeling adventurous, hike two hours to the top of Mount Eros and be rewarded with incredible views.
Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit for a cruise to Skiathos. This tiny island boasts more than 60 beautiful sandy beaches. While here, you can visit the fascinating Evanelistra Monastery, the medieval town of Kastro and the thermal springs of Kyllini.
A visit the stunning monasteries of Meteora is a must while in Volos, Greece. You’ll be awed by both the history and beauty of this incredible destination. Last year, world traveler Lee Abbamonte visited with Azamara Club Cruises and wrote about the unforgettable experience.
Kos, Greece was made for small cruise ships like Azamara’s. We dock right next to the town’s impressive fortress, providing guests the perfect jumping off point for exploring the colorful town. History buffs will love this port. The large ancient excavation site of Ancient Agora features fascinating ruins of temples, shrines and a gymnasium. See artefacts dating back to the Bronze Age at the Archaelogical Museum. Guests of this July 2015 cruise will have plenty of time to see and do it all – we won’t depart Kos until 11:00 pm.
Corfu, Greece is the setting of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and is said to cast a spell on all who land upon its shores. It will certainly charm guests with its beauty – many consider this to be the most beautiful of all Mediterranean islands. It’s a statement that’s hard to argue against once you’ve strolled along Old Town’s narrow alleys, taken in the fragrances of olive and lemon trees and watched the sunset reflecting on the sparkling sea. Visit Corfu during this August cruise with Azamara.
Patmos is best known for the imposing Monastery of St. John. You can’t miss the huge fortress atop a hill, standing out among the traditional white and blue houses surrounding it. You’ll love exploring the many courtyards, arcades, galleries and rooftop terraces of the monastery. The Azamara Journey won’t depart until 10:00 pm during this cruise, so there will be no need to feel rushed.
Thanks to yachts, stylish shops, idyllic beaches and quaint cafes, the island of Cephalonia is known as” the Saint-Tropez of Greece”. Don’t miss out on swimming in the bright turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea while you’re here. Focki Beach is a favorite for sunbathers and picnickers, while snorkelers will want to pay a visit to Emblisi Beach. August is the perfect time to visit – after all, there’s nothing like summer in Greece.
By Azamara Club Cruises on Wednesday, February 04, 2015
The voyage for those who love travel. Azamara guests travel with us for a reason. Many reasons, actually. They love our internationally acclaimed ships, our wonderful staff and crew, and our excellent onboard amenties. But cruising isn’t just about the onboard experience, it’s about seeing the world.
Travel is more than just a collection of passport stamps. It’s about the memories you make, the people you meet and the feeling it gives you. We asked Azamara fans on Facebook and Twitter to tell us why they #lovetravel. Here’s what they had to say.
By Azamara Club Cruises on Monday, February 02, 2015
We always say “smaller ships mean better parking”. Truer words were never spoken! In 2015, Azamara ships will dock at the closest berth to the center of Venice, the San Basilio Berth, pictured below. It’s only 25 minutes walking distance to St. Mark’s Square, and you will want to walk. Venice is one place you’ll be happy to get lost in.
Here are five things to do while you explore one of the greatest cities Europe has to offer – whether it is your first time visiting, or your fifth.
Claudius Docekal designs our itineraries, and it’s unlikely you’ll meet a more well-traveled man. “On the way to or from San Basilio Cruise Terminal to St. Mark’s Square, allow a bit of extra time for exploring the many shops along the way,” Claudius advises. “Walk along the Rio de San Trovaso. On the East side of this canal, you find the Cantinone gia Schiavi wine shop. It’s a great place to grab a light snack and sample Italian wines. Small, simple and local! You can hang out outside the shop along the canal, wine glass in hand, and take in the atmosphere.”
As you wander, you’ll find wonderful jewelry stores, souvenir shops, silk fabric stores, and mask shops. Film buffs might enjoy visiting Ca’Macana (in the same Dorsoduro neighborhood as the wine shop Claudius recommends). This authentic mask workshop created the masks for the movie Eyes Wide Shut.
2 St. Mark’s Square
Piazza San Marco is one of Venice’s most famous tourist destinations. There’s so much to see, returning visitors to Venice will still want to pay it a visit.
St. Mark’s Basilica
The basilica is the most famous of Venice’s churches, and a stunning example of Italo-Byzantine architecture. Thanks to its opulent design, gold ground mosaics and status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, it has been nicknamed Chiesa d’Oro (Church of Gold) since the 11th century. If it’s your first time in Venice, visiting the cathedral is a must.
Situated next to St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace is a lavish example of Venetian Gothic architecture. Inside the palace you’ll find incredible art, staircases and government chambers. Guests of this August 2015 cruise have the option to book an after-hours tour of the palace, through our Nights and Cool Places land tours.
The sprawling Museo Correr houses ancient maps, statues, books and art. The ballrooms are stunning, and visitors will appreciate the insight the museum provides into the history of Venice. If you’ve already been to the Basilica and Doge’s Palace, revisit St. Mark’s Square to spend time in the museum.
St. Mark’s Campanile
This bell tower is one of Venice’s most recognizeable landmarks. Ascend the tower, and you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the city.
3. Travel Venice’s Canals
There are many ways to experience Venice’s incredible canals. To explore the Grand Canal, take a vaparetto. Catch the #1 vaparetto near the train station, and enjoy a leisurely 45 minute ride to Piazza San Marco.
Hyperlapse video taken during a vaparetto ride.
In the evening, opt for something a bit more romantic. Through our Nights and Cool Places shore excursion program, arrange a sunset gondola ride for you and your loved one. Music from a singer and accordionist will drift through the air as you soak in the atmosphere of one of the world’s most romantic cities.
4. Visit the Nearby Islands of Murano and Burano
A visit to these quiet islands is the perfect excursion for someone who has been to Venice many times. Visit a glass factory in Murano, an island known for producing stunning, colorful glass for jewelry, lamps, chandaliers and more. Burano is known for producing lace, as well as for their quaint, brightly hued houses.
5. Discover Culture Through Food
Dive into Italian culture with our Insider Access program. A tour available during this cruise allows you to discover the culinary traditions of Venice, Naples and Sicily at home with Countess Leila Passi. Learn her tips and secrets as she prepares a meal with ingredients fresh from the market, and enjoy the meal over wine and conversation in her elegant dining room. This unique excursion is perfect for travelers looking for an exclusive, local experience to remember forever.
Cruise to Venice with us this year:
This voyage in May calls on favorite ports like Monte-Carlo, Sorrento, Dubrovnik and concludes with an overnight stay in Venice.