Cruise

Azamara rides high on wave of interest

Anne Majumdar

Azamara Quest’s debut in Australian waters has generated a “very nice” uplift in sales from the local market, according to the boutique cruise line.

On a visit to Australia, vice President of Marketing and Sales Ellen Bettridge told Travel Weekly that she was noticing a general sense of excitement about the cruise line due in large part to Quest’s “prowess” in Australian ports this summer.

“We’re seeing people talking about the future,” she said.

“We announced a World Journey leaving out of Sydney in 2018 and I’ve heard over and over from agents how excited they are to book and promote that.”

When Azamara Journey comes Down Under in February 2017, it will give Aussies a different taste of what the cruise line has to offer, with the vessel having undergone a thorough revitalisation to give it a more modern and lighter feel.

“We know that new sells – people like new and fresh,” Bettridge said, adding that although the overhaul will be significant, the vessel will maintain a similar style and sense of “cosiness”.

But she was wary of talking up the revitalisation too much.

“One of the things we struggle with a little bit is how much we talk about the transformation,” she revealed.

That’s because the cruise line’s focus has always been on destination immersion, rather than the vessels themselves.

“We’re going to continue to sell that and push that.”

As for Azamara’s continued presence in Australian waters, Bettridge was optimistic, as long as demand is there. But she stressed that the cruise line is committed to offering its clients, 38% of whom are repeat travellers, new destinations.

“It depends where in world our customers want to go,” she said. “With only two ships we kind of need to keep moving around to different destinations.”



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