Azamara Pursuit UK connection emphasized by President & CEO Pimentel
UK cruisers’ enthusiasm for Azamara Club Cruises’ eagerly anticipated new vessel Pursuit influenced the company’s decisions about the site of the new ship’s refit and maiden voyages. Following the ship’s Northern Ireland refit and Southampton launch, Azamara’s third ship will offer global itineraries.
Pursuit will undergo a four-month refurbishment in Belfast, Northern Ireland, marking the first time a modern cruise ship re-design has taken place entirely in the United Kingdom. “We’ve seen unprecedented support from the UK market for Azamara Pursuit,” Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, stated, “so we are delighted to be able to show our recognition of this by allowing its transformational journey to take place here. We’ve seen double the UK demand for Pursuit than we usually see for its sister ships, so this is a really exciting time for us as a brand.
Pimentel told the UK cruise industry publication Cruise Trade News that, “The UK business has been prolific for us,” I’m excited that the product has been so well received – we hit 70 per cent of our sales goals by 1 January and 40 per cent of our booked guests are British. There’s such an affinity between the brand and the UK guest, along with the retailers we work with. Growth has been year-on-year and keeps on rising.”
The ship, currently sailing as P&O’s Adonia, will be transferred to Azamara this March. The ship’s wet-dock refit will take place at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast under the direction of Northern Ireland-based MJM Group. Following its transformation, the vessel will resemble its sister ships Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey.
The above video is from our 2017 journey to Iceland highlighting the stunning beauty of this region.
Pursuit will make its debut as an Azamara vessel with a 12-night Norway-intensive cruise departing August 1 from Southampton. Another Southampton departure will follow, as Pursuit sails a 15-night Wonders of Iceland Voyage. The 690-passenger ship will depart Southampton for the final time in 2018 on August 30 for a 13-night Wine and Romance voyage debarking in Barcelona. A series of Mediterranean voyages will round out the ship’s fall season until the ship departs Barcelona on November 6 for Miami. Late 2018 and early 2019 will see the ship sailing South American itineraries. (Azamara previously announced that Pursuit‘s itineraries during its first year of service will include 15 maiden calls. Complete ship schedule can be found here.)
Our Take: Azamara President and CEO Larry Pimentel stated in our 2015 interview with him that he sees his company as a good fit for LGBT travelers. Mark and Dale have experienced firsthand that this isn’t just hype — Azamara is attentive to the things that gay cruisers care about, including first-rate LGBT Happy Hours.
More info at: Cruise Critic