Azamara Club Cruises has acquired the Adonia, a representative of the cruise line tells Travel Agent. The ship will be renamed the Azamara Pursuit when it officially joins the Azamara fleet in March 2018.
The last of eight “R” class ships originally built for Renaissance Cruises, the Adonia was most recently sailing for P&O Cruises in the UK. Before that, the ship had been the sole vessel in Carnival Corporation’s social impact-focused brand, Fathom, offering voluntourism cruises to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. When Carnival Corp. ceased operating Fathom as a standalone brand this past June, the ship moved to the P&O Cruises fleet.
In a statement announcing the purchase, Azamara Club Cruises CEO Larry Pimentel said that the new ship would represent a 50 percent expansion of the cruise line’s portfolio, and that guests and travel partners had been asking the line for an expansion for a long time. The cruise line’s current fleet, comprised of Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, are also former “R” ships.
We spoke to Pimentel in early August about expanding the Azamara fleet, and he was candid about the possibility of adding an existing vessel to the cruise line, rather than necessarily building a new one from scratch.
“I have a desire to grow a little differently. I'd like to be able to get more R class ships,” he told us. “The reason is that I think the size of the ship allows me to go, in comparison to our own sister company [Royal Caribbean], to about 52 percent of the ports they can't get into. So, I have a different product right from the very get go. I think the size of the ship is perfect.”
Azamara says that the new ship is comparable in size to the other ships in its fleet, the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, allowing it to visit the smaller, unique ports that are the cruise line’s focus. Before joining the Azamara fleet, the Azamara Pursuit will undergo a number of décor updates that will be similar to the renovations recently introduced on the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest.
Azamara said it would announce further details on the Pursuit’s deployment and itineraries in October.