The next chapter for Azamara, a destination-focused cruise brand, has begun as the previously announced sale of the brand from Royal Caribbean Group to Sycamore Partners has officially "closed."
The line's press announcement said this reflects the start of a new beginning for Azamara as an independent brand and cruise company. In addition, the upper premium brand also announced that it plans to name its newest, fourth ship as Azamara Onward.
That vessel is the former Pacific Princess, purchased from Carnival Corporation. The handover was on March 15.
A New Beginning
“Today marks a new beginning for Azamara, as we increase our capacity and begin our journey as an independent cruise company, said Carol Cabezas, Azamara's president. "Our beautiful new ship can access smaller ports and allow us to bring our guests to even more destinations."
Cabezas also said that in selecting the ship's name, "we realized that our fourth ship marks the start of a new adventure and we chose a name that celebrates the bright future ahead for the brand, our guests, and the industry as a whole.” The name reflects the brand's journey to the next chapter. (Travel Agent recently interviewed Carol Cabezas about what guests and travel advisors can expect now that the brand is under new ownership.)
“Azamara has a bright future and is positioned to continue growing as an independent company,” added Orlando Ashford, executive chairman of Azamara.
Ashford previously served as the former president of Holland America Line, which he revitalized in many ways with new ships, the new Music Walk and dining and suite amenity updates. He held that position for five years. Recently joining Azamara, he said: "We can’t wait to welcome back our loyal customers, as well as those new to the brand, with our expanded fleet offering more unique destination Immersion programming and itineraries."
Azamara Onward will join the brand’s existing fleet consisting of Azamara Pursuit, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. All are former R-class ships of the now-defunct Renaissance Cruises and they've gained a following over the years. They've been totally refreshed and updated by Azamara.
Azamara said its newly purchased fourth vessel is currently docked in Civitavecchia and will receive an extensive renovation to reflect the Azamara brand.
Azamara Onward is scheduled to sail for its inaugural season around Europe in 2022.
Visit www.azamara.com/onward for more information.