Azamara Club Cruises’ new cruise ship Azamara Pursuit will likely be deployed on South African and Indian Ocean cruises, according to Azamara President and CEO Larry Pimentel.
In an interview with Cruise Critic, Pimentel said the new ship would give the cruise line more flexibility in cruise destination choices.
“This offers promotions for the crew, and 50 percent more product for guests. We can go places we haven’t gone and return to places we haven’t been in a long time,” he said. “We can look at hotspots, competitors’ itineraries, places where we haven’t covered well or where we’ve covered but have sold out.”
Pimentel name-dropped South Africa as being on the cruise lines radar for the new ship Azamara Pursuit.
“Expect new cruises to South America, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, more product in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe,” he said. “Over time, we’ll wander into the Pacific and find more opportunities for Asia, the Orient, and country-intensive voyages.”
With Silversea Cruises now offering cruise and rail tours in South Africa aboard the famous Rovos Rail, Pimentel also left the door open to Azamara offering similar cruise tour packages in South Africa.
“We’re also developing rail-and-sail opportunities with Rocky Mountaineer, Orient Express and others. They’ll be pre/post tours but sold as one price like cruise tours,” he said.
Azamara Pursuit, if she is deployed to South Africa, will dock in Cape Town as a fully restored cruise ship. She is due to go into dry-dock for a comprehensive refit during the middle of next year.
According to Pimentel, all of her public rooms and cabins will be stripped bare and re-furnished. “Ninety percent of the work will be in public facilities; the ship will look brand new [when the work is done].”
“We’re going to reimagine Pursuit like we did Quest and Journey last year. It’ll be like several dry docks put together [because Journey and Quest underwent several refurbishments between the time Azamara purchased them until the most recent upgrade],” he said. “We will have to reconstruct part of the ship to add Club Continent Suites.”