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LUXURY CRUISING


Having never been to Spain’s Costa


Verde, I was eager to make the most of my time in the northern city of Gijón. The Concierge persuaded me to take a 4½- hour trip to Oviedo and San Julian de Los Prados. However, I would have appreciated more time at Oviedo’s San Salvador Gothic Cathedral, also known as Sancta Ovetensis, which was begun in 1388 and contains the royal Asturian tombs. There was no question of what to do in


Vigo, though; I was heading for Santiago de Compostela and its venerable 11th century cathedral as I had been assured by knowledgeable Cruise Director Tony Markey that, during the ship’s tour, four friars would swing the ceremonial ‘Botafumeiro’ incense burner – a spectacle I had missed on a previous visit. I was not disappointed.


so they could all hear about enhancements straight from the ‘horse’s mouth.’ Passengers were delighted


when he announced there would be two President’s Cruises in 2012, a 17-night Indonesia and Philippines


The Discoverers’ Monument and the


Belém Tower that stand sentinel along the Tagus River heralded our arrival into majestic Lisbon, where we had the indulgence of another overnight stay. Built on seven hills, the Portuguese capital is a city of elegant boulevards and we ambled around the Baixa district, with its inviting shops, cafés and restaurants before taking the century-old Elevador do Carmo to Bairro Alto.


narrow, twisting streets, crowned by the 12th


B AZAMARA JOURNEY FACTFILE


Maiden voyage: 2000, refurbished 2007 Tonnage: 30,277 Length: 592ft Beam: 84ft Draft: 20ft


Speed: 18.5 knots Passengers: 694 Crew: 408


Passenger decks: 9 Registry: Malta


ITINERARIES: winter 2011/12, South America, Caribbean; spring, Transatlantic, Northern Europe; summer, N Europe and Mediterranean; autumn, Med and Middle East; winter 2012/13, Indian Ocean and Far East.


MORE INFO: in the UK, call 0844 493 4016 or visit www.azamaraclubcruises. co.uk; in the US, 1877 999 9553 or www.azamaraclubcruises.com.


y way of contrast, in the evening we set off for the Moorish medieval Alfama District, a labyrinth of


century Castelo de São Jorge. Speaking to Pimentel again midway through the cruise, he was concerned that not all passengers had managed to speak with him, so he arranged a Q&A session in the Looking Glass Lounge one afternoon


voyage on Azamara Quest in March as well as a 10-night Red Sea Voyage aboard Azamara Journey in November. During dinner one evening in the


recherché surroundings of Prime C as we tucked into the most succulent of filet mignons, Larry confided that the major growth market for his cruise line was the UK. He was delighted to report that, after only two years in his new job, he has increased the British passenger demographic to 25 per cent. There’s no doubt that, under Larry’s command, Azamara Club Cruises melds a seaborne experience high on the luxury quotient with the allure of the destination. Some cruise lines often pile on features all in the name of one-upmanship; Azamara continues to sail smoothly with its emphasis firmly on the tenet that less is truly more. 


86 WORLD OF CRUISING I Winter 2011-12


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