It might not be beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but with the year halfway over, it certainly is the time to start thinking about how you plan to spend the holiday season. On the one hand, you could have the hustle and bustle of big family gatherings, worrying if there’s enough food to feed everyone, and hoping the gifts are wrapped in time. On the other hand, you have the open seas, attentive staff taking care of your every need, and destinations that can’t be wrapped — they must be experienced.
If you’re thinking about giving the gift of an Azamara cruise this holiday season, we’re here to help! Check out where our ships will be sailing around the holidays and a few exciting ways you can spend the season with us.
In Pursuit of the Perfect Holiday Season
This holiday season, Azamara Pursuit will find herself exploring the sensational South American countries of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil on a 14-night cruise. We’ll kick things off in Rio de Janeiro — The Marvelous City — where you can spend your day exploring the summit of Sugarloaf or relaxing on one of the city’s 23 beaches with a caipirinha in your hand. We’ll depart from Rio in the early evening for a day at sea before arriving in Punta del Este, Uruguay. This seaside resort town will delight art lovers, especially when visiting the Brava Beach open-air sculpture park. Here, you’ll catch a glimpse of the iconic La Mano by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal. Resembling a giant hand emerging from the sands, you’ll want to ensure your camera is ready when you visit.
If you’re hoping to see more of Punta Del Esta — and get a little exercise while you’re at it — join us on a bike tour to take in La Candelaria, the Four Seas point, Punta Salina, and more. There’s no better way to see the beauty of this glamorous destination. Plus, the relatively flat landscape means pedaling around town is a breeze.
From here, Azamara Pursuit will make its way to beautiful Buenos Aires. Lovingly referred to as The Paris of South America, this city may exude echoes of European grandeur, but it’s a distinct metropolis in its own right, with truly unmistakable energy. Here, tour the city’s famous markets with an expert guide or dive into an excellent culinary tour. Dance lovers can learn to tango, and history buffs can take a driving tour through the architecture and cultural heritage of the city. And, of course, no trip to Buenos Aires is complete without sampling a famed Argentine steak.
Next, you’ll overnight in Montevideo, meaning it’s a perfect opportunity to stroll through the Old Town of Uruguay’s capital city. Montevideo’s Old Town dates back to the 1700s and is lined with captivating colonial homes, one-of-a-kind shops, and sidewalk cafes to stop and watch the world pass by. Elsewhere, foodies can partake in a special cooking class (with wine, of course), and if you prefer to sample the food than cook it, join us at a local ranch for a barbecue lunch.
Christmas Eve and Day follow, and you’ll spend this time at sea completely unwinding. Enjoy feasts, parties, and the gift of not having to lift a finger for two unbelievable days before arriving along Brazil’s Costa Verde for stops in Sao Paulo, Ilhabela, and Parati. Finally, we’ll conclude where we began, in Rio, refreshed and ready for whatever adventure comes next.
A Journey Through South Africa
While Azamara Pursuit sails South America, Azamara Journey will tour South Africa this holiday season on a 14-night country-intensive voyage. You’ll begin in Cape Town, where stunning mountainscapes make for picturesque views. Sample flavors from world-renowned restaurants, explore the city’s fascinating history, and don’t worry if you don’t get to everything on your must-see list — we’ll be back here soon enough! Until then, it’s off for a relaxing day at sea, where you can sit poolside, treat yourself at Sanctum Spa, or take in a show.
Before you know it, you’ll be in Port Elizabeth for an overnight stay. Known as “The Friendly City”, Port Elizabeth lives up to its name with spirited locals showing lots of love for their community. Traverse the city’s artistic side on an art tour, walk the Donkin Heritage Trail for a look at the city’s history, or come face-to-trunk with the Addo Elephants at their 126,000-acre sanctuary.
We’ll spend Christmas Eve in the charming town of East London before celebrating Christmas Day at sea. There will be food and festivities, and all you’ll have to do is enjoy — what a gift! The next day, you’ll momentarily wave bon voyage to South Africa for a stop in Maputo, Mozambique, where Portuguese colonial-era architecture is on full display. Be sure to stop by Maputo Central Market for a souvenir of your journey.
Richards Bay is next on the agenda, and there’s no better place to experience South Africa’s rugged coastline. There’s also no better opportunity to see a white rhino than visiting Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park on safari. After all, this is the home of the most prominent white rhino population on Earth. You can also snorkel at Cape Vidal, tour Simangaliso Wetland Park by boat, or simply relax in the warm waters of Alkantstrand beach.
After another overnight stay in Durban, where you can take a helicopter journey to dine on a mountaintop or visit the legendary Victoria Falls, you’ll return to Cape Town just in time to ring in the New Year. And with three nights here, there will be plenty of time to visit Table Mountain National Park, explore Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, embark on a delicious wine tasting journey in Stellenbosch, and more.
Take a Quest Down Under
Things begin in magical Perth, a city that has undergone an incredible transformation over the years. Once an afterthought, the city is now on the cutting edge of Australia’s art scene. Of course, its miles of breathtaking beaches also go a long way in making the “City of the Future” a place you’ll want to be present in. From the city to the country, your next stop is Margaret River. If this name rings a bell for wine lovers, it’s because this is one of Australia’s most renowned wine regions. Here, you’ll find over 200 vineyards, with opportunities to visit some local favorites on two unique shore excursions. The days leading up the Christmas will see you in Albany, where you can dive into the region’s whaling past and visit Torndirrup National Park. Then it’s a stop in Esperance, where you’ll be captivated by Cape Le Grand.
Christmas Day, you’ll be at sea as we prepare the feasts and festivities. Then, we’ll do it all again on December 26th — nothing is better than the gift of relaxation.
Of course, plenty of gifts are still waiting on this Australia cruise! Next is a late-night stay in Adelaide, where you can discover the Australian wilds or uncover the city’s historical side. You’ll hop over to Kangaroo Island (see what we did there?) — a place that truly lives up to its name and then some. Get the complete picture of this island when you’re here — it’s an experience you’ll remember forever.
Speaking of living up to the name, we’ll arrive in Eden after another day at sea. Set on Twofold Bay, Eden is all charm, mixed with a touch of gripping natural surroundings. Eager adventurers can visit Ben Boyd National Park. At the same time, photography lovers will enjoy the Eden Through Your Camera Lens shore excursion.
With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, Azamara Quest will arrive in Sydney to ring in the festivities. Sydney is well known for its New Year’s celebrations. You can expect to see everything from aerial displays to traditional aboriginal ceremonies and, of course, a fireworks display over Sydney Harbour and its Opera House that rivals any other on Earth. And because you’ll be here for two nights, that means plenty of time to venture out, or kick back and relax on Bondi Beach before we depart for Melbourne, Australia’s culture capital.
Onward to the Caribbean
The newest of our four ships, Azamara Onward, will be spending her first holiday season with us (and you) on a 14-Night Caribbean Holiday Voyage that kicks off in Miami before heading to Florida’s “Sunshine City”, Key West. Here, you can follow in the footsteps of Hemmingway and even visit his house, where several polydactyl cats — descendants of the writer’s original feline friends — still live. Key West is also the home of Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, where more than 50 different species of butterflies live in a climate-controlled environment.
From here, spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at sea while we prepare delicious food and fun for the special days. Indulge in Italian cuisine at Aqualina or cut into a classic steak at Prime C before enjoying some evening entertainment in the Cabaret Lounge. After Christmas, it’s off to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, for amazing eco-adventures in the Veragua Rainforest Park, Tortuguero National Park, and Cahuita National Park. Colón, Panama, follows— and if you’re a bird lover, this is the place for you. Make your way to Achiote Road to see some of the 300 species of birds that call the area home, including toucans, trogons, and flycatchers.
You can explore the walled Old Town of Cartagena, Columbia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then island-hop through Aruba and Curaçao. You’ll ring in the New Year on board before arriving on January 2nd in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic — not a bad place to start off 2023! Nassau, Bahamas, is next, where you can stroll endless white-sand beaches, swim in warm turquoise waters, and embrace paradise. You’ll then return to Miami, ready for a new year and new adventures.
Secure Your Spot on the Nice List This Holiday Season
When the presents are unwrapped, and the decorations come down, it’s the experiences of the holidays that stick with you. The moments shared with family members and friends, new and old alike. Make this holiday season one to remember with some help from Azamara.
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