One month ago, we christened our newest ship, Azamara Onward, and set sail on a whole new adventure. Travelers from around the world joined us for her Maiden Voyage through the Mediterranean to explore cities and cultures, sample fresh, fantastic flavors, and celebrate a return to the seas. It was a special journey, and we want to share its highlights with you (and give you a peek at where Azamara Onward is heading next).
A Celebration to Remember
Azamara Onward’s christening was a remarkable day for all of us here at Azamara — one full of spectacle and ceremony. There were aerobatic performers, stilt walkers, fire jugglers, entertainment, and musical numbers. We were treated to a performance by the Children’s Choir of Nice, and a beautiful take on Imagine by our crew (Cruise Director Eric De Gray even joined in!).
Azamara Onward was blessed by a rabbi and priest, whose words touched our hearts. There were speeches from Azamara President Carol Cabezas, and Azamara Onward’s Godmother Beth Santos. Beth named Azamara Onward and wished a blessing on her and all who sail on her in the future. Captain Carl then spoke, and he explained the maritime tradition of a ship christening. For as long as there have been ships, there have been ship christenings, and while the ceremony has evolved over the years, the intention of the act has always remained the same. A christening is believed to bring both good luck and safe travel.
From there, it was time for the big moment! Using giant ceremonial scissors, hand-signed by all eight of Azamara’s masters, the ribbon was cut to release the champagne bottle to christen the ship. And, good news, the champagne bottle popped. Of course, it’s considered bad luck if the bottle doesn’t pop, but we never had any doubts!
Check out some fantastic highlights from the ceremony in the video below.
The Maiden Voyage
We wanted Azamara Onward’s Maiden Voyage to be full of memorable moments and ports, and the journey certainly did not disappoint. After leaving Monte Carlo, Azamara Onward made her way to Livorno, Italy, for an overnight stay. Guests traveled to Florence and Pisa while here to explore the Cradle of the Renaissance and see some of Italy’s well-known sights.
Next, it was off to Rome for a day basking in the beauty of one of the world’s most iconic cities. Then, on an overnight in Naples, guests indulged in a thriving gastronomy scene in the shadow of the fabled Mount Vesuvius. The medieval majesty of Kotor, Montenegro followed, then the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik, Croatia. We then returned to Italy’s captivating shores with a stop in Ancona before capping off Azamara Onward’s Maiden Voyage in Ravenna, “The Mosaic City” known for its beautiful churches and artwork described as a “symphony of color”.
Along the way, guests enjoyed Azamara’s signature AzAmazing Evening and White Night Party. They also spent time in our newest onboard venue, Atlas Bar. An exclusive venue only aboard Azamara Onward, Atlas Bar is a unique concept. It offers artisanal cocktails created using the latest one-of-a-kind techniques. To go with the delicious drinks, guests chose from an exotic menu of small plates, both hot and cold. Each plate was prepared using premium ingredients and served with a fantastic flourish of panache.
We look forward to raising a glass and toasting another incredible journey at Atlas Bar again soon.
Azamara Onward to the Future
With an incredible first sailing in the books, it’s time to look forward to where Azamara Onward is headed next. And there’s no doubt about it, the future is looking bright! Through mid-November, Azamara Onward will continue exploring the jewels of the Mediterranean. She’ll take intensive voyages to Croatia, France, Italy, and more. In addition, we’ll explore Greece and Turkey and embark on a 15-night exploration of pharaohs, kings, and emperors. It’s undoubtedly going to be a summer and fall to remember.
When November rolls around, Azamara Onward will be making her first transatlantic voyage from Lisbon to Miami. Then, she’ll sail the breathtaking waters of the Caribbean, making stops along the pink sands and turquoise waters of Hamilton, Bermuda, in the colorful walled city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the picturesque paradise of Nassau, Bahamas, and Tortola, British Virgin Islands — an outdoor lover’s dream, complete with fantastic hiking trails that reward with lush, unforgettable views. Throughout the Caribbean, Azamara Onward will showcase a world where old meets new, East meets West, and where vibrant cultures and a zest for life are always center stage.
We’re sailing in warm weather for the remainder of winter, 2023, as Azamara Onward makes her way to Central and South America for the first time. We’ll explore the sprawling and sophisticated metropolis of Lima, Peru, the bustling charm of Belize City, Belize, and the artistic and commercial heart of Ecuador, Guayaquil. We’ll also get away from the hustle of city life with stops through the Canary Islands, including the ports of Gran Canaria, San Sebastian de la Gomera, and Santa Cruz de la Palma.
Rounding out Azamara Onward’s first year on the waters, she’ll return to Northern and Western Europe in March. From the stunning architecture of Barcelona, Spain, to the world-famous and wondrous South of France, Azamara Onward will take you to legendary locals, offering opportunities to explore in a whole new light.
The Time Has Come to Sail Onward
With a successful christening and unforgettable first sail behind us and open waters ahead, now is the time to experience Azamara Onward for yourself. Start planning your Azamara Onward cruise today.
We look forward to seeing you aboard Azamara Onward in the near future.
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