Azamara Club Cruises recently put its intimate Azamara Journey through an extensive refit, and we’ve done the same with our Azamara Journey Ship Review, adding new photographs and content from contributor Sue Bryant’s recent peek at the refitted ship.
Azamara Journey is the kind of intimate, midsize ship you hardly see anymore in the cruise world, carrying just 694 passengers in a cozy, comfortable, traditional setting. You won’t find any big, flashy waterslides or other theme-park-style attractions here, and that’s really the point: On Azamara Journey, cruises are all about relaxing, socializing, and seeing the world. It’s like spending a week or two at your own little floating country club, where you’re always bound to bump into someone you know.
She was built in 2000 along with her sister, Azamara Quest. Both ships have had extensive refits over their service careers that have left these intimate vessels sparkling and fresh; in fact, few cruisers will likely be able to tell that these ships are nearing two decades in service. Azamara Journey began life as R6 for now-defunct Renaissance Cruises, and was originally planned to enter service for Celebrity Cruises until Royal Caribbean decided to spin these unique vessels off as the launch ships for Azamara.
Since then, Azamara has been steadily fine-tuning its cruise product based on feedback from their guests. A few years back, the line repainted the formerly all-white ships with an attractive black paint scheme that left Azamara Journey looking even better than she did when she still sailed as R6. Adjustments were made to the ship’s interior spaces to make them more unique, and to better differentiate the Azamara onboard product from competing lines like Oceania Cruises that also uses several of the former R-Class ships that were scattered around the globe when Renaissance folded in September of 2001.
The results are dramatic: Azamara Journey is now more unique than ever. Sailing itineraries that feature an abundance of ports that include overnight stays for extended explorations ashore, Azamara Journey can be found cruising nearly every corner of the world, from Asia to the Pacific Coast, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, and — of course — the sun-splashed Mediterranean, where she makes the better part of her year.