Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Goldring Travel's Art (of) Whiskey and Wine Cruise - Azamara Journey (August 29 - September 8, 2011)

I have become increasingly impressed with Azamara Club Cruises and have decided be an Ensemble Travel host on Azamara Journey’s August 29, 2011 Cruise and to encourage my clients to give Azamara Club - and this particular cruise - a try.

A few years ago Azamara Cruises came into existence with a deafening silence and then a thud. It then became lost and considered – because it operates the same types of ships – to be something akin to another cruise line - but with mystery as to what the product really was. Times have changed and, so too, has the renamed Azamara Club Cruises. It now proudly boasts that its guest satisfaction ratings are extraordinarily high.

Azamara Club Cruises is its own distinct cruise experience that is a bridge between the premium and luxury cruise experience with the concept of providing a meaningfully inclusive upscale adult cruise experience with the basic “upscale” items included in the cruise fare such as gratuities (even for bar staff), wine with lunch and dinner, specialty coffees & teas, water and soft drinks and shuttles into town. This country club casual cruise line offers open-seat dining in the main dining room, two alternative restaurants (Prime C for steaks and Aqualina with a Mediterranean seafood theme) as well as the Pool Grill and Windows Café. And Azamara Club Cruises prides itself on its superior 8,000 bottle wine cellar and vintage complimentary pours. Couple the foregoing with multiple late night and overnight port stays with a focus on unique itineraries and you can understand Azamara Club Cruises’ approach.

Why this particular cruise? This cruise has some unique and interesting ports as well as highlights in various “arts”:

The Art of Irish Whiskey in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The Art of Wine in Bordeaux, France

The Art of Art in Bilbao, Spain*

*In Bilbao, Spain I will be hosting a wonderful and complimentary Ensemble Experience where we will visit the world famous Guggenheim Museum as well as other art treasures and enjoy a nice Spanish lunch. (I am sure I will find some special things to do along the way…as I do…dealing with, say, Whiskey and Wine!)

Combine those with port calls in Holyhead, Wales (with its seabird watching, rugged seacoast and picturesque setting), Gijon, Spain (a 3,000 year old fishing village, rural northern Spain and beaches), Vigo, Spain (for a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostello) and Lisbon, Portugal and you have a great cross-section of one of the lesser visited and extremely diverse ports of Europe.

Mon, Aug 29 Dublin, Ireland - Depart 11:59 PM – Late NightTue, Aug 30 Holyhead, Wales - Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 7:00 PM
Wed, Aug 31 Cork (Cobh), Ireland - Docked Arrive 9:00 AM Depart 7:00 PM
Thu, Sep 01 At Sea
Fri, Sep 02 Bordeaux, France - Docked Arrive 12:00 PM - Overnight
Sat, Sep 03 Bordeaux, France - Docked Depart 6:00 PM
Sun, Sep 04 Bilbao, Spain - Docked Arrive 12:00 PM Depart 7:00 PM
Mon, Sep 05 Gijon, Spain - Docked Arrive 7:00 AM Depart 2:00 PM
Tue, Sep 06 Vigo, Spain - Docked Arrive 10:00 AM Depart 7:00 PM
Wed, Sep 07 Lisbon, Portugal - Docked Arrive 2:00 PM - Overnight
Thu, Sep 08 Lisbon, Portugal - Disembark

What also makes this an attractive ten day cruise is its value. You can sail in an Oceanview Stateroom for as little as $3,400 per person including all fees, taxes and gratuities and most drinks. Moving up to a Veranda Stateroom and it will be approximately $4,100 per person and a Club Continent Suite (266 square feet with a 60 square foot veranda) is about $5,200 per person. Of course the upper suites are also available.

If you are interested, please email me at eric@goldringtravel.com  or call me at (877) 2GO-LUXURY or internationally on +1 732 383-7398 or UK on +44 20 8133 3450 or Australia on +61 7 3102 4685.