Boutique cruise line Azamara Club Cruises has announced that its new ship, Azamara Pursuit, will be refitted in the UK as it prepares to go into wet dock in Belfast in spring 2018.
In addition, the cruise line has announced that the ship’s maiden voyage will now begin in Southampton, and that its first four voyages will touch the UK.
This comes after the news that Azamara Pursuit will be christened in Southampton, and shows Azamara’s commitment to strengthening its UK ties.
Larry Pimentel, president, Azamara Club Cruises, said: “We’ve seen unprecedented support from the UK market for Azamara Pursuit, so we are delighted to be able to show our recognition of this by allowing its transformational journey to take place here.
“We’ve seen double the UK demand for Azamara Pursuit than we usually see for its sister ships, so this is a really exciting time for us as a brand.”
He continued: “The maiden voyage will depart from Southampton and provide travellers with the opportunity to enjoy a country-intensive voyage to Norway, visiting eight destinations in the Scandinanvian country.
“We launched our country-intensive series last year as an opportunity for guests to explore countries on a more in-depth level, which is part of our commitment to Destination Immersion.”
Azamara Pursuit will join the line’s existing two-ship fleet in August 2018, after being transformed to be almost identical to its sister ships Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey.
Out-fitting specialist MJM Group will manage the entire refit project which will take place at the iconic Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.
Work will begin in spring 2018 and will be completed by the end of July.
This is the first time that Royal Caribbean Cruises, owner of the Azamara brand, has chosen a UK ship yard for such a project.
The maiden voyage will depart Southampton on August 1st and travel to eight Norwegian destinations, including Kristiansand, Flam and Haugesund, with overnight stays in Oslo and Bergen.
Azamara Pursuit’s sister ship, Azamara Journey, will dock in Haugesund on the same day, marking their first meeting.