UK based Cruise & Maritime Voyages has been very quick to release the hugely anticipated 2015 for their recently chartered Azores. The 16,000 ton, 550 passenger ship, owned by Portuscale Cruises, has been lined up as the 2015 replacement for the veteran, 1972 built Discovery. While the latter is facing a far from certain fate, it seems that the Azores- built in 1948 as the Stockholm- is almost indestructible.
Some twenty-one sailings in all are on offer between January 26th and August 28th, varying in length from a one night repositioning cruise between Hull and Tilbury, to an epic, thirty night round trip from Avonmouth, Bristol, to the Caribbean. This itinerary visits no less than ten of the most stellar ports of call in the West Indies, as well as featuring no less than eighteen sea days on the outward and return legs of the voyage. Fares begin at £3,659 per person in a standard inside cabin. A single inside cabin is on offer at £3,779.
Other highlights of the programme include a pair of cruises to see the highlights of the Northern Lights, as well as cruises to the Baltic, the Norwegian Fjords, and a pair of round Britain cruises.
Especially attractive is an eight night, August 8th sailing that includes three full days at the port of Leith, allowing passengers to see and experience the very best of the Edinburgh Festival. This cruise also serves up a trio of calls at famous northern isles such as Torshavn, Lerwick in the Shetlands, and Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands.
In line with CMV sailings in the past, the Azores will be sailing from a series of regional ports. So far announced are departures to and from Bristol, Hull and Tilbury.
All told, the 2015 Azores cruise schedule introduces some real diversity into a programme of no fly, dedicated ex-UK cruises, as well as showcasing a new, classically styled contender into the market. Overnight calls at ports such as Rouen, Amsterdam and pretty little Honfleur acknowledge the increasing desire from passengers for more time in certain cities.
There is also a tendency towards longer sailings for this first season; no less than eleven of the cruises are in excess of ten days duration. Apart from the solitary overnight mini cruise on offer on July 17th, the shortest itinerary in the Azores programme for 2015 is a six night, Norwegian Fjords sailing, round trip from Tilbury, on August 28th.
As always, stay tuned.