A refreshing change for Azamara’s twin sisters

The elegant Azamara sisters needed some love and attention to restore their ageing interiors. Jon Ingleton speaks to Francesca Bucci, Bert Van Middendorp and other members of the project team after the ships successfully re-entered service

“As we continue to evolve our ‘Destination Immersion’ offerings, we also want to ensure our onboard experience is modernised to meet guests’ every need,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, in advance of sister ships Journey and Quest entering drydock, respectively in The Bahamas in January and Singapore in April. “We really are redefining our onboard experience in every way.”

The project had been eagerly anticipated for some time and Bert Van Middendorp, AVP of hotel operations at Azamara Club Cruises, rationalised the brief: “We started planning the project 18 months before the start of the drydock with a clear vision about what we wanted to do, but the biggest challenge was to ensure that we had a decent return on investment. The original objective was to reimagine the Azamara ships. They were built in 2000 and well maintained but considering that the design planning for the original R-ships probably started in 1995, it was about time to update the 20-year old design with a fresh new look.”

“We actually started working with BG Studio in 2011 for the planning of the 2012 drydock. We selected them out of a shortlist of three companies because we felt that BG Studio better understood what we wanted to create.”

– Van Middendorp

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