Creative Cruising’s Sales and Marketing Executive Viktoryia Shliazhko (aka Vik) recently cruised the Mediterranean for 7 nights with Azamara as part of an industry famil. But we’re not jealous at all. Here’s Vik’s top tips from her experience.

Like her sister ship, the Azamara Journey is a mid-sized beauty and max of 700 fellow passengers with a deck plan well-suited to the needs of modern voyagers.

I began my journey in dynamic Barcelona, a cosmopolitan masterpiece with a history rich in art and architecture. What a city to start this glorious cruise from!

From there it was off to Port Vendres to check out charming red roofs and stone buildings before setting sail for Sete. We stayed late so there was plenty of time to take in the great medieval walled city of Carcassonne.

Next, it was off for another late stay in Marseilles, where we visited Vieux Port, the lively fishing harbour; Le Panier, one of the oldest and most stroll-worthy neighbourhoods and the vibrant North African souks and shops in the Capucin district.

Marseille. Credit: Emily Torning, Creative Cruising

Yet another late stay awaited us in St. Tropez (could have stayed there forever!), where we joined other jet setters on one of the fabulous beaches, some of which are clothing optional! What a place!

We spent a final night in Nice indulging at Fennochios, a world-famous ice cream and sorbet shop, before ending our journey in the intriguing fortress city of Calvi, Corsica, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.

 

My Highlights

Photography credit: Emily Torning, Creative Cruising

  • Small ship cruising is phenomenal and I can’t recommend it more! Small ships mean portside docking at almost every port which is lovely.
  • The destination immersion is fantastic – unpack once and sleep while you travel from port to port – saving you time.
  • White night – an experience not to be missed. A ship-wide conga line, speciality destination influenced food and cocktails as well as freshly caught 3 metre long swordfish and tuna fish!
  • Return to the ship at any time – when you overnight in port you can come back at any time without the worry of missing the ship which makes for stress-free night outs.
  • The Chefs Table – a must-do – I couldn’t recommend anything more!  For a truly authentic cultural food and wine pairing experience, you can choose a French-inspired menu to discover all of the fine French culinary surprises. Did someone say escargot?

 

My Top Tips

  • Don’t worry about clean clothes – there is a self-service laundry on-board with plenty of washing machines, dryers and a couple of irons to use.
  • The gym has the most updated machines and is free to use up to 10 pm. Various exercise classes are also held during the course of the voyage. If a session is filled then there will be another arranged to accommodate anyone interested.
  • You can make any area of the ship your gathering/frequenting venue as all the staff will assist you with rearranging furniture and ensure your drink and snack needs are always tended to, no comprising on space and location – very important.
  • Feel free to order anything from the buffet to your room if you are feeling lazy or just want to enjoy the view of the port. Being a small ship you are not waiting for room service longer than 10 minutes.
  • You can bring two bottles of alcohol on board – so if you were like us sailing the South of France – you’re free to bring your Reims Champagne on-board as you wish.
  • Tendering – the shock horror to big ship cruisers – we only had to tender in 2 out of 8 ports! With 700 guests max onboard, there was no delays or waiting lines when you wanted to get off/on the ship.

 

THE FACTS

Azamara-cruises

  • Ship: The Azamara Journey
  • Sailing: 7 x nights
  • Destination: Barcelona – Monte Carlo
  • Itinerary: France Intensive
  • How much? Price start from $3,305 per person
  • Find out more: Creative Cruising