A first look at Azamara’s newest ship, the Onward: Travel Weekly

ABOARD THE AZAMARA FORWARD — “A Brighter Future.” “New Beginnings.” A “renewed spirit”.

That’s how Rabbi Howard Apothaker described the word “forward” as he blessed the newest ship in the Azamara fleet.

The Azamara Onward, named in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on May 2, indeed enters a time of new beginnings.

As travelers and the industry try to put the worst of the pandemic behind them and move on, the Onward has become the first ship to join the Azamara fleet under the brand’s private equity ownership. by Sycamore Partners.

Previously owned by Royal Caribbean Group, the destination-focused cruise line found a new home with Sycamore in March 2021, immediately after which it acquired the 1999-built Pacific Princess from Carnival Corp. The R-class ship, now the Onward, is a sister ship to the brand’s other three ships, the Azamara Pursuit, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest.

A bartender from the Atlas bar creates a drink.

A bartender from the Atlas bar creates a drink. Photo credit: TW photo by Andrea Zelinski

During a four-day pre-launch voyage on the Onward which departed Barcelona on April 28, I learned that the Onward bears a strong resemblance to her sister ships, with almost all of the brand’s classic restaurants and spaces, this which makes it a familiar choice. for fans of R-class ships.

However, this fourth ship introduced a new addition: a new concept called Atlas Bar, in a space that doubles as a library on her sister ships, which guests often pass by when turning to digital books, Stuart Pearce said, Azamara Strategic Account Manager. for UK

Library space on Azamara’s other ships was often used for cocktail parties and business meetings, Pearce said. As Atlas Bar, the library has transformed into a hip space with bartenders serving craft drinks with complex flavor profiles and Instagram-worthy moments. For example, bartenders can add smoky flavor to drinks using a domed smoker.

The bar also serves small bites, making it a convenient stop before or after dinner. Select beverages are included in Azamara’s Ultimate Beverage Package.

A cabin on the Azamra Onward.

A cabin on the Azamra Onward. Photo credit: TW photo by Andrea Zelinski

AzAmazing parties are back

Starting in November, Azamara fans will once again be able to enjoy the line’s signature AzAmazing parties, which were put on hiatus during the pandemic.

Passengers on this sailing got a taste of what those evenings will be like in Porto Venere, Italy, during what was billed as an AzAmazing Evening Daytime event.

We arrived in Porto Venere by tender and were greeted with a blue banner urging us to “Have an AzAmazing Day”. I could hear a pianist playing soothing classical music as I admired the brick sidewalks and the skinny, colorful buildings of the small fishing village.

The tents shaded several tables of locally prepared food, including pizzas, cheeses and pastries, as well as wine, Aperol spritzes and limonata that I could take with me as I walked around.

Up the path to the Church of San Pietro, an opera singer and pianist evoked in me the same sense of awe I would feel in an opera hall, if not more watching them perform in front of walls old stone. Elsewhere, a trio of saxophonists played in a courtyard tucked between shops while I sampled pesto and shopped for linens and dishes.

It should be noted that typical AzAmazing parties are more extravagant, with sold-out concerts, light shows, or performances at local venues, such as churches.

After the event, guests could embark on excursions to Cinque Terre for wine tasting, village visits or hiking. It is in this cultural immersion that Azamara shines, offering plenty of time, including overnight stays, in ports.

The Onward will sail her inaugural season across Europe, with seven-day itineraries in Greece, 10-, 11- and 12-day sailings in Turkey and Greece and other cruises covering the Mediterranean, including Croatia, Italy. Italy and Spain.