Azamara Club Cruises takes you deeper, off the beaten path, into the cities you want to explore. You are sure to be fully immersed both in the famous destinations and the hidden gems within these cities. The best part is the way in which you get to these magnificent explorations – via a floating hotel with entertainment and fine dining to allow you to unwind in between each port.
Tell us about the cities you visited.
Our ship provided courtesy shuttles directly to the city center for easy walking and self exploration. Traditional cobbled, winding streets filled with shops, cafes, restaurants, cathedrals, churches and museums were just some of the many explorations along the way. Bordeaux and Porto are river front cities, used by Viking, AmaWaterways and Scenic for their French or Douro river cruises.
What shore excursions did you go on?
- Bilbao-Guggenheim Museum and City Tour
- Bilbao-AzAmazing Evening Event
- Basque Music Concert & Dancing at Chocolate Box Theater
- Lisbon-Sintra/Cascais located 30 miles outside of the city.
Sintra is a mountaintop with a famous palace city center. Cascais is oceanside with fabulous beaches and famous black and white tiled streets. All other cities we traveled independently on walking style tours.
Did you do any pre/post activities?
Pre-cruise we went to the Beaumont Hotel. This hotel is in an excellent location with outstanding service and is newly built – designed to look like 920’s Art Deco.
What are your top 3 pieces of advice for someone going on a similar trip?
- Be ready for potentially rouch seas in Bay of Biscay.
- Enjoy all the local wines served on board (included with Azamara).
- Allow extra time in Lisbon (pre or post) as there are many sights and dining options not to be missed.
What did you like most about the cruise line?
I enjoy the small ship size, outstanding service and attention to details from the staff, inclusion of drinks and gratuities, and complimentary AzAmazing Evening Event.
What are 3 things one can expect from this cruise line?
- Friendly staff, anxious to help in any way
- Nice array of shore tour options at a reasonable cost
- Limited (if any) children – there are no facilities on board for kids
Did you do any shopping or specialty dining on board?
Yes! Azamara offers traditional jewelry and other merchandise on board that I took advantage of. As well as I enjoyed the delicious food at Prime C & Aqualina.
If you were to plan this trip again, would you do anything differently?
I would not take an ocean cruise to this area. We had rough seas almost every day. Two ports were cancelled due to high winds and 12-foot swells. Bayonne was the substitute port, a city accessed by a canal (from the ocean) creating a “safe harbor” for the ship and a break from the wild weather for the passengers!