Review: Azamara Pursuit crusie ship

Editors rating:

Azamara Pursuit cruise ship facts

  • 702 guests
  • 408 crew
  • 2001 launched
  • 2021 refurbished

Azamara Pursuit has overnight stays in port and exceptional shore excursions. What’s more, this small cruise ship has five restaurants and a friendly on board atmosphere, making Azamara Pursuit an excellent choice.

Review: Azamara Pursuit crusie ship

Editors rating:
By Published On: 21 Apr 2024

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Azamara Pursuit is a luxurious, small cruise ship with a strong focus on destination immersion. In fact, most voyages include overnights in port so you can explore more. On board there is very good food as well as a wide choice of accommodation.

We rate Azamara Pursuit highly for its itineraries. Of course these include iconic ports-of-call, but what shines are the hideaway locales; places the big ships can’t reach. Azamara Pursuit takes full advantage of this with exclusive shore-side experiences, including small-group tours and special events.


  • Outstanding shore excursions.
  • Overnight stays in port.
  • Very good food.


  • Small staterooms.

Azamara Pursuit FAQs

Azamara Pursuit is regarded as a luxury cruise ship. It has enjoyable cuisine and premium, resort-style amenities.

There are no formal nights on Azamara cruise ships.

Most of the guests on Azamara Pursuit are aged from 35 to 75-years old.

Non-alcoholic and a limited selection of alcoholic beverages are included. Top-shelf wines and spirits cost extra.

Yes, gratuities are included in your cruise fare.

Our review ratings

Service efficiency
Problem solving
Language skills

Azamara Pursuit deck plan

The Azamara Pursuit deck plan is easy to get around. There are a total of 8 passenger decks, the highest of which is deck 11.

  • Reception: Deck 4
  • Accommodation: Decks 4 to 9
  • Main dining room: Deck 5
  • Theatre: Deck 5
  • Observation lounge: Deck 10

About Azamara Pursuit

Azamara Pursuit is known as an R-class cruise ship. The 180 m. / 593 ft. long vessel was constructed in France in 2001, the last in a fleet of eight vessels for Renaissance Cruises. The the ill-fated company ceased operations that same year. The vessel then entered service for various other cruise lines before being acquired by Azamara Club Cruises (as the cruise line was then known) in 2018.

The Grand Staircase on the Azamara Pursuit cruise ship.
Azamara Pursuit’s Grand Staircase.

The 702-guest Azamara Pursuit had a substantial refit before setting sail on its inaugural Azamara voyage. The decor is modern and smart, yet it retains a classic elegance. It’s worth noting that some public areas (like the boutiques) have been updated more recently.

Food on Azamara Pursuit

The food on Azamara Pursuit is generally very good; and what’s more, there are five restaurants to choose from, including two speciality venues.

Prime C is one of the restaurants on Azamara Pursuit.
The Prime C Restaurant on Azamara Pursuit.

One of those is the Prime C steakhouse. We rate it as the best restaurant on board. It serves delicious dishes like Chateaubriand and Duck Leg Confit. The other specialty venue is the Italian-inspired Aqualina. It serves a tasty Lobster Tail with Squid Ink Pasta, Shrimp, Calamari & Scallop in Light Garlic-Lemon Jus.

The Discoveries restaurant is the main dining room. On our voyage we enjoyed an excellent Mushroom & Sausage Stuffed Quail, not to mention a delectable Fig Almond Olive Oil Cake.

There is poolside al fresco dining at The Patio; it’s a casual affair with a menu to match. The Windows Cafe has a classic buffet with indoor seating, or tables outside on the aft-facing terrace. It’s a lovely venue, but it has to be said the food was sometimes underwhelming.

Light bites are served in the popular Mosaic Cafe on deck 5. 

Nightlife on an Azamara Pursuit cruise

The Azamara Pursuit nightlife is curated for small-ship cruising. The entertainment experience is intimate and the bars are much more convivial than you might find on larger vessels.

The Spirits bar on Azamara Pursuit.
Soak up the ambiance at the Spirits bar.

Indeed, we especially enjoyed the resident pianist in the Spirits bar on deck 5. He was enormously popular, drawing a crowd most nights.

The entertainment on Azamara Pursuit happens in the bars and show lounges.
The cast perform in the Cabaret Lounge.

Down the hall there were production shows in the Cabaret Lounge. Though on our review voyage these were unimpressive, in spite of the talent of some cast members.

A three-piece band and vocalist also perform sets in The Living Room on deck 10. You can request songs, or just settle in and enjoy the sets.

The Azamara Pursuit nightclub opens late in the evening with a D.J. who plays until the small hours.

Azamara Pursuit staterooms and suites

All the staterooms and suites on Azamara Pursuit were refurbished in 2018.

There are a relatively small number of inexpensive Interior Staterooms; these do not have a window. On the other hand, Ocean View Staterooms have a porthole or picture window; but it’s worth noting that the view can be obstructed by lifeboats.

An Azamara Pursuit Veranda Stateroom.
The Veranda Stateroom is bright and airy.

Most guests stay in Veranda Staterooms. They are modest in size, but stylish and comfortable with a roomy veranda. Some guests might find the bathrooms to be a tight squeeze.

You can also upgrade to a Veranda Plus Stateroom. The room itself is identical, but you get perks like complimentary internet, laundry, in-room spirits and specialty dining. Also included is priority embarkation and disembarkation.

On Azamara Pursuit there are larger rooms, like this Continent Suite.
The Continent Suite has more space and a bigger veranda.

However, luxury cruisers will surely prefer one of the suites on Azamara Pursuit. There are spacious Continent Suites which have a designer bathroom and a big veranda. There are also suites with separate bedrooms and gracious living spaces. These include the Spa Suites, Ocean Suites and Owner’s Suites.

The Azamara Pursuit has large Ocean Suites like this one with a separate living room.
Ocean Suites have a separate living room.

What’s more, all suite guests enjoy personal butler service. These butlers can make restaurant reservations, book shore excursions, serve afternoon canapés, or even pack luggage.

Azamara Pursuit shore excursions

Destination experiences are what set Azamara Cruises apart. Indeed, the expertly curated shore excursions on Azamara Pursuit can be outstanding. The best of them are small-group explorations. These are tailored to give you a genuine experience of the local culture.

Guests from Azamara Pursuit enjoy a bike ride in France.
Enjoy small-group shore excursiion like this bike tour in France.

There are hiking adventures in Greece, guided tours of religious sites and chef’s market trips, just to name a few. On our review voyage we bicycled around Île de Ré off the west coast of France. Known for its salt marshes, beaches and oyster farms, we stopped along the way to sample local produce. It was an exceptional travel experience made more so by our expert local guide.

Fitness and recreation

The refreshing Azamara Pursuit swimming pool is perfect for a dip. It is surrounded by sun loungers as well as shaded alcoves.

The swimming pool on Azamara Pursuit.
Sun loungers surround the refreshing swimming pool.

The ship also has an unexpectedly large gym with free weights and exercise machines. Instructors host regular fitness classes; check the daily Insider newsletter for details.

The gym on Azamara Pursuit.
The gym has free weights and fitness machines.
The jogging track has views of the Azamara Pursuit swimming pool.
Enjoy the jogging track on Azamara Pursuit.

There is a jogging track as well as shuffleboard on the upper decks.

Meanwhile, relaxation awaits in the Sanctum Spa with a wide range of health and beauty services for both ladies and gentlemen.

Azamara Pursuit activities

Azamara Pursuit has a surprisingly large array of activities for a ship of its size. The White Night party is probably the most popular of these. Everybody wears white and enjoys an evening of food and entertainment on the pool deck.

The AzAmazing Evening is not to be missed either. It is a free, signature shore-side event designed to immerse you in a night of local culture.

The Azamara Pursuit boutique.
Indulge in retail therapy in the on board shops.

Azamara Pursuit also has all the usual shipboard activities including lectures from guest speakers, bridge, trivia, wellness seminars, ping pong and darts. There are boutiques for shopping, as well as dance classes, a free Captains Welcome Toast, a Top Cruiser Event, jewellery making classes, fashion shows and get-togethers for solo cruisers, friends of Bill W and Dorothy.

All activities are posted in the Insider newsletter.

What’s included on Azamara Pursuit

An Azamara Pursuit cruise fare includes more than you might expect. Gratuities are included and so too are most meals, as well as a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Also included in the cruise fare are signature events like the White Night party and AzAmazing Evening.

A free shuttle bus service between the port and downtown is often provided.

Back on board a free self-service laundry is also available.

Specialty dining and internet access is included too, but only for those guests staying in a Veranda Plus Stateroom or Suite. Other guests pay extra.

It’s worth noting that premium beverage packages are also available for purchase. These packages let you enjoy a wider selection of alcoholic drinks.

The Azamara Pursuit dress code

Azamara Pursuit has a smart-casual dress code. During the day guests wear shorts, jeans and T-shirts. Although tank tops, bathing suits, shorts, torn/distressed jeans or baseball caps can’t be worn in any of the restaurants.

In the evening most guests on Azamara Pursuit dress more smartly; usually slacks and a shirt for men. While women wear slacks or a skirt, and a blouse.

There are no formal nights on Azamara Pursuit.

Who sails on Azamara Pursuit?

Azamara Pursuit has a mix of new-to-cruise and return guests. Most of them are aged from 35 to 75-years old. Indeed, Azamara Pursuit is not child-friendly; there are no activities for kids.

The majority of guests come from the USA, but there are usually Britons, Canadians and Australians on board as well.

Azamara Pursuit is gay-friendly.

Azamara Pursuit review conclusion

Azamara Pursuit is ideal for those who have a passion to explore. Itineraries with overnight stays let you take full advantage of shore-side experiences, not to mention the outstanding shore excursions. Combined with enjoyable dining and a friendly on board atmosphere, it makes Azamara Pursuit an excellent choice.

The author sailed as a guest of Azamara.

About the Author: Jason Kerr

Jason is the founder and Managing Editor of The Luxury Cruise Review. He has a passion for travel, a weakness for espresso coffee and a love of Greek cuisine.

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