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After hours with Azamara

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‘Places, like people, have different personalities after dark,’ declared Gina Dunnett in charge of destination immersion at Azamara.

During a 20:20 Vision session Making Late Evenings and Overnight Stays Work at Seatrade Cruise Med, she urged ports, ‘to widen their operating hours’ in order to spread out the flow of passengers onshore and to enable guests to experience a destination’s cultural and leisure opportunities beyond the daytime.’ Azamara's ‘AzAmazing  Evenings’ program encourages this deep dive and because the line enjoys a substantial number of repeat customers, there is a need for variety in timing, as well as location, Dunnett shared with moderator and cruise consultant Nicky Guerrero.

Country intensive

Azamara's ‘country intensive destinations’ strategy can involve calling at ports within a single country. ‘It is all about profitability,’ Dunnett continued, "i.e., new revenue streams for local businesses as well as the cruise line.’  

An example of ‘destination immersion’ may mean that ‘passengers don't mind missing an onboard meal’ if they are given the opportunity to accompany a local chef while he or she shops for provisions in the morning at the local markets, then going to dinner ashore at that restaurant in the evening to enjoy the results.’

Alternative guides

Dunnett also addressed the problem of a shortage of tour guides across Europe post-pandemic. As a possible solution, she suggested ‘tours with an expert, such as an architect or local politician rather than a licensed guide’.