Azura (P&O Cruises)
Azura is the second largest ship in the P&O Cruises fleet, she is a Grand class ship specifically built for P&O Cruises. Azura appeals to retirees the traditional P&O cruiser, whereas her sister ship Ventura receives a far more family orientated and youthful clientele of passenger. That is not to say that Azura cannot accommodate family-cruising she is more than equipped to cater for children with many activities and playrooms, as well as family orientated excursions.
On-board Azura has over 7000 works of art – and comes complete with an art gallery to relax and inspire you. Her interior is modern and stylish with an overall spacious atmosphere (especially in The Retreat). The Manhattan bar is decadent and with enough gold-trim to make Midas smile.
The centre-piece for Azura is her atrium, described by professional cruise critic Douglas Ward as a “town centre at sea”. The atrium has all major facilities in one central location enabling you to easily make friends or bump into other cruise passengers whilst visiting the library, doing a spot of shopping or relaxing at one of the cafes with a nice cup of tea.
Staterooms range in amenities, having a balcony or window, or not, etc. All come with a flat-screen TV and are reasonably spacious as well as comfortable.
Dining aboard the Azura is a mixture of traditional British dishes with some Indian flair. Pay a visit to the Sindhu restaurant overseen by Michelin-star chef Atul Kochhar for a made to order curry dish. Visit the Glass House created by TV wine aficionado Olly Smith and take part in a wine tasting session as well as dishes and wines specially selected to complement each other.
The Planet Bar is a sleek and polished bar with a large and mesmerising aquarium, but for a real taste of home you’ll be heading to Brodie’s, an English style pub at sea.
|Cruise Line||P&O Cruises|
|Ship Length||290.0 m (951 ft 5 in)|
|Ship Beam||36.00 m (118 ft 1 in)|
|Ship Draft||8.00 m (26 ft 3 in)|
|No. of decks||19 (14 passenger accessible)|
|Service Speed||22 knots|
|Daily Gratuity||£3.10 per person (over 12 y/o)|
|Registry Port||Hamilton, Bermuda|
|Home Port||Southampton, United Kingdom|
|Ship Yard no.||6166|
|Ship Yard||Fincantieri, Italy|
|Build Date||October 2008|
|Build Cost||Approx £500 million GBP|
|Entered Service||April 2010|
Azura’s construction began in October 2008 by Italian shipping company Fincantieri Monfalcone.
In her float-out, Azura was blessed by a priest on 26th June 2009 with a bottle of Italian Prosecco smashed against her hull along with a newly minted two-pound and two-euro coin welded at the foot of her mast for extra luck.
She was transferred to P&O Cruises in March 2012, her voyage from the Fincantieri shipyard to Southampton marking her maiden voyage.
Azura was christened on 10th April 2010 by retired ballerina Darcey Bussell CBE.