Comparative analysis of Azamara club cruises and SilverSea cruises
A cruise is defined as a trip taken for pleasure on a ship (yourdictionary.com, 2018). This report compares two cruise companies and explores the similarities and differences between the two.
The cruise industry is expanding, and cruise holidays are becoming increasingly popular every day. In recent years, the number of cruise lines has expanded which is indicative of an overall trend in the travel world. (Streetdirectory.com, 2018). In the past, cruises were thought of as holidays aimed towards the older market ‘perceptions that cruising is for the middle-aged and elderly’ (Eyefortravel.com, 2018). However, in recent years the cruise industry is becoming favoured by families a younger crowd, with about2cruise.co.uk exclaiming its due to enticing contemporary features offered on board modern cruise liners. (About2cruise.co.uk, 2018).
Azamara club cruises and its history
Azamara club cruises is a luxury, upmarket cruise brand that joined the industry ranks in 2007 making it a new cruise brand. It was originally called Azamara cruises and rebranded as Azamara club cruises two years later. When Azamara first entered the market in 2007, it struggled to make it as a luxury cruise liner. In 2009, luxury cruise industry veteran Larry Pimentel — an executive with 25 years of experience working with lines such as Cunard, SeaDream and Seabourn became CEO worked on this to make the ship more inclusive. (Lines and Cruises, 2018) Its parent company is Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Originally, Azamara had two ships in its fleet; Quest and Journey. Made for Celebrity, however CEO Richard Fain said at the time. “They are so distinct they deserve a line of their own.” In September 2017, the line announced plans to take another “R ship” — Adonia from P & O — and transform it into Azamara Pursuit. All three ships are similar, with Journey and Quest carrying 690 passengers, and Pursuit only marginally larger with 702 passengers.
Silversea cruises and its history
Silver Sea is a cruise line that was founded in 1994, since beginning, it has come a long way and now recognized as gold standard luxury cruising. It has nine ships in its fleet and has plans to add more two more in the upcoming future. Silversea offers ultra-luxurious all-inclusive cruises that include unlimited beverages and gratuities. Half of the ships have traditional luxury ocean cruise itineraries while the remaining four are earmarked for expedition journeys to remote regions of the world. (Lines and Cruises, 2018).
Product is a huge factor in the cruise industry as it includes customer services, passenger services, food and beverage and entertainment. These together make up a customer’s entire experience and makes a holiday enjoyable and comfortable.
Azamara puts commercial services with high importance. It has longer stays in port than many other cruises, which gives the passengers opportunity to explore their destination. An advantage that Azamara ships have is that their size allows them to call at smaller, more offbeat ports and dock closer to cities that, in many cases, require larger vessels to tie up in outlying cargo ports. In 2017 it launched its new shore excursion programme Cruise Global, Connect Local. This is a unique shore excursion programme divided into 4 sections; Taste Local (culinary tours and restaurant visits), Bike Local (cycling tours), Meet Local (cultural exchanges with local families and residents) and Nights Local (evening outings). This allows the customers chance to enjoy and fully experience the cultures and traditions of the places they are visiting. Azamara has also introduced Country Intensive Voyages, itineraries focused around ports in just one country, so cruise travelers can get an in-depth look at one destination. (Lines and cruises, 2018). Azamara ships have many more commercial services to offer onboard like a theater, shops, pool, library, observation lounge, and a spa. Azamara also focuses on passenger services, having refurbished its two original ships in 2016, which included new cabins. They provide butler service for guests and complimentary garment pressing. They have a variety of dining features onboard all their ships. Each ship has 4 restaurants, with an interesting array of different cuisines, from freshly prepared Sushi, to afternoon tapas. This gives passengers the freedom to choose where they wat to dine on each day, offering the chance to try and experience more. What makes the entertainment on board Azamara cruises is that all voyages feature AzAmazing evenings, private onshore experiences offered complimentary to all passengers once a voyage, usually with a cultural theme. These include music in the cabaret lounge, dancing, theatre and their once-a-journey pool parties.
SilverSea’s advantage over fellow cruise companies when it comes to commercial services is its professional tour guides on their shore excursions. They employ highly trained guides and naturalists to provide passengers with an informative tour of their destination. This sets them aside from the competition as passengers can learn all about the culture of the place they are visiting from experts rather than exploring it themselves. The luxury ships have a pool and hot tubs for passengers to relax while on board and at sea, as well as some having gyms, spas and libraries. SilverSea is renowned for its luxury accommodation, with the high-end accommodation suites measuring at 1,389 square feet. All suites have personal butlers and are offered luxury toiletries which gives passengers that sense of personal treatment, possibly encouraging them to rebook with SilverSea. The restaurants onboard SilverSea cruises differ between individual ships, with most of the ships serving food in the main dining room with a choice of alternative restaurants. Silver Muse however has 8 onboard restaurants, with this variety passengers should always be able to enjoy a variety of cuisines which would be appealing for long cruises where food could become repetitive. SilverSea cruises have a unique entertainment option, as they have lecturers on almost all of their cruise ships. They also have professionals in golf and bridge to teach lessons on board. This is an advantage for SilverSea as it’s a unique opportunity to learn a new skill while enjoying a holiday.
Price is a very important factor to customers when choosing what cruise line to take their holiday on. Cruise companies have a wide range of prices, with luxury liners to budget mini cruises. Even having a million-pound cruise known as the six-star cruise (Sixstarcruises.co.uk, 2018). Each targets a different audience. Prices vary depending on the time of year.
Azamara are towards the lower end of the scale of cruise ship prices. The cheapest current cruise they offer is a 3-night cruise to the Mediterranean on the Azamara pursuit which costs £627. The most expensive cruise they currently offer is 22 night northern and western Europe cruise for £13,209. (Lines and Cruises, 2018). By having lower prices, they can attract a wider variety of customers.
SilverSea are one of the most luxurious cruise companies and it can be seen in their pricing. Their cheapest current cruise being £3400 for a 7-night Caribbean cruise on the Silver shadow, and their most expensive cruise being a 24 night arctic cruise on the Silver cloud expedition for £25,291. (Lines and Cruises, 2018). By charging high prices for their luxury cruises they create a large profit.
Like in every other industry, cruise ships must promote their business in order to be successful. They can do these multiple ways, in the form of social media, brochures, websites, travel agents etc.