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The Azamara Club Cruises team in Sydney this week – Tessa Anderssen, Larry Pimentel, Jessica Jones, Christina Shepherdson and Bruce Setloff.

Azamara Club Cruises is to put a ship into Australia for the first time in 2015 for up to two months.

Azamara Quest will arrive from Bali for Christmas and the New Year, and a specialist is scouting small ports to pull together a unique circumnavigation route of Australia.

Azamara specialises in small ports and longer stays – something it calls “slow cruising”.

President Larry Pimentel told Cruise Passenger Australians are among his biggest clients, and he believed the country has the highest cruise potential anywhere.

“Australia and the UK are our two biggest growth markets. Passengers from America are down from 80 per cent to 46 per cent.

Australians love Azamara because of our longer overnight stay in ports and night tours which better connect passengers with the culture of the country. It is a unique experience.

“Australians also love events like the grand prix in Monte Carlo or the British Open and lots of them book on Azamara to take them to these unique events,” he said.

The line, part of Royal Caribbean Cruises, has two ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest.

But he warned that high port charges, docking fees and taxes could halt the growth of foreign ships visiting Australia.

He revealed both Azamara Quest and Journey‘s 2015 Anzac Gallipoli visits have been booked out.

WORDS: Teresa Ooi