Setting sail from Southampton
Southampton is the UK's leading port. Bustling modern cruise terminals, as well as wharfs and commercial harbours, line the waterfront, whilst the city itself is a fascinating mix of ancient and modern, with a picturesque old town, the original city walls still standing, and super-modern shopping centres and office complexes. On all corners you will see tributes to the city's rich history and maritime heritage. Henry V marched his troops through the Westgate on his way to the battle of Agincourt, The Mayflower sailed from here with a cargo of settlers to the New World, and the Titanic started her fateful voyage here.
Get a copy of the Old Town Walk map from the tourist information centre, a perfect (and free!) way to explore Southampton at a leisurely pace.
Situated on the southern bank of the Seine estuary, Honfleur was once one of France’s most important ports. It was also a favourite location of Monet and the Impressionists, and art lovers may well recognise the elegant Renaissance architecture of the old harbour, the Vieux Bassin.
Rouen has endured a turbulent history: it was here that Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake in 1431, and much of the city was destroyed during World War II. Many cruise visitors head straight for Paris, an hour away by train, which is a shame since there’s so much to see in Rouen, including a beautiful cathedral and the atmospheric Medieval quarter.
An important naval base and major commercial port, Cherbourg is the gateway to the many attractions of Normandy, including the Bayeux Tapestry and the beaches where the D-Day landings took place. Cherbourg’s excellent Cité de la Mer maritime museum is also well worth a visit.
Saint-Malo grew rich off the back of maritime trade and its plundering corsairs, a seafaring heritage that is still proudly on display today. It’s great fun getting lost in the streets of the walled old town, and the famous medieval abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is an easy day-trip.
Nantes was founded by the Celts around 70 BC, and is considered the cultural capital of Brittany despite now belonging to the neighbouring region of Pays de la Loire. Explore the city’s history and its role in the slave trade at the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, check out the chic boutiques of Passage Pomeraye or head inland to visit the famous vineyards of the Loire Valley.
Arriving in Bordeaux
Bordeaux sits at the centre of the world's most famous wine region, and is home to a beguiling blend of beautiful buildings, sophisticated gastronomy and high culture. What's more, the city has been transformed over the last few years: the grandiose 18th century facades have been scrubbed clean, a shiny new public transport system has been installed, and a wonderful new promenade has been created alongside the river Garonne. We think Bordeaux is a marvellous place to spend some time, whether it's a day sampling wines, an evening at the opera or a night on the tiles.
You have to see the Water Mirror, which you will find by the Place de la Bourse. Who would have thought that two centimetres of water on a huge granite slab could create such an amazing effect?
Your home from home
The Azamara Journey, Quest & Pursuit are excellent small ships that offer a welcoming and relaxed club-like atmosphere.
What we love
This trio of sister ships are focused on providing destination immersion by spending as much time in port as possible with itineraries designed to include overnight stays and late evening departures. Enjoy more time to discover the local culture and when back on board relax and enjoy a vibrant array of inclusions.
|Crew:||408 International staff|
|Style:||Relaxed club-like atmosphere|
|Year built:||Journey & Quest 2000, Pursuit 2001|
|Last refurbished:||Journey & Quest 2016, Pursuit 2018|
|Cruising speed:||18.5 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Overnight in Southampton
Stay at the Pig in the Wall, stylish with great food. Very small so book early.
Day trips from Southampton
Visit historic Winchester, home to King Arthur’s Round Table, the Great Hall and Winchester Cathedral.
Where to stay in Bordeaux
At the heart of the historic centre, the quirky Yndo Hotel is a great choice.
Take a day trip from Bordeaux
The nearby coastal town of Arcachon is renowned for its oysters, and is home to the towering Dune du Pyla, Europe’s largest sand dune.