MS Azura

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MS Azura anchored in Southampton, 11 April 2010
Name: Azura
Owner: Carnival PLC[1]
Operator: P&O Cruises
Port of registry: United Kingdom Southampton
Builder: Fincantieri, Italy
Yard number: 6166[2]
Laid down: October 27, 2008
Launched: June 26, 2009
Christened: April 10, 2010
Completed: April 1, 2010
Maiden voyage: April 12, 2010
In service: 2010
Identification: Call sign: 2CUB5
IMO number: 9424883
Status: In Service
Notes: [3]
General characteristics
Class and type: Grand class cruise ship
Tonnage: 116,000 GT (gross tonnage)
Length: 290.0 m (951 ft 5 in)
Beam: 36.00 m (118 ft 1 in)
Draught: 8.00 m (26 ft 3 in)
Decks: 19. 14 (Passenger accessible)
Installed power: 6 × Wärtsilä diesel engines
Speed: 22 knots
Capacity: 3096 passengers
1557 berths
Crew: 1226
Notes: [2][4][1]

MS Azura is a cruise ship of the P&O Cruises fleet. The ship was built by Fincantieri at their shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. At 115,000 tonnes, Azura is the largest of seven ships currently in service with P&O Cruises. She is also the sister ship of MS Ventura. She officially entered service with the company in April 2010 and was named by Darcey Bussell.[5]


MS Azura and sister ship MS Ventura, are operated by P&O Cruises. They are both Grand class ships, with a modified design that distinguishes them from early ships of the similar design, such as Grand Princess, that are operated by sister company Princess Cruises. Construction of Azura began in 2008 when her keel was officially laid on 27 October 2008.[6] A ceremonial float out took place on Friday 26 June 2009, in which she was blessed by a priest, with Amanda Dowds, wife of the ship's captain, acting as her Godmother.[7] The formal handover transferring the vessel to P&O Cruises, took place on Friday 26 March 2010, attended by P&O Cruises' managing director Carol Marlow and Carnival UK's chief executive David Dingle.[8]

Maiden voyage

Azura's maiden voyage began on 31 March 2010, when she departed from the Fincantieri shipyard en route to Southampton. She arrived in the UK on 7 April 2010 at 9:12am. Azura's cruise with passengers began on 12 April 2010.[9][10]


Azura was christened at 08:20 pm on Saturday, 10 April 2010, by godmother Darcey Bussell. A former principal dancer of the Royal Ballet, Bussell presented a dance performance by Royal Ballet School as part of the celebrations, as well as performing the traditional bottle breaking ceremony to christen the ship.


Azura is designed to appeal more to P&O's traditional client base and returning customers, whereas sister ship Ventura is more family orientated, and attracts new, often younger clients. For the first time in the P&O Cruises fleet, Azura features eighteen single staterooms. There are 900 cabins with private balconies and a select number of spa staterooms with exclusive access to the Oasis Spa.

Wine expert Olly Smith has helped to create the Glass House, a venue where passengers are able to sample various different wines. Atul Kochhar, a three Michelin stars chef will be enlisted to create Sindhu, an Indian fine dining restaurant on board. The ship features a dance floor in the atrium, a New York styled show lounge and modern interpretation on a London pub.[11] For the first time in the P&O Cruises fleet, Azura features an open air cinema screen similar to those found on Princess Cruises ships such as Caribbean Princess. The screen, known as the SeaScreen is situated in front of the funnel on Azura.[12]


Having been designed and built for P&O Cruises, Azura features many rooms and facilities common on other ships in the fleet. Following a company tradition, the English style pub is named Brodie's, in tribute to Brodie McGhie Wilcox, co-founder of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.[13] The ship's main dining rooms are also given the traditional names of the Peninusular, Oriental and Meridien restaurants.

In total, the ship has eleven restaurants and eating areas, twelve bars and places to drink, four pools, a gym, two spas, outdoor cinema, a theatre and two show lounges. [14]

Select dining

In common with other ships in the fleet, Azura has 'select dining'; premium dining venues with passengers paying a cover charge to dine. Sindhu is an Indian restaurant with menu devised by Atul Kochhar. The Glass House is a restaurant and wine bar concept devised by television wine expert Olly Smith. Seventeen serves classic and modern British cuisine with traditional silver service.[15]


The ship's main entertainment is an 800 seat, traditional proscenium theatre known as the Playhouse Theatre.[16] The SeaScreen outdoor cinema is the first of its kind in the P&O Cruises fleet and for a British cruise ship.[17] She also features The Retreat an outdoor spa terrace exclusively for adults, a cover charge applies to enter the area. An Oasis Spa and Thermal Suite which has couple and balcony treatment rooms. [18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "M/S AZURA." (in Swedish). Falta om Fartyg. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Cruise Ships > 6166". Fincantieri. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  4. Azura Stats
  6. Hamilton, Keith (27 October 2008). "City's latest cruise ship to be named Azura". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 5 November 2008. 
  8. Chris Gray (Monday, March 22, 2010). "Azura handover visitors grounded by BA strike". Travel Trade Gazette:. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  11. "P&O Azura is to launch with Added Spice!". Go Cruise With Jane. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  12. "P&O Azura: SeaScreen". Retrieved 01 March 2009. 
  18. " P&O Cruises"

External links