Azamara Journey sails past Spaarnwoude at the Northsea Canal passage from Amsterdam at the 12th of august of 2008. She is seen in the orginal coloursceme that was given to the Azamara ships between 2007 and 2014.
Azamara Journey was built as the sixth ship in the R-class for Renaissance Cruises, as the R Six. She floated out of her building dock at the 17th of january 2000 and was built for the companies worldwide cruises. She measures 30.277 tons, is 181 meters long, 25,50 meters wide and she has a draft of 6 meters. She can accomodate 684 passengers on her nine decks, served by 373 crewmembers. For Renaissance Cruises, the ship was registered at Monrovia, flying the Liberian flag. Her normal service speed is somewhere around 20 knots. The ship was built at the Chantiers de L'atlantique wharf at Saint Nazaire, France as yardnumber Q31.
Renaissance Cruises was declared bankrupt at the 25th of september 2001, the terrorist attacks in America being the last push downwards, where the company already had problems in the financials. At the 6th of october, the ship was laid-up at Gibraltar and moved to Marseilles in december of that same year. She was now under the ownership of a company named Cruiseinvest, that had been set up by her builders to sell or charter out the former Renaisance Cruises ship for the purpose of getting some money back to the creditiors. For Cruise Invest, the ship was unofficially renamed Cruise Invest Six.
Below, Azamara Journey sports her new livery at the 10th of june 2014, while entering the IJmuiden north lock.
Above, Azamara Journey is seen within the lock a short while later. Within a few years, the north lock will be replaced by a new larger lock that will probably be in use from 2019 onwards. When opened, the IJmuiden north lock was, in 1929, the largest lock in the world. The new lock will again be the largest lock in the world, of course. It is a tradition in IJmuiden, when the middle lock was opened in 1896, it also had been the largest lock in the world. In 2019, The IJmuiden lock complex will easily be the largest in the world, surpassing the Panama canal in almost every possible way. The new to built lock will be 500 meters long, 65 meters wide and 18 meters deep. In comparissement, the locks at the Panama Canal are 304 meters long, 33,5 meters wide and 12 meters deep. Next to Panamax-ships, there will soon be IJmax ships...
From june 2003, the ship was chartered out to Pullmantur Cruises of Spain and was marketed under two names, Blue Star and Blue Dream. She mostly sailed European cruises for them, being finally truly renamed Blue Dream on the 7th of july of 2004. On the 5th of june of 2006, the ships registry was changed from the Marshall Islands to Malta and her new homeport became Valletta. In 2006, Cruiseinvest, still the owner of the ship, decided to sell the former R-class ships and a good price was given by the then owners of Pullmantur Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. They had just taken over Pullmantur and wanted to use the line's two former R-class ships to start up a new company under the banner of Celebrity Xpeditions. So RCCL bought the two ships and had them rebuilt for the Celebrity Xpeditions brand, replacing their Zenith in the fleet of Pullmantur. During the rebuilding, at the 4th of may 2007, RCCL created a new company instead of this, named Azamara Cruises. This left the Celebrity Xpeditions brand with the just 2842-ton Xpedition, and the former ships of Pullmantur were renamed to fit into the newly created company. Blue Dream was supposed to be renamed Celebrity Journey, but finally emerged as Azamara Journey. The second ship now sailing for Azamara Cruises was formerly named Blue Moon and is now the Azamara Quest, after a similar namechange. During the beginning of 2014, the ships recieved an external make-over and recieved a new coloursceme a little like the Renaissance Cruises livery had been. Only instead of the Renaissance 'R', there now is the stylish Azamara 'A' presented on the funnels.