THE NATURAL WORLD IS FULL OF WONDER. LET US CONNECT YOU WITH NATURE LIKE NEVER BEFORE.
At Azamara Club Cruises®, we connect outdoor enthusiasts to their natural surroundings in every place we visit. Local experts will educate and inspire as you discover the region’s flora and fauna on shore excursions that are in tune with your destination’s natural environment. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your binoculars and get ready to experience the great outdoors #AzaLocal.
Immersive Cruise Global, Eco Local shore excursions with Azamara Club Cruises® take you far from city centers to explore the natural habitats of your destination with local nature guides. From bird watching on mountain slopes in the Azores and visiting an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka, to discovering some of the world’s most fascinating geological features in New Zealand, you’ll get closer than you ever thought possible to the world’s natural wonders.
Land of the Endangered Azorean Bullfinch
For avid avian fans or any outdoor enthusiast, this tour of Tronqueira Mountain showcases one of the world’s most endangered birds, the Azores bullfinch. Explore their protected sanctuary area with lush exotic plants and breathtaking scenery.
Enter a bird-watchers paradise on the slopes of Tronqueira Mountain, where the last vestige of the Azores bullfinch species can be found. Follow an expert guide on a journey into the realm of this highly endangered bird. There are only about 300 bullfinches left and they reside in a protected sanctuary of exotic plants and stunning scenery.
To its credit, the Azorean government has put great effort toward ensuring this small bird escapes extinction. It’s hard to imagine that Azorean bullfinches were once so immensely plentiful they were considered a plague. These days, however, few enjoy the rare opportunity to glimpse this lovely little bird in its breathtaking habitat. Be sure to keep watch for other avian friends, including the grey wagtail, chaffinch and the common robin. Avid birdwatcher or just an outdoor enthusiast, this is an adventure that’s sure to please.
Intimate Rotorua and Thermal Experience
Discover the “Thermal Wonderland of New Zealand” in stunning Rotorua. Thermal pools, geysers and volcanic craters are just some of the incredible natural features that will have you wondering if you’ve stepped onto another planet.
Ride through the scenic countryside where farms and forests combine to make this region one of the most beautiful in New Zealand. Head to Rotorua, the "Thermal Wonderland of New Zealand." In the Maori language Wai-O-Tapu means “Sacred Waters”. Walk along well defined tracks through a landscape sculptured by geothermal activity, there are expansive vistas, stunning colors, the world famous Champagne Pool, huge volcanic craters and sinter terrace formations. Guides stationed throughout the thermal area are very keen to share their knowledge with you.
Board the Lakeland Queen for a delicious buffet lunch cruise on Lake Rotorua. Next take a guided walking tour through the wondrous geothermal valley of hakarewarewa with pools of boiling mud, hissing steam vents, and the Pohutu Geyser. This is an amazing place where unique geological patterns, shapes and surreal colors have taken thousands of years to form. Take a moment to visit the Kiwi-house to see the flightless Kiwi bird in its darkened habitat. Watch craftsmen at work at a wood carving school and watch Maori women demonstrate flax weaving. During your day you’ll also enjoy a performance of traditional songs, dances and demonstrations of fighting skills, including the Haka.
Elephants of Pinnawala
Journey to this special island off the coast of India and get to know gentle giants that have been found orphaned or abandoned. Learn about conservation efforts and watch as they get TLC from their keepers and enjoy a good bath.
Leave the city of Colombo behind in your search for the heart and soul of Pinnawala – this teardrop shaped emerald island off the coast of India. Green and lush – tropical fruits and spices grow all around you as you head into the interior to meet some large but extremely engaging new friends. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was created to care for baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned. Here approximately 60 animals are looked after, fed, trained, and studied by the Sri Lankan Wildlife Authority. Once acclimatized to the lifestyle, they are unable to care for themselves in the wild, and so grow up and reproduce here in the protection of the reserve.
From staff at the orphanage, learn about the efforts being made to care for these magnificent mammals, as well as the ongoing battle for the conservation of their native habitats. If your timing is right, you’ll be able to see the elephants enjoy their daily bath at the nearby river. Their keepers help them get all those hard to reach spots, while they relish the cooling water. Walk over to the Pinnalanda River View Restaurant, where you will relax and have lunch. After your meal and their baths are completed, you’ll tour the orphanage. Then, return to Colombo and the pier by motor coach.
Carara National Park and Pura Vida Gardens
Diverse wildlife and climate zones make Carara National Park a dream destination for any nature lover. For flora fans, Pura Vida Garden is a masterpiece of local and exotic plant life.
Departing from Quepos you will take the route to the Mid-Pacific, into the Carara National Park, a low mountainous area of 4,700 hectares in a transitional climate zone, going from the dry North to the very humid coast of the South Pacific. This experience begins at the universal footpath, specially designed to provide an easy and interesting walk into the forest, with a wide range of resources for those with disabilities. Over 110 species of birds like the anhinga, surgeon ducks, pied-billed grebes, great blue and tri-color herons and the boat-billed herons are present in this National Park. You can also view several species of monkeys and other mammals and impressive reptilians and amphibians.
Pura Vida Garden, named the No.1 garden in Latin America by Integrated Conservation Research Group; is truly a visual master piece. The design begins by showcasing the country’s natural beauty, with its spectacular flora, fauna, waterfalls, and views of the Pacific. To this, thousands of flowers have been added, not only from Costa Rica but from all over the world. The manicured walkways meander along a rivers and mountain crests, with most easily accessible to people of all ages and levels of fitness. Enjoy lunch at Pura Vida’s main restaurant, then continue on your journey to the Tarcoles Bridge, where you will have a chance to observe crocodiles that live just meters below the bridge.