MEMORABLE JOURNEYS by Kathy Rieser
Throughout the world, mariachi is a recognized symbol of Mexico. For Mexicans it is the musical accompaniment to life's most important moments: it forms a vital part of courtship and family events such as weddings, birthdays, baptisms, and funerals. This is the emblematic sound of Mexico, which reaches into the hearts of its listeners evoking the history and traditions of Mexico.
In almost any city in Mexico you'll come across these groups of musicians decked out in fancy costumes with wide-brimmed sombreros. You may see them playing in a restaurant or bar, or waiting in a plaza for someone to hire them. They grace the stages of Mexico's most important theaters and stadiums and enliven gatherings of all types. In a Mexican neighborhood it's not uncommon to wake up in the early hours of the morning to the sound of a mariachi group serenading a señorita on her birthday, a mother on Mother's Day, or the Virgin Mary on her feast day at a local chapel.
Although there is some debate about the exact origins of mariachi music, it is clear that it is a result of a fusion of musical styles that evolved over a few hundred years in the highlands of western central Mexico, particularly in the states of Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit and Michoacan.
Mariachi songs deal with widely divergent themes common to the human condition, such as love, betrayal, politics, death, revolution and patriotism. Whether the songs are upbeat or tragic, they express powerful emotion. Don't be surprised if a member of the audience suddenly shouts out a loud, “Ay ay ay!” or if every Mexican within earshot begins to belt out the song along with the mariachis. This is a type of music that invites audience participation, so feel free to join in.
Mariachi continues to evolve; one of the changes is the rising trend of women mariachi musicians, and all-women mariachi bands. Although all-women mariachi bands have existed since the 1940s, they have become more common in recent years. There has also been a revival of interest in the history and traditional forms of mariachi; at the International Mariachi and Charreria Festival, held yearly in Guadalajara, there is an increasing number of traditional mariachi troupes.
Mariachi symbolizes Mexican music, culture and history. An appreciation for mariachi is strong among music lovers around the globe. With its recognition as part of the intangible culture of humanity, mariachi will undoubtedly continue to represent the unique sound of Mexico.
Nothing compares to the river. Where else but on the river can you journey into the heart of the world’s greatest cities and towns, and discover the true nature of the land? Comfortable and convenient, it offers a greater variety of destinations than you could encounter any other way. Spend less time getting there and more time being there. Little wonder that river cruising is the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry.
See the World’s Great Cities
Paris, Vienna, Budapest, St. Petersburg…because so many cities and towns developed along waterways, they were literally made to be accessible by river. Sail directly to the heart of many destinations and walk right off the ship into the center of town.
Travel With Ease
After boarding the ship, unpack—just once—in your spacious river-view stateroom. Relax in comfort for the duration of the cruise. And because the rivers offer smooth sailing, there is no motion sickness.
A More Intimate Experience
Because our ships accommodate between 120 and 260 guests, it is easy to make new friends. And there is no waiting in long lines to embark, disembark or have a meal.
New Scenery—All Day, Every Day
Fairytale palaces, towering gorges carved through millennia, tiny villages nestled in the still preserved beauty of the landscape—enjoy breathtaking scenery that’s constantly changing through panoramic windows in the restaurant and lounge and stunning 360° views from the sun deck.
Culture & History Everywhere
Stroll through an open air architecture museum in the middle of a Russian lake; watch the artists at work in a Meissenware studio; listen to a concert of ancient bronze bells in Wuhan. You are unlikely to reach these places any other way.
Travel Your Way
Join the guided walks, in-depth excursions planned for you in each destination—or sightsee on your own if you prefer. The choice is yours.
THE essence OF
AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES®
YOU’LL love WHERE WE TAKE YOU®
Azamara Club Cruises® sails to fascinating destinations in Asia, South America, the West Indies, and Northern and Western Europe, including ports throughout the Mediterranean. Every Azamara voyage combines warmth and sophistication with authentic experiences of local life onshore.
AZAMARA calls it Destination Immersion, a richer-way to explore the cultural wonders of the world. With nearly half of all port visits including a late or overnight stay, Azamara guests enjoy the advantages of night touring, including live music, theater, restaurants and clubs that light up after dark.
Onboard, Azamara’s two 694-guest ships offer a boutique European hotel
ambiance with fi ne cuisine and wines from around the world, wellness and
vigor programs, and generously inclusive amenities. Guests enjoy genuine
hospitality and attentive, professional service delivered by an experienced
international staff and crew.