Some people cruise for fun. Some people hop on a cruise just to get away. A very select, smaller group decides to cruise for one single reason: to learn about the ancient past. These are people who are looking for enrichment, education and a unique cruise vacation. Voyages to Antiquity fits the bill. Even their name, if you say it a few times, gives a feeling of time-travel, without needing H.G. Wells’ time machine.
Voyages to Antiquity, the leading cruise line in providing a total enrichment cruise experience, has just released their 2013 brochure. Planned for next year will be more port calls in the Western Mediterranean, itineraries to France and Spain and a stronger emphasis on Sicily, the epicenter of Ancient Rome 3500 years ago. The Dalmatian Coast is becoming increasingly popular, and sailings from Venice along the Adriatic are included. Cruises to Greece and Turkey will continue to be offered due to the incredible importance of their ancient civilizations.
“The Mediterranean itineraries are the heart and soul of Voyages to Antiquity and we endeavor to make each season full of unique experiences for our guests. This year we have expanded our product offerings in the Western Mediterranean while also providing an emphasis to the ancient civilizations found in Sicily,” said Mitchell J. Schlesinger, vice president of marketing and sales for Voyages to Antiquity. “We’ve received growing support from prestigious organizations whose well-traveled clients are interested in an educational, enriching vacation experience, including Smithsonian Journeys, the Archaeological Institute of America and numerous alumni organizations.”
Two very alluring itineraries will begin and end the 2013 cruise season. On March 30, 2013 the Aegean Odyssey will begin the season with a departure from Cairo and conclude in Istanbul. At the end of the season, the October 25, 2013 cruise will depart from Istanbul and cap the season with an arrival in Cairo.
Both itineraries include a journey to the Pyramids and the Sphinx at the royal burial ground at Giza and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo. In Luxor guests will visit Karnak, Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, burial place of the New Kingdom pharos, including Tutankhamun. In Aqaba guests explore the rose-red, ancient Nabataen city of Petra, and after traveling through the Suez Canal to Israel, guests will visit Jerusalem’s Old Town, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and to Bethlehem to tour the Church of the Nativity. These itineraries also include a stop at the Ancient Greek ruins of Ephesus and a full day tour of Istanbul, to see the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque.
Once the ship arrives in Istanbul, the Western Mediterranean cruises along the Riviera coast begin. Itineraries will include cruises from Rome to Cannes and Cannes to Venice and then several voyages originating in Athens, Venice and Istanbul before the end of the season cruise back to Cairo.
To allow guests to become acquainted with the city where their cruise begins, many of the itineraries include a one or two night complimentary hotel stay. Guest lecturers and celebrated speakers from around the world complement the in-depth shore experiences by sharing their knowledge of the art, history and culture of the Mediterranean region. Dining aboard the Aegean Odyssey lends itself to regional foods and wines to further immerse guests in the destinations that they visit.
Like some of the ultra-luxury cruise lines, Voyages to Antiquity includes shore excursions with complimentary bottled water; gratuities to shipboard staff and wine, beer and soft drinks at dinner. In consideration of the growing number of solo travelers, the Aegean Odyssey now has twenty-six solo cabins. If a solo traveler prefers to reserve a double-occupancy stateroom, a single supplement fee beginning at only 25% is added. In October, 2012, eighteen deluxe and superior outside cabin categories will be added.
Photo credit: Voyages to Antiquity
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath…stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.