2019 is going to be Voyages to Antiquity’s most varied European season ever, with a return to the Black Sea and brand-new itineraries introducing Norway’s breath-taking North Cape and the mesmerising maritime cities of the Baltic, taking their place alongside perennial Mediterranean and Northern European favourites. Join us as we go from the Aegean to the Arctic.
Return to the Black Sea
For several years, Voyages to Antiquity’s Black Sea cruises were tremendously popular – little wonder, for the region’s climate is sublime and the Black Sea’s shores echo with millennia of history. Events in Ukraine have kept it off the cruise map for a few seasons, and it is still not advisable to visit Crimea. But we are proud to be the first operator to return to the welcoming western ports of what the Romans called the ‘hospitable sea’.
In May 2019, in combination with ancient Athena, majestic Meteora and the lesser-known Greek islands of Lemnos, Skiathos and Patmos, we will make three Black Sea stops. Odessa is a city of grand boulevards and elegant 19th century mansions such as the Tolstoy Palace, and cinephiles will recognise the monumental Potemkin Steps from the epic 1925 film Battleship Potemkin. Constanza is a charming, historic Romanian resort city where we sample some of the excellent local wine and enjoy a colourful folkloric show. And the Bulgarian resort town of Varna is particularly noted for an extraordinary 6,000-year-old hoard of gold, now on display in the Archaeological Museum, though the extremely well-preserved Roman Baths should also not be missed.
Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise: European Connoisseur
Eschewing Mediterranean shores in summer 2019, the Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise is a four-country spectacular, combining gastronomic delights, world-renowned wines and gloriously relaxing river cruising. Sailing from sun-drenched Seville to London, opportunities abound to sample some of the best tapas in Spain and Lisbon’s delicious pasteis de Belem, the great port wines of Oporto and fine vintages of the Bordeaux area, from St Emilion to the Medoc. Aegean Odyssey’s modest size enables her to cruise the picturesque Guadalquivir and Gironde rivers, and berth in the heart of cities such as Seville and Bordeaux, inaccessible to the bigger ships.
This Odyssey Club adventure also follows in the footsteps of countless pilgrims to the magnificent Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and visits the Old Quarter of La Rochelle, the Channel Island of Guernsey and the pretty harbour town of Honfleur, so beloved by Monet and his fellow Impressionists.
Land of the Midnight Sun
From mid-May to late July, the North Cape of Norway enjoys almost constant daylight, earning it the romantic moniker ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’. This peninsula, well within the Arctic Circle, invites appreciation of marvellous landscapes, the natural world at its most pristine and ‘edge of the world’ tranquillity. Our mid-June itinerary also takes in the bewitching Norwegian cities of Bergen, Stavanger and Alesund, some of that country’s most beautiful fjords, the rugged majesty of the Shetlands and Denmark’s charismatic capital, Copenhagen.
St Petersburg and the Baltic
So numerous are the cultural wonders of St Petersburg, from canals and cathedrals to museums and palaces, that much more time is required than the standard cruise day trip or overnight. Voyages to Antiquity’s July 2019 Baltic cruise includes two nights and three days in this amazing city – so there is no need to rush around the Hermitage, undoubtedly one of the great repositories of art in the world, for example, or forgo an excursion to Peterhof, the ‘Russian Versailles’ and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its exquisitely manicured gardens and Grand Cascade of fountains dotted with gleaming gold statues. Also featuring on this outstanding Baltic journey are the appealing capitals Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn, the latter with dramatic fortifications and fairy-tale onion-domed churches to discover, the engaging city of Gdansk (from Gdynia) and icons of history in Berlin (from Warnemunde) such as the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie.
Classic Mediterranean voyages
Aegean Odyssey’s home port is Athens and Greece is her back yard, so no Voyages to Antiquity programme would be complete without some classic Mediterranean itineraries. No cultural travel company offers a more comprehensive and better value Greece experience – and, if you haven’t yet explored this captivating country and its islands, you won’t find a better introduction than our Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean cruise (departures in April, September and October 2019). This unforgettable journey encompasses ancient highlights of the mainland Athens, Delphi, Epidaurus and Mycenae, the justly celebrated Greek Islands of Crete, Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini, and enthralling off-the-beaten-track gems such as Karpathos, Delos and Nisyros, with traditional villages, archaeological treasures and otherworldly volcanic scenery respective attractions.
Italy and the Adriatic also lend themselves superbly well to cultural cruising. Here you may step back in time to Ancient Greece amongst the temples of Sicily, and to Ancient Rome in the stunning surrounds of the Forum, the Colosseum and myriad other sites in the Italian capital, along with poignant Pompeii and Herculaneum, the vast Palace of Diocletian in Split, and Albania’s almost tourist-free Roman city of Butrint. Then, of course, there are some of the finest achievements of art and architecture in Florence, Pisa and Urbino, the timeless beauty of Venice and the splendour of the Dalmatian Coast – islands such as Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo, and the stunning walled city of Dubrovnik, acclaimed by George Bernard Shaw as ‘heaven on earth’.
Join us in 2019 on one of our incredible sailings, as we go from the Aegean to the Arctic. You can view our entire 2019 cruise collection on our main website, alternatively you can also search per region and time of year. Our Grand Voyage collection is also available.