Yesterday, it was my great pleasure to spend some time with one of our guest lecturers, Stella Grace Lyons, who has recently completed her very first voyage with us.

I very much enjoy learning of people’s first impressions of our beloved ship, whether they be crew, passengers or guests of our enrichment programme and it is often an education in itself understanding better how people respond to their first experience on Aegean Odyssey. Much like a child, you have the impression that your ship is special, but the question must always follow, but is it?

Stella’s first thoughts were of the very nature of small-ship cruising itself, where she observed that this form of travel removed almost all the common risks of travel-based woes, that can of course lead to arguments with travel companions. “The traditional stresses and strains of travel have been entirely removed”, Stella said. “The conversations of how to get from A to B, where to eat, what the cost of this is, where to sit, what about the luggage and so on. It is just so easy on this ship, everything is done for you, there is nothing to think about”.

Her first impressions of the ship were clear. She has a feeling of being relaxed, things seem unpressured, informal, passengers are dotted around the decks and quiet places like the library and lounges reading, playing board games, having conversations with new friends and clearly like-minded fellow guests. They seem very global in the mix, clearly all sharing a common passion for travel and an eagerness to learn from the experience. I have never come across such harmony and tranquillity as this, Stella added.

In terms of her own engagement with the passengers she commented on how they were in no way patronising nor demanding on her or indeed the crew. Everyone seemed to gel yet there was space to be alone. Overall, the word she used more than any other during our conversation, was ‘easy’. Everything just felt so easy.

It was also lovely to get feedback on our entertainment. We avoid the glitz and glamour styles of entertainment favoured by many ships and instead offer a subtle and understated approach. Stella was extremely impressed by our Classical Trio, commenting that they were clearly of an extremely high standard and that the classical concerts and general musical touches and experiences throughout the cruise were well considered and beautifully performed.

And finally, to the crew, who were always courteous, of an extremely high standard and had clearly received excellent training.

I was certainly grateful for the time and to learn such first impressions from someone who is so well regarded as a lecturer and honest in her appraisals.

At Voyages to Antiquity, we have created a cruise experience which is designed for travellers who want to understand more about the history, culture and natural wonders of the ancient world. Our small ship, Aegean Odyssey, is perfectly suited to our destination-rich itineraries while our lecture programme connects you with the places you’ll visit before you even go ashore.

Whether you’ve cruised with us 10 times, or you are entirely new to the Voyages to Antiquity experience, you can be assured that each and every journey we embark upon takes you deep into lands filled with wonder, historical treasures and unique culture, and it’s all experienced alongside people just like you.