Combining the comfort and benefits of boutique-style cruising with the very best of cultural travel, Voyages to Antiquity offers an opportunity to explore the history, culture and natural wonders of some of the best destinations in the world and we think we’re rather good at it. We suppose it’s easy for us to say how good we are, but what would the experts say? We asked some of the cruise industry’s most respected and trusted travel writers, journalists and bloggers to tell us what they think about Voyages to Antiquity.
1: Why do you think Aegean Odyssey has a place in the cruise market?
Aegean Odyssey, the sole cruise ship sailing under the Voyages to Antiquity flag, provides an opportunity for travellers to visit sites of significant historical, archaeological and cultural importance and to learn something from the experience rather than simply observing. Expert lecturers and guides provide insights into what lies ahead, and the pre- or after-dinner entertainment is likely to be a debrief of the day’s adventures rather than a karaoke singalong. Depending on the destination, visiting speakers might also include specialists in religions, glaciers, or volcanoes. And yet the mind-improving activities come with most of the accoutrements expected of a cruise – sun loungers by the pool, pampering at the spa, cocktails at the bar, and dinner at the captain’s table. As with every cruise, there’s no need to worry about reaching the next port of call – you simply wake up to a different view each morning.
John Honeywell (Captain Greybeard) – @CaptainGreybeard
2: Why do you think people love Voyages to Antiquity?
In a world where cruise ships are getting bigger and bolder, and the focus becomes more about what is on board the ship rather than the destinations, it is no wonder that some people fall in love with ships such as Aegean Odyssey. Not everyone wants to lose the destination focus and with Voyages to Antiquity, that is a key feature on each of its exciting itineraries – a rich historical and cultural experience awaits on every voyage. Aegean Odyssey’s size also plays a key feature in her appeal, as it allows her to navigate waterways (such as the Guadalquivir River in Spain) that are completely inaccessible to larger vessels. Aegean Odyssey retains a certain traditional charm and that, combined with her culturally rich itineraries, puts her in a league of her own.
Danielle Fear (CruiseMiss) – @CruiseMiss
3: What did you enjoy most about your time with Voyages to Antiquity?
I was lucky enough to be on board Aegean Odyssey when she made her first call to the UK in June 2016. The Cornish mist was just lifting as she sailed into Falmouth and as the sun broke through it proved a perfect day to enjoy the Blue Flag Gyllyngvase Beach, a sweeping arc of golden sand, 15 minutes’ walk from the port. In the evening, on a millpond sea under a sky of pink and gold, we sailed on to Dartmouth, in Devon. It was a treat to wake up to see boats bobbing in the sparkling water of this beautiful natural harbour and with the imposing Britannia Royal Naval College as a backdrop it was a cruise memory to treasure. Some passengers took tours to Buckfast Abbey or Slapton Sands, where preparations were made for the D-Day landings in 1944, while I opted for a boat ride along the River Dart to Greenway – the former home of author Agatha Christie which is now beautifully maintained by the National Trust. I returned to Dartmouth by the heritage steam train and realised I had fallen in love with the English Riviera all over again.
Lesley Bellew (award-winning travel writer) – @LesleyBellew
4: How would you describe Voyages to Antiquity to someone that has never cruised with us before?
A cruise on the Aegean Odyssey scores on two major levels; it takes you to some of the most amazing and hard to access places on earth, and then shows you them in depth, through a series of included excursions with great quality guides. Even before you get there, on board guest lecturers prep you in advance for what you are about to encounter. The other point is the sheer quality of the Aegean Odyssey herself. With just 350 passengers on each sailing, she can get into the smaller, more off the beaten track places that the big ships have to bypass. And all wines, beers or soft drinks with lunch and dinner, and included the shore excursions, this is the ship where intimacy meets exclusivity. And don’t forget the included flights, hotel stays, and transfers abroad. The sheer, overall value simply can’t be faulted from any angle.
Anthony Nicholas (Travels with Anthony) – @antnich
5: When you cruised with us, which destination was your favourite and why?
When a cruise line visits so many unique destinations, it is truly difficult to just pick one. I think my favourite would have to be Butrint in Albania. Though the port is not particularly engaging, the archaeological site is extensive and has truly breath-taking and strikingly gorgeous vistas. Every civilisation seems to have left footprints here from Grecian to Venetian, Romanesque to Medieval. Albania is an undiscovered gem and much of the area around Butrint is rustic and undeveloped yet attractive.
Lynn Houghton (Roaming Scribe) – @RoamingScribe
6: For a cruise line that set out to discover the ancient world and Antiquity regions, why do you feel new destinations like Iceland and Scotland have proved so popular?
It is a nice testament to the strength of our loyalty club (Odyssey Club), which is highly rewarded, and the huge popularity of our ship, that ‘new’ destinations for us become so popular with our passengers. Both our Iceland cruises are fully sold and in part that is because of the unique authenticity of the way we deliver destination cruising, but it is in part also to the fact that our guests very much feel part of our family. They are on the same journey we are on and with every new experience and destination we plan, they want to experience it at the same time we do. There is a loyalty and togetherness with Voyages to Antiquity that I would say is unique in the industry today and this means ‘new’ experiences on offer get snapped up very quickly by our pioneering past guests.
Jos Dewing (Voyages to Antiquity Managing Director) – @CruiseJos
Voyages to Antiquity offer a very different experience than that of the big mega-resort style ships. Their smaller Aegean Odyssey accommodates some 350 guests in a very comfortable environment. On board you are a person and not a number, the crew get to know you and the service is excellent, plus you get to know your fellow guests quickly too. The destinations they go to are smaller off the beaten track ports and this adds to the appeal – rarely are you in port with other big ships. Their guest lecturer programme is also excellent, offering accessible lectures that you do not need to have a degree in to understand them! The whole experience is one of family – from the welcoming crew to the fellow guests – what’s not to like about that?
Scott Anderson (The Luxury Cruise Company) – @LuxuyCruiseCo
8: Having never cruised with VTA before, if you could choose any of our 2017 itineraries to sail on which would it be and why?
While my travels have transported me beyond the Arctic Circle in Norway, through central Europe and to the Pillars of Hercules along the Mediterranean, my dream has been to visit iconic landmarks, discover captivating histories and experience rich traditions of the United Kingdom and Ireland! Imagine standing in awe below the majestic Stirling Castle perched on high above Edinburgh, circumnavigating the Emerald Isle and immersing in the Irish culture, calling upon Jersey amid the historic Channel Islands, and doing all of this aboard a ship whose very name evokes the spirit of adventure on the high seas—the “Aegean Odyssey.” If I had my pick of any sailing from Voyages to Antiquity, my first choice would be the “Celtic Scotland and Ireland” voyage for reasons stated. I want to travel through Scotland, Ireland and England in one holiday abroad and this cruise would satiate, for now, the wanderlust ignited within!
Jeff Titelius (Travel Writer) – @JeffTitelius
Travel in 2017 on board Aegean Odyssey. View the full itinerary >
You can view the BRAND NEW cruise-tour programme for 2018 on our website now.
The Voyages to Antiquity 2017/2018 Cuba & the islands of the Caribbean collection is also available.
If you are new to cruising and have questions, then you should visit our FAQ page.