Our blog today is a story from our Managing Director, Jos Dewing, that tells of Voyages to Antiquity’s unique beginning and ultimately sheds light on our winter 2018/19 programme. A season that we are immensely proud of and that is a true epic of the ocean waves; a five-month, six-cruise exotic adventure that begins and ends in Aegean Odyssey’s spiritual home of Athens and takes in half the world in between.
It is always fascinating to learn that the things you do naturally as a company have suddenly become the next big things in marketing. Take storytelling, for example – an essential part of Voyages to Antiquity’s DNA; now also the latest buzzword amongst high profile marketers and advertisers.
Our story, albeit a relatively new one, is certainly unique. The lead character, a man passionate about cruising, picks up a book one day (The Middle Sea by Lord Norwich) and is inspired not just to build a travel experience around it, but also to acquire a classically elegant ship, refit it to make it the perfect vehicle of the story and establish a peerlessly enriching cruise company as a result. This is non-fiction at its best and entirely original even in the wide world of cruising. And it is a story that is told year after year, with consummate skill and ever more embellishment.
Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do at Voyages to Antiquity, from the selection of our expert lecturers to the design of our award-winning cruise itineraries and land tours. And our winter 2018/19 programme is no different – a true epic of the ocean waves; a five-month, six-cruise exotic adventure that begins and ends in Aegean Odyssey’s spiritual home of Athens and takes in half the world in between.
With the scene set, our winter’s tale picks up pace as, like Odysseus, we bid farewell to the cobalt blue Aegean. We begin with a journey back in time to the ancient world, amongst the monumental temples and pyramids of Egypt and the breath-taking necropolis of Petra, before a taste of the Arabian Nights (that most famous collection of stories) in Oman, the land of Sinbad and frankincense.
Our included overland experience from Mumbai is a memorable chapter, inviting appreciation of India’s Golden Triangle (Jaipur, Agra and Delhi) and the culmination of the greatest love story of them all – the ethereally beautiful Taj Mahal, a mausoleum commissioned by the 17th century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Our story continues to unfold eastwards, by way of southern India’s dreamy beaches and the cultural treasures of Sri Lanka to the glittering skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Then on again to Burma and another architectural highlight – the sacred Shwedagon Pagoda, its shimmering dome studded with thousands of priceless rubies, sapphires and a 76-carat diamond. Optional tours to Mandalay, perhaps the most evocatively named city in Asia, or Bagan’s myriad temples, add further lustre to the Burma experience.
The narrative then turns excitingly towards South Africa, with stops in the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius, enchanting islands scattered like gold-encircled emeralds across the velvety expanse of the Indian Ocean. Reunion Island, fittingly, is the centrepiece of our reunion cruise for previous Voyages to Antiquity guests. In South Africa, fireside tales will be told of the ‘Big Five’ (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) along with countless other characterful species spotted on safari drives in Lalibela and Hluhluwe game reserves. And natural wonders also abound during our stay in Cape Town, with a trip to the summit of iconic Table Mountain, Stellenbosch wine tasting and a visit to the fragrant and colourful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Could there be a more exciting denouement than a voyage the very length of Africa, south to north, beyond the legendary Skeleton Coast of Namibia and tropical Bom Bom Island to conclude with an overland journey around imperial Morocco? Perhaps not, but there is time yet for an epilogue as Aegean Odyssey once again returns to Mediterranean waters, sailing from Malaga to Athens, revealing the majesty of bygone civilisations en route.
Don’t miss your chance to become part of this very special winter’s tale. Simply read on – and book!
View our entire 2018/19 winter cruise collection.