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Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations

$300pp on-board credit^

Athens to Singapore

55 days

2-night hotel stay in Singapore

2-night hotel stay in Luxor

3-night hotel stay in Athens

2-night hotel stay in Delhi

2-night hotel stay in Cairo

from $10,450 pp

05 Dec, 2018

Book now and save up to $11,000 per stateroom

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AEG181209A

  • calendar
    55 days
  • flag
    11 countries
  • hotel
    11 hotel nights
  • shore-expirience
    26 shore excursions
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This grand voyage begins with a three-night hotel stay in Athens and two nights in Cairo, taking you to all the great sites of these classical and Pharaonic capitals, including the Parthenon, Memphis and Sakkara.

Travel to Aqaba for the breathtaking Treasury of Petra, then return to Egypt for the Temple of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings. Celebrate Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve on board Aegean Odyssey as you sail to Salalah, Muscat, Mumbai and Porbandar. Explore Delhi – old and new, Agra and the Taj Mahal in India’s “Golden Triangle.”

Cruise the tropical Malabar coast and picnic on a “desert island” in the Maldives. Then in Sri Lanka, visit the capital of Colombo and the spiritual city of Trincomalee.

Sail to the Andaman Islands and Thailand, for the chance to explore the delightful resort of Phuket as well as the Phi Phi Islands or Phang Nga Bay, before cruising to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Your journey concludes with a two-night hotel stay in elegant Singapore.

Please note: all activities, guest lecture topics and other day-by-day events listed as taking place on-board Aegean Odyssey are subject to change and may be rescheduled or cancelled at any time.

Date
Port
Depart
Arrive
Dec 05
Wed
Departure
    Departure
    Depart North America.
    Dec 06
    Thu
    Athens
    • Arts & culture
    • Signature Voyage
    • Unesco
    Athens , Greece
    Fly to Athens and transfer to hotel.
    overnight hotel
    Dec 07
    Fri
    Athens
    • Arts & culture
    • Signature Voyage
    • Unesco
    Athens , Greece
    Discover the amazing history of the Greek capital on a choice of tours, taking in the awe-inspiring temples and museum of the Acropolis, or Byzantine Athens.
    overnight hotel
    Dec 08
    Sat
    Athens
    • Arts & culture
    • Signature Voyage
    • Unesco
    Athens , Greece
    Visit the city of Agamemnon – Mycenae – and marvel at the great theatre of Epidaurus, with acoustics so good that it is said you can hear a pin drop from the highest tier.
    overnight hotel
    Dec 09
    Sun
    Athens
    • Arts & culture
    • Signature Voyage
    • Unesco
    Athens , Greece
    Enjoy an optional morning tour of the impressive National Archaeological Museum and transfer to the port of Piraeus to embark Aegean Odyssey.
    7.00pm
    Dec 10
    Mon
    At sea
    • Sea Days
    At sea
    Cruising the Mediterranean Sea. David Crilly kick-starts our lecture programme as he goes in search of the real Cleopatra, Campbell Price delves deep into the topic of ‘ancient Egypt’ and how this idea was created, while Thomas Fraser discusses the modern Middle East.
    Dec 11
    Tue
    At sea
    • Sea Days
    At sea
    For those who love to sing, sign-up for the Aegean Odyssey choir club. Other activities include the first of many creative workshops led by Alan O’Cain and an introductory craft class with Clare Coventry.
    Dec 12
    Wed
    Suez Canal
      Suez Canal , Egypt
      Appreciate the mighty engineering achievement of the Suez Canal with a contextual commentary from the Bridge. Aegean Odyssey is expected to enter the canal in the early hours of Wednesday morning and exit in the mid-afternoon.
      Dec 13
      Thu
      Cairo
      • Soft adventure
      • Arts & culture
      Cairo , Egypt
      Disembark Aegean Odyssey for a two-night overland tour to Cairo and its environs, beginning with the Egyptian Museum, home to the glittering funerary treasure of the boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun. Lunch and dinner are included.
      overnight hotel
      Dec 14
      Fri
      Cairo
      • Soft adventure
      • Arts & culture
      Cairo , Egypt
      The Old Kingdom capital of Memphis and the necropolis of Sakkara, famed for its ‘Step Pyramid’, make for a fascinating visit. Enjoy lunch and a free afternoon. A splendid Nile dinner cruise follows.
      overnight hotel
      Dec 15
      Sat
      Cairo
      • Soft adventure
      • Arts & culture
      Cairo , Egypt
      A short drive to Giza and the iconic Sphinx and Pyramids, last surviving wonder of the ancient world. Enjoy lunch before we drive back to rejoin Aegean Odyssey.
      overnight
      Dec 16
      Sun
      Suez Canal
        Suez Canal , Egypt
        A full day excursion introduces two of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, St Anthony’s and St Paul’s.
        8.00pm
        Dec 17
        Mon
        At sea
        • Sea Days
        At sea
        Cruising the Red Sea. David Price-Williams examines the archaeology of Petra during his talk and today also marks the choir club launch with carol concert rehearsals starting.
        Dec 18
        Tue
        Aqaba
          Aqaba , Jordan
          Jordan’s southern port is the gateway to Petra, acclaimed as one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’. This ancient, mountain-cut city of temples and tombs, streets and theatres is indeed spectacular, and visitors never forget their first sight of the Treasury.
          overnight
          7.00am
          Dec 19
          Wed
          Aqaba
            Aqaba , Jordan
            An optional excursion invites you to follow in the camel tracks of TE Lawrence in Wadi Rum, a desert landscape so otherworldly that in has often stood in for Mars in Hollywood films.
            2.00pm
            Dec 20
            Thu
            Safaga (Luxor)
              Safaga (Luxor) , Egypt
              Disembark Aegean Odyssey for another overland tour, to Luxor followed by lunch, and visit the majestic temple of Karnak in the afternoon.
              overnight hotel
              7.00am
              Dec 21
              Fri
              Safaga (Luxor)
                Safaga (Luxor) , Egypt
                The sun-baked UNESCO Valley of the Kings, with its richly frescoed royal tombs, plus lunch makes for an enthralling morning. Dinner at your hotel and a show in the evening.
                overnight hotel
                Dec 22
                Sat
                Luxor
                  Luxor , Egypt
                  Morning drive from Luxor to Safaga to rejoin Aegean Odyssey for lunch on board.
                  8.00pm
                  Dec 23
                  Sun
                  At sea
                  • Sea Days
                  At sea
                  Cruising the Red Sea. David Price-Williams discusses the ancient trade in Frankincense and the history of the miracle-working Saint Nicholas. Alan O’Cain gives an engaging talk about Dogs in Art.
                  Dec 24
                  Mon
                  At sea
                  • Sea Days
                  At sea
                  Quizzes and films will take place throughout the day, while Clare and Marianne lead the evening ‘Carols by Electric Candelabras’ service, accompanied by mulled wine.
                  Dec 25
                  Tue
                  At sea
                  • Sea Days
                  At sea
                  We aim to give you a Christmas Day you will never forget. Enjoy a champagne breakfast, buffet lunch and formal dinner preceded by the Captain’s festive cocktail party. Other activities include a morning church service, Christmas-themed quiz and the Christmas Passenger Choir Concert.
                  Dec 26
                  Wed
                  At sea
                  • Sea Days
                  At sea
                  Cruising the Red Sea on Boxing Day. Thomas Fraser looks ahead to India whilst discussing the civilisations of the Indus Valley, Nile and Tigris-Euphrates. David Price-Williams wraps up our exploration of Egypt with a talk which looks into the fall of Assyria.
                  Dec 27
                  Thu
                  At sea
                  • Sea Days
                  At sea
                  David Crilly gets us ready for Oman by means of exploring the ancient oral traditions of storytelling at the core of Bedouin folk music.
                  Dec 28
                  Fri
                  Salalah
                    Salalah , Oman
                    Visit the town of Sumharam and the Tomb of Job for a morning sightseeing tour. In the afternoon take an optional tour to discover the Sultanate heritage.
                    10.00pm
                    8.00am
                    Dec 29
                    Sat
                    At sea
                    • Sea Days
                    At sea
                    The Daily Journal on board Aegean Odyssey details a comprehensive list of activities, should you be undecided how to spend these laid-back days at sea.
                    Dec 30
                    Sun
                    At sea
                    • Sea Days
                    At sea
                    Cruising the Arabian Sea.
                    Dec 31
                    Mon
                    Muscat
                      Muscat , Oman
                      A visit to the Sultan's Palace, and the famous 16-century Portuguese twin forts. Optional afternoon tour. As midnight approaches, grab a glass of Champagne and count down the seconds to New Year whilst the Captain speaks to you from the Bridge.
                      10.00pm
                      8.00am
                      Jan 01
                      Tue
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Cruising the Arabian Sea. David Crilly talks about the language and mystery of Indian classical music.
                      Jan 02
                      Wed
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Andrew Bunten talks about the charismatic land mammals that can be found across the astonishing sub-continent of India.
                      Jan 03
                      Thu
                      Porbandar
                      • Arts & culture
                      Porbandar , India
                      We explore the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi in the most characterful way – by tuk-tuk!
                      8.00pm
                      8.00am
                      Jan 04
                      Fri
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Cruising the Arabian Sea. Enjoy some quizzes, films and a moving classical concert.
                      Jan 05
                      Sat
                      Delhi
                      • Arts & culture
                      • Architecture
                      Delhi , India
                      Morning sightseeing in Mumbai, including the residence of Mahatma Gandhi and the 262-foot-high Gateway of India. Afternoon flight to Delhi.
                      overnight hotel
                      6.00am
                      Jan 06
                      Sun
                      Delhi
                      • Arts & culture
                      • Architecture
                      Delhi , India
                      Take an express train to Agra and enjoy guided tours of the UNESCO Red Fort of Agra, founded by Emperor Akbar in 1565, and the spectacular Taj Mahal.
                      overnight hotel
                      Jan 07
                      Mon
                      Mumbai
                      • Arts & culture
                      Mumbai , India
                      Morning sightseeing in Delhi, including the UNESCO World Heritage Qutub Minar, India Gate and the Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. Afternoon flight to Mumbai to rejoin Aegean Odyssey.
                      10.00pm
                      Jan 08
                      Tue
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Cruising the Arabian Sea. Peter Cattermole looks at the geography of India and Sri Lanka, and then Judith Brown examines Mahatma Gandhi’s core beliefs, including his practice of non-violent resistance.
                      Jan 09
                      Wed
                      Marmagao
                      • Arts & culture
                      • Unesco
                      • Religious
                      Marmagao , India
                      Tour Old Goa and the historic villas of the Portuguese era, or take a tour through small towns and villages to Hindu temples and the Sahakari Plantation.
                      8.00pm
                      8.00am
                      Jan 10
                      Thu
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      As Aegean Odyssey cruises the Malabar coastline, Ernie Rea talks about the inspiration for the Oscar winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire”, then later in the day Stephen Carr-Smith begins a series of presentations on the British in India.
                      Jan 11
                      Fri
                      Cochin
                      • Arts & culture
                      Cochin , India
                      Enjoy a morning tour of Cochin's highlights, including the oldest church in India. An optional afternoon tour is also available, or a full day optional tour to one of India's most beautiful regions, Kerala.
                      8.00pm
                      8.00am
                      Jan 12
                      Sat
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Another day at sea to enjoy Aegean Odyssey’s facilities. Visit the Athena Spa perhaps, or sit back for a lazy morning on the Lido Deck, with a good book from our well-stocked library.
                      Jan 13
                      Sun
                      Maldives
                      • Beach
                      • Island Life
                      Maldives , Maldives
                      Head ashore on the stunning tropical island of Uligamu, where you will have plenty of time to relax on the white sands or swim in the quiet, tranquil waters which are surrounded by coral reefs and tropical fish, before returning to the ship for a barbeque party on deck.
                      3.00pm
                      8.00am
                      Jan 14
                      Mon
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Our on-board speaker programme continues with Judith Brown talking on ‘Nehru’s India and Beyond’ and Andrew Bunten presenting ‘Tiger, Tiger – Land Mammals of the Indian Subcontinent’.
                      Jan 15
                      Tue
                      Colombo
                      • Wildlife
                      • Arts & culture
                      Colombo , Sri Lanka
                      Watch Asian elephants bathe and play on a full day adventure to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, or take an optional full day tour to sacred Kandy, location of the temple containing a tooth of the Buddha.
                      overnight
                      8.00am
                      Jan 16
                      Wed
                      Colombo
                      • Wildlife
                      • Arts & culture
                      Colombo , Sri Lanka
                      Take a morning tour of Colombo's city highlights, including Kelaniya (Kalyana) Temple and the National Museum of Sri Lanka, housing a vast collection of books, more than 4,000 archaic palm leaf manuscripts and rock sculptures from ancient cities.
                      6.00pm
                      Jan 17
                      Thu
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Peter Cattermole’s fascinating geographical talks continue as he discusses the Indian Ocean and Ernie Rea asks why hair is so important to people of religion, whether it be dreadlocks, turbans, side-locks or beards.
                      Jan 18
                      Fri
                      Trincomalee
                      • Arts & culture
                      • Architecture
                      Trincomalee , Sri Lanka
                      A choice of tours are available today: take a city tour of Trincomalee, which has attracted many sea farers throughout the ages, from Marco Polo and Ptolemy, to the traders of ancient China and East Asia; or visit the UNESCO site of Royal Polonnaruwa, one of the best-preserved archaeological cities on the island.
                      4.00pm
                      8.00am
                      Jan 19
                      Sat
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Our craft classes and entertainment in the form of daily quizzes continue, alongside moving poetry readings and classical recitals from our resident musicians.
                      Jan 20
                      Sun
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Our speaker programme promises to keep your mind engaged as we cruise the Indian Ocean, while our evening entertainment throughout the voyage is upbeat and there’s always something going on for those that seek it.
                      Jan 21
                      Mon
                      Port Blair
                      • Arts & culture
                      Port Blair , Andaman Islands
                      Take a morning city tour of Port Blair that includes the Andaman's most historic monuments and museums. An optional afternoon tour to colonial Ross Island is also available.
                      7.00pm
                      8.00am
                      Jan 22
                      Tue
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      Stephen Carr-Smith explores how Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah all sought Indian independence in different ways; and Ernie Rea tells the story of Sir Stanford Raffles and Lee Kwan Yew.
                      Jan 23
                      Wed
                      Phuket
                      • Natural Wonders
                      • Beach
                      Phuket , Thailand
                      Take a fabulous full-day boat trip to the soaring cliffs, powdery sands and crystal-clear waters of the Phi Phi Islands, or Phang Nga, aka James Bond island.
                      8.00pm
                      8.00am
                      Jan 24
                      Thu
                      At sea
                      • Sea Days
                      At sea
                      A final day at sea as Aegean Odyssey cruises the Strait of Malacca and a final chance to excel in a craft class. Themed quizzes continue in the Charleston Lounge and topical discussions happen in the Ambassador Lounge.
                      Jan 25
                      Fri
                      Port Kelang
                      • Architecture
                      Port Kelang , Malaysia
                      Experience a world of beautiful mosques, grand museums, historic memorials and local marketplaces in Kuala Lumpur.
                      8.00pm
                      8.00am
                      Jan 26
                      Sat
                      Singapore
                      • Wildlife
                      • Arts & culture
                      • Unesco
                      Singapore , Singapore
                      Disembark Aegean Odyssey and delve into the spirit of Singapore on a morning sightseeing tour of the city. An optional night safari evening tour is also available.
                      overnight hotel
                      8.00am
                      Jan 27
                      Sun
                      Singapore
                      • Wildlife
                      • Arts & culture
                      • Unesco
                      Singapore , Singapore
                      Take an optional morning tour of Singapore's Gardens by the Bay, a true horticultural wonderland covering over 100 hectares, or explore a city often referred to as a cultural melting pot, at leisure.
                      overnight hotel
                      Jan 28
                      Mon
                      Singapore
                      • Wildlife
                      • Arts & culture
                      • Unesco
                      Singapore , Singapore
                      Transfer to Singapore Airport for flight home.
                      Acropolis and Acropolis Museum
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Acropolis and Acropolis Museum

                      7 Dec Athens, Greece
                      Half Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hoursArchaeological SiteWalking over cobblestones, uneven or slippery surfacesUphill Sections
                      Visit the sublime expression of Classical Greece, the Acropolis with its sweeping views of Athens. Commissioned by Pericles in the 5th-century BC, the site is dominated by the majestic Parthenon.

                      Visit the sublime expression of Classical Greece, the Acropolis with its sweeping views of Athens. Commissioned by Pericles in the 5th century BC, the site is dominated by the majestic Parthenon: a building that embodies the stunning achievements of the Athenian “Golden Age”.

                      Surrounding the great temple are the other architectural masterpieces of the citadel: the Propylaia (monumental gateway), the Erechtheion with its beautiful Karayatid Porch and the Temple of Athena Nike (Winged Victory).

                      Below the temple complex is the theatre of Dionysos where the dramas of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were first performed. Then explore another marvel: the longanticipated $200-million, 226,000-square-foot Acropolis Museum.

                      In the dramatic Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis, ascending floors of glass literally “float” you above the excavations for an extraordinary perspective of the layers of Greek history that lie below.

                      Read more
                      Included
                      Choice of Tours
                      Cultural Activity
                      Byzantine Athens

                      Byzantine Athens

                      7 Dec Athens, Greece
                      Half Day Walking over cobblestones, uneven or slippery surfacesUphill Sections
                      Never in the history of Christianity has a school of artists infused such a high degree of spirituality into its work. Byzantine theologians insisted that painters and mosaicists reflect the image of God. This morning's sightseeing reveals the splendour of Byzantine art in a tour that combines visits to both the Byzantine Museum, home to the world's largest collection of icons, and also the Monastery of Kaisariani with its fine frescoes and elegant gardens.

                      Never in the history of Christianity has a school of artists infused such a high degree of spirituality into its work. Byzantine theologians insisted that painters and mosaicists reflect the image of God. This morning's sightseeing reveals the splendour of Byzantine art in a tour that combines visits to both the Byzantine Museum, home to the world's largest collection of icons, and also the Monastery of Kaisariani with its fine frescoes and elegant gardens.

                      Drive from the pier to Illissia Mansion, winter residence of the Duchess of Piacenza, and home to the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Founded in 1914, this renowned museum focuses exclusively on Byzantine art from the 4th to 19th centuries. In addition to its impressive icons, frescoes and tapestries, there are paintings, sculptures and illuminated manuscripts. Displays recreate Byzantine churches from the 5th to 11th centuries.

                      Continue next to the slopes of Mt. Hymettos, for a visit to the Monastery of Kaisariani, a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture. Inside its high walls discover the 11th-century catholicon, or main church, built in a Greek cross shape. The dome is supported by four columns from an earlier Roman temple and colourful frescoes from the 14th to 18th centuries enliven the interior walls. There is also an 11th-century bathhouse. Later additions include a refectory, the monks’ cells and a 19th-century bell tower. Savour the views of Athens and the serenity of this delightful spot before returning to your hotel.

                      Read more
                      Included
                      Choice of Tours
                      Cultural Activity
                      Exploring Argolis: Mycenae and Epidaurus

                      Exploring Argolis: Mycenae and Epidaurus

                      8 Dec Athens, Greece
                      Full Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hoursLunch Included
                      Explore the scenic Argolis Peninsula in the eastern Peloponnesus and visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Epidaurus, a pure masterpiece of Greek architecture and Mycenae, one of the great cities of the Mycenaean civilisation.

                      Explore the scenic Argolis Peninsula in the eastern Peloponnesus and visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Epidaurus, a pure masterpiece of Greek architecture and Mycenae, one of the great cities of the Mycenaean civilisation.

                      Drive from lovely Nauplia, originally the port for the ancient city of Argos, to Epidaurus, set on the slopes of a beautiful wooded valley. In the 4th century BC, this area was a thriving medical centre sacred to the god of medicine, Asclepius. The site's baths, temples and hospital buildings include a sanctuary for psychology-based miracle cures. Epidaurus was renowned throughout the Hellenic world, and provides valuable insights into the healing treatments of the time. The jewel is the theatre designed by the architect Polycletus the Younger of Argos, which features a second tier added in Roman times to accommodate 14,000. Discover the incredible acoustics, so perfect it is said you can hear a pin drop from the top row. Once a stage for the great Greek dramatists, the theatre is still in use.

                      Next, we board a cruiser for a transit of the Corinth Canal which links the Aegean and Ionian seas. In ancient times sailors had to drag their ships on rollers from sea to sea. The canal was envisioned by Corinth's founder, Periander; started in 67AD by the Emperor Nero; and finally completed in 1893. Continue across the Argos Plain to Mycenae, one of the greatest cities of Mycenaean culture, which flourished in the Argolis region from 1600 to 1100 BC and laid the foundations for classical Greece.

                      En route, pause for a delicious traditional lunch in a Greek restaurant. Then begin your explorations of Mycenae, a citadel set high above two boulder-strewn ravines and built, it is said, with the aid of the Cyclops. Walk through the Lion Gate, Europe's oldest piece of monumental statuary. At this gate, the returning Trojan war hero, Agamemnon, was greeted by his wife, Klytemnestra, only to be murdered later by her lover. Once inside the site, explore the Royal Palace, view the shaft graves and attend an archaeological briefing in the Treasury of Atreus, also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon.

                      Gain insights into the greatness of Mycenaean civilisation, as well as a glimpse into the haunting legends behind some of the world's greatest dramas.

                      Note: This tour involves substantial walking and stairs. Timeline may vary.

                      Read more
                      Included
                      National Archaeological Museum

                      National Archaeological Museum

                      9 Dec Athens, Greece
                      Half Day
                      Founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, the National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important in the world devoted to ancient Greek art.

                      Founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, the National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important in the world devoted to ancient Greek art.

                      During your visit you will be able to see Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean and Classical Greek art, and you'll also view sculptures from the Archaic and Hellenistic periods, along with pottery from the Geometric period. A few of the museum's most important exhibits include the bronze statue of Poseidon, the head of Hygeia (Goddess of Health), the bronze statue of the "Jockey-Boy" of Artemision, the golden mask of Agamemnon and the brilliant Minoan frescoes from the site on Thira (Santorini).

                      Within the museum's walls more than 11,000 exhibits provide a panorama of Greek art from prehistory to late antiquity. Wander amid the royal tombs of Mycenae, dating from 1500BC. Marvel at sculpture from the 7th to 5th centuries BC, including the kouroi, nude male athletes, carved in Naxian marble. Admire a delicate bronze by Praxiteles and frescoes from Akrotiri, buried over 3,500 years ago in a volcanic eruption. Trace the evolution of Greek pottery from earliest times in collections including rare white clayware. This astonishing museum even includes Egyptian and Cypriot antiquities, as well as treasures from the sea. A shipwreck at Antikythera produced a scientific instrument used for astronomical calculations in the 1st century BC.

                      Please note: this optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

                      Read more
                      Optional $ 35
                      Cairo Museum & the Treasures of Egypt

                      Cairo Museum & the Treasures of Egypt

                      13 Dec Cairo, Egypt
                      Half Day PM Lunch IncludedSignificant Steps
                      Imagine the feelings of British archaeologist Howard Carter on November 5 1922, the date he descended the hidden steps of King Tutankhamun’s tomb and first set eyes on its fabulous golden treasures. On this visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Egypt you will come as close as possible to recreating this magical moment.

                      Imagine the feelings of British archaeologist Howard Carter on November 5 1922, the date he descended the hidden steps of King Tutankhamun’s tomb and first set eyes on its fabulous golden treasures. On this visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Egypt you will come as close as possible to recreating this magical moment as you discover the magnificent artefacts unearthed by the archaeologist, as well as many other pharaonic artworks spanning a period of over 50 centuries, which constitute the largest and richest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world.

                      Stepping from modern urban streets into a timeless world of golden burial masks, papyrus scrolls and artefacts representing every period of Egyptian history, the museum's crowning glory is of course its priceless collection from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Born during Egypt's Golden Age in 1347BC and only a teenager when he died, Tutankhamun was buried in the Valley of the Kings and lay undisturbed for over 3,000 years, until Howard Carter,  derided by his colleagues and on the brink of losing his funding, unearthed his tomb and its fabulous treasures, including a royal diadem, weapons used by the young king, a viscera coffin for Tutankhamun’s mummified liver, and a mask of solid gold weighing over 24 pounds, shaped in the image of the pharaoh's face.

                      Read more
                      Included
                      Evening Nile cruise

                      Evening Nile cruise

                      14 Dec Cairo, Egypt
                      Evening sail Lunch IncludedBoat Ride
                      From your hotel, drive to the banks of the River Nile where a luxurious cruise boat awaits to sail you on the same timeless waterway traversed by pharaohs, queens and nobles thousands of years ago.

                      From your hotel, drive to the banks of the River Nile where a luxurious cruise boat awaits to sail you on the same timeless waterway traversed by pharaohs, queens and nobles thousands of years ago. Sit back, relax and enjoy a sumptuous dinner in elaborate interiors as you glide past Cairo’s waterfront landmarks. For your entertainment, a folkloric presentation and belly dancing will take place during meal.

                      Read more
                      Included
                      Memphis and Sakkara
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Memphis and Sakkara

                      14 Dec Cairo, Egypt
                      Half Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hours
                      At its peak, Memphis must have staggered the out-of-town visitor. Egypt's first capital is situated at the apex of the Nile delta. For thousands of years this huge, cosmopolitan city was the capital of the Old Kingdom (2650-2134BC).

                      At its peak, Memphis must have staggered the out-of-town visitor. Egypt's first capital is situated at the apex of the Nile delta. For thousands of years this huge, cosmopolitan city was the capital of the Old Kingdom (2650-2134BC).

                      Arriving at Memphis, visit the remains of the temple of Ptah, the god of Memphis and mythical creator of the universe. See such breathtaking sights as the huge fallen statue of King Ramses II and the Alabaster Sphinx of King Amenhopis II. Continue a short drive from Memphis to Sakkara, a favorite necropolis of Old Kingdom pharaohs. View one of mankind's first monumental stone buildings, the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, built in 2750BC by the engineer Imhotep, a polymath who could arguably lay claim to being the world's first architect, first doctor, first priest, first poet, first dentist and first astrologer.

                      After visiting the complex, continue to one of the nearby mastabas (funerary chambers) such as Ptah-Hotep or Mereruca. These give important insights into the architectural origins of the pyramid and contain beautiful reliefs with depictions of daily life in ancient Egypt.

                       

                      Read more
                      Included
                      Pyramids of Giza
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Pyramids of Giza

                      15 Dec Cairo, Egypt
                      Half Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hoursLunch IncludedWalking over cobblestones, uneven or slippery surfaces
                      Stand in awe before the Pyramids at Giza, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Drive to the Giza Plateau and the pyramids built for the pharaohs of the fourth dynasty: Cheops, Chefren and Mycerinos. From the Western Plateau, take in majestic views of all three pyramids with Cairo sprawling at their feet.

                      Stand in awe before the Pyramids at Giza, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Drive to the Giza Plateau and the pyramids built for the pharaohs of the fourth dynasty: Cheops, Chefren and Mycerinos. From the Western Plateau, take in majestic views of all three pyramids with Cairo sprawling at their feet. The pyramid of Cheops alone required tens of thousands of workers over two decades. While it was once held that the workers who created this site were slaves, it is now thought they toiled for wages or to pay off taxes. Continue down the valley to contemplate the Sphinx, watching the passage of time and man in silence.

                      This colossal limestone monument with the haunches of a lion and the face of a king is held to represent the guardian deity of these royal burial grounds. So great were the Sphinx's mythical powers that 15th-century Egyptians thought it controlled the flood cycles of the Nile.

                      Note: This visit is to the exterior of the pyramids only. If you wish to go inside, there is an additional charge, but this is not recommended for those with claustrophobia or with breathing, knee or back problems. Photography is not allowed inside the pyramids.

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                      Included
                      St Anthony and St Paul's Monasteries

                      St Anthony and St Paul's Monasteries

                      16 Dec Suez Canal, Egypt
                      Full day Lunch IncludedSignificant StepsUphill Sections
                      Anthony the Great, the Father of All Monks, was born in 251AD to a wealthy family in Lower Egypt, but after answering the call of God he gave away all his worldly possessions and lived an ascetic life in the wilderness. Following his death in 356AD, his followers founded a Coptic monastery in his name at the foot of Al-Qalzam Mountain, not far from the tiny cave where Anthony had lived.

                      Anthony the Great, the Father of All Monks, was born in 251AD to a wealthy family in Lower Egypt, but after answering the call of God he gave away all his worldly possessions and lived an ascetic life in the wilderness. Following his death in 356AD, his followers founded a Coptic monastery in his name at the foot of Al-Qalzam Mountain, not far from the tiny cave where Anthony had lived.

                      Your guides for the day will be the monks themselves, making for a truly fascinating insight into the daily life of what is the oldest still active monastery in the world. Dotted around this self-contained little village are a mill and bakery, as well as four churches, the oldest of which has some exceptional wall paintings of the Holy Knights. Also on the site is a library containing the largest collection of Coptic manuscripts in Egypt, totalling nearly two thousand volumes.

                      St. Paul’s Monastery is another Coptic Christian retreat that relies on mountain spring water for its supply and still observes rituals that have barely changed for sixteen centuries. Founded in memory of Paul the Anchorite, one of Egypt’s greatest saints, it has a close association with St. Anthony’s as one of the other oldest monasteries in the country, dating from the 5th-century AD.

                      The site has three churches, one of which is underground in the cave where St. Paul is said to have lived for eighty years. During the Middle Ages it suffered repeated attacks by Bedouin tribes, which is why, until recently, the only way in was via a pulley and winch system.

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                      Included
                      Walking Tour of Petra
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Walking Tour of Petra

                      18 Dec Aqaba, Jordan
                      Full Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hoursLunch IncludedWalking over cobblestones, uneven or slippery surfaces
                      One of the great moments in travel is when you emerge from the narrow winding Siq to encounter the extraordinary rose-red city of Petra. This guided tour is entirely on foot so you can more intimately interact with this UNESCO World Heritage Site, chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

                      One of the great moments in travel is when you emerge from the narrow winding Siq to encounter the extraordinary rose-red city of Petra. This guided tour is entirely on foot so you can more intimately interact with this UNESCO World Heritage Site, chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

                      Together with your guide, start your walk from the main gate to the obelisk tombs. Then continue to the Siq, the sole entrance to Petra, a long winding path between two overhanging cliffs that acts as the city's main gate.

                      As you proceed along this mile-long fissure, your guide will point out such details as Petra's ingenious water system where some of the original terracotta pipes are still in place. Your first sight will be the magnificent spectacle of Al Khazneh (The Treasury), carved out of the rock by Nabatean Arabs some 2,000 years ago. You may continue along the Street of Façades taking in such sights as the amphitheater and the Royal Court, where recent excavations have revealed a public pool and gardens.

                      The guides will take you to the Treasury area and from this point you will have the option of continuing on to the Street of Façades. Please note that there is an optional, one-way horse ride included in your ticket. Horse drawn carriages are available at the site entrance but passengers should be reminded that these are not recommended and are at the passenger’s own risk.

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                      Included
                      Desert Safari to Wadi Rum
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Desert Safari to Wadi Rum

                      19 Dec Aqaba, Jordan
                      Half Day Walking over cobblestones, uneven or slippery surfacesSignificant Steps
                      Sometimes referred to as “the Valley of the Moon”, Wadi Rum is one of the most enchanting deserts in the world and will engulf you with its enigmatic lure. Surrounded by steep cliffs, narrow canyons and dramatic scenery, the Wadi has been inhabited by many cultures, including the Nabateans, since pre-historic times.

                      Sometimes referred to as “the Valley of the Moon”, Wadi Rum is one of the most enchanting deserts in the world and will engulf you with its enigmatic lure. Surrounded by steep cliffs, narrow canyons and dramatic scenery, the Wadi has been inhabited by many cultures, including the Nabateans, since pre-historic times.

                      Still, Wadi Rum is perhaps best known to Westerners as the staging ground for Lawrence of Arabia’s attack on the port of Aqaba.

                      Our tour begins with an hour’s drive to the heart of the valley where you’ll transfer to Bedouin-driven jeeps for a two-hour desert tour including a visit to Khaz Ali canyon with its petroglyphs and the spring where legend has it that T.E. Lawrence washed; the Seven Pillars of Wisdom Mountain – this stunning formation is what T.E. Lawrence titled his philosophical memoir after; the Desert Jebels and Inscriptions – the awe-inspiring Jebels are amazing to look at, the sandstone rock formations rise from the Wadi floor all around.

                      Some even bear ancient inscriptions and rock art. After your tour you will continue on to Petra and check in to your hotel.

                      Please note that the desert safari takes place using various different models of Bedouin-driven jeeps. Some jeeps may be more difficult to climb into than others and are not suitable for passengers with mobility limitations.

                      This optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

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                      Optional $ 75
                      Karnak Temple
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Karnak Temple

                      20 Dec Safaga (Luxor), Egypt
                      Half Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hours
                      This afternoon you will head to Karnak to visit the great Temple of Amun, the greatest place of worship in history. The magnificent hypostyle hall is a veritable forest of 134 papyrus columns that once supported a massive roof. You can still see the remains of clerestory windows, designed to create the effect of a papyrus swamp.

                      This afternoon you will head to Karnak to visit the great Temple of Amun, the greatest place of worship in history. The magnificent hypostyle hall is a veritable forest of 134 papyrus columns that once supported a massive roof. You can still see the remains of clerestory windows, designed to create the effect of a papyrus swamp. This hall connected the outer court with the inner sanctuary, where only kings and priests were permitted. On special occasions, a statue of Amun would emerge, carried aloft on the shoulders of his priests.

                      The temple was completed by Ramses II (1290-1224BC), considered by some to be the pharaoh of the Exodus. The site also bears evidence of an even earlier temple, dating back another thousand years. Other highlights include the Avenue of the Sphinxes – creatures combining the body of a lion and the head of a ram. The main road linking the temples at Karnak and Luxor were once lined with these fantastic creatures, each holding a statue of Ramses II between their paws.

                      In addition, visit the open-air museum to view remains from other areas of Karnak, such as the white chapel of Sanusret I.

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                      Included
                      Sound & Light Show at the Karnak Temple
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Sound & Light Show at the Karnak Temple

                      21 Dec Safaga (Luxor), Egypt
                      Evening Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hours
                      In the evening, attend a Sound & Light show at the Karnak Temple. Here, under a star-studded sky, the magnificent history and achievements of the ancient Egyptians come to life as the temple complex is illuminated in a magical show, dominating the surrounding darkness.

                      In the evening, attend a Sound & Light show at the Karnak Temple. Here, under a star-studded sky, the magnificent history and achievements of the ancient Egyptians come to life as the temple complex is illuminated in a magical show, dominating the surrounding darkness.

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                      Included
                      West Bank & Valley of the Kings
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      West Bank & Valley of the Kings

                      21 Dec Safaga (Luxor), Egypt
                      Half Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hours
                      Thebes, the city of the god Amon, was the capital of Egypt during the Middle and New Kingdoms. Like Babylon and Ninevah it was considered one of the great cities of antiquity. On the opposite bank of the Nile is located the necropolis known as the Valley of the Kings, the burial place of the New Kingdom pharaohs.

                      Thebes, the city of the god Amon, was the capital of Egypt during the Middle and New Kingdoms. Like Babylon and Ninevah it was considered one of the great cities of antiquity. On the opposite bank of the Nile is located the necropolis known as the Valley of the Kings, the burial place of the New Kingdom pharaohs. These rulers were obsessed with the afterlife, and the magnificence of their tombs and temples has been a source of marvel to tourists since the time of the Greek historian, Herodotus.

                      Visit three of the royal tombs, including King Tutankhamun's, where one of archaeology's most dramatic discovery tales comes to life. Continue to Deir El Bahari to view the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the masterwork of Senenmut, the commoner turned royal architect. Dramatically located at the foot of a cliff, the funerary temple befits a queen who once declared herself king, and is considered one of the finest buildings in all Egypt.

                      You will also see the Colossi of Memnon, a magnificent pair of gigantic (64 feet high) statues of Amenophis III that once graced the entrance to his immense temple. Although these two statues are all that remain of the temple, their vast scale is an indication of its magnitude and size. After an earthquake in 27 BC, the north colossus was said to sing at dawn, but once it was repaired in 199 AD, the sound disappeared.

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                      Included
                      Scenic Salalah

                      Scenic Salalah

                      28 Dec Salalah, Oman
                      Half day Respectful Dress
                      Beaches, blow holes and a biblical site form just a part of the fascinating mosaic in Oman's second largest city, where colorful souqs and marketplaces sit in the shadow of a grand Sultan's Palace. Start your sightseeing with a scenic drive that reveals the contrast between the city's lush vegetation and the serene landscapes of the desert.

                      Beaches, blow holes and a biblical site form just a part of the fascinating mosaic in Oman's second largest city, where colorful souqs and marketplaces sit in the shadow of a grand Sultan's Palace. Start your sightseeing with a scenic drive that reveals the contrast between the city's lush vegetation and the serene landscapes of the desert.

                      Then head to Mughsail Beach where white sand stretches for miles. If the tide is high, you may be lucky enough to see geysers spouting from the blow holes in the limestone cliffs. Legend holds that the prophet Job is buried outside Salalah, and the next site you visit is sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews. Job's tomb itself is simple, but the surrounding scenery is breathtaking with panoramas of the Qara Mountains and the Jubriah Plain.

                      Al Husn Palace, the summer residence of His Majesty, the Sultan of Oman is an imposing landmark with towering stone walls and teak doors. Although not open to visitors, you will be able to take photos en route to Al Husn Souq. Stroll among the vendors and colorful stalls heaped with mounds of frankincense, myrrh and incense and you'll soon see why this city was called the perfume capital of Arabia. In addition to fragrant oils, there are a variety of local artifacts like the fearsome Omani khangar daggers.

                      *Please note that visitors are required to remove their shoes at Job's Tomb. Please dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders  and knees covered as a general rule. 

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                      Included
                      Sultanate Heritage

                      Sultanate Heritage

                      28 Dec Salalah, Oman
                      Half Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hours
                      From desert landscapes and lush oases to ancient forts and the capital of the frankincense trade, this tour from the port of Salalah gives you a fascinating insight into Oman.

                      From desert landscapes and lush oases to ancient forts and the capital of the frankincense trade, this tour from the port of Salalah gives you a fascinating insight into Oman.

                      At the Al Husn Souq you will have an opportunity to browse the colourful stalls selling everything from myrrh and frankincense to perfumed oils and pottery. Continue on to Al Balid and the remains of the city of Dhofar. The most important ancient port on the Arabian Sea (part of the Frankincense Trail) the history of Dhofar dates back to before 2000 BC and some archaeological research suggests that the city's prosperity dates back to the Iron Age. The city was a trade hub, being one of the largest ports on the Indian Ocean, making it a thriving commercial centre for the export of frankincense to China and Rome.

                      The city’s location was first discovered in 1930 and the site and the ruins, which cover an area of 64 hectares, are surrounded by high walls to the east and north. The whole site is currently undergoing extensive archaeological investigation.

                      Then pass through the fishing village of Taqa with its old town and fort on the way to the ruined city of Samhuram at Khor Rouri creek. Excavations here have uncovered evidence of an ancient city with sea trade links to the eastern Mediterranean and Greece. Up until the 1st century AD, the transport of frankincense had been the domain of the camel caravans. As a result of improved navigation techniques, the trade routes became increasingly maritime via the Red Sea.

                      At that time Dhofar was part of the Yemeni kingdom of Hadramaut. The King recognized the importance of having a safe storage place and a port for the export of frankincense in the vicinity of where the frankincense was harvested, and in the 2nd century AD he ordered the building of Samharam.

                      Please note: this optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

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                      Optional $ 75
                      Mystical Muscat

                      Mystical Muscat

                      31 Dec Muscat, Oman
                      Half Day Respectful Dress
                      Medieval forts, Moorish mosques and modern architecture mingle enchantingly in Muscat, the seaside capital of the Sultanate of Oman. The country's political, economic and commercial hub has a wealth of landmarks, as you'll soon see.

                      Medieval forts, Moorish mosques and modern architecture mingle enchantingly in Muscat, the seaside capital of the Sultanate of Oman. The country's political, economic and commercial hub has a wealth of landmarks, as you'll soon see.

                      Sightseeing highlights include a visit to the Grand Mosque, built by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. This striking example of Islamic architecture accommodates 20,000 worshippers and has an immense handmade Persian carpet in the prayer hall. Next, wander one of the oldest and most interesting markets in the Arab Gulf, the Muttrah Souq, where everything from copper bracelets to camel bone vases can be found. At the Bait al Zubair Museum, gain a richer knowledge of Omani heritage as you peruse exhibits including clothing, household items and weaponry.

                      Enjoy a lovely coastal drive past the charming fishing village of Sidab to the old city and Al Alam Palace, overlooking sparkling Muscat Bay. This is the official residence of Sultan Qaboos, built in 1970 on the site of an earlier palace. The modern design blends oriental and occidental styles in bright gold and blue. Nestled between two 16th-century Portuguese forts, Jalali and Mirani, the palace ensemble is the perfect expression of Oman's compelling contrasts.

                      *Please note you must dress appropriately for visiting religious sites. Women must wear modest clothing, which covers the body and the head, including the hair. Arms and legs must be covered to wrists and ankles.

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                      Included
                      Dhow Cruise

                      Dhow Cruise

                      31 Dec Muscat, Oman
                      Half day Boat Ride
                      Board a traditional sailing dhow, modified for comfort, on this afternoon odyssey along the Omani coast. The triangularsailed dhows that add such an exotic touch to these waters are a testament to centuries of seamanship.

                      Board a traditional sailing dhow, modified for comfort, on this afternoon odyssey along the Omani coast. The triangularsailed dhows that add such an exotic touch to these waters are a testament to centuries of seamanship. In the 8th century an Omani dhow sailed as far as Canton, China. These stalwarts of the sea are said to last from 60 to 100 years.

                      Your sailing adventure begins with a drive to the marina, where you step aboard the wooden dhow, Lubna, and set sail. The route has been thoughtfully designed to showcase old Muscat and such landmarks as the medieval Portuguese forts, as well as modern Al Alam Palace. Sinbad would feel at home aboard your dhow, which was built in the town of Sur, where the craft of dhow building is passed from generation to generation over the centuries.

                      Although modern comforts and safety features were added later in Muscat, this is a ship with a true Omani ambiance, featuring such Arabic touches as stained glass windows in the central stateroom and raised floor seating outside. Relax and enjoy the hour and a half cruise, during which assorted non-alcoholic beverages will be served. 

                      Please note: the Dhow cruise is subject to weather conditions.

                      This optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

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                      Optional $ 85
                      Porbandar by Tuk Tuk

                      Porbandar by Tuk Tuk

                      3 Jan Porbandar, India
                      Half day Respectful Dress
                      Visit the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, India's "Great Soul" and gain insights into the simple lifestyle of this coastal heritage town, once a thriving Mughal port.

                      Visit the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, India's "Great Soul" and gain insights into the simple lifestyle of this coastal heritage town, once a thriving Mughal port. Board your tuk ruk and ride through the heart of Porbandar to visit the only temple in India dedicated to Sudama, the childhood friend of Lord Krishna. Pilgrims walk the temple's giant maze to be absolved of all sins.

                      Next see the Kirti Mandir memorial, dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. The temple stands 79 feet high, one foot for each year of Gandhi's life, and embraces six religions in its architecture. Tour the ancestral home where Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 and lived with his wife. The adjoining building houses a prayer hall, a Gandhian library and an excellent museum.

                      After a visit to the lively local market, continue to Bharat Mandir Hall. Admire the lovely gardens, huge marble map of India and colourful pillars where bas reliefs tell the tales of Hindu heroes from this land of legends.

                      *Please note socks are recommended, as it is required to remove shoes at most sites. Comfortable footwear and hats are recommended. Please cover your shoulders and knees.

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                      Included
                      Mumbai City Highlights

                      Mumbai City Highlights

                      5 Jan Mumbai, India
                      Half Day Respectful Dress
                      Immerse yourself in the swirling contrasts of India's economic powerhouse, home to nearly 20 million people, global corporations and the Bollywood film industry. View its colonial heritage as you drive past Victorian Gothic Revival landmarks like the Rajabhai Clock Tower, Mumbai University, High Court, Crawford Market and the marvellous Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

                      Immerse yourself in the swirling contrasts of India's economic powerhouse, home to nearly 20 million people, global corporations and the Bollywood film industry. View its colonial heritage as you drive past Victorian Gothic Revival landmarks like the Rajabhai Clock Tower, Mumbai University, High Court, Crawford Market and the marvellous Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. Stop at Dhobi Ghat to watch men flogging clothes in the stone tubs of an immense open-air manual laundry.

                      Glimpse political India when you visit the charming residence of Mahatma Gandhi, Mani Bhawan, which is now a museum dedicated to the leader’s life and work. The father of the nation lived here from 1917 to 1934, when the city was still called Bombay. Then ascend Malabar Hill to the Hanging Gardens, for panoramic views over the entire city. Returning to Aegean Odyssey, enjoy a photo stop at the 262-foot-high Gateway of India overlooking the Arabian Sea, built to mark the 1911 visit of King George V.

                      *Please note you must dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule. Comfortable shoes and socks are advised, as you are required to remove shoes upon entering the temple.

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                      Included
                      Agra & the Taj Mahal
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Agra & the Taj Mahal

                      6 Jan Delhi, India
                      Half day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hours
                      While in Agra, enjoy guided tours of Agra Fort and the spectacular Taj Mahal, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites that bear testimony to an extraordinary civilization.

                      While in Agra, enjoy guided tours of Agra Fort and the spectacular Taj Mahal, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites that bear testimony to an extraordinary civilisation. The Taj Mahal stands tribute to a great love story. One of India's great architect-rulers, Shah Jahan, lost his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal, giving birth to their 15th child. Although he had already built her palaces, his ultimate triumph would be this great, white marble mausoleum which took 22 years and 20,000 workmen to complete. Take in the graphic purity of the elevation, the grandeur of the bulbous dome and the perspective of the pool and gardens as you reach a landmark in every traveler's life.

                      Continue to the Red Fort of Agra, founded by Emperor Akbar in 1565. Behind its forbidding red sandstone battlements are fairytale palaces that tell the tale of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century when Agra was one of India's most important cities.

                      Highlights of your visit include two sites built by the luxury-loving Shah Jahan: the many-pillared Diwan-e-Am (Hall of Public Audience), where the emperor sat on his throne to dispense justice and the profuselydecorated Diwan-e-Khas where important guests were received and suitably awed.

                      Please note that there is a strict security check at the entrance to the Taj Mahal and no bags are allowed inside. 

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                      Included
                      Half day Delhi sightseeing

                      Half day Delhi sightseeing

                      7 Jan Mumbai, India
                      Half day Respectful Dress
                      Begin your sightseeing with a tour of the victory tower known as Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Standing over 236 feet tall, this masterpiece of Islamic architecture was built in the early 13th century after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu kingdom.

                      Begin your sightseeing with a tour of the victory tower known as Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Standing over 236 feet tall, this masterpiece of Islamic architecture was built in the early 13th century after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu kingdom. At the tower's foot is India's first mosque with an iron pillar in its courtyard that has not rusted in over 2,000 years, demonstrating the skill of ancient blacksmiths. En route, admire New Delhi's broad boulevards and monuments of Empire: the President's Palace, Parliament House and India Gate designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

                      Later, you will visit Raj Ghat or Royal Steps (a ghat means a flight of stairs leading to water). This tranquil site marked by a simple black marble slab is where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated following his 1948 assassination by a Hindu fanatic. The area is now a park and national shrine.

                      Please note that if you wish to go very close to the actual memorial stone at Raj Ghat, you will be required to remove your shoes.

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                      Included
                      Temples & Spices

                      Temples & Spices

                      9 Jan Marmagao, India
                      Half Day
                      The Goan port of Marmagoa was chosen to be the first capital of the Portuguese Empire in India and, in 1685, the construction of the fort started along with that of the main town. This tour takes you away from the city, through small towns and villages. Along the way you will see the large, elegant homes from the colonial period and pass numerous brilliant green rice paddies.

                      The Goan port of Marmagoa was chosen to be the first capital of the Portuguese Empire in India and, in 1685, the construction of the fort started along with that of the main town. This tour takes you away from the city, through small towns and villages. Along the way you will see the large, elegant homes from the colonial period and pass numerous brilliant green rice paddies. In the lush valleys and forests of Ponda are hidden a number of Hindu temples, built in the 17th and 18th centuries by those attempting to practice their traditional religion away from the prying eyes and persecution of the Portuguese.

                      The deities may be ancient, but the temples are fairly modern by Indian standards and are still used by the local population, as well as thousands of pilgrims who visit here from other parts of southern India. A particularly wonderful example is the Mangueshi Temple, set on a wooded hill surrounded by farmland and considered the most important Hindu temple in Goa. Here you will find a seven-story octagonal tower, full of niches where oil lamps are placed during festivals and important occasions. 

                      A visit to Sahakari Plantation will refresh both your body and soul. Here the fields centre on a large irrigation tank filled with lilies and watched over by bright kingfishers. The property’s varied terrain, which includes both flat wetlands and hillsides, allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of plants and trees. You will be provided with a guided walking tour by an expert through the spice world of black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, etc.

                      *Please note you must dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule.

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                      Included
                      Choice of Tours
                      Cultural Activity
                      Old Goa & Latin Quarter Walk
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Old Goa & Latin Quarter Walk

                      9 Jan Marmagao, India
                      Half day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hours
                      Some of India's most architecturally beautiful places can be found in Old Goa, your first sightseeing destination on this tour that includes two magnificent churches, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a walking tour of the capital’s atmospheric Latin Quarter. This walled historic precinct contains an archaeological reserve that was influential in spreading Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art to Asia in the 16th to 18th centuries.

                      Some of India's most architecturally beautiful places can be found in Old Goa, your first sightseeing destination on this tour that includes two magnificent churches, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a walking tour of the capital’s atmospheric Latin Quarter. This walled historic precinct contains an archaeological reserve that was influential in spreading Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art to Asia in the 16th to 18th centuries.

                      Designed to awe the locals into conversion, the magnificent churches of Old Goa testify to the wealth of the city when it was the capital of the Eastern Portuguese Empire. St Cajetan Church is modelled after St Peter's in Rome and has a hidden crypt where in 1992 the bodies of former Portuguese governors were found in lead coffins, waiting to be sent back to Lisbon. Next, visit the 16th century Basilica of Bom Jesus, where St Francis Xavier, Goa’s patron saint, is entombed in a marble mausoleum.

                      Your sightseeing will continue with a short drive through the relaxed state capital of Panjim, followed by a walking tour through one of the city's most charming neighbourhoods, the Fontainhas Latin Quarter, which was built by the Portuguese. Strolling along narrow streets past wonderful old villas, you will really be able to savour the tranquil essence of Goa.

                      Note: Please dress respectfully for religious sites by covering shoulders and knees. 

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                      Included
                      Choice of Tours
                      Cultural Activity
                      Cochin City Tour

                      Cochin City Tour

                      11 Jan Cochin, India
                      Half day Removal of Shoes
                      Centuries of invaders, traders and rulers have shaped the culture and architecture of Kerala’s premier city, where 15th and 16th century palaces, mosques, churches and even an active synagogue mark the myriad periods of Cochin's history.

                      Centuries of invaders, traders and rulers have shaped the culture and architecture of Kerala’s premier city, where 15th and 16th century palaces, mosques, churches and even an active synagogue mark the myriad periods of Cochin's history.

                      The intriguing Mattancherry area is where the old merchant houses were once home to a flourishing Jewish community and it’s here that you will visit the charming Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1555, renovated by the Dutch in 1663, and today flanked by shrines to Krishna and Shiva.

                      The city’s synagogue was built in 1568 and features hand-painted blue-and-white tiles from China as well as a sparkling oil-burning chandelier from Belgium. Strolling along the historic Jew Street, admire the spice and antique shops where the first wave of Jewish migration to Cochin arrived in the 1st century BC, long before it is said the ships of King Solomon traded here.

                      On this tour you will also visit Fort Cochin, located in the centre of the city, followed by the oldest European church in India, St Francis, where the explorer Vasco da Gama was once buried. Just outside the church are the bamboo and teak poles of the city’s often photographed Chinese fishing nets; then catch the lively action at the local Fish Market.

                      Please dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule. Shoes must be removed to enter the synagogue and no items (incuding cameras) can be taken inside but must be left on the excursion coach. There is no wheelchair access in the Dutch Palace.

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                      Included
                      Kumbalanghi Village Tour

                      Kumbalanghi Village Tour

                      11 Jan Cochin, India
                      Half day
                      Rub shoulders with the real India on an adventure combining a backwater boat trip with a taste of traditional Cochin life in the island-village of Kumbalanghi, which is ringed by Chinese fishing nets. Board an authentic local fishing boat for a short cruise through the region’s most serene backwaters, during which you will have a chance to try your hand at the local fishing techniques of veeshu vala (fishing with conical nets) and padalu (trapping fish in coconut palm cages).

                      Rub shoulders with the real India on an adventure combining a backwater boat trip with a taste of traditional Cochin life in the island-village of Kumbalanghi, which is ringed by Chinese fishing nets. Board an authentic local fishing boat for a short cruise through the region’s most serene backwaters, during which you will have a chance to try your hand at the local fishing techniques of veeshu vala (fishing with conical nets) and padalu (trapping fish in coconut palm cages).

                      Following your scenic boat trip, enjoy a walk through the village for a chance to see some of the locals demonstrating traditional skills ranging from crab catching to fish-flipping, clam-meat processing, coir-making, mat-making and net-making.

                      After some refreshments to the beautiful backdrop of scenic paddy fields and mangroves, a final experience awaits: a fabulous rickshaw ride in a local tuk-tuk through the village’s picturesque narrow lanes.

                      Please note that various modes of transport are used in this excursion. Life jackets will be provided on the boat ride during this excursion.

                      This optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

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                      Optional $ 75
                      Alleppey Backwater Cruise

                      Alleppey Backwater Cruise

                      11 Jan Cochin, India
                      Full day Lunch Included
                      Glide past sleepy backwater villages through a labyrinth of tropical waterways called kayals, in one of India’s most beautiful regions, Kerala. Alappuzha is your gateway to this idyllic world as you relax in shaded comfort and drift down narrow, foliage-choked canals that suddenly and thrillingly open up into expansive green paddy fields.

                      Glide past sleepy backwater villages through a labyrinth of tropical waterways called kayals, in one of India’s most beautiful regions, Kerala. Alappuzha is your gateway to this idyllic world as you relax in shaded comfort and drift down narrow, foliage-choked canals that suddenly and thrillingly open up into expansive green paddy fields.

                      See tropical life as you never would from the road, catching glimpses of villagers washing their clothes in the river, workers harvesting coconuts, or children playing beneath papaya, mango and jackfruit laden trees. For centuries this extensive network of rivers, lakes and lagoons has been a means of transporting goods and people from the heartland to the coast aboard traditional house boats known as Kettuvallam. These locally built crafts are still made from eco-friendly materials in much the same way as they have for centuries.

                      Following your backwater trip, transfer to Punnamada Resort for a buffet lunch. A brief orientation of Cochin concludes this delightful excursion.

                      Please note that the drive from the ship to Allapuzha is approximately 1.5 hours. Life jackets will be provided on the boat during this excursion. Sun protection is highly recommended.

                      This optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

                      *Includes subsidy for unused excursion.

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                      Optional $ 65*
                      Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

                      Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

                      15 Jan Colombo, Sri Lanka
                      Full day Lunch Included
                      A two and a half hour drive through the beautiful Sri Lankan countryside brings us to Pinnawala and this famous site, established by the Department of Wildlife Conservation to protect unweaned baby elephants found wandering in the forests. From a nucleus of five baby elephants in 1975, the sanctuary is now home to the world’s largest herd of captive elephants, many of which have been bred here and will stay for life.

                      A two and a half hour drive through the beautiful Sri Lankan countryside brings us to Pinnawala and this famous site, established by the Department of Wildlife Conservation to protect unweaned baby elephants found wandering in the forests. From a nucleus of five baby elephants in 1975, the sanctuary is now home to the world’s largest herd of captive elephants, many of which have been bred here and will stay for life. Your first stop will be at the Oya River to watch the elephants bathing and socializing, so be sure to bring a camera to capture the beauty and the antics of these majestic animals. Enjoy a buffet lunch at the Pinnalanda Restaurant in a picturesque location overlooking the river, then in the afternoon see the elephants from closer-up and maybe watch some of the older or smaller elephants being fed, for some memories which – like an elephant – you will never forget.

                      Please note that the terrain is uneven and dusty and the feeding of the young and sick elephants can get very busy.

                      Despite some negative press concerning the orphanage in recent years, VTA’s local ground partners are happy with the latest inspections of the organisation and their treatment of the animals. A detailed presentation will be given on board to provide more details on what to expect and the reasons behind the work being carried out in the orphanage.

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                      Included
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                      Kandy & Temple of the Tooth
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Kandy & Temple of the Tooth

                      15 Jan Colombo, Sri Lanka
                      Full day Lunch IncludedRespectful DressLong DriveRemoval of Shoes
                      Journey to the sacred city of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of unusual beauty and the location of the temple containing a tooth of Buddha. The scenic three-hour drive takes us out of Colombo, through small towns growing all kinds of exotic fruit, past pineapple plantations and paddy fields and up into Sri Lanka’s stunning hill country.

                      Journey to the sacred city of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of unusual beauty and the location of the temple containing a tooth of Buddha. The scenic three-hour drive takes us out of Colombo, through small towns growing all kinds of exotic fruit, past pineapple plantations and paddy fields and up into Sri Lanka’s stunning hill country. One of the day’s highlights is a stop at Peradeniya to walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens. A visit to the Orchid House should not be missed!

                      Kandy was founded in the 14th century and as the last capital of Sri Lanka’s kings is the key focus of this optional tour. Lunch will be served in a colonial hotel overlooking the Kandy Lake. On the opposite side of the picturesque valley, you will then enjoy a guided tour of the monumental Temple of the Tooth, where the sacred relic is enshrined.

                      During the return drive from this ancient kingdom, a stop will be made at a Spice Garden to learn more about Sri Lanka’s ayurvedic tradition. Please note that this excursion is very long, with an approximate 3 - 3.5 hour drive each way.

                      Please note: this excursion involves a visit to a temple and you will be asked to remove your shoes. Please dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule. A video fee applies for the temple.

                      This optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

                      *Includes subsidy for unused included excursion.

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                      Optional $ 65*
                      Choice of Tours
                      Cultural Activity
                      Colombo City Tour

                      Colombo City Tour

                      16 Jan Colombo, Sri Lanka
                      Half Day PM Respectful DressRemoval of Shoes
                      Experience the astonishing blend of modern and exotic in Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, a city quite unlike any other, as you travel to the Kelaniya (Kalyana) Temple, built on the banks of the Kelani River. Kelaniya is mentioned in the Buddhist chronicle, the Mahawamsa, which states that the Gautama Buddha visited the place, after which the dagoba of the temple was built.

                      Experience the astonishing blend of modern and exotic in Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, a city quite unlike any other, as you travel to the Kelaniya (Kalyana) Temple, built on the banks of the Kelani River. Kelaniya is mentioned in the Buddhist chronicle, the Mahawamsa, which states that the Gautama Buddha visited the place, after which the dagoba of the temple was built.

                      Sri Lankan Buddhists believe that the Buddha visited Kelaniya in order to quell a quarrel between two warring Nāga leaders: Chulodara (literally meaning ‘the small-bellied one’) and Mahodara (‘the big-bellied one’).

                      From here you will then be taken to the Colombo National Museum, which is housed in a grand colonial building and is the custodian of Sri Lanka's cultural heritage. Among its exhibits are a vast collection of books, more than 4,000 archaic palm leaf manuscripts, rock sculptures from the ancient cities, royal weapons of Sri Lankan kings and an excellent collection of antique demon masks. The most interesting among the exhibits are the regalia of the Kandian Kings dating back to the 17th century.

                      A visit will then be made to Independence Square, where this former British colony of Ceylon was given self-rule in 1948. Winding past the cricket stadium, through affluent neighbourhoods like Horton Place and Kotte, the legislative capital, en-route to the pier, you will see the Nelum Pokuna Performing Art Centre, the Town Hall, President House and the Pettah Bazar.

                      Note: this excursion involves a visit to a temple and you will be asked to remove your shoes. Please dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule. A camera fee applies for the museum.

                      This excursion will operate in the afternoon as a relaxed option for those guests arriving late on the 11th February.

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                      Included
                      City Tour of Trincomalee

                      City Tour of Trincomalee

                      18 Jan Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
                      Half day
                      The natural deep-water harbour of Trincomalee has attracted many sea farers throughout the ages, from Marco Polo and Ptolemy to the traders of ancient China and East Asia; its strategic importance has always been immense.

                      The natural deep-water harbour of Trincomalee has attracted many sea farers throughout the ages, from Marco Polo and Ptolemy to the traders of ancient China and East Asia; its strategic importance has always been immense.

                      Your tour here begins with a visit to the remains of what was once the largest European fort in Sri Lanka, Fort Fredrick. Built by the Portuguese in 1623 the fortress was originally named Fort Triquillimale, until it was captured by the Dutch in 1639 and went through a phase of dismantling and reconstruction.

                      Inside the grounds, the classical-medieval Hindu Koneswaram temple can be reached by passing directly through the still intact fort entrance. The Thirukoneswaram Kovil temple, as it is also known, is the oldest Hindu temple in Sri Lanka, although the original shrine was demolished in 1622 by the Portuguese, who called it the Temple of a Thousand Columns.

                      Much of the art from the demolished temple was taken to the Lisbon Museum, including a stone inscription by the Chola King, Kulakottan, but the remaining building materials were subsequently used to enlarge the fort’s ramparts.

                      There will also be a chance to visit the Trincomalee War Cemetery, commemorating soldiers of the British Empire who lost their lives during World War II, followed by the tranquil remains of the Velgam Vihara temple, an historic place of worship for both Sinhala and Tamil Buddhists that is today one of Sri Lanka’s most important Archaeologically Protected Monuments.

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                      UNESCO Polonnaruwa
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      UNESCO Polonnaruwa

                      18 Jan Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
                      Full day Archaeological Site
                      The magnificent World Heritage Site of Royal Polonnaruwa is the centrepiece of this full-day tour, which begins with a scenic drive across Sri Lanka to one of the best preserved archaeological cities on the island. During the 11th and 12th centuries Polonnaruwa was the capital of Sri Lanka’s second most ancient kingdom and became the seat of both Vijayabahu I, who founded the city, and Parakramabahu the Great, whose reign is considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa.

                      The magnificent World Heritage Site of Royal Polonnaruwa is the centrepiece of this full-day tour, which begins with a scenic drive across Sri Lanka to one of the best preserved archaeological cities on the island. During the 11th and 12th centuries Polonnaruwa was the capital of Sri Lanka’s second most ancient kingdom and became the seat of both Vijayabahu I, who founded the city, and Parakramabahu the Great, whose reign is considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa.

                      Among the site’s many impressive structures is the Polonnaruwa Vatadage, a circular stone shrine built to a design that is wholly unique to Sri Lanka. This reliquary is believed to have been commissioned to hold either the Relic of the Tooth or the alms bowl used by the Buddha. Only ten such structures remain in existence, but the virtually intact Vatadage of Polonnaruwa is widely considered the finest.

                      Also on display are the Royal Palace and Audience Hall, statues of Parakramabahu the Great, the Lotus Bath and the Gal-potha stone book, which recounts the achievements of King Nissanka Malla. Monuments of worship include the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Kiri Vehera stupa and the Gal Viharaya, where four enormous reliefs of the Buddha, consisting of an ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and two ‘Recumbent’ poses, have been carved into a single huge rock.

                      The Parakrama Samudraya reservoir, also known as The Sea of Parakrama, also offers a place for some peaceful reflection, before departing for a buffet lunch at the exclusive Cinnamon Lodge in Habarana, on your way back to Aegean Odyssey in Trincomalee.

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                      Included
                      Choice of Tours
                      Cultural Activity
                      Port Blair City Tour

                      Port Blair City Tour

                      21 Jan Port Blair, Andaman Islands
                      Half Day
                      Established by the British as a penal colony in 1789, today Port Blair is the largest town on the Andaman Islands. Surrounded by lush forest and rugged coastline, Port Blair has a vibrant mix of inhabitants including Bengalis, Tamils and Burmese.

                      Established by the British as a penal colony in 1789, today Port Blair is the largest town on the Andaman Islands. Surrounded by lush forest and rugged coastline, Port Blair has a vibrant mix of inhabitants including Bengalis, Tamils and Burmese.

                      You will explore the small town, visiting the Naval Marine Museum, with its displays of tribal art, marine life and archaeology. The museum also has a sizable collection of shells and corals. Next, visit the Anthropological Museum, which illustrates the lives of local aboriginal tribes with miniature models of traditional tools, dresses and photographs of their lifestyle.

                      Your final stop is the Cellular Jail. The construction of this prison started in 1896 and was completed in 1906. The building had seven wings, at the centre of which a tower served as the fulcrum and was used by guards to keep watch on the inmates. The wings forked out of the tower in straight lines, much like the spokes of a bicycle wheel, and a large bell was kept in the tower to raise an alarm in the eventuality of an escape or disturbance. All the prisoners were kept in isolation and subjected to a brutal work regime, making the Cellular Jail one of the murkiest chapters in the history of colonial rule in India.

                      Before you return to the ship, there will be a brief stop at the local market Aberdeen Bazaar, where there is a good selection of local wood carvings and jewellery.

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                      Included
                      Ross Island

                      Ross Island

                      21 Jan Port Blair, Andaman Islands
                      Half Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hours
                      Ross Island is about 2 km east of Port Blair and can be reached by a short boat ride from Phoenix Bay Jetty. The island is controlled by the Indian navy, which requires every visitor to sign in on entering, and is home to a large and noisy population of peacocks.

                      Ross Island is about 2 km east of Port Blair and can be reached by a short boat ride from Phoenix Bay Jetty. The island is controlled by the Indian navy, which requires every visitor to sign in on entering, and is home to a large and noisy population of peacocks.

                      This small island was the capital of Port Blair during the British regime and presently houses the ruins of old colonial buildings like the ballroom, Chief Commissioner’s House, Government House, the main church, the hospital, and troop barracks. Despite being in a rather dilapidated condition, these buildings still evoke the old British regime. You will also visit a small museum housing old photographs of Ross during the colonial era.

                      Note: Guests who sign up for this tour will have their included ‘Highlights of Port Blair’ in the afternoon.

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                      Optional $ 45
                      Phang Nga by Longtail Boat

                      Phang Nga by Longtail Boat

                      23 Jan Phuket, Thailand
                      Full day Lunch Included
                      Follow in the path of James Bond as you navigate Phang Nga National Park, where sheer limestone karsts thrust dramatically from the sea. After a briefing about this beautiful bay during the hour-and-a half drive from Phuket, step aboard a traditional Thai longtail boat and let the scenery speak for itself as you skim over some of the most magnificent waters in the world. Circle the island of Koh Tapu, known as James Bond Island since it appeared in The Man with The Golden Gun.

                      Follow in the path of James Bond as you navigate Phang Nga National Park, where sheer limestone karsts thrust dramatically from the sea. After a briefing about this beautiful bay during the hour-and-a half drive from Phuket, step aboard a traditional Thai longtail boat and let the scenery speak for itself as you skim over some of the most magnificent waters in the world. Circle the island of Koh Tapu, known as James Bond Island since it appeared in The Man with The Golden Gun.

                      Wind through mangroves and silent caves to Pan Yi Island, then stop at the Muslim Sea Gypsy Village, built entirely on stilts, where you can visit a school, wander the byways, shop for pearls and glimpse a fascinating way of life. During your time at Pan Yi Island you will enjoy a typical Asian buffet lunch at a local restaurant.

                      After lunch, cruise back to the mainland for a visit to the Suwan Khuha Temple, a cave temple filled with standing, reclining, and seated Buddha statues, before your return to Phuket Island.

                      Please note that the operation of this excursion is dependent upon weather and sea conditions. You will spend about 2.5 hours travelling by longtail boat and lifejackets will be provided on board.

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                      Included
                      Choice of Tours
                      Cultural Activity
                      Phi Phi Islands

                      Phi Phi Islands

                      23 Jan Phuket, Thailand
                      Full day Lunch Included
                      With soaring cliffs, powdery sands and crystal-clear waters, it's no wonder Thailand declared the Phi Phi Islands a National Park: Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi. Don your swimsuit, hop aboard a local speedboat and head for these tropical treasures of the Andaman Sea. Your adventure starts early with a transfer from the ship to Phuket Marina.

                      With soaring cliffs, powdery sands and crystal-clear waters, it's no wonder Thailand declared the Phi Phi Islands a National Park: Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi. Don your swimsuit, hop aboard a local speedboat and head for these tropical treasures of the Andaman Sea. Your adventure starts early with a transfer from the ship to Phuket Marina.

                      From here, it's about an hour by water to Phi Phi Le, where a stop will be made at the beautiful Blue Lagoon. Swim or snorkel with colourful fish; explore fjord-like Pileh Cove, with its steep limestone walls; and see the Viking Cave, a source of birds’ nests for the famous Asian soup. Rock carvings inside date from 3,000 to 4,000 years ago and are thought to resemble Scandinavian longboats.

                      For lunch, your boat pulls up to a beachside restaurant. Splash ashore where a buffet lunch is waiting. Then surrender to an afternoon of pleasure on enchanting Bamboo Island, with free time to snorkel amid the coral beds and wonder if those Viking captains ever did drop anchor in these blissful waters.

                      *Please note that it is no longer possible to visit Maya Bay as part of this excursion, as Maya Bay is now closed to the public indefinitely.

                      This excursion is dependent upon weather and sea conditions.

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                      Included
                      Choice of Tours
                      Cultural Activity
                      Kuala Lumpur

                      Kuala Lumpur

                      25 Jan Port Kelang, Malaysia
                      Half day
                      Explore a landscape of beautiful mosques, grand museums and historic memorials during this tour of Malaysia's capital. It's all a far cry from the city's 19th century start as a humble tin-mining settlement. Begin with a drive along the modern highway to the highlight of your sightseeing tour, the National Museum, where the superb displays include a life-size exhibit of a Malay wedding, a GoldRoom and a reconstructed village compound.

                      Explore a landscape of beautiful mosques, grand museums and historic memorials during this tour of Malaysia's capital. It's all a far cry from the city's 19th century start as a humble tin-mining settlement. Begin with a drive along the modern highway to the highlight of your sightseeing tour, the National Museum, where the superb displays include a life-size exhibit of a Malay wedding, a GoldRoom and a reconstructed village compound.

                      Pass the blue-domed National Mosque and the fantastical Edwardian Moorish-style Railway Station on your way to Independence Square, where British colonists once played cricket and the Malayan flag was first hoisted on August 31st, 1957.

                      The surrounding architectural ensemble includes the Tudor-style Royal Selangor Club, once a popular watering hole for high society during the tin boom. Across the way is St Mary's Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur's oldest Anglican Church. Be sure to have your cameras ready for your photo stop at the Petronas Towers – the tallest twin towers in the world and without a doubt the most memorable symbol of Kuala Lumpur.

                       

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                      Included
                      Spirit of Singapore
                      UNESCO World Heritage Site

                      Spirit of Singapore

                      26 Jan Singapore, Singapore
                      Half day
                      Discover the many facets of this dynamic city-state where centuries-old traditions continue in the shadow of skyscrapers. Delve into Singapore's past in Chinatown where soothsayers consult cards to predict the future and the scent of exotic soups blends with the sight of arcane medicinal treatments. Visit the oldest Chinese Temple in Singapore, the Thian Hock Kheng Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Marvel at the elaborate façade of the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple, where sacred cow figurines crouch on the roof and an annual fire-walking contest is held.

                      Discover the many facets of this dynamic city-state where centuries-old traditions continue in the shadow of skyscrapers. Delve into Singapore's past in Chinatown where soothsayers consult cards to predict the future and the scent of exotic soups blends with the sight of arcane medicinal treatments. Visit the oldest Chinese Temple in Singapore, the Thian Hock Kheng Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Marvel at the elaborate façade of the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple, where sacred cow figurines crouch on the roof and an annual fire-walking contest is held.

                      Stroll in the city's National Orchid Gardens, just inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, where terraces showcase the largest orchid display in the world: 60,000 plants, over 700 species and 2,100 hybrids including the National Flower of Singapore, Vanda Miss Joaquim. See the city's Colonial heritage in all its splendor as you drive past Parliament House, the Supreme Court, Raffles Hotel and City Hall. Wind up over 300 ft. to the top of Mt Faber for sweeping panoramas of the city, port and islands where offshore refineries make this an important petroleum center. Whether you view Singapore as a dining, shopping or cultural mecca, this overview reveals there's much to explore in the Lion City.

                      *Please note you must dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule.

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                      Included
                      Singapore Night Safari

                      Singapore Night Safari

                      26 Jan Singapore, Singapore
                      Evening Visit
                      Founded in 1973, Singapore Zoo is known as one of the most beautiful zoological parks in the world. Here the animals roam freely in open and naturalistic habitats. Spread over 26 hectares, Singapore Zoo is nestled in the lush Mandai Rainforest and contains over 300 species of mammals, birds and reptiles.

                      Founded in 1973, Singapore Zoo is known as one of the most beautiful zoological parks in the world. Here the animals roam freely in open and naturalistic habitats. Spread over 26 hectares, Singapore Zoo is nestled in the lush Mandai Rainforest and contains over 300 species of mammals, birds and reptiles.

                      This optional tour offers a unique opportunity to join a Night Safari at Singapore Zoo, where you’ll guided around the world’s first nocturnal zoological park.  More than a thousand animals appear to roam freely in a seemingly vast habitat, from the massive Burmese Gaur (the largest of wild cattle) and the beautiful African Bongo, to the majestic Malayan Tiger and diminutive, boldly striped Banded Civet.

                      Discover beautiful and unusual fauna on board a silent electric tram, then explore further on foot through the jungle trails for a close encounter with wildlife. The canopy of jungle trees, some towering over 40m above the park, complements exotic ferns and palms, while other plants exude superb fragrances, all providing a dramatic backdrop for the animal residents of the Night Safari.

                      Please note: this optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

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                      Optional $ 75
                      Gardens by the Bay

                      Gardens by the Bay

                      27 Jan Singapore, Singapore
                      Half Day
                      Covering over 100 hectares and containing vast glasshouses replicating the planet’s various habitats, Gardens by the Bay are a true horticultural wonderland. One of the iconic buildings at the Gardens is the Flower Dome, a 1.2-hectare (3.0 acres) glasshouse that creates a mild, dry climate and features plants found in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions (e.g. parts of Australia, South America, South Africa).

                      Covering over 100 hectares and containing vast glasshouses replicating the planet’s various habitats, Gardens by the Bay are a true horticultural wonderland. One of the iconic buildings at the Gardens is the Flower Dome, a 1.2-hectare (3.0 acres) glasshouse that creates a mild, dry climate and features plants found in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions (e.g. parts of Australia, South America, South Africa). It is also home to a collection of plants from the world’s areas and showcases how plants have evolved to thrive in arid environments.

                      Enter the Cloud Forest, a mysterious world veiled in mist and see a 35-metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation shrouding the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Ascend to the mountaintop in comfort by lift before descending via two walkways in the clouds for an aerial view of the canopy and mountainside below. Learn about unique biodiversity and geology of cloud forests and the environmental threats they face within the nine unique zones in this cool-moist Conservatory.

                      Please note: this optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

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                      Optional $ 55
                      Rev Dr. Judith Brown

                      Rev Dr. Judith Brown

                      Rev Dr. Judith Brown, University of Oxford
                      Judith Brown is the recently retired Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Oxford and an emeritus Professorial Fellow of Balliol College.  The main focus of her academic writing has been modern India, in particular the careers of M.K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.  She has also written on the modern diaspora from South Asia.

                      Judith Brown is the recently retired Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Oxford and an emeritus Professorial Fellow of Balliol College.  The main focus of her academic writing has been modern India, in particular the careers of M.K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.  She has also written on the modern diaspora from South Asia.

                      She was born in India and then educated in the UK.  She returned to India to teach in her “gap” before going to Cambridge (Girton college) to read History as an undergraduate, and then to do her doctorate on the early Indian career of Gandhi.  Her teaching career started in her own college where she was a Fellow and Director of Studies in History.  She then moved to Manchester University’s Department of History, and finally in 1990 to Oxford.  As well as teaching and writing, she has travelled widely for research, to give lectures, and to do many of the tasks which accompany senior academic life.  She has been a governor of several UK universities, a Trustee of the Charles Wallace (India) Trust, and was a founder member of the Kluge Scholars’ Council at the Library of Congress.  In the 1990s she travelled regularly to South Africa to teach summer courses on India in the then University of Natal.

                      Judith is also an Anglican Priest, and now helps in Balliol Chapel and in the parish church of St. Mary Magdalen, Oxford.  In 2017 she was “lent” to Brasenose College as their interim chaplain.  She was married to her late husband, Peter Diggle for over 30 years.  Their son works in politics in London and their daughter-in-law is a rising young opera star.  Judith’s passion, apart from India, is gardening!

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                      Andy Bunten BSc, MSc, DIC

                      Andy Bunten

                      Andy Bunten BSc, MSc, DIC, Ecologist
                      Andy has been an obsessive enthusiast about wildlife ever since he can remember. Educated at Cambridge, Newcastle and Imperial College, he then embarked on a career in nature conservation.  He has worked for local government, wildlife trusts, and, for 26 years, the RSPB. 

                      Andy has been an obsessive enthusiast about wildlife ever since he can remember. Educated at Cambridge, Newcastle and Imperial College, he then embarked on a career in nature conservation.  He has worked for local government, wildlife trusts, and, for 26 years, the RSPB.

                      He initially worked in RSPB Scotland then headed south to be the Regional Director for the South East of England for 5 years before, in 1991, moving to the North of England to take up the reins of Director there. A highly experienced lecturer, Andy has cruised extensively completing over 20 trips ranging from Costa Rica to the Philippines and from Argentina to Svalbard

                      Now an Environmental Consultant, Andy is an enthusiastic traveller and has led wildlife groups to numerous places around the world including the Seychelles, France, Egypt, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Borneo, Norway and Spitzbergen.
                       

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                      Major General Stephen Carr-Smith

                      Major General Stephen Carr-Smith

                      Major General Stephen Carr-Smith, British Army, Retired
                      Stephen Carr-Smith spent 33 years in the Army. During 1962-1982, he served 10 years in Germany at the height of the Cold War. From 1988-1995 he was serving in NATO, most of which was spent helping develop the “New NATO” after the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

                      Stephen Carr-Smith spent 33 years in the Army. During 1962-1982, he served 10 years in Germany at the height of the Cold War. From 1988-1995 he was serving in NATO, most of which was spent helping develop the “New NATO” after the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

                      His last appointment was as the Deputy Director General of the NATO Communications Agency in Brussels. On leaving the Army in 1995, he worked for a company providing security and mine clearance services in remote and hostile countries; was the Senior Military Advisor to an operational analysis company owned by British Aerospace; and was the Chairman of a company developing opportunities to marry-up Russian technology with western finance and production.

                      From 1999 to 2006, he was the Ombudsman for Estate Agents, a national appointment dealing with redress and financial compensation for buyers and sellers of residential property throughout the UK. Since 2009, he has been the Chairman of Help Moving Office, an internet company run by his second son that has now expanded into America.

                      He has had a number of other involvements, like being an Honorary Colonel of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) – an all women, uniformed volunteer body that has supported the British Army for 100 years. From 1997 to 2003, he was a Colonel Commandant of the Royal Signals. From 2003 to 2013, he was the President of the Stragglers of Asia Cricket Club, with its origins in the Punjab in the 1920s – and, accompanied by his wife, he led tours to Sri Lanka in 2004 and to India in 2007.

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                      Dr Peter Cattermole

                      Dr Peter Cattermole

                      Dr Peter Cattermole, Planetary Geologist/Volcanologist
                      Peter was born in Sussex, and by seven was showing a keen interest in climbing rocks and playing the piano. The former led eventually to his becoming a geologist, the latter left him with a lifelong interest in music.

                      Peter was born in Sussex, and by seven was showing a keen interest in climbing rocks and playing the piano. The former led eventually to his becoming a geologist, the latter left him with a lifelong interest in music. While in his teens he was fortunate to meet Sir Patrick Moore, the eccentric TV astronomer, with whom he shared a close friendship until Patrick’s death in 2012. His enthusiasm led to Peter developing a keen interest in observational astronomy, particularly of the Moon and Planets. A certain ineptness at maths prevented pursuit of an astronomy career, so Patrick encouraged him to study and apply for a degree course in geology which he duly did, graduating from the University of Wales, gaining a higher degree and becoming a lecturer in both the Universities of Wales and Sheffield. He specialised in planetary geology, remote sensing and hard rock petrology.

                      Prior to entering academia, he had been a draftsman, a forester, a rock climbing instructor and museum curator. In between university appointments has also spent a short period teaching at Gordonstoun School – an odd but interesting experience! For several years he was a Principal Investigator with NASA’s Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program, specialising in the study of the volcanoes of Mars and Venus. During this period he was based at Arizona State University. He also appeared regularly on BBC TV’s regular astronomy programme “Sky at Night”. In 1995 he delivered the 87th Kelvin Lecture to the Royal Society of Electrical Engineers.

                      Peter has written more than 20 books, several in collaboration with Patrick Moore, as well as a plethora of academic papers. Taking early retirement in the late 1990s during a period of university “rationalisation”, he struck out on his own, leading specialist trips around the world, predominantly to volcanic areas, but also to view total solar eclipses. This took him to India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Africa, the USA, Mexico, Southeast Asia, as well as Australia, Siberia and Europe. In the late 1980s he began lecturing on cruise ships, and has since enjoyed working for several different lines on many different oceans, endeavouring to enthuse people about the workings of the wonderful planet on which we live.

                      He has continued to play the piano, enjoy cooking and walking in the hills. Until recently he and his wife owned a rustic finca on the island of La Gomera, where they enjoyed good food, cheap wine, fantastic walking and views of the heavens almost unsurpassed. Their latest property acquisition is in rural Andalucia. He is hoping that Aegean Odyssey’s journey to India and Southeast Asia, is as wonderful as his previous trips.

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                      John Coventry

                      John Coventry

                      John Coventry, Travel and Special Interests lecturer
                      John studied Modern Languages at Exeter and Salford Universities, majoring in French, German, and Spanish. A lifelong thirst for travel was partially assuaged by a stint in America, at the University of Texas, in Austin, followed by a year in the pipeline construction industry, working as a translator/interpreter, in Algeria.

                      John studied Modern Languages at Exeter and Salford Universities, majoring in French, German, and Spanish. A lifelong thirst for travel was partially assuaged by a stint in America, at the University of Texas, in Austin, followed by a year in the pipeline construction industry, working as a translator/interpreter, in Algeria.

                      John then embarked upon a working lifetime spent in some of the strangest corners of the travel industry.

                      At a time when the world was just starting to open up to leisure travel, he was in the vanguard of this revolution as a worldwide tour coordinator, accompanying groups of travellers on trips to a variety of exotic destinations and with a variety of diverse purposes.

                      From wildlife photo safaris to transatlantic flights aboard Concorde, from the slopes of Macchu Picchu to the outback of Australia, from the gates of Graceland to the Iron Gates of the Danube, John’s life was a kaleidoscope of people, places, and experiences, some exciting, some disquieting, but all memorable.

                      Smuggling a body across the Iron Curtain, being caught up in a revolution in South America, pinned down by sniper fire in San Francisco...these were just some of John’s experiences as he plied his trade around the globe. He went on to become general manager of one of the UK’s most prestigious independent tour operators.

                      John’s first experience of ocean cruising was in 1982, around the islands of Indonesia. Since that long-ago cruise baptism, he has sailed the seven seas, as cruise manager, charterer, port lecturer, destinations presenter, and special interests speaker.

                      A long time Mensa member and four time Brain of Mensa finalist, John’s range of knowledge and interests is as intriguing as it is eclectic.

                      As a cruise lecturer, John brings to bear all his experience and expertise in a series of scintillating presentations on a- as you might expect - diverse range of fascinating subject matters.

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                      Clare Coventry

                      Clare Coventry

                      Clare Coventry, Craft Tutor
                      Clare was born and brought up in the small and historic town of Youghal, in Co. Cork, in Southern Ireland. She was educated at the Presentation of the Sacred Heart Convent, in Youghal. a traditional Catholic school for young ladies. Whilst receiving the full curriculum of subjects, including Gaelic, Clare’s heartfelt interests lay in other directions.

                      Clare was born and brought up in the small and historic town of Youghal, in Co. Cork, in Southern Ireland. She was educated at the Presentation of the Sacred Heart Convent, in Youghal. a traditional Catholic school for young ladies. Whilst receiving the full curriculum of subjects, including Gaelic, Clare’s heartfelt interests lay in other directions.

                      Her mother was a classically-trained pianist, and her father a fine tenor. Clare and her siblings were all musically inclined from a young age, and Clare formed herself and her three younger siblings (two sisters and a brother) into a harmony ensemble, with their ages ranging from sixteen to just eleven.

                      In 1967, they won a grand concours held in Cork City Opera House, and were brought over to the UK on a tour, from which they never returned to Ireland.

                      They settled in the United Kingdom, married and had families. Clare and her sisters resurrected their musical career in the 1980’s, culminating in national TV appearances and selection for the Golden Rose of Montreux international awards festival, in Switzerland.

                      Clare went on to become a very successful BBC radio presenter, working for BBC Radio Lancashire, and BBC Radio Merseyside, two of Britain’s largest local radio networks. She had her own magazine-type show, interviewing right across the board, from authors to explorers, and from politicians to pop stars.

                      As well as musical ability, Clare also inherited from her mother a lifelong love of crafting.

                      “With six children to look after, my mother saw it as a necessity rather than a hobby,” reflects Clare. “I’ve just taken what I learnt and absorbed from her, and turned it to another use...teaching”.</p>

                      Clare has spent a lifetime singing and crafting. In 2008, she gained her ‘Fascinator of Excellence’ qualification, and since then has appeared on ‘Crafty Beggars’, a TV show sponsored by Hobbycraft.’

                      Clare has been singing and teaching her crafts aboard cruise ships for the past seventeen years. Her craft workshops are informative, effective, and great fun.With a unique blend of skill, patience, and humour, she brings to life the adage, “People learn best when they’re enjoying themselves”.

                      Please note Clare will not be lecturing.

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                      Dr David Crilly

                      Dr David Crilly

                      Dr David Crilly, Theatre Director, Conductor & Composer
                      Dr David Crilly graduated from the Universities of Southampton and London, first in Music and then with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies before completing his doctorate in the philosophy of art at Magdalen College, Oxford.

                      Dr David Crilly graduated from the Universities of Southampton and London, first in Music and then with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies before completing his doctorate in the philosophy of art at Magdalen College, Oxford.

                      For the past thirty years he has been Artistic Director of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival - an open-air festival presented annually in the gardens of the Cambridge University colleges. He is a conductor, composer and author and has given lectures all over the world, including universities as far flung as Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Montego Bay, Vienna, Chicago and Oxford.

                      He recently retired from academia having lectured in Cambridge for twenty years before taking on the role of Director of Creative and Performing Arts in Liverpool. He is also an arts practitioner and for eighteen years was Director-in-Residence for Anglia Opera, conducting and producing such classics as La bohème, Carmen, Peter Grimes, La Traviata and The Turn of the Screw.

                      For Voyages to Antiquity he has given talks on the music and cultures of India, Oman, Jordan, South Africa and Namibia – and this time will use his knowledge of Shakespeare's play as the basis of an exploration of the real Antony and Cleopatra. The talks will be supported by numerous recorded/video examples (and the occasional live demonstration), and Dr Crilly will place the music and characters within a cultural, political and historical framework in order to reveal how the region’s character is reflected in its art.

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                      Professor Thomas G Fraser MBE

                      Professor Thomas G Fraser MBE

                      Professor Thomas G Fraser MBE, Emeritus Professor, Ulster University
                      Born and raised in Scotland, Professor Fraser gained his MA in Mediaeval and Modern History at the University of Glasgow before moving to the London School of Economics for his doctoral work in International History where his thesis was on the relationship between Germany and Indian revolutionaries during the First World War.

                      Born and raised in Scotland, Professor Fraser gained his MA in Mediaeval and Modern History at the University of Glasgow before moving to the London School of Economics for his doctoral work in International History where his thesis was on the relationship between Germany and Indian revolutionaries during the First World War. In 1969 he joined the New University of Ulster, now Ulster University, becoming in time Head of the School of History, Philosophy and Politics and finally Provost of its Magee campus. His teaching specialised in the modern history of the Middle East and India. He is now Emeritus Professor of History. In 1983-1984 he was Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Indiana University at South Bend. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.

                      He is widely published, mostly on the modern history of the Middle East and India, but also on American foreign policy and the Northern Ireland peace process. Amongst his recent books are a fourth edition of The Arab-Israeli Conflict (2015), which has also had Italian and Spanish editions, and an edited collection, The First World War andits Aftermath: The Shaping of the Modern Middle East (2015). He has travelled and lectured widely in the Middle East, India and Sri Lanka, but his academic work has also taken him to the United States, France, Russia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Croatia and South Africa.

                      His service as Chairman of the Northern Ireland Museum Council and a Trustee of the National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland reinforced an interest in ancient civilisations that he gained as a student on the Scottish Field School of Archaeology when he was an undergraduate.&nbsp; His wife Grace is a former university Research Fellow, specialising in aspects of the Northern Ireland Conflict, while his son Simon teaches Computing at university and his daughter Anna works in California.

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                      Alan O'Cain

                      Alan O'Cain

                      Alan O'Cain, Artist, Poet and freelance Lecturer
                      Alan studied History at Lancaster University specialising in the development of Western Science, Art and Philosophy and has an MA in Education. He now works as a professional artist and poet and delivers much loved public talks and performances. He has twice been a visiting fellow and artist-and-poet-in-residence at Durham University (2012-13 and 2015-16) and has given lectures in many prestigious venues and on cruise ships travelling the globe.

                      Alan studied History at Lancaster University specialising in the development of Western Science, Art and Philosophy and has an MA in Education. He now works as a professional artist and poet and delivers much loved public talks and performances. He has twice been a visiting fellow and artist-and-poet-in-residence at Durham University (2012-13 and 2015-16) and has given lectures in many prestigious venues and on cruise ships travelling the globe.

                      Alan has been involved in creative collaborations with Glyndebourne Opera and the Royal Shakespeare Company and produced art and poetry in-residence in a number of historical and international venues, including the preserved studio of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (painter of “The Scream”) and the former prison cell of Austrian artist Egon Schiele. He has held solo exhibitions at the Hay Festival and at several diverse locations in the UK and abroad. In 2016-2017 he showed works in Manchester Cathedral from an on-going sixteen-year project based on letter exchanges with a prisoner in a US jail and created three sound/art/horticulture installations in the city of Durham in collaboration with students, composers, musicians and staff from Durham Botanic Garden. During our cruise from Athens to Mumbai Alan will be delivering entertaining talks exploring themes from Art History, Philosophy and the History of Science and running exciting art and poetry-writing workshops during days at sea.

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                      Dr Campbell Price

                      Dr Campbell Price

                      Dr Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum
                      Campbell Price is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptology collections. He first became interested in ancient Egypt when he visited Kelvingrove Museum in his native Glasgow as a child.

                      Campbell Price is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptology collections. He first became interested in ancient Egypt when he visited Kelvingrove Museum in his native Glasgow as a child.

                      He completed a BA, MA, and PhD in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, where he is now an Honorary Research Fellow. Campbell has undertaken fieldwork in Egypt at the sites of Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham, Saqqara, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He has published on ancient Egyptian material culture, most recently a co-edited volume Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt (Manchester University Press, 2016) and Pocket Museum: Ancient Egypt (Thames and Hudson, 2018). Campbell has lectured widely throughout the UK, and internationally.

                      He is a regular contributor to Egyptological documentaries on TV and radio

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                      Dr David Price-Williams

                      Dr David Price-Williams

                      Dr David Price-Williams , University of London
                      David Price-Williams has a first degree from the University of Wales in Ancient Near Eastern languages (Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic etc.), with a subsidiary in Attic and Koine Greek. His post-graduate work and his doctorate, from the University of London, is in Near Eastern archaeology. His first overseas archaeological field work in the eastern Mediterranean was in 1969 as a field surveyor at the classical site of Knidos in Turkey. He then worked for the Smithsonian Institution as an archaeological field surveyor on excavations in the Near East before directing his own field research in the same area through the early 1970’s.

                      David Price-Williams has a first degree from the University of Wales in Ancient Near Eastern languages (Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic etc.), with a subsidiary in Attic and Koine Greek. His post-graduate work and his doctorate, from the University of London, is in Near Eastern archaeology. His first overseas archaeological field work in the eastern Mediterranean was in 1969 as a field surveyor at the classical site of Knidos in Turkey. He then worked for the Smithsonian Institution as an archaeological field surveyor on excavations in the Near East before directing his own field research in the same area through the early 1970’s.

                      David has spent many years working in the countries of Africa south of the Zambesi. From 1976 to 1989 he was the director of a multi-disciplinary team of up to twenty scientists from several universities researching the effects of climatic change on human evolution in Africa. He was based in Swaziland, during which time he also oversaw the building of the Swaziland National Museum and where he eventually became Director of Antiquities. 

                      David has been associated with the eastern Mediterranean – Greece, Turkey, Jordan and the Near East for more than 40 years. He is deeply involved with all aspects of Near Eastern culture, history and archaeology. 

                      David has just retired after thirty seven years lecturing on the Archaeology of Western Asia (Eastern Mediterranean) at the Institute of Archaeology for the University of London Extra Mural Department. He is the author and co-author of numerous academic papers on the area. David has designed and lectured on many tours to Greece, Turkey and the Near East and is very familiar with the archaeological sites in the area. David is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an elected member of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, and a life member of the Southern African Quaternary Research Association. He speaks Turkish and reads Classical Greek

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                      Ernest Rea

                      Ernest Rea

                      Ernest Rea, Broadcaster
                      Ernie Rea is a celebrated broadcaster who specialises on the history of religions and the way that faith impacts on the contemporary world. His regular radio programme, Beyond Belief, was awarded the prestigious Sony Gold Award for the best Speech Programme on British Radio. He worked for the BBC for 22 years in a variety of production and editorial roles.

                      Ernie Rea is a celebrated broadcaster who specialises on the history of religions and the way that faith impacts on the contemporary world. His regular radio programme, Beyond Belief, was awarded the prestigious Sony Gold Award for the best Speech Programme on British Radio. He worked for the BBC for 22 years in a variety of production and editorial roles. From 1989 -2001 he was Head of Religious Broadcasting for the BBC responsible for all their television and radio programmes nationally and locally. During this time, he spent much time in the United States, brokering co-production television deals with leading American broadcasters. He was closely involved in a variety of key national events, including the Funeral Service for Diana, Princess of Wales. He is in wide demand as a speaker at a wide variety of events, including international inter faith conferences, literary festivals, and academic symposia. 

                      In 1997 he was personally awarded the Gold Medal of the International Council for Christians and Jews for his contribution to Inter Faith understanding. He has First Class Degrees in Theology and in History and Politics which helped fuel his passion for the study of world religions and the way in which they impact on the ancient and modern worlds. He was one time Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Education at Manchester University.

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                      Gaynor Vaughan-Jones

                      Gaynor Vaughan-Jones

                      Gaynor Vaughan-Jones, Radio & TV Producer
                      Gaynor is a freelance radio and television producer and consultant and trainer on presentation and the press and broadcast media.

                      Gaynor is a freelance radio and television producer and consultant and trainer on presentation and the press and broadcast media.

                      She spent 25 years working for the BBC as a Radio 4 presenter and as an award-winning producer of television and radio programmes. She was Head of BBC Radio Wales and was the first Managing Editor of BBC Radio 5, which is a national news and sports channel.

                      While at the BBC Gaynor was sent to South Africa post-apartheid to train black presenters for SABC. Nowadays she works as a media consultant with Charities, and spends her spare time sailing the high seas or at home with her husband Ernie and beautiful dog, Bertie.

                      Whilst on board Aegean Odyssey, Gaynor will be on board to host a book club for passengers wishing to learn more about the fascinating sites visited.  Please note Gaynor will not be lecturing.

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                      Regent Four Seasons

                      Regent Four Seasons

                      Singapore, Singapore
                      2-night hotel stay in Singapore
                      Located within walking distance to the Botanic Gardens and Orchard Road, the five-star Regent Four Seasons in Singapore is an oasis of calm, offering guests supreme comfort.

                      Located within walking distance to the Botanic Gardens and Orchard Road, the five-star Regent Four Seasons in Singapore is an oasis of calm, offering guests supreme comfort. With contemporary decor and museum-quality Asian art pieces, the hotel is a private and exclusive haven for business and leisure travellers.

                      This pre- and post-cruise city hotel includes breakfast only. 

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                      Included
                      Steigenberger Nile Palace

                      Steigenberger Nile Palace

                      Luxor, Egypt
                      2-night hotel stay in Luxor
                      On the banks of the Nile, at the heart of the historical district of Luxor, the Steigenberger Nile Palace extends a warm welcome.

                      On the banks of the Nile, at the heart of the historical district of Luxor, the Steigenberger Nile Palace extends a warm welcome. A luxurious refuge from where one can easily explore some of the world’s greatest cultural treasures and enjoy times of peace and recuperation.

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                      Included
                      King George Hotel

                      King George Hotel

                      Athens, Greece
                      3-night hotel stay in Athens
                      Premium Class
                      As one of Athens’ finest hotels, the King George is situated right in the heart of the city. Dating back to 1930, its 102 rooms have hosted not only legendary personalities but also some of Athens’ most prestigious events.

                      As one of Athens’ finest hotels, the King George is situated right in the heart of the city. Dating back to 1930, its 102 rooms have hosted not only legendary personalities but also some of Athens’ most prestigious events. With panoramic views over the illuminated city and the Acropolis, the hotel transcends all expectations. The refined accommodation and the picturesque dining at the Tudor Hall Restaurant set the scene for a most memorable experience.

                      This pre- and post-cruise city hotel includes breakfast only. 

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                      Included
                      Hotel Grande Bretagne -

                      Hotel Grande Bretagne -

                      Athens, Greece
                      3-night hotel stay in Athens
                      Balcony Class
                      Hotel Grande Bretagne has 321 rooms with courtyard or city views and lavish public rooms decked with crystal, damask and tapestries, which make this a grand hotel in the finest tradition.

                      Hotel Grande Bretagne has 321 rooms with courtyard or city views and lavish public rooms decked with crystal, damask and tapestries, which make this a grand hotel in the finest tradition. Retreats and restaurants include the Winter Garden, Alexander's Bar, the Pool Bar (on the seventh floor!) and floodlit views of the Acropolis from the hotel's roof garden.

                      This pre- and post-cruise city hotels includes breakfast only. 

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                      Included
                      The LaLiT Hotel

                      The LaLiT Hotel

                      Delhi, India
                      2-night hotel stay in Delhi
                      The LaLiT  is one of the finest luxury hotels in the city. The hotel is located just minutes away from government offices, cultural centres, and international trade fair grounds.

                      The LaLiT  is one of the finest luxury hotels in the city. The hotel is located just minutes away from government offices, cultural centres, and international trade fair grounds.

                      This five star property is surrounded by upscale shopping centres, heritage monuments, and neighbourhoods buzzing with cafés and bazaars. Naturally, it is the preferred choice for perfect gateway to India’s vibrant capital.

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                      Included
                      Cairo Marriott Hotel

                      Cairo Marriott Hotel

                      Cairo, Egypt
                      2-night hotel stay in Cairo
                      The Cairo Marriott Hotel is situated in the vibrant Zamalek district, set amidst six acres of verdant palace gardens. It is also near some of the city’s top attractions, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Cairo Opera House. The hotel has 1,060 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, which feature high-speed Internet access, 42-inch flat-screen TVs and plush pillowtop mattresses. 

                      The Cairo Marriott Hotel is situated in the vibrant Zamalek district, set amidst six acres of verdant palace gardens. It is also near some of the city’s top attractions, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Cairo Opera House.
                      The hotel has 1,060 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, which feature high-speed Internet access, 42-inch flat-screen TVs and plush pillowtop mattresses. 

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                      Included

                      Voyages to Antiquity is pleased to offer free Economy Class airfare*, available from a variety of US gateways for select cruise itineraries!

                      Free roundtrip airfare add-ons from select gateways

                      Voyages to Antiquity’s Economy Class airfare program uses the world's leading airlines and offers convenient routings and exceptional savings. Upgrade costs for Business Class may be available on request - please call for details.

                      Sample gateways for our free roundtrip economy airfare are listed below.

                      Sample free economy airfare gateways*

                      AtlantaFREEBostonFREE
                      ChicagoFREEDallasFREE
                      DetroitFREEHoustonFREE
                      Los AngelesFREEMiamiFREE
                      New YorkFREEOrlandoFREE
                      PhiladelphiaFREEPhoenixFREE
                      Portland ORFREESan FranciscoFREE
                      SeattleFREEWashington DCFREE

                      *Free roundtrip airfare is economy class only, applies to select departures and gateways only, and includes all government taxes, fees and airline fuel surcharges, which may change at any time. Airline-imposed personal charges such as baggage fees may apply.

                      Some restrictions apply. You may not be able to change your confirmed flight arrangements without an additional charge. All air itineraries are subject to change and are not considered final until ticketed at 30 days prior to sailing. Some gateways may require departures 1 or 2 days prior to dates on pre-cruise land programs or 1 or 2 days later than dates on post-cruise programs shown on the website and in the brochure if applicable.

                      Customized air travel

                      You may wish to make changes to the flight itinerary provided by Voyages to Antiquity.

                      Your travel agent can make these flight requests on your behalf when you confirm your reservation. For example, you may wish to request travel on a specific carrier, or travel on different departure or return dates. A US$50 per person non-refundable administration fee will be charged for each request, plus any possible fare differential. Any additional costs associated with the change(s) will be added to your reservation once your new itinerary has been accepted. Deposit must be provided before custom requests can be made.

                      Seat Assignments

                      Voyages to Antiquity will request aisle and next seating when making your flight arrangements. Some airlines no longer allow specific seats to be requested for Economy Class travel. You or your travel agent may contact the carrier directly to request any special arrangements once air has been ticketed at 30 days prior to sailing.

                      Frequent Flyer Mileage

                      You will be able to accrue miles on most carriers we use, but will not be able to use miles for upgrades or any other amenities. Special requests and services should be arranged directly with the airline.

                      Included transfers

                      Transfers between airports and Aegean Odyssey while on your cruise-tour abroad are included. You'll be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred in comfort to the ship. At the end of your cruise, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

                      Note: Included transfers are provided only in conjunction with arrival and departure dates of cruise-tours as outlined on the website and our brochure. The included transfers are for guests purchasing Voyages to Antiquity air arrangements.

                      Owner's SuitesA
                      Owner's Suites
                      BALCONY
                      Owner's Suites, BALCONY
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      550 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, dressing area, separate sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

                      Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      $25,850*pp
                      $31,350*pp
                      Lido
                      Lido
                      Junior SuitesB
                      Junior Suites
                      BALCONY
                      Junior Suites, BALCONY
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      310 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, walk-in closet, sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

                      Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

                      $23,695*pp
                      $28,950*pp
                      Lido
                      Lido
                      Deluxe BalconyC
                      Deluxe Balcony
                      BALCONY
                      Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      275 sq ft staterooms located on Lido & Bridge Decks. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected. Cabins 807, 808 on Lido Deck are smaller and do not have a sitting area.

                      Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

                      $21,150*pp
                      $25,850*pp
                      Bridge
                      Bridge
                      Lido
                      Lido
                      Deluxe BalconyD
                      Deluxe Balcony
                      BALCONY
                      Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      275 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected.

                      Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

                      $19,795*pp
                      $24,495*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Deluxe OutsideE
                      Deluxe Outside
                      PREMIUM
                      Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      215 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Private bath/ shower or walk-in shower. Convertible twin beds. Cabins 556 and 563 are smaller but have a fixed double bed and a balcony.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      $17,995*pp
                      $22,295*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Deluxe OutsideF
                      Deluxe Outside
                      PREMIUM
                      Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      170-200sq ft staterooms located on Bridge and Belvedere Decks. Bath/Shower or walk-in shower.
                      Convertible twin beds or Fixed Double Bed. Cabins 535 and 536 have fixed twin beds only.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      $17,150*pp
                      $21,450*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Bridge
                      Bridge
                      Lido
                      Lido
                      Premium OutsideG
                      Premium Outside
                      PREMIUM
                      Premium Outside, PREMIUM
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      130-150 sq ft staterooms located on Bridge & Lido Decks. Private shower, fixed twin beds, convertible twin beds or fixed double bed.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      $15,995*pp
                      $19,895*pp
                      Bridge
                      Bridge
                      Lido
                      Lido
                      Premium OutsideH
                      Premium Outside
                      PREMIUM
                      Premium Outside, PREMIUM
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      Premium Outside 130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      $14,950*pp
                      $18,750*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Columbus
                      Columbus
                      Premium OutsideI*
                      Premium Outside
                      PREMIUM
                      Premium Outside, PREMIUM
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      130 sq ft cabins located on Bridge Deck. Private shower. Fixed twin beds or fixed double bed.
                      Views in some cabins partially obstructed by Life Boats.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      $13,995*pp
                      $17,595*pp
                      Bridge
                      Bridge
                      Standard OutsideJ
                      Standard Outside
                      PREMIUM
                      Standard Outside, PREMIUM
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.
                      * Please note the photo shows a Category H premium outside cabin. Category J standard outside cabins feature portholes instead of windows.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

                      $12,995*pp
                      $16,395*pp
                      Columbus
                      Columbus
                      Premium InsideK
                      Premium Inside
                      PREMIUM
                      Premium Inside, PREMIUM
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      $12,295*pp
                      $15,295*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Premium InsideL
                      Premium Inside
                      PREMIUM
                      Premium Inside, PREMIUM
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      $11,295*pp
                      $14,295*pp
                      Columbus
                      Columbus
                      Standard InsideM
                      Standard Inside
                      PREMIUM
                      Standard Inside, PREMIUM
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

                      $10,450*pp
                      $13,150*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Columbus
                      Columbus
                      Deluxe BalconyCC
                      Deluxe Balcony
                      SINGLE CABINS
                      Deluxe Balcony, SINGLE CABINS
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      135 sq ft single occupancy stateroom located on Lido Deck (Cabins 809, 810). Walk-in shower and private balcony. Fixed small double bed.

                      Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                      There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

                      $26,695*pp
                      $31,395*pp
                      Lido
                      Lido
                      Deluxe OutsideEE
                      Deluxe Outside
                      SINGLE CABINS
                      Deluxe Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      135 sq ft single occupancy Deluxe staterooms located on Belvedere Deck(554, 561). Shower, European full-size bed and a small balcony.

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                      $22,495*pp
                      $26,795*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Premium OutsideGG*
                      Premium Outside
                      SINGLE CABINS
                      Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      Single occupancy Premium outside staterooms located on Bridge and Lido Deck. Private shower and a European full-size bed. Views in cabins 726, 724 on Belvedere deck are partially obstructed by lifeboats.

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                      $20,250*pp
                      $24,150*pp
                      Bridge
                      Bridge
                      Lido
                      Lido
                      Premium OutsideHH*
                      Premium Outside
                      SINGLE CABINS
                      Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      Premium outside single occupancy staterooms located on Bridge & Belvedere decks, featuring a European full-size bed and a private shower.
                       * Please note the cabin plan and photo shows the Category H double occupancy stateroom. Category HH single staterooms are smaller and feature one European full-size bed. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats in the cabins on Bridge deck.

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                      $19,150*pp
                      $22,950*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Bridge
                      Bridge
                      Premium OutsideII*
                      Premium Outside
                      SINGLE CABINS
                      Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      130 sq ft Premuim Outside staterooms located on Bridge Deck, featuring a double window and a European full-size bed with private shower. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats.
                      *Please note the photo & cabin plan show a double occupancy I cabin. Cabins 710 and 712 (Category II, single occupancy) are smaller in size and feature a single European size bed.

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                      $17,995*pp
                      $21,595*pp
                      Bridge
                      Bridge
                      Standard OutsideJJ
                      Standard Outside
                      SINGLE CABINS
                      Standard Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      Single occupancy standard outside cabins located on Columbus Deck, featuring portholes in place of windows. A single European size bed with private shower.
                      *Please note the picture shows a standard outside double occupancy cabin. Single occupancy cabins are smaller and feature a single European size bed and portholes instead of windows.

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                      $16,895*pp
                      $20,295*pp
                      Columbus
                      Columbus
                      Premium InsideKK
                      Premium Inside
                      SINGLE CABINS
                      Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
                      Layout
                      virtual

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                      $15,995*pp
                      $18,995*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Premium InsideLL
                      Premium Inside
                      SINGLE CABINS
                      Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
                      Layout
                      virtual

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                      $14,950*pp
                      $17,950*pp
                      Columbus
                      Columbus
                      Standard InsideMM
                      Standard Inside
                      SINGLE CABINS
                      Standard Inside, SINGLE CABINS
                      Layout
                      virtual

                      130 sq ft Standard inside single occupancy cabins located on Belvedere Decks. A small double bed with private shower.
                      *Please note the picture shows a double occupancy inside cabin. Cabins MM are smaller and feature a small double bed.

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                      $14,250*pp
                      $16,950*pp
                      Belvedere
                      Belvedere
                      Third/fourth person sharing
                      $0
                      $8,595
                      $10,795
                      Port Fees & Service Charges (included in the fares above)
                      $0
                      $0
                      $1,790
                      Cruise Only Credit (no air or land included)
                      $0
                      $0
                      $850

                      MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY

                      There is a particular pleasure that comes with cruising aboard a smaller ship. Hosting an average of just 350 passengers, Aegean Odyssey is no ‘floating city’. She is small enough to sail rivers and put into the more characterful ports inaccessible to the ‘mega-ships’, the service is more personal and you get plenty of time to interact with the onboard experts.

                      Yet on the other hand, she is large enough to offer a superb selection of amenities, including two dining venues, several comfortable lounges and bars, a relaxing spa centre and well-stocked library. Cabins are spacious, modern and intelligently designed, and 39 cabins across a range of categories (including balcony) are set aside for solo travellers at low supplement.  

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                      Our website does not display live availability. All prices and availability be will confirmed at time of enquiry. The single supplement offers only apply to our single cabin categories. Special Offers are strictly capacity controlled, subject to availability, may be withdrawn at any time and are not always combinable. Please note – while we will do our best to adhere to this full itinerary, there may be changes at the discretion of the captain, due to weather advisories, port traffic and other unforeseeable circumstances. Shore excursions are subject to change. We reserve the right to alter, cancel or substitute an included excursion at any time. Unless otherwise specified, optional shore excursions are priced in US dollars and can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship. Optional shore excursions that are shown in local currency (or where specified for US passengers) must be pre-booked and paid for prior to departure.