By K.C. Summers, Cruise Critic Contributor
Corinthian II is ideal for that subset of cruisers who seek an intimate, intellectual and elegant onboard experience. Instead of casinos, Broadway-style revues or trivia games, you'll find high-quality educational programs led by distinguished scholars and experts. Corinthian II attracts travelers interested in going beyond the typical tourist track -- and doing it in style. With its tastefully decorated suites, inviting public spaces and welcoming, highly professional crew, Corinthian II is a great place to come "home" to after stimulating days of cultural exploration.
Originally built for Renaissance Cruises as Renaissance VII (not to be confused with the larger and more contemporary series of ships built by Renaissance in the late 1990's known as the R-series), Corinthian II is now chartered to New York-based Travel Dynamics International. Refurbished and redecorated in 2004, the stately ship offers a yacht-like ambience.
Travel Dynamics International has carved out a niche by offering educational programs aboard small ships. Scholars, experts and hand-picked local guides lead travelers to off-the-beaten-path destinations rich in history and culture. In addition to its own cruises, Travel Dynamics partners with college alumni groups, museums like the Smithsonian Institution and the American Museum of Natural History, and nonprofit organizations like the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Audubon Naturalist Society.
Corinthian II's small size is a big advantage in navigating where larger ships can't -- such as the narrow Corinth Canal and tiny islands like Delos. Its size also fosters an unusual camaraderie among passengers. Yet there's also a feeling of spaciousness, and you can always find a spot to steal away for a bit of privacy: an armchair in the Library, a chaise on the wraparound sun deck, a booth in the Lounge. With its polished wood interiors, brass fixtures and understated elegance, Corinthian II is tremendously appealing.
The ship's best attribute, however, is its staff. Hard-working, attentive and genuinely enthusiastic, they go out of their way to learn not only your name, but to anticipate your every need and desire -- be it your favorite cocktail, dinner partner or dietary quirk. They transform what could be an impersonal experience into a warm and memorable one.
Corinthian II Fellow Passengers
In general, passengers range in age from 50's to 80's and are well educated and well traveled. Summer cruises may attract families with older children; you might see several mother/daughter pairings or even a three-generation bunch. Lunch and dinner are often as compelling as the lectures, with stimulating and informed conversation as the rule and all political viewpoints typically represented.
Corinthian II Dress Code
Dress is "country-club casual." At dinner, men wear long pants and button-up shirts; about half also wear jackets. Women wear sundresses with jackets or sweaters, or dressy pants and tops. The teens onboard tend to dress down a bit, sporting everything from jeans to comfy yoga-wear. Passengers dress nicely for the captain's welcome and farewell dinners, but formalwear is not needed.
Corinthian II Gratuity
Travel Dynamics suggests a gratuity of $16 per person, per day, which is divided among the crew. This can be paid with credit card, cash or traveler's checks.
Just returned from a lifetime experience. We cruised to Antarctica with
Overseas Adventure Travel on the Corinthian II for 9 days. The cruise generally takes 2 days from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula, then 5 days of cruising and ...continue
We went on a Travel Dynamics cruise of the Western Mediterranean in June aboard the Corinthian II. We had traveled with them ten years ago aboard the Clelia II seeing Turkey and the Greek Isles and loved that, but this was even better. ...continue
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Travel Dynamics International has it all together. This is small-ship cruising designed for a full intellectual barrage. No casino and night club fru-fru....just a great immersion into the world of ancient artifacts and thought.