The saying is: never go back!
In 2012 we had an unforgettable cruise on Aegean Odyssey and we have always wanted to return. So on 26 April 2019 we flew to Athens to join her for a Classical Greece and Islands of the Aegean cruise. All went well, transfer to the port of Piraeus was swift and we were quickly into our comfortable outside cabin. Later we attended an Excursion Briefing for the following day and noticed that though we were now leaving the first port five hours earlier than published in the Excursion Booklet, no explantion was forthcoming. Those guests who were staying on for the Black Sea cruise the following week were asked to stay behind. The next day we learned from those passengers that the subsequent cruise had been cancelled as one engine had broken down. So the pattern for the next seven days emerged. Each day the ship left port hours early so that it could proceed at half speed in order to reach the next port in time for the morning excursion the following day. At no time did Captain Pallas (soon named Captain Invisible), Cruise Director Alison Lewin or Tours Manager Chantelle offer any explanation and of course rumours soon materialised. Reference to the Cruise Industry News website revealed that Voyages to Antiquity had issued a press release announcing that ten cruises through the Summer had been cancelled and that the ship would enter dry dock for a replacement engine. However for us unfortunate passengers there was no such information. Further it emerged that the ship is to be reconfigured and leased to the Road Scholars group for three years. So it was then clear that we were on Aegean Odyssey’s Farewell Cruise and that Voyage to Antiquity is no more. This was born out by free drinks being available to all on the last day (though once again nobody knew).
The cruise would have been good, but excursions were inevitably rushed, and little time was left after to explore interesting tiny towns in which the ship docked. The Greek Easter Sunday lunch excursion was outstanding in Heraklion, Crete as was the visit to the Stephanos Crater on Nisyros. All the included excursions were well guided by knowledgeable local folks.
The food was was mostly good and the included wines plentiful in the Marco Polo MDR though service could be very slow particularly if on a large table. There was a relevant lecture program which my wife enjoyed but there is no evening entertainment of note.
So farewell Aegean Odyssey, great little ship with lovely public rooms and staff, let down by management in the face of a crisis which can happen on any ship.
Small but comfortable and quiet with a very good bathroom.