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Top Voyages to Antiquity Ships
One-ship line Voyages to Antiquity puts a huge emphasis on learning throughout each cruise -- guest lecturers play a big role in the cruise experience. Among those presenting the daily lectures are professors from great British universities, a former ambassador, historians and chefs. A frequent lecturer is historical author Lord John Julius Norwich, who helped plan the cruise line's itineraries.
Voyages to Antiquity is marketed as a "premium, small-ship product." The ambience is country-club chic: never dressy, never sloppy. The public address system is seldom used, other than for the captain's daily update. Gratuities are included in the basic fares, as are most excursions and wine and beer with dinner.
While lone cruise ship Aegean Odyssey has no casino or showroom, plenty of enrichment opportunities are available onboard. The entertainment is purposely low-key, usually just a string trio, a pop ensemble or a pianist playing show tunes -- no midnight comedy acts, no dance troupes, no bingo. Yet, the small library is filled with books on the ancient world, encouraging passengers to embrace education and enrichment on their cruise holidays. Facilities include a small swimming pool and a compact spa.
There is no assigned seating for meals, and the mainly Filipino waitstaff will remember your preferences. Dining venues include an open-seating dining room named Marco Polo and the Terrace Cafe and Grill -- a casual buffet restaurant with an alfresco section that's home to "Tapas on the Terrace." Afternoon tea is served in the Terrace Cafe, and hors d'oeuvres are offered during the late-afternoon cocktail hour and again after dinner in the Charleston Lounge, which also features musical performances.
Cabins range from 130 square feet (inside and outside cabins) to 550 square feet with balconies (Owner's Suites). There are 26 dedicated single cabins (4 inside, 20 outside and 2 balconies).
Many of those onboard are former passengers of cruise line founder Gerry Herrod's earlier ventures, Orient Lines and Pearl Cruises. Because of the educational focus of Voyages to Antiquity itineraries, the passengers tend to be educated, intelligent and curious. Generally, these discerning travelers are well-to-do, older than 50 and speak English as their native language. Voyages to Antiquity cruises are marketed in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia.