Clients can explore ancient civilizations with Voyages to Antiquity. // © 2011 Voyages to Antiquity
"Between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D., the Romans were the masters of the Mediterranean. Their commercial vessels sailed to every corner of the region, and their armies occupied all of the surrounding coast lands."
So opens the 2011 Voyages to Antiquity brochure, which immediately makes it clear that the cruise line is dedicated to bringing history to life. The glossy, 104-page brochure reads like the history book you wish you'd had in school, providing a jam-packed lesson for travelers interested in the Mediterranean.
The ship picks up where the brochure leaves off, connecting travelers with the ancient world on sailings that visit ports such as Cairo, Athens, Istanbul, Malta, Tunisia, Lebanon and even Libya. The mid-size ship, which carries an average of 350 people, can easily reach ports that are not accessible to larger vessels.
While casinos and discos are decidedly absent onboard, the ship's library is stocked with glossy history books and nighttime programs feature area historians and educators. More importantly, the large majority of shore excursions are included in the fare, ensuring that passengers get a firsthand look at the region's rich history.
Many of the ship's itineraries, which range from seven days to two weeks, were planned in conjunction with the travels of Lord John Julius Norwich, a noted historian and author who has penned several biographies of the region, as well as other leading historians.
Interested travelers can sail with Norwich, who joins the Aegean Odyssey for a 16-day program from Athens to Rome on May 19 and a 16-day voyage from Istanbul to Venice, departing July 20.
Cruise fares start from $3,295 per person, double occupancy, and include most shore excursions, gratuities, wine, beer and soft drinks at dinner.