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Summer 2018

THE

JOURNAL T H E M A G A Z I N E O F V O YA G E S T O A N T I Q U I T Y ’ S O D Y S S E Y C L U B

WHERE THE DESERT MEETS THE SEA Exploring Namibia’s forbidding Skeleton Coast

CENTRAL CASTING Malta, ‘sword and sandals’ star of the silver screen

RAFFLES’ PRIZE Colonial charm and modern wonders in Singapore

FROM THE AEGEAN TO THE ARCTIC Your cruise-by-cruise guide to the 2019 season


Welcome to The Journal Welcome to the second issue of the quarterly Odyssey Club magazine, The Journal. If you haven’t yet booked your Voyages to Antiquity cruise for 2019, do read our introduction to next year’s European season. These itineraries are already selling in record numbers and you’ll need to call soon to take advantage of our special saver fares. Will you join us on a brand-new exploration of the Baltic, a journey north to Norway’s ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’, or our long-awaited return to the Black Sea? Or will we have the pleasure of welcoming you on European Connoisseur, the Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise, as we sail rivers, sample sublime food and wine, and appreciate cultural treasures from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bordeaux to the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. We are grateful to some of our outstanding lecturers for their contributions this issue – including Dr Campbell Price recalling the start of his love affair with Ancient Egypt, and former British Ambassador to Burma Robert Gordon shedding light on this unique and most mysterious destination. Other articles turn the focus on destinations as diverse as the exhilarating city-state of Singapore, the twice-besieged island of Malta and the eerie Skeleton Coast of Namibia. I hope you enjoy reading the magazine as much as we enjoyed compiling it. Happy travels!

Jos Dewing, Managing Director

IN THIS ISSUE

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NEWS

4-7

FROM THE AEGEAN TO THE ARCTIC Introducing a spectacular European season in 2019

8-11

TREASURES BEYOND COMPARE The enduring appeal of ancient Egypt

12-13

BURMESE DAYS The former British Ambassador to Burma

14-15

CENTRAL CASTING Malta, ‘sword and sandals’ star of the silver screen

16-17

CITY GUIDE: SINGAPORE

18-19

EUROPE’S EARLIEST CITIES? Did urban life begin during the remarkable Minoan civilisation?

20-22

WHERE THE DESERT MEETS THE SEA Namibia’s Skeleton Coast - one of the hottest new cruise destinations

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FROM THE CRUISE DIRECTOR

Florence


NEWS

NEWS Ship-shape and ready for the new season GDPR – what it means for you, the customer

Here at Voyages to Antiquity, we believe that first-hand knowledge of the ship and our most popular destinations is essential for our staff, so they can better advise and assist potential customers. So a few members of our Reservations team travelled out to Greece in April to spend some time aboard Aegean Odyssey, meet the crew, see all the cabin and stateroom categories and generally enjoy the guest experience. As she embarks on her 2018 European season, Aegean Odyssey has never looked better! She is positively gleaming from a new coat of paint and a Teflon-based coating for the hull to prevent the growth of subaquatic organisms that can affect a ship’s performance. And when you step off for shore excursions in Greece, a fleet of smart, comfortable and air-conditioned Voyages to Antiquity-branded coaches will be standing by to whisk you off to the ancient treasures of Athens, Delphi and Epidaurus.

You may have heard about GDPR in recent weeks. Essentially it is a new regulation coming into force in late May 2018 that gives you more data protection and governs the way that organisations are allowed to communicate with you. Some businesses are interpreting the rules differently to others, but most accept that they need to secure new and much clearer permission from their customers to receive marketing material. You’ve probably already had a lot of companies contact you to ask for this. We also believe that this is the right thing to do. Providing this consent should only take a minute of your time, but it is very important to us; we very much appreciate the opportunity to share news (such as this magazine) and special offers with you. As an Odyssey Club member, you should already have received either a telephone call or a Freepost return card. You can also register your consent to continue receiving brochures and emails at voyagestoantiquity.com/consent or by calling us on 01865 951330. Please do take the time to tick these boxes or get in touch. We may not send any more marketing communications to those customers who do not take this action after 25 May 2018, unless they subsequently request them. Thank you!

New faces at Voyages to Antiquity With three seasons on sale and record levels of interest in Voyages to Antiquity cruises, we have been on something of a recruitment drive! The USA office in Fort Lauderdale has added two new sales managers, Cheryl Topalian and Laura Bowman, and Head of Sales & Development Denise Wilson. Daryl Gomm and Poppy Gunn have recently joined the reservations team in the Oxford office, and UK customers may soon find themselves receiving brochures from the new Head of Marketing, Martin Walker, who will be joined by Claire Austin. A warm welcome to all our new recruits! 3


Aegean Arctic From the

to the

Your guide to our 2019 European season of spectacular voyages

Odessa, one of three Black Sea stops in a new 2019 itinerary

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Belem Tower in Lisbon, featuring on the 2019 Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise


EUROPE 2019

2019 is set to be Voyages to Antiquity’s most varied European season ever, with a return to the Black Sea and brand-new itineraries introducing Norway’s breathtaking North Cape and the mesmerising maritime cities of the Baltic, taking their place alongside perennial Mediterranean and Northern European favourites.

Return to the Black Sea For several years,Voyages to Antiquity’s Black Sea cruises were tremendously popular – little wonder, for the region’s climate is sublime and the Black Sea’s shores echo with millennia of history. Events in Ukraine have kept it off the cruise map for a few seasons, and it is still not advisable to visit Crimea. But we are proud to be the first operator to return to the welcoming western ports of what the Romans called the ‘hospitable sea’. In May 2019, in combination with ancient Athena, majestic Meteora and the

lesser-known Greek islands of Lemnos, Skiathos and Patmos, we will make three Black Sea stops. Odessa is a city of grand boulevards and elegant 19th century mansions such as the Tolstoy Palace, and cinephiles will recognise the monumental Potemkin Steps from the epic 1925 film Battleship Potemkin. Constanza is a charming, historic Romanian resort city where we sample some of the excellent local wine and enjoy a colourful folkloric show. And the Bulgarian resort town of Varna is particularly noted for an extraordinary 6,000-year-old hoard of gold, now on display in the Archaeological Museum, though the extremely well-preserved Roman Baths should also not be missed.

Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise: European Connoisseur

gloriously relaxing river cruising. Sailing from sun-drenched Seville to London, opportunities abound to sample some of the best tapas in Spain and Lisbon’s delicious pasteis de Belem, the great port wines of Oporto and fine vintages of the Bordeaux area, from St Emilion to the Medoc. Aegean Odyssey’s modest size enables her to cruise the picturesque Guadalquivir and Gironde rivers, and berth in the heart of cities such as Seville and Bordeaux, inaccessible to the bigger ships. This Odyssey Club adventure also follows in the footsteps of countless pilgrims to the magnificent Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and visits the Old Quarter of La Rochelle, the Channel Island of Guernsey and the pretty harbour town of Honfleur, so beloved by Monet and his fellow Impressionists.

Eschewing Mediterranean shores in summer 2019, the Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise is a four-country spectacular, combining gastronomic delights, world-renowned wines and

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EUROPE 2019 Land of the Midnight Sun From mid-May to late July, the North Cape of Norway enjoys almost constant daylight, earning it the romantic moniker ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’. This peninsula, well within the Arctic Circle, invites appreciation of marvellous landscapes, the natural world at its most pristine and ‘edge of the world’ tranquillity. Our mid-June itinerary also takes in the bewitching Norwegian cities of Bergen, Stavanger and Alesund, some of that country’s most beautiful fjords, the rugged majesty of the Shetlands and Denmark’s charismatic capital, Copenhagen.

St Petersburg and the Baltic So numerous are the cultural wonders of St Petersburg, from canals and cathedrals to museums and palaces, that much more time is required than the standard cruise day trip or overnight. Voyages to Antiquity’s July 2019 Baltic cruise includes two nights and three days in this amazing city – so there is no need to rush around the Hermitage, undoubtedly one of the great repositories of art in the world, for example, or forgo an excursion to Peterhof, the ‘Russian Versailles’ and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its exquisitely manicured gardens and Grand Cascade of fountains dotted with gleaming gold statues. Also featuring on this outstanding Baltic journey are the appealing capitals Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn, the latter with dramatic fortifications and fairytale onion-domed churches to discover, the engaging city of Gdansk (from Gdynia) and icons of history in Berlin (from Warnemunde) such as the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie.

Albania’s little-visited archaeological site of Butrint

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Three days in St Petersburg invite appreciation of its myriad treasures

Classic Mediterranean voyages Aegean Odyssey’s home port is Athens and Greece is her back yard, so no Voyages to Antiquity programme would be complete without some classic Mediterranean itineraries. No cultural travel company offers a more comprehensive and better value Greece experience – and, if you haven’t yet explored this captivating country and its islands, you won’t find a better introduction than our Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean cruise (departures in April, September and October 2019). This unforgettable journey encompasses ancient highlights of the mainland Athens, Delphi, Epidaurus and Mycenae, the justly celebrated Greek Islands of Crete, Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini, and enthralling off-thebeaten-track gems such as Karpathos, Delos and Nisyros, with traditional

villages, archaeological treasures and otherworldly volcanic scenery respective attractions. Italy and the Adriatic also lend themselves superbly well to cultural cruising. Here you may step back in time to Ancient Greece amongst the temples of Sicily, and to Ancient Rome in the stunning surrounds of the Forum, the Colosseum and myriad other sites in the Italian capital, along with poignant Pompeii and Herculaneum, the vast Palace of Diocletian in Split, and Albania’s almost tourist-free Roman city of Butrint. Then, of course, there are some of the finest achievements of art and architecture in Florence, Pisa and Urbino, the timeless beauty of Venice and the splendour of the Dalmatian Coast – islands such as Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo, and the stunning walled city of Dubrovnik, acclaimed by George Bernard Shaw as ‘heaven on earth’.

Poignant Pompeii


Classic Civilisations of the Southern Mediterranean 13 April 2019 14 days, Malaga – Athens Malaga • Trapani (Segesta or Erice) • Palermo • Catania (Syracuse or Taormina) • Valletta • Chania • Heraklion • Santorini • Athens

Fares from £2,445pp

The Black Sea & Greek Islands 2 May 2019 14 days, Athens – Athens

EUROPE 2019

Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean 22 April 2019 13 days, Athens – Athens Athens (Osios Loukas/Epidaurus) • Delphi • Nauplia (Mycenae) Santorini • Heraklion • Agios Nikolaos • Karpathos • Rhodes Nisyros • Delos • Mykonos • Athens

Fares from £2,345pp

Classical Greece & Southern Italy 13 May 2018 15 days, Athens – Rome

Athens • Patmos • Skiathos • Volos (Meteora) • Lemnos • Odessa Constanza • Varna • Athens

Athens (Mycenae/Epidaurus) • Gythion (Sparta) • Katakolon (Olympia) Itea (Delphi) • Corfu • Dubrovnik • Brindisi (Lecce or Alberobello) • Catania (Taormina or Syracuse) • Sorrento (Pompeii or Herculaneum) • Rome

Fares from £2,850pp

Fares from £3,145pp

Renaissance Italy & Historic Islands 23 May 2019 17 days, Rome – Seville Rome • Livorno (Florence/Pisa & Lucca) • Elba • Bonifacio Ajaccio • Mahon • Palma • Malaga • Gibraltar • Cadiz Seville (Cordoba)

Fares from £3,250pp

Land of the Midnight Sun 18 June 2019 16 days, London – Copenhagen London • Lerwick • Bergen • Harstad • Honningsvag (North Cape) Tromso • Trondheim • Hellesylt (Geirangerfjord) • Geiranger Alesund • Stavanger • Copenhagen

Fares from £2,995pp

The Norwegian Fjords 16 July 2019 15 days, Copenhagen - London Copenhagen • Aarhus • Oslo • Kristiansand • Stavanger • Flam (Sognefjord) Bergen • Hellesylt (Geirangerfjord) • Geiranger • Olden (Nordfjord) Ulvik (Hardangerfjord) • Rosyth (Edinburgh or Stirling) • London

Fares from £2,995pp

The Three Rivers

European Connoisseur 4 June 2019 15 days, Seville – London Seville (Cordoba) • Lisbon • Oporto • Vigo (Santiago de Compostela) Bordeaux • La Rochelle • Guernsey • Honfleur • London

Fares from £2,595pp

Baltic Capitals & St Petersburg 3 July 2019 14 days, Copenhagen – Copenhagen Copenhagen • Stockholm • Helsinki • St Petersburg • Tallinn Gdynia (Gdansk) • Warnemunde (Berlin) • Copenhagen

Fares from £2,995pp

Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands 30 July 2019 16 days, London – London London • Lerwick • Heimaey • Reykjavik • Isafjordur • Akureyri Husavik • Torshavn • Kirkwall • Rosyth (Edinburgh or Stirling) London

Fares from £2,995pp

Mediterranean Odyssey

14 August 2019 15 days, London – Lisbon

26 August 2019 15 days, Lisbon – Rome

London • Rouen (Paris) • Honfleur • La Rochelle • Bordeaux San Sebastian • La Coruna (Santiago de Compostela) • Oporto • Lisbon

Lisbon • Cadiz (Jerez) • Malaga • Tarragona • Barcelona • Sete (Carcassonne) • Marseilles (Avignon) • Monte Carlo • Portofino Livorno (Florence/Pisa) • Rome

Fares from £2,695pp

Italian & Adriatic Highlights 5 September 2019 15 days, Rome - Venice Rome • Sorrento (Pompeii/Herculaneum) • Salerno (Paestum) Taormina • Corfu • Sarande (Butrint) • Brindisi (Lecce or Alberobello) Dubrovnik • Split • Ancona (Urbino) • Venice

Fares from £2,795pp

Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean 25 September 2019 13 days, Athens – Athens Athens (Osios Loukas/Epidaurus) • Delphi • Nauplia (Mycenae) Santorini • Heraklion • Agios Nikolaos • Karpathos • Rhodes Nisyros • Delos • Mykonos • Athens

Fares from £2,495pp

Fares from £2,795pp

Dalmatia & Ancient Greece 19 September 2019 13 days, Venice – Athens Venice • Ancona (Urbino) • Split • Korcula • Dubrovnik Kotor Bay (cruising) • Sarande (Butrint) • Katakolon (Olympia) Pylos • Monemvasia • Hydra • Athens

Fares from £2,495pp

Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean 3 October 2019 13 days, Athens – Athens Athens (Osios Loukas/Epidaurus) • Delphi • Nauplia (Mycenae) Santorini • Heraklion • Agios Nikolaos • Karpathos • Rhodes Nisyros • Delos • Mykonos • Athens

Fares from £2,495pp

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Treasures beyond compare Voyages to Antiquity guest lecturer Dr Campbell Price reflects on the enduring appeal of ancient Egypt

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EGYPT

Luxor’s West Bank

The mighty Pyramids of Giza

Few civilisations have left more tangible and magnificent evidence of their existence than the ancient Egyptians. This is not by chance. Most items now prized by archaeologists were deliberately and carefully sealed in tombs, in the hope of utility to the deceased for eternity. Temples were constructed and embellished in the earnest belief that they would act as homes for the gods for ‘millions of years’. These lofty intentions set the foundation for our modern enthusiasm for all things ancient Egyptian – that world, in all its glory and its tragedy, seems so immediate, thanks to the permanence of its artistic and architectural wonders. I became interested in ancient Egypt as a shy but curious child visiting a museum in my native Glasgow. I grew besotted with what was on display there – animal gods, hieroglyphs, angular stone carvings, mummies – all pervaded with the dusty, tantalisingly exotic aroma of antiquity. The Egyptians were glamorous, gilded, ravishing and mysterious. They made the Greeks, Romans and Hebrews look

drab, uninspired and uninteresting in comparison. To see their mighty works in situ though is a true privilege. Approaching the Pyramids of Giza never fails to inspire awe. Indeed, the experience has captivated visitors to Egypt since antique times, and graffiti exists attesting to visits by the ancient Egyptians themselves, centuries after their national wonders were built. In addition to the interiors of the three big pyramids themselves (usually opened in rotation) and the famous Sphinx colossus, modernday visitors can spend hours exploring the honeycomb of elite tombs that surround the pyramids. The Giza Plateau will soon be welcoming guests at a modern marvel – the Grand Egyptian Museum. Over a decade in development, it promises to be architecturally spectacular and one of the leading museums of the world, with the largest archaeological collection. All in all, a fitting setting for the most impressive objects to survive from the time of the pharaohs. The new museum will house the funerary effects of King

Tutankhamun – including his famous golden mask, coffins and jewellery – as as well as sublime statues of the major pharaonic figures. I’ve seen for myself the ongoing conservation efforts in basement laboratories to regain and retain the original splendour of ancient objects. It is hoped that this spectacular new museum will encourage millions more travellers to choose Egypt. A soft-opening is currently planned for late 2018.

“The Egyptians made the Greeks, Romans and Hebrews look drab, uninspired and uninteresting” 9


EGYPT

Cairo

The current home of Tutankhamun’s ‘treasure’, Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, is one of my favourite places in the world. I spent a lot of time there as a doctoral student, watching armies of tourists being marched around the galleries by their guides. Now, the museum is much quieter, but also fresher and better-labelled, so a visit is much more enjoyable and enlightening than it once was. Its exhibits are mind-boggling in quantity and quality – but, with the help of an Egyptologist, these artefacts can tell the story of a great civilisation and its magnificent cities, not least Luxor, 450 miles south of the capital along the timeless Nile. Luxor is famous for tombs and temples. Perhaps the most famous burial chambers in the world are located in the Valley of the Kings. The first time I set foot there, I was overwhelmed by the silence, of a sort I’d never before experienced. The ancient Egyptians believed the valley, stretching out beneath the natural pyramid of the socalled ‘Peak’, was sacred to Meretseger, the snake goddess whose name means ‘she who loves silence’. It was here that the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (c. 1500-1100 BC) elected to spend eternity, favouring hidden, rock-cut tombs rather than the awe-inspiring superstructures of their forebears. 10

The Valley of the Kings and Queens also benefit from smaller numbers of tourists than in their heyday, further enhanced by access to a broader range of tombs, and with improved signage and lighting. The now-visitable tombs of Seti I and Nefertari, with their breathtaking decoration, are genuine highlights of world travel. Conservation of smaller – though still vividly decorated – nobles’ tombs, the other side of the high barren hills, has helped present a fascinating insight into non-royal expectations of the afterlife. The vast, monumental temples of Karnak and Luxor are best experienced early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the raking sunlight most effectively picks out their carved reliefs. These astonishing religious complexes must have spent centuries as building sites, with constant works of expansion, adding

obelisks, gateways and statues. Luxor Temple perfectly illustrates continuity of use ancient and modern, having been a pharaonic shrine, a Christian church and now a mosque. Karnak’s ancient name means ‘most sacred of places’ and the courtyards that are such a pleasure for all to explore now would have been accessible to few other than the temple workers of antiquity. With newly accessible ‘open-air museum’ elements at both sites, there’s now more to see than ever before – including the active work of archaeologists piecing together their gigantic jigsaw puzzles. The temples, tombs, pyramids and museums of Luxor and Cairo deliver a peerlessly immersive visitor experience and rich insights into the lives and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. As such, few ‘voyages to antiquity’ will be as vivid – or as memorable – as those to Egypt.

Dr Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museum, will be accompanying Voyages to Antiquity’s epic 37-day Passage to Ancient Egypt & India cruise, departing 6 December 2018 and visiting Athens, Suez (for Cairo, Giza, Memphis, Sakkara and the monasteries of St Anthony and St Paul), Aqaba (for Petra), Safaga (for Luxor and Karnak), Salalah, Muscat, Porbandar, Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Prices start at £6,295pp including 12 nights in 4*/5* hotels, international flights, full board cruise, gratuities and 16 shore excursions. Call 01865 951320 for full details and to book.


THE AEGEAN EXPERIENCE & CAIRO

ATHENS TO ATHENS 13 DAYS from £2,660 18 October 2018 VOYA GE HI G HL I G HT S

AEG181022

YOUR ITINERARY

• Two-night hotel stay in Athens • Hotel stays in Delphi and Nauplia • Overland tour of Egypt including two-night hotel stay in Cairo • Visit to the famous Egyptian pyramids

18 OCT

Fly to ATHENS Greece Arrive and transfer to hotel

19 OCT

ATHENS Greece

H

20 OCT

ATHENS/DELPHI Greece

H

21 OCT

DELPHI/NAUPLIA Greece

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Discover the ancient treasures of the Eastern Mediterranean in the gentle warmth of the autumn sun. Following a four-night tour of Athens, Delphi and Nauplia, we sail for Heraklion and the Minoan Palace of Knossos, by legend home to the Minotaur and labyrinth. Then it is on to Alexandria, the city of Cleopatra, and Cairo for an overland appreciation of the majestic Pyramids and Sphinx, the treasure of Tutankhamun, Memphis, Sakkara, and a dinner cruise on the timeless River Nile.

22 OCT

NAUPLIA/PIRAEUS Greece Embark Aegean Odyssey in Piraeus

23 OCT

HERAKLION Crete, Greek Islands

24 OCT

AT SEA

25 OCT

ALEXANDRIA/CAIRO Egypt

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26 OCT

CAIRO Egypt

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27 OCT

CAIRO/ALEXANDRIA Egypt

28 OCT

AT SEA

En route back to Greece, we stop at Rhodes for a choice of World Heritage Sites – charming Rhodes Town, with its fascinating Crusader history, or the beautifully preserved Acropolis of Lindos.

29 OCT

RHODES Greece

30 OCT

PIRAEUS Greece Disembark Aegean Odyssey and transfer to Athens Airport for flight home

H

H Hotel stay ashore

Knossos, Crete

Fares per person Cabin / Stateroom Delphi

YOUR GUEST SPEAKERS INCLUDE: DR DAVID PRICE-WILLIAMS University of London 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.

Brochure fare

Special saver fare

Odyssey Club fare

Standard Inside

£2,950

£2,800

£2,660

Standard Outside

£3,550

£3,350

£3,183

Deluxe Outside

£4,295

£4,045

£3,843

Deluxe Balcony

£5,150

£4,850

£4,608

Single fares from £3,653 Other cabin/stateroom categories are available.

For more information or to book call us on 01865 951320 or email reservations@voyagestoantiquity.com

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BURMA

Burmese Days Former British Ambassador to Burma, President of the Britain-Burma Society and Voyages to Antiquity guest lecturer Robert Gordon answers a few questions about this extraordinary country. You are President of the Britain-Burma Society. Could you tell us more about the society’s aims and activities? The Britain-Burma Society recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. The Society is non-political and aims to foster friendship and understanding between the peoples of Britain and Burma, especially through cultural and social exchanges. It typically arranges half a dozen lectures a year at the Medical Society in London, exploring a range of historical, political and social themes. Every October, it holds a reception to welcome Myanmar newcomers to the UK as well as its regular membership. Should we call it Burma or Myanmar? When the military junta changed the country’s name (in English) from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, many resisted using the new name until such time as the country returned to democracy and a freely elected parliament could confirm or reject the change. In November 2015, the country held its first free elections for many decades and Aung San Suu Kyi – the de facto head of the current government – says she is content to accept either form, although in practice most people now use Myanmar (pronounced Mee-an-mar).

Mandalay

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Why do you think Burma holds such a special place in the popular imagination? The country has been nicknamed ‘The Golden Land’ for the many golden pagodas dotting the landscape. I think this offers a clue to why Myanmar exerts such a special fascination for foreigners, who have long been drawn to its unspoilt beauty, the diverse cultures and traditions of its many different races, its spectacular Buddhist monuments and its natural treasures such as rubies, teak and jade. In my experience, most tourists come away enchanted by their first exposure to the Burmese, who are among the friendliest and most welcoming of peoples. What are your most precious memories of Burma? When I was working in Burma in the late 1990s, Britain’s relationship with the then military dictatorship was not easy. We were nevertheless allowed to travel around the country relatively freely. Many of these trips we remember fondly: an overnight voyage by fishing boat, threading through the Mergui archipelago to Myeik; hill treks with our wonderful guide Tommy Aung in the wooded landscape around Kalaw on the Shan plateau; visiting the temples of Mrauk-U; for my wife, a rickshaw ride

through the paddy fields of Rakhine State in which she ended up swapping places with the driver; epic journeys by rickety railway through Kachin State; a day-long elephant ride through the forests and along the river-beds of Alaungdaw Kathapa national park. A particularly evocative moment for me was to bring my father – a former Chindit – to see his old Second World War battlefield of ‘White City’ straddling the railway line between Mandalay and Myitkyina. What is your favourite depiction of Burma in art and literature? I can recommend Amitav Ghosh’s masterful The Glass Palace. For those interested in Burma’s royal past, F. Tennyson Jesse’s The Lacquer Lady presents a unique insight into the final decades of court life in Mandalay in the 1870s and 1880s. An excellent overview of Burmese history can be found in Thant Myint-U’s River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma; and his Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia explores Burma’s strategic location between Asia’s two emerging giants. Peter Popham’s The Lady and the Peacock is a highly readable biography of Aung San Suu Kyi. George Orwell’s Burmese Days gives a somewhat


BURMA

The Temples of Bagan

jaundiced view of the colonial period, though it has some fine descriptive passages of Burmese landscape and customs. You were British Ambassador to Burma from 1995-1999. How challenging was that role, and what changes have you witnessed in the country since? While we had a difficult relationship with the military junta, we made many Burmese friends and had the particular privilege of getting to know Aung San Suu Kyi and her family. For a decade after we left, Myanmar remained stuck in a time warp until a new president Thein Sein began to open up the country in 2011. Since then, there have been many changes; mobile phones have swept the country, large numbers of high-rise office and apartment blocks have sprung up in Yangon, and the traffic there has exploded. Yet, for many Myanmar peasant farmers in the countryside, life continues much as before. Democracy has begun to take root, and the new government under the de facto leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi is trying hard to address Myanmar’s many challenges. But there is still a long way to go.

Is it right to visit Burma in the light of the Rohingya crisis? We have all been shocked by the persecution of the Muslim Rohingya in the north of Rakhine State, which has been particularly acute since last August. Several hundred thousand are now in makeshift refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh. While not wishing to minimise their plight, it is worth pointing out that the affected areas are far from the main tourist sites, and that most of Myanmar remains safe for foreigners to visit. Indeed travellers have a role to play in alerting their Myanmar friends to the damage done to their country’s reputation abroad and in finding out more about the root causes of this tragedy. If you had to recommend one Burmese dish for visitors to try, what would it be and why? I would recommend a dish called Ohn No Khauk Swe, which is a mild curried chicken broth made with coconut milk and noodles, topped with hard-boiled egg. Burmese cuisine is less fiery than the curries of their neighbouring India or Thailand, but it can be equally delicious.

Robert Gordon and his wife Pamela, also a diplomat, will be accompanying the 20-day Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula cruise from Singapore to Colombo, departing 23 January 2019. The itinerary includes Yangon (and optional excursions by air to Bagan or Mandalay), along with Malacca, Penang, Phuket and the Andaman Islands. Call 01865 951320 for full details and to book.

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MALTA

CENTRAL CASTING Don’t be surprised if Malta seems familiar, even to a first time cruise visitor. As one of the premier film locations of the Mediterranean, it has played a starring role in the likes of Gladiator,The Da Vinci Code, Clash of the Titans, Troy, Alexander and Game of Thrones. Whenever directors need to convey the spectacle and rich mythology of the ancient world, they come to this delightful three-island archipelago. The ‘sword and sandals’ epic is so completely at home here because the country is essentially one great open-air museum, the product of an extraordinarily significant history far outweighing its diminutive size. Attracted by its strategically important situation dead centre of the Mediterranean, the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Knights of St John, Spanish, French and British have all ruled Malta and its smaller sisters Gozo and Comino, informing a melting pot culture, a deliciously cosmopolitan cuisine and a unique hybrid language. But two events in their seven thousand year story tower above all others – two great sieges, when Malta found itself the battlefield of ideologies between warring giants; the agent of destiny in an vast, continent-spanning conflict. For four sweltering summer months in 1565, the last land battle of the Crusades raged in the area now known as the Three Cities, overlooking the Grand Harbour. Some 500 Knights of St John and their ragtag army of 6,000 held out against one of the largest

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invading forces ever assembled – 40,000 Ottoman troops who, seemingly invincible, were conquering land after land in the name of their sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. Waves of attacks, ever increasing in ferocity and bloodthirstiness, were launched, and one by one the defences of the knights fell. But despite massive losses, the last held firm until the changing weather forced the invaders’ withdrawal. Having thwarted the sultan’s European ambitions, the Knights’ victorious Grand Master La Vallette was inundated with financial gifts from grateful monarchs including Elizabeth I. He set to work creating a grand, fearsomely fortified city to deter further attempts at invasion.Valletta, now the country’s capital, bears his name, and the legacy of the Knights lives on in the majestic Co-Cathedral of St John, the Grand Master’s Palace (now the seat of the Maltese government) and mighty ramparts that present fine views of the scene of their astonishing triumph.

Mdina

Four centuries later, from 1940-43, the islands – by then a British colony – once again found themselves at the heart of an epic battle, this time between Allied and Axis powers for naval control of the Mediterranean and supremacy in North Africa. Determined to bomb and starve Malta into surrender, a blockade was established to deny vital supplies while the Italian Air Force and later the Luftwaffe launched a series of devastating blitzes causing heavy casualties and widespread destruction. Once again though the country held firm and played an essential role in a greater victory, earning the George Cross to ‘bear witness to the


MALTA

The country is essentially one great open-air museum heroism and devotion of its people’. The medal itself is on display at the National War Museum, along with a host of other fascinating exhibits, and other insights into the islands’ wartime experience may be gleaned at the Lascaris War Rooms and the Siege Bell Memorial. Other periods of Maltese history are also well represented at sites such as the 5,500-year-old megalithic temples at Tarxien and the perfectly preserved walled city and former capital of Mdina. But there is more to Malta than its past, however fascinating. Though craggy and barren, for example, it has coastal features of great beauty – most notably the idyllic turquoise waters of Comino’s Blue Lagoon and the picturesque harbour of St Julians, now fringed with fine restaurants and chic bars.

Indeed, St Julians is a good place to sample local culinary favourites including stuffat tal-fenek (an unctuous rabbit stew), lampuki (mahi mahi) pie, golden pastizzi (small pastries filled with ricotta or mushy peas sold by street vendors) and imquaret (the sweet equivalent of pastizzi, with a date filling). A light, refreshing accompaniment is Maltese wine, made from the native girgentina and gellewza grapes, swiftly gaining an international reputation of quality. Cruise visitors already familiar with Valletta might consider an excursion to Gozo, said to have been home to the goddess Calypso, who enchanted Odysseus into a seven-year stay during his great journey. Like Malta, this charming, peaceful little island has impressive ancient temples to visit (Ggantija) and a handsome fortified city (Rabat), along with traditional salt-pans producing worldrenowned Gozitan sea salt, and myriad lovely churches. But perhaps the principal appeal of Gozo is the opportunity to simply adjust to a slower rhythm and appreciate a tranquillity all too rare in the modern world. With its central location and wealth of attractions, Malta has long been a fixture on the Mediterranean cruise map, but there is no better time to visit than 2018, when Valletta assumes the prestigious status of European

Capital of Culture.Valletta’s city gates and a historic theatre ruined since the war have undergone dramatic restoration, and a full calendar of artistic, musical and theatrical performances are planned to celebrate the islands’ illustrious past and vibrant heritage.

Tarxien

There is still time to book the 14-day A Voyage through the Middle Sea cruise from Athens to Malaga departing 28 October 2018, which includes a visit to Malta, alongside Santorini, Crete and Sicily. Call 01865 951320 for full details and to book.

Valletta

15


SINGAPORE

CITY GUIDE: SINGAPORE Few cities embody the classic Asian blend of east and west, old and new, more evocatively and spectacularly than Singapore.This mesmerising metropolis is one of the world’s most exciting places to eat and shop and, alongside grand colonial reminders of the past, the ever more awe-inspiring attractions taking their place in Singapore’s glittering skyline seem to offer a glimpse into the future.

Supertree Grove

Raffles’ prize In the early 19th century, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, then a LieutenantGovernor of Sumatra, undertook expeditions in search of a Southeast Asian base for the British merchant fleet, increasingly ascendant in the region as Dutch imperial power waned. Recognising potential in Singapore, then a swampcovered island and Malay fishing village of only 150 inhabitants (but perfectly situated between the Indian Ocean and South China Sea), he agreed with the Sultan of Johore and the local populace a treaty to establish a trading outpost there. Singapore’s early status as a free port resulted in rapid growth. Between 1819 and 1821, 3,000 ships arrived, driving import and export trade of more than $8 million. So successful was this new 16

centre of commerce that it was formerly annexed as a British colony in 1824. The heart of colonial Singapore remains amid the modern skyscrapers. Cricket has been played on the grassed area known as the Padang since the 1830s. The neo-Gothic St Andrews Cathedral, consecrated in 1862, positively gleams in the tropical sunshine. The grand Victorian Old Parliament House is now a contemporary arts centre. And the iconic Raffles Hotel, which opened in 1887 and which, for Somerset Maugham, ‘stood for all the fables of the exotic east’, became synonymous with colonial indulgence. Few visitors can resist the temptation to enjoy a Singapore Sling (£16) in the hotel’s Long Bar, where the drink was conceived in 1915 by barman Ngiam Tong Boon. At the

Good to know Flying time from London

12.5 hours

Currency

Singapore Dollar (SGD) – approx. SGD1.85 to £1

Time zone

GMT+8

Established

1819 (modern Singapore)

Population

5.6 million

Official language(s) English, Malay, Tamil, Mandarin Climate Tropical – uniformly high temperatures and abundant rainfall Best times to visit

February to April


SINGAPORE time, etiquette dictated that ladies should not consume alcohol in public, but Ngiam cleverly circumvented this by creating a gin-based cocktail that resembled fruit juice, its rosy hue derived from Cointreau and cherry brandy.

Racing roads and a park in the sky Perhaps the most amazing of Singapore’s modern wonders is the SkyPark, the massive 57th floor platform atop the three towers of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The garden and infinity pool are restricted to hotel guests but the Observation Deck (tickets £12 per person) is open to the public. The views are truly spectacular, particularly of the Marina Bay area which, since 2008, has hosted the Singapore Grand Prix, the first F1 night race and the first Asian F1 street circuit. You’ll also see the Gardens by the Bay, a nature park spanning 101 hectares which richly rewards further exploration at ground level. This horticultural showcase includes the beautiful Flower Dome (the world’s largest glass greenhouse) and Cloud Forest Dome, and the already iconic Supertree Grove – tree-shaped vertical gardens with stunning sound and light features, linked by a 22m-high ‘Skyway’. The Singapore Flyer, a 165m-high London Eye-like observation wheel, also presents splendid city views, along with high tea and butler service in the pods.

Shop ‘til you drop Singapore’s reputation as a shopping Mecca is well founded. The retail heart of the city is Orchard Road, a 1.5-mile stretch of discount outlets, chic boutiques and department stores. Electronics and

Laksa

designer clothes are particularly good value. Bargain hunters may also enjoy visits to the bustling street markets of Chinatown and Little India, the vintage and craft shops of Haji Lane, and VivoCity, the largest shopping mall in Singapore, complete with 340 stores and restaurants, 15 cinema screens, rooftop amphitheatre and art gallery.

Melting pot The many and varied cultures of Singapore make this one of the great food destinations of the world.You can sample classic Malay, Chinese, Indian and Indonesian dishes, from simply steamed but delicious Hainanese chicken rice to laksa (spicy coconut curry noodle soup), stir-fried Hokkien prawn mee to oyster

omelettes. Or try homely Nyonya cuisine, a harmonious fusion of Asian flavours influenced by several of Singapore’s ethnic groups. Closest to a ‘national dish’ is the sublime chilli crab – stir-fried mud crabs in a sweet and savoury tomato-chilli sauce.

Creatures of the night Head out of the sprawling city and Singapore Island is surprisingly tranquil and unspoilt, with fine soft-sand beaches and wildlife reserves. Much of Singapore Zoo, set on a peninsula in the Upper Seletar Reservoir, is dedicated to nocturnal animals and a ‘Night Safari’ here is a unique, thrilling experience, featuring tram rides and walking trails through rainforest, and sightings of elephants, leopards, tigers and myriad other characterful creatures.

Voyages to Antiquity’s The Golden Triangle to the Strait of Malacca cruise, departing 1 January 2019, concludes with two nights in Singapore. It also features a 5-night pre-cruise tour of India’s Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) and stops in Mumbai, Goa, Kerala, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, the Andaman Islands, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur Call 01865 951320 for full details and to book. Singapore skyline

17


KNOSSOS

Europe’s

Voyages to Antiquity guest lecturer Dr David PriceWilliams considers the emergence of the Minoans in the Mediterranean – perhaps our continent’s first city builders.

Part of the reconstructed Palace at Knossos, Crete

T

he beginning of city building in the ancient world is actually a by-product of the beginning of agriculture, the domestication of wheat and barley, stimulated further by the use of irrigation in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley in modern day southern Iraq. The earliest cities here go back six or seven thousand years and with the huge increase in population came such developments as government, kingship and writing – all the benefits of civilisation. The same energy, and Nile irrigation, drove a similar movement in Egypt – by 2800 BC, societies were sufficiently well organised that the pyramids were being built. But in Europe, nothing like that had yet emerged. People lived only in small farming communities, little more than extended family hamlets, with no evidence of a literate society. And then, quite suddenly, out of that Mediterranean darkness a civilisation emerged as if from nowhere, fullyfledged and with all the trappings of an advanced society. It happened on the island of Crete, in the hills behind

18

modern day Heraklion. At the very beginning of the 20th century, a British archaeologist who had been fascinated by the island for decades began to excavate a mound among the olive groves of Knossos. Within a few short weeks, Arthur Evans uncovered what he would go on to describe as a palace – an impressively huge complex of over 1,000 interconnected rooms, corridors, courtyards and storage magazines. Built up to five storeys, connected with monumental staircases, the Palace of Knossos, Evans was sure, was Europe’s first urban centre, demonstrating a complex culture and governmental hierarchy, along with all the tithes, taxes and multifaceted interaction of a structured society. And he even discovered that they had writing, proof positive of an advanced way of life. At the time, he couldn’t understand what they were writing about, but he was certain that it signified the arrival of urban society. Evans uncovered glorious frescoes painted on the walls of the palace chambers – beautifully dressed ladies

and effete young men, monkeys playing in fields of crocuses and multi-coloured geometric designs. But there was a problem. Were these actually Europeans or had the people of Knossos come from Asia, perhaps from Anatolia? No trace of this new culture, which we now date to around 1800 BC, had been found on the European mainland. And Evans’ clay tablets, on which the people of Knossos had recorded the transactions of their life in scripts he called Linear

Some of the houses excavated from under the volcanic ash at the site of Akrotiri, Santorini


KNOSSOS

earliest cities?

half way down the Nile, and even in tin from as far away as Afghanistan, not to mention other luxury products like elephant ivory and blackwood for inlay from central Africa. But it too was not to last. Sometime around 1200 BC, at the end of the Late Bronze Age, this first experiment in European urban imperialism came to a crashing halt. What happened we still don’t know for sure. Pillaging barbarians? Environmental disaster? There is evidence that all the Mycenaean cities were burnt to the ground and their people irrevocably scattered. All city building stopped and Europe was suddenly plunged into a new dark age of illiterate peasant societies from which it was not to emerge for a full 700 years, with the Classical Greeks. Strictly speaking, the first European cities are said to have appeared with those Mycenaean warriors of the Late Bronze Age. But if you ask me from whom, as a European, I am descended, I would prefer the gentle and artistic folk of the Middle Bronze Age, like the inhabitants of Akrotiri on Santorini. They would be my wished-for ancestors.

A and B writing, remained mute and untranslatable. It was not until much later, in 1952, when Linear B was finally translated, that it was recognised as a form of early Greek. So European urban society had finally come of age. Evans named his new culture ‘Minoan’, after the stories of the legendary King Minos of Crete – he of the labyrinth and minotaur. Later, more ‘palatial’ sites were uncovered in other parts of the island, with similar features to Knossos. Even more remarkable, in the 1960s, a wonderful new Minoan urban site was found almost intact 70 miles north of Crete on the island of Santorini at Akrotiri. This was more recognisably urban, with streets, squares, houses two and three storeys high, and yet more beautiful wall paintings depicting, for example, young women gathering flowers whilst swallows flit overhead. There were even paintings of the Akrotirans enjoying pleasure cruises at the seaside – an idyllic life, a life of artistic quietude and bliss. Then this whole world came to an abrupt end. Santorini was a dormant

volcano, and in 1620 BC it erupted so violently it totally buried Akrotiri and, presumably, other cities on the island too, and the resultant tsunami seems to have destroyed the ports along the coast of the islands nearby. On Crete, the Minoans didn’t disappear at once, but slowly the magnificent society they had created crumbled, such that by 1500 BC it had all but vanished. By then a new power had taken over the central Aegean, and the last palace of Knossos was not Minoan at all, but Mycenaean, a Late Bronze Age people who hailed from mainland Greece, from sites in the Peloponnese and Boeotia. Their art described a very different kind of society – warriors protected by large shields, with broad bronze swords and helmets decorated with wild boar tusks. Their sites, like Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos and Thebes, were heavily defended with vast stone ramparts and dramatic gateways. With their military might they conquered the ailing Minoan peoples and established across the Aegean an empire that for two centuries traded in copper from Cyprus, glass ingots from

Fresco from Akrotiri showing mountains, lilies and swallows: displayed in the Thera Museum, Santorini.

David Price-Williams will accompany several Voyages to Antiquity cruises in 2018 and 2019. The 13-day Aegean Experience & Cairo itinerary, departing 18 October 2018, makes a stop at Heraklion (for Knossos) and also includes Athens, Delphi, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Rhodes, Alexandria and a two-night overland tour to Cairo and Giza. Call 01865 951320 for full details or to book.

19


NAMIBIA

Where the desert meets the sea

20


NAMIBIA Amongst mariners of yesteryear, only the fearless, the reckless and the luckless found themselves skirting the shores of Namibia. This was the ‘Skeleton Coast’; the ‘gates of hell’. In this benighted place, the frigid Atlantic air meets the broiling winds that sweep off the Namib desert dunes, creating a cold, dense fog that shrouds the coastline and extends far out to sea. Thousands of desolate, rusting hulks dotting the sands attest to the dangers of lost bearings, strong currents, rough seas and roaring winds. To stray into these shallow waters was often a death sentence, with no succour to be found in a beautiful, pitiless land forged – according to the native bushmen – by an angry God. With modern technological advances though, the danger has receded to the extent that cruise operators including Voyages to Antiquity are scheduling stops in Walvis Bay and Luderitz.

Pelican cruising Day trips from Walvis Bay present an introduction to the Skeleton Coast and some characterful wildlife encounters. Board a small pleasure cruiser and sail a lagoon speckled white and pink with resident pelicans and flamingos. A little further out at sea, with fog beginning to blur the horizon and dolphins dancing in your wake, view a colony of seals relaxing on a sandbank and sample the creamy, succulent and world-renowned Walvis Bay oysters bred in cold water nurseries marked with blue buoys. Tame seals and pelicans join you on board for their own taste of the sea.

Bavaria-on-sea Echoes of German colonial rule (18841915) abound in the architecture, restaurants and bierkellers of Swakopmund, an elegant resort town and Namibia’s playground, less than an hour’s drive north of Walvis Bay.

Kolmanskop, abandoned to the desert

Luderitz, capital of the diamond-mining region, some 500 miles south, is even more floridly Germanic, with towers and turrets, gables and oriels adorning the 19th century buildings, interspersed with brightly painted Art Nouveau townhouses.

Ghost town In 1908 Zacharias Lewala, a worker on the Luderitz-Aus railway, showed his supervisor a shiny stone that he had found lying beside the line. Extraordinarily, it proved to be a large rough diamond, initiating a ‘rush’ that brought thousands of prospectors to the area, living in fast-established villages such as Kolmanskop and Pomona. In one particular valley, the desert floor shone with diamonds, simply lying about, which crawling miners collected with tweezers.

Within seven years of Lewala’s discovery, almost 5.5m carats of diamonds had been found in the Namibian sands. Despite its remote, sun-baked location, Kolmanskop boasted an ice factory and swimming pool, and was sophisticated enough to use Africa’s first X-ray machine (as much to check that workers hadn’t swallowed diamonds during the day as heal the sick). Inevitably though, bust followed boom and, with its natural bounty exhausted and the diamond circus following discoveries further south, Kolmanskop was abandoned in the 1950s. In the decades since, the desert sands have crept inexorably through its dilapidated buildings, making for an eerie but fascinating and endlessly photo-friendly visit, easily accommodated on a half-day tour from Luderitz. 21


NAMIBIA

Quiver trees

Living fossils and seas of sand With the Namib spanning almost the entire distance between these port stops, both offer the opportunity to strike out for the desert in a 4WD. ‘Dune bashing’ is exceptionally good fun – a thrillingly fast rollercoaster drive across, along and down great wind-sculpted hills of sand. Cresting the steepest dune, your driver may turn off the engine and ‘surf ’ down the other side. Enthusiasts of the racing pulse may also like to try their hand at desert quad-biking and sandboarding. And as you explore the desert, look out for welwitschia mirabilis. Endemic to the parched Namib, this plant underwhelms at first sight, rather giving the impression of a shrivelled triffid. But to know its genealogy and characteristics, and to appreciate its subtle colours close up, is to discover a profound respect for one of nature’s great survivors. To begin with, it is unique – a singular species of a singular genus of a singular botanical family. It is bizarre, with annual growth rings on the outside and just two leaves, which continue growing throughout the lifetime of the plant (earning it the Afrikaans nickname 22

tweeblaarkanniedood, or ‘two-leaved cannot die’). It survives in its forbidding environment solely from the moisture of the Skeleton Coast fog. And it is old, with individual plants living up to 2,000 years and a direct line of evolution back to primitive trees 125 million years ago. Indeed, this prehistoric plant makes a fine emblem for coastal Namibia as a cruise destination – mysterious, fascinating and one of a kind.

Namib desert dunes

Voyages to Antiquity’s 33-day South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast cruise, departing 12 March 2019, begins with four days in Cape Town, before Aegean Odyssey sails the length of Africa northwards to Malaga, with stops in Namibia, Angola, Sao Tome & Principe, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Morocco en route to Malaga. Call 01865 951320 for full details and to book. Welwitschia Mirabilis


FROM YOUR CRUISE DIRECTOR

RICHARD SYKES

As I write, Aegean Odyssey is just a few days from welcoming our first passengers of 2018. By the time you read this, the European season will be well underway. We begin amongst the Greek Islands. It’s always special to be back here, in the ship’s spiritual home; and all the more so this year with some sublimely in-depth Aegean experiences to appreciate. But there’s something else that makes time in this exquisite part of the world precious; a lack of passengers. Don’t get me wrong,Voyages to Antiquity cruises have sold in record numbers and the ship is, for the most part, already full. But because Aegean Odyssey hosts a maximum of just 350 guests, the places we visit aren’t overrun. I look at the ‘mega’ cruise ships in dismay. Sure, they have facilities to marvel at – not just Broadway-style theatres, nightclubs and casinos, but ice rinks, multi-storey climbing walls and spa cool rooms that actually generate snow! But, for those of us most interested in the destination, the sheer number of big-ship passengers pouring into a port can sour the shore experience. So much so, that it ceases to be a place of interest and uniqueness, but simply an extension of the ship. The colossal vessels that dominate the cruise market do, I’m sure, appeal to many. But none of them have what small ships can offer; the true discovery of a destination. For me there is a tipping point in passenger numbers where authenticity and adventure gives way to commercialisation writ large in neon letters. The Greek Islands are perfect examples of this. There can be a delicateness to even the most popular destinations like Rhodes, Mykonos and Heraklion, which my colleagues on larger ships simply haven’t noticed. Whereas delightful smaller ports like Gythion and Syros remain the sole preserve of the ‘sub-500 club’. So, as the season begins and my social media circle is alive with reports of some vast cruise ship’s new shopping mall or water park, I find a broad smile on my face. Less is more.

Syros

23


VOYAGES TO ANTIQUITY – FULL CRUISE PROGRAMME 2018/19 Departure date

Cruise name

Days

From/to

Fares from (pp)

EUROPE 2018 28 May 2018

RENAISSANCE ITALY & HISTORIC ISLANDS

17

Rome to Seville

£3,250

9 June 2018

EUROPEAN CONNOISSEUR

15

Seville to London

£2,350

23 June 2018

THE NORWEGIAN FJORDS (no-fly cruise)

15

London to London

£2,995

7 July 2018

ICELAND, FAROES & SHETLANDS (no-fly cruise)

16

London to London

£3,195

22 July 2018

THE BRITISH ISLES (no-fly cruise)

15

London to London

£2,550

5 August 2018

ICELAND, FAROES & SHETLANDS (no-fly cruise)

16

London to London

£3,195

20 August 2018

THE THREE RIVERS

15

London to Lisbon

£2,695

1 September 2018

MEDITERRANEAN ODYSSEY Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise

15

Lisbon to Rome

£2,995

11 September 2018

ITALIAN & ADRIATIC HIGHLIGHTS

15

Rome to Venice

£2,795

25 September 2018

DALMATIA & ANCIENT GREECE

13

Venice to Athens

£2,545

1 October 2018

THE AEGEAN EXPERIENCE I

13

Athens to Athens

£2,745

10 October 2018

THE AEGEAN EXPERIENCE II

13

Athens to Athens

£2,595

18 October 2018

THE AEGEAN EXPERIENCE & CAIRO

13

Athens to Athens

£2,800

28 October 2018

A VOYAGE THROUGH THE MIDDLE SEA

14

Athens to Malaga

£2,495

10 November 2018

MOORISH ODYSSEY

12

Malaga to Tenerife

£2,345

SOUTH AFRICA, INDIA & SOUTHEAST ASIA 2018/19 6 December 2018

PASSAGE TO ANCIENT EGYPT & INDIA

37

Athens to Delhi

£6,295

1 January 2019

THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE TO THE STRAIT OF MALACCA

29

Delhi to Singapore

£5,895

23 January 2019

BEYOND BURMA & THE MALAY PENINSULA

20

Singapore to Colombo

£4,150

10 February 2019

ISLANDS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN & SOUTH AFRICA Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise

33

Colombo to Cape Town

£6,450

12 March 2019

SOUTH AFRICA, NAMIBIA & THE SKELETON COAST

33

Cape Town to Malaga

£5,350

13 April 2019

CLASSIC CIVILISATIONS OF THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN

14

Malaga to Athens

£2,445

22 April 2019

CLASSICAL GREECE & ISLANDS OF THE AEGEAN

13

Athens to Athens

£2,345

2 May 2019

THE BLACK SEA & THE GREEK ISLANDS

14

Athens to Athens

£2,850

13 May 2019

CLASSICAL GREECE & SOUTHERN ITALY

15

Athens to Rome

£3,145

23 May 2019

RENAISSANCE ITALY & HISTORIC ISLANDS

17

Rome to Seville

£3,250

4 June 2019

EUROPEAN CONNOISSEUR Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise

15

Seville to London

£2,595

18 June 2019

LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN

16

London to Copenhagen

£2,995

3 July 2019

BALTIC CAPITALS & ST PETERSBURG

14

Copenhagen to Copenhagen

£2,995

16 July 2019

THE NORWEGIAN FJORDS

15

Copenhagen to London

£2,995

30 July 2019

ICELAND, FAROES & SHETLANDS (no-fly cruise)

16

London to London

£2,995

14 August 2019

THE THREE RIVERS

15

London to Lisbon

£2,695

26 August 2019

MEDITERRANEAN ODYSSEY

15

Lisbon to Rome

£2,795

5 September 2019

ITALIAN & ADRIATIC HIGHLIGHTS

15

Rome to Venice

£2,795

19 September 2019

DALMATIA & ANCIENT GREECE

13

Venice to Athens

£2,495

25 September 2019

CLASSICAL GREECE & ISLANDS OF THE AEGEAN

13

Athens to Athens

£2,495

3 October 2019

CLASSICAL GREECE & ISLANDS OF THE AEGEAN

13

Athens to Athens

£2,495

EUROPE 2019

Prices quoted are per person sharing a Standard Inside cabin, correct at time of printing, but subject to change. Not including Odyssey Club discount – apply a further 5% saving.

For more details or to book any cruise featured in this magazine, call 01865 951320 @Voyagestoantiquity

@voyageantiquity

voyagestoantiquity.com

Odyssey Club Summer 2018 magazine  

Welcome to the second issue of the quarterly Odyssey Club magazine, The Journal. If you haven’t yet booked your Voyages to Antiquity cruise...

Odyssey Club Summer 2018 magazine  

Welcome to the second issue of the quarterly Odyssey Club magazine, The Journal. If you haven’t yet booked your Voyages to Antiquity cruise...