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 â€™ S O D Y S S E Y C L U B
ABOVE ALL PRAISE
The floral splendor of Tresco Abbey Garden
Appreciating Tintoretto at 500 in Venice
ADVENTURES IN STORYLAND
VOYAGES OF A LIFETIME
The epic tales and natural wonders of Iceland
A guide to our exotic winter 2018/19 program
Welcome to The Journal
I’m delighted to introduce the first issue of a new Odyssey Club magazine, The Journal. This complimentary quarterly publication is one of the new benefits of Odyssey Club membership and, as you’ll see on pages 20-21 and in the accompanying letter, we are also introducing Sapphire and Emerald tier benefits for those regular Voyages to Antiquity travelers who have completed 50 and 100 days at sea. Read on for cruise inspiration – there are articles here on the glorious Venetian works of Tintoretto in the 500th anniversary year of his birth, the epic stories and natural wonders of Iceland and the stunning blooms of Tresco Abbey Garden, a vision of the Mediterranean on English shores. And please don’t miss out on our upcoming Odyssey Club reunion cruises – Mediterranean Odyssey, departing August 29, 2018, and Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa, departing February 10, 2019. Cabins are selling fast on these always popular cruises. Happy travels in 2018!
Jos Dewing, Managing Director 2
IN THIS ISSUE 3
WINTER WONDERLANDS An introduction to our most exotic season ever
TINTORETTO AT 500 Celebrate the great artist’s anniversary in Venice
VENICE IN PERIL
ADVENTURES IN STORYLAND The epic tales and natural wonders of Iceland
SUBTROPICAL ENGLAND The glorious oddity of Tresco Abbey Garden
CITY GUIDE: CAPE TOWN
SAIL AND PROSPER Introducing Odyssey Club Sapphire and Emerald tiers
FROM THE CRUISE DIRECTOR
CALENDAR OF SAILINGS
NEWS Last chance for The Aegean Experience I Last cabins available for April 25 & September 30 from $4,195pp
Enjoy a four-night land tour with hotel stays in Athens, Delphi and Nauplia before embarking Aegean Odyssey and cruising to charming Hydra, the dramatic scenery of Karpathos, the treasures of Nisyros and UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Rhodes, Delos, Santorini and more. This popular new itinerary is nearly sold out, so reserve your cabin today!
Fly free* to Europe Book now and enjoy free airfare* plus additional Odyssey Club savings on the award-winning cruises below – call now for details!
Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast May 5, 2018 | Athens to Venice | 14 days from $3,995 FREE AIRFARE* 2-nt Athens hotel stay • Nauplia • Itea • Corfu • scenic cruising of Kotor Bay • overnight on board in Dubrovnik • Split • Trieste • overnight on board in Venice
Renaissance Italy & Historic Islands
May 27, 2018 | Rome to Seville | 18 days from $5,150 FREE AIRFARE* 2-nt Rome hotel stay • Overnight on board in Livorno (Florence) • Pisa & Lucca • Elba • Bonifacio Ajaccio • Mahon • Palma • Malaga • overnight on board in Cadiz • overnight on board in Seville • 2-nt Seville hotel stay
Voyages to Antiquity – officially the best in small-ship cruising! Here at Voyages to Antiquity, we do what we do out of a love for travel, culture and history, not for awards – but it is still lovely when we win! So we were delighted to be named Best Small Ships Cruise Line at the 100% public-voted British Travel Awards, the so-called ‘Oscars of the travel industry,’ on November 29, 2017. This wonderfully welcome endorsement of Aegean Odyssey and the rewarding nature of our cruises comes hot on the heels of a host of other accolades in 2017, including Best for Shore Excursions at the Cruise Critic ‘Cruisers’ Choice’ Awards, and Best for Enrichment at the cruise-dedicated Wave Awards.
Odyssey Club reunion cruises in 2018/19 Odyssey Club reunion cruises present unmissable opportunities to catch up with old friends and enjoy a selection of exclusive events, as well as all of the superb ‘standard’ inclusions of a Voyages to Antiquity cruise. It’s our way of saying thank you for exploring the world with us. The summer reunion cruise is Mediterranean Odyssey, departing August 29, 2018, sailing from Lisbon to Rome and taking in Cadiz, Malaga,Valencia, Barcelona, Carcassonne, Marseilles, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence and Pisa, with two-night hotel stays included in Rome and Lisbon. And the winter reunion cruise is Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa, departing February 10, 2019, sailing from Sri Lanka to Cape Town and including stops in the Maldives, the Seychelles, Mauritius and (appropriately enough) Reunion Island. But you’ll want to move quickly – reunion cruises are always very popular and these are no exception. Places are selling fast, particularly the September cruise, for which we only have around 15 cabins remaining. For details, please contact your travel professional or call 877-398-1460 today.
June 8, 2018 | Seville to London | 18 days from $5,250 FREE AIRFARE* 2-nt Seville hotel stay • Lisbon • Oporto • Vigo • overnight on board in Bordeaux • Falmouth • Dartmouth • Honfleur • 2-nt London hotel stay *Free roundtrip airfare is economy class only, applicable from select US gateways, and includes all government taxes, fees and airline fuel surcharges, which may change at any time. Seville
Have you seen the new Voyages to Antiquity website? In January 2018,Voyages to Antiquity launched a stylish new website, designed to resize for any device – perfect if you are looking for travel inspiration on your smartphone or tablet. All of our cruises are now directly accessible from the home page, and there is more day-by-day itinerary detail, including a handy ‘at a glance’ symbol guide to each port of call.You’ll also discover more blog features and interactive 360° films of Aegean Odyssey’s cabins and public spaces so you know exactly what to expect on your next cruise with us. Visit voyagestoantiquity.com to explore the new site. 3
A look ahead to winter 2018/19 â€“ quite possibly Voyages to Antiquityâ€™s most spectacular season ever
WINTER 2018/19 Aegean Odyssey makes a welcome return to South Africa, India and Southeast Asia next winter with a program of longer duration cruises that promise ancient wonders, vibrant cities, captivating tropical islands, fascinating cultures and memorable wildlife encounters.
‘Wonderful things’ When he was asked if he could see anything upon opening the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, an awestruck Howard Carter replied simply ‘yes, wonderful things’ – an apt expression, not just for the extraordinary treasures he uncovered that day, but for all the archaeological marvels of Egypt. We are delighted to be returning to this ever-inspiring country in December, visiting not just Luxor’s Valley of the Kings, where Carter made his discovery, and Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, where Tutankhamun’s funerary effects are now displayed, but also the breathtaking Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza, the impressive necropolis of Memphis, the distinctive Step Pyramid of Sakkara, the monumental temple complex at Karnak and the oldest Christian monasteries in the world – St Anthony and St Paul.
Yet more ancient wonders featured in the first winter cruise include the Acropolis of Athens, Bronze Age Mycenae and Petra’s unforgettable Treasury.
Land of legend
India is blessed with myriad spectacular attractions, but preeminent among them is the trio of mesmerizing cities known as the ‘Golden Triangle,’ an overland tour of which concludes our first winter cruise and begins the second. Visitors to Delhi can trace the various historical incarnations of a great city, culminating in the splendor of Edwin Lutyens’ New Delhi, the jewel in Britain’s imperial crown. Jaipur is the ‘pink city’ of India, with its fairy-tale forts, exquisite facades and majestic palaces. And Agra boasts history’s greatest monument to love and undoubted icon of world travel, the Taj Mahal. The first sight of this ethereally beautiful marble mausoleum, commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his favorite queen, quite literally takes the breath away. Other Voyages to Antiquity winter 2018/19 stops in India include the dynamic, vibrant, thrilling city of Mumbai, Gandhi’s birthplace Porbandar (with sightseeing by tuk-tuk) and the tranquil provinces of Goa and Kerala, where the Chinese fishing nets are an engaging sight.
All that glitters Burma is truly the land of golden temples, and Aegean Odyssey will be sailing along the Yangon River to berth in the heart of its eponymous city, formerly Rangoon and the country’s capital. The standout highlight of this friendly city is the remarkable 328ft. high Shwedagon Pagoda, entirely plated with gold. Temples are also the order of the day in Bagan (optional air excursion), where more than 2,000 sublime pagodas and stupas are dotted across a verdant plain in the bend of the Irrawaddy River. And Burma’s evocatively named second city, Mandalay (optional air excursion) is also renowned for its remarkable pagoda-studded hillsides.
To visit Oman is to step into mythology. Fabled as the birthplace of Sinbad, hero of perhaps the most famous and evocative of the tales told by Sheherazade in the Arabian Nights,
Bagan temples, Burma
Jewel in the crown
Oman is also noted as the center of the millennia-old frankincense trade. Its colorful domes, mudbrick fortresses, bustling markets and unspoilt beaches and deserts make the country a perfect winter destination, and we see in the New Year in the capital, Muscat.
Where east meets west, and ancient meets modern The cities of Southeast Asia present the most enticing contrasts. Centuries- old temples and colonial mansions sit cheek to jowl with soaring skyscrapers and ultra-modern hotels. Witness Kuala Lumpur (known to all as KL), where rattan baskets and intricate songkets are woven at an ornate craft complex in the shadow of the magnificent twin Petronas Towers. And Singapore, where the jaw-dropping 656ft.high SkyPark looks down from atop the new Marina Sands Hotel upon Raffles Place and the traditional Nonya district of Katong.
Idyllic islands Like emeralds fringed with white gold and scattered across a vast, velvety azure expanse, the islands of the Indian Ocean enchant with their beauty. The Maldives, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion may have different cultures and traditions, but they all offer dreamily soft white sand beaches,
instant relaxation and a cuisine based on delicious fresh fish and fruit. Three of our winter cruises make Indian Ocean stops, along with Sri Lanka, the ‘isle of serendipity,’ bewitching with its serene temples, lush tea plantations and characterful residents of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. But the Indian Ocean does not have a monopoly on idyllic isles – we also take in the lovely Andaman Islands and Thailand’s alluring Phi Phi Islands.
In search of the ‘big five’ Game hunters of yesteryear coined the term ‘big five’ to describe the most difficult animals to take down with a single shot. Thankfully these are more enlightened times (for the most part) and cameras do the only shooting, yet the cachet of the ‘big five’ for safarigoers endures – elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo are the most prized sightings. But, of course, there are countless other creatures to
look out for: zebra, giraffe, cheetah, hippo, baboon, warthog and literally hundreds of species of birds among them. There is something undeniably romantic and adventurous about a classic African safari, and the fourth Voyages to Antiquity winter cruise includes no fewer than three amazing wildlife-watching opportunities – at Hluhluwe Game Reserve (noted for its rare white rhinos), St Lucia Nature Reserve (a wetland paradise) and Port Elizabeth Private Game Reserve (home to all of the ‘big five’). In Cape Town, you can expect even more animal encounters, including the penguins of Boulders Beach (see pages 18-19 for more details).
A tale of two hemispheres The last of the epic winter cruises truly deserves that description, traversing the entire length of the African continent from Cape Town to the southern shores of Spain, with a number of enthralling stops en route.
WINTER 2018/19 Discover Namibia and the country’s forbidding Skeleton Coast, cloaked in dense fog generated when the broiling desert dunes meet the cold Atlantic tides. The Angolan capital Luanda appears on few cruise maps, but has plenty to recommend it, not least Gustav Eiffel’s Palacio de Ferro. Then Aegean Odyssey crosses the Equator and calls on the sun-drenched islands of Bom Bom (Sao Tome & Principe), Praia (Cape Verde) and Las Palmas (Canaries), before concluding its African adventure with an exploration of the great imperial cities of Morocco. Back in Mediterranean waters, the last cruise of the winter 2018/19 season then crosses eastwards from Malaga to Athens, by way of Sicily, Malta and the Greek Islands. On safari in South Africa
Winter 2018/19 Cruises Departure date
Athens to Delhi
Delhi to Singapore
Singapore to Colombo
Colombo to Cape Town
Cape Town to Malaga
Malaga to Athens
PASSAGE TO ANCIENT EGYPT & INDIA December 5, 2018
January 1, 2019
Athens • Cairo • Ain Sokhna • Petra • Luxor • Salalah • Muscat Porbandar • Mumbai • Jaipur • Agra • Delhi
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE TO THE STRAIT OF MALACCA Delhi • Agra • Jaipur • Mumbai • Goa • Cochin • Maldives • Colombo Trincomalee • Port Blair • Phuket • Kuala Lumpur Singapore
BEYOND BURMA & THE MALAY PENINSULA January 22, 2019
Singapore • Malacca • Penang • Phuket • Yangon • Port Blair Colombo
ISLANDS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN & SOUTH AFRICA February 10, 2019
Colombo • Maldives • Seychelles • Mauritius • Reunion Island Richards Bay • Durban • Port Elizabeth • Cape Town
SOUTH AFRICA, NAMIBIA & THE SKELETON COAST March 12, 2019
Cape Town • Luderitz • Walvis Bay • Luanda • Bom Bom Island Cape Verde • Las Palmas • Marrakesh • Tangier • Malaga
April 12, 2019
CLASSIC CIVILISATIONS OF THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN Malaga • Segesta/Erice • Palermo • Syracuse/Taormina • Valletta Chania • Heraklion • Santorini • Athens
TINTORETTO AT 500
Voyages to Antiquity guest lecturer Robin Cormack celebrates an artistic anniversary 2018 marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of an artist remarkable even by the exalted standards of 16th century Italy – Tintoretto (‘little dyer,’ named in honor of his father’s profession); or, if you prefer, Jacopo Comin, his given name; or Jacopo Robusti, the name by which he was generally known; or even the nickname Il Furioso, bestowed in recognition of his sheer energy and the speed at which he worked. Tintoretto was born in Venice, the oldest of 21 children; and after he was established as a major artist, his own children followed him as painters – most notably his daughter, Marietta Robusti, one of the very few women artists of the Renaissance, renowned for her portrait paintings. Tintoretto’s whole career was based on commissions in Venice and, while several museums around the world have important canvases by him, it is only in Venice today (in my opinion) that his genius may best be appreciated. The first and most important stop on the Tintoretto trail is Scuola di San Rocco, which has been inspiring travelers since the days of El Greco, who visited San Rocco a twentysomething icon painter and changed his style of painting forever in homage to Tintoretto thereafter. But the most ardent admirer of all was Victorian art critic John Ruskin who, upon his visit to San Rocco in 1845, declared ‘I never was so utterly crushed to the earth before any human intellect as I was today before Tintoret.’ At the time, the gilded roof was pocked with Austrian shell holes and dripping water threatened to destroy the frescoes, yet Ruskin 8
still advises Venetian travelers to make haste and give ‘unembarrassed attention and unbroken time’ to the artistic wonders within. In the third volume of The Stones of Venice, this usually voluble commentator was reduced to silence by The Crucifixion: ‘I must leave this picture to work its will on the spectator; for it is beyond all analysis and above all praise.’ By placing him foremost in the hierarchy of Venetian painters, Ruskin rehabilitated the reputation of Tintoretto, which had languished somewhat since his contemporary Vasari, while according him ‘the
most extraordinary brain that the art of painting has ever produced,’ decried his composition as ‘haphazard and without design, as if to prove that art is but a jest.’ Perhaps it was Vasari’s Florentine bias that inspired this unfair assessment; perhaps the phenomenal scale on which Tintoretto worked – The Crucifixion is 706ft2, Paradise in the Ducal Palace 1,658ft2. A word about San Rocco, the building in which Tintoretto toiled between 1565 and 1567 and again between 1575 and 1588. Roch or Rocco was a 14th century Catholic saint who survived the plague and went on to
Beyond all analysis above all praise TINTORETTO AT 500
TINTORETTO AT 500 cure many subsequent victims. His body was supposedly carried to a Venetian church in 1485, and it resides there still, preserved within the high altar. The confraternity (or guild) of San Rocco built grand rooms nearby (the Scuola) in the 16th century, and these Tintoretto was commissioned to paint with scenes from the life of Christ and a depiction of the saint on the ceiling. The confraternity was not so much pious as a ‘club’ of wealthy Venetians, but the artist gave them a set of extraordinarily powerful religious images, which have today been restored and glow with color. It takes time to absorb the nuances of the compositions. The focus on the ground floor is on the life of the Virgin Mary, while upstairs is the Old Testament cycle (on the ceiling), and on the walls the New Testament. The dramatic Crucifixion is in a room apart. Despite his most economical appreciation in The Stones of Venice, Ruskin writes more comprehensively about The Crucifixion in the second volume of Modern Painters (1853). He
describes heart-tearing contrasts and tensions; the agony of Christ crucified, the despair of the apostles, the rage of the people, the brutality of the soldier and the apathy of the centurion. It is a storytelling tour de force. Neatly recalling Christ entering Jerusalem five days before this scene, for example, is a man riding a donkey – while he points with a rod towards the cross, the donkey is feeding on the remnants of withered palm leaves, strewn in Christ’s path on that happier day. Ruskin was, of course, the great promoter of the architecture and art of Venice, and so much of the conservation and restoration of its buildings is thanks to him. When I was organizing the Royal Academy exhibition Byzantium 330-1453, which opened in London in 2008, the only reason that it included major works of art from the Treasury of San Marco in Venice was because the architect of that church pleaded on our behalf that, though the pieces we requested were of the greatest fragility, ‘how can we deny these loans to the city of John Ruskin?’
It is only in Venice today that Tintoretto’s genius may best be appreciated Scuola San Rocco has not only preserved Tintoretto’s masterpieces, but today offers opportunities to attend concerts and enjoy both the paintings and great music in a truly splendid setting. Perhaps one of the visitors impressed by the experience was the Polish painter Jan Styka who, in 1897, completed his canvas of Golgotha or The Crucifixion. It would certainly explain the vast scale on which he was moved to paint – at 8,891ft2, it is now the largest permanently mounted religious picture in the world. But despite the comparisons that can (and should) be made with the Italian master, to see it requires a visit to the Forest Lawn Memorial Park at Glendale, Los Angeles. And however impressive, it still pales in comparison to the experience of Tintoretto in Venice. Professor Robin Cormack of the Courtauld Institute of Art will be accompanying Voyages to Antiquity’s 16-day Classical Italy & the Adriatic cruise, departing May 17, 2018 and visiting Venice, along with Urbino, Split, Dubrovnik, Lecce, Corfu, Butrint, Sicily, Sorrento and Rome. An optional excursion to San Rocco will be offered. Contact your travel professional or call 877-398-1460 for details.
VENICE IN PERIL
Chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund and Voyages to Antiquity guest lecturer Jonathan Keates introduces the organisation’s inspiration and initiatives Venice is a unique artifact, a tribute to human ingenuity and enterprise. Originally a refuge from barbarian invasions following the fall of Rome, it grew to become the central metropolis of a Mediterranean trading empire that included Cyprus, Crete, the Ionian Islands and the Dalmatian Coast. This city of marble palaces raised on wooden piles in Adriatic mud banks was a source of fascination to Renaissance and Baroque visitors, and indeed travelers ever since. Our shared culture owes a massive debt to Venice in everything from government, politics, architecture and music to the invention of the portable printed book and even the use of forks for eating. When a disastrous flood overwhelmed the Venetian lagoon in the autumn of 1966, a British diplomat, Sir Ashley Clarke, rallied friends and supporters to aid Venice’s citizens in the massive task of safeguarding
their iconic city and its cultural treasures for future generations. The Venice in Peril Fund was born – a pioneer in what has since become a shared initiative, with 22 international committees involved in the ongoing task of rescue and conservation.
of sketchbooks by the 19th century painter Ippolito Caffi. Each restoration is carried out by specialists and curators from Venice itself. Though we provide funding, we are careful never to interfere at any stage with the actual process of conservation.
Since it began,Venice in Peril has restored entire churches, such as the beautiful Gothic Madonna dell’Orto and the Renaissance chapel on the cemetery island of San Michele, as well as individual paintings, sculptures, ceramics and manuscripts. We continue to collaborate with galleries and museums, including the Accademia and Museo Correr, besides sponsoring internships in conservation workshops across the city.
Adoption of individual projects often comes from donors with interests in a particular artistic field and we sometimes pool our resources with those of other committees engaged in saving Venice’s artistic heritage. Thus we can continue repaying the ‘Queen of the Adriatic’ for her gifts to the world over the last 1,500 years.
Our newest projects embrace the grand neoclassical monument to the sculptor Antonio Canova in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, a medieval wellhead and its surrounding courtyard, an important Renaissance majolica collection and a set
Why not join Venice in Peril and help us?
veniceinperil.org Jonathan Keates will reveal some Venice secrets when he accompanies the September 10, 2018 Italian & Adriatic Highlights cruise.
ADVENTURES IN STORYLAND Richard Tarrant explores the myriad natural wonders and storytelling heritage of Iceland
It is said that Icelanders don’t talk; they tell each other stories. As they do so, they continue a grand tradition dating back to the extraordinary sagas of the 13th century and even beyond, to fireside gatherings in the roundhouses of the earliest Viking settlers. Such tales once lent a reassuring layer of meaning to the country’s diverse, spectacular landscapes, and the most extreme natural forces. Authors, poets, travelers and other, non-native storytellers have swelled their ranks in recent centuries and even today, whenever film and television directors seek to tell their own stories of the fantastical, the elemental and the otherworldly, they invariably come here – so, among myriad other star turns, Iceland has portrayed a snow planet in Star Wars:The Force Awakens, the world beyond the wall in Game of Thrones and the epitome of wish fulfillment in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. To visit this northern wonderland is to invite a recalibration of one’s own imagination. A circumnavigation by cruise ship is surely the most comfortable and cost-effective way to do so, for Iceland’s treasures are all accessible from its delightful ports. Only ever a short coach journey away is nature cloaked in its wildest majesty – conical volcanoes ringed with 14
tonsures of cloud, serene black-sand beaches with paddling sheep, mirror-still lakes and fjords, vast fields of ice that charge thunderous waterfalls, and infernal sulphuric plains of searing steam vents and bubbling pools. It all plays a neat temporal trick – Iceland is Europe’s newest landmass in geological terms, yet it is so unspoilt it appears timeless and elemental, offering a privileged glimpse of how the world might have looked when young. Unforgettable experiences abound, even on the island’s most beaten path – the trinity of magnificent natural phenomena comprising the ‘Golden Circle.’ A couple of hours’ drive from Reykjavík across glacier-flattened plains and through fairytale mountains is Gulfoss (Golden Falls), one Iceland’s mightiest cataracts, where the Hvítá River plummets 105ft. over two steps into the heart of a rugged canyon. Next up is UNESCO World Heritage Site Þingvellir (anglicized as Thingvellir), the only place on Earth where the boundary of tectonic plates may be observed: North America and Eurasia, drifting apart some 3/4in. every year. In this auspicious place was built the 10th century Althing meeting hall of Viking chieftains, an institution which lives on today as the Icelandic Parliament, and Þingvellir is also renowned for its ‘hidden folk,’ chiefly elves, whose tiny wooden houses grace many a local garden.
(A 2007 University of Iceland survey found that 62% of the country’s population consider the existence of such huldufólk a possibility). And at Geysir, the geothermal field whose name would come to define all of the world’s spouting springs, you would be extraordinarily lucky to witness one of Great Geysir’s infrequent 164ft. jets, but the smaller Strokkur geyser gaily spouts 32-66ft. every few minutes, enrapturing an ever-present circle of spectators. But leave the weekend vacationers behind and you’ll have Iceland’s myriad other wonders almost to yourself. Heimaey, on the littlevisited Vestmannaejar (Westman) archipelago, for example – the ‘Pompeii of the north’ with russet hills formed by a tremendous volcanic eruption in 1973 that buried half the town but mercifully spared the evacuated population, offers opportunities to wander vertiginous paths among puffin colonies and even play golf in a volcano! Surely unique, the Vestmannaeyjar Golf Club is set entirely within an extinct caldera. With swirling wind, over-water tee shots and deep links rough, this course presents both a stern test of golf and the yet greater challenge of keeping your mind on the game when virtually every hole frames a different, yet always staggeringly beautiful vista of rugged cliffs and azure sea.
Iceland offers a privileged glimpse of how the world might have looked when young Then there is Isafjördur, gateway to the Westfjords. Less than 10% of the country’s visitors come here, yet it is perhaps Iceland’s most dramatic region; a peninsula in the shape of an open hand with immense mountains at its palm and mesmerizing, tranquil channels flowing between narrow fingers of land that plunge sheer to the water. Nearby Vigur Island is one of Europe’s great birdwatching destinations, noted for terns, guillemots, eider ducks and, of course, those tiny, colorful, characterful puffins. Elsewhere, Akureyri, capital of the north, invites appreciation of the horseshoe Godafoss falls, picturesque Lake Myvatn, and the ‘dark castles’ of Dimmuborgir – peculiar lava formations reputedly marking the location where Satan landed after being cast out of Heaven. And, set on a bay fed with nutrient rich sediment from two glacial rivers, the delightful port of Húsavík is acclaimed the whale watching capital of Europe, with some 15 species of marine giant known to frequent its waters. Excursions on RIB boats have a sightings success rate close to 100%. Every region, every wonder, has its story – the aforementioned Dimmuborgir, for example, is said to be home to all manner of supernatural beings including the 13 mischievous Yule Lads and their mother, the homicidal 800-year-old troll Grýla. Only in Iceland could so dark a Christmas tradition have arisen – an alternative Santa Claus who also monitors children’s behavior, but eats the naughty ones. And Asbyrgi, a 2.5 mi. long semicircular canyon in the basalt rock, was said to have been formed when Odin, king of the Norse gods, was riding his eight-legged stallion, Sleipnir, among the Northern Lights without care one evening and left the mighty imprint of one accidental hoof upon the land. To inquisitive, adventurous travelers – take any opportunity to immerse yourself in this storied world, and write your own memorable chapter.
Voyages to Antiquity will be operating two Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands itineraries in 2018, departing July 4 and August 2. Icelandic ports of call include Reykjavík, Heimaey, Isafjördur, Akureyri and Húsavík. Contact your travel professional or call 877-398-1460 for details. Thingvellir National Park
Subtropical England TRESCO ABBEY GARDEN
TRESCO ABBEY GARDEN
Voyages to Antiquity guest lecturer Sandy Primrose reveals the history of one of the UK’s great gardens The sea around the Isles of Scilly is too shallow even for a ship as small as Aegean Odyssey to dock in Hugh Town. So we drop anchor and tender in to the jetty on Tresco. From here, it is a meandering half-mile walk on a path through the sand dunes to the entrance to the Tresco Abbey Garden. Either side of the path bloom blue Agapanthus – a colorful precursor to the exotic blooms that await us. For this garden is a glorious oddity; a vision of the Mediterranean on English soil. In the Scilly Isles, off the coast of Cornwall and warmed by the Gulf Stream, spring comes early, autumn stays late, and winter barely appears at all – perfect conditions for plants and flowers from Brazil to New Zealand, Burma to South Africa, which would have no hope of survival just 30 miles northeast, to survive and thrive. Mesmerized visitors wander the criss-crossing walkways in admiration of towering palms and flowering proteas, vivid red flame trees and blue spires of Echium, Furcraera leaf bursts and brilliant pink Pelargonium. The gardens were created in the early Victorian era by Augustus Smith, who had taken a lease on the Isles of Scilly from the Duchy of Cornwall. He became a local benefactor, funded the construction of schools and made school attendance compulsory years before
the mainland. Most of the male alumni went to sea, some returning later with plants from farflung countries. Smith chose to live on Tresco because it afforded him privacy and shelter from Atlantic gales by the other islands. Here, in the grounds of an old Benedictine Abbey, he designed and built his house and (by 1858) his garden, the latter sheltered from the wind by mass plantings of cypress and Monterey pine. The layout of the garden today is essentially unchanged. There are three walks that run east to west along the side of a small hill: the Top Terrace, the Middle Terrace and the Long Walk. These walks are connected by the Neptune Steps, so called because at their head is a figurehead from the 1841 wreck of the SS Thames – part of a collection of figureheads, the majority of which are displayed in the garden’s Valhalla Museum. When Augustus Smith died, the house and gardens passed to his nephew Thomas Dorrien-Smith. Though he did little to change the gardens, he was responsible for initiating the cultivation of daffodils for the cut-flower trade, providing valuable employment after the decline of local shipbuilding. Thomas’ son, Major A A Dorrien-Smith, was a keen plantsman and sent back specimens from the Veldt while on military service in South Africa during the Second Boer War, and even while on honeymoon in Australia. His additions to the gardens earned him the Royal Horticultural Society’s Victoria Medal of Honor. Two of the major’s three sons were killed in World War II. The other, Commander Thomas Dorrien-Smith, was not a gardener when he inherited the property but became one over time. His main contribution was to put the estate on a firm financial footing. This he did by building vacation cottages and a hotel so that
visitors could spend more time on the island rather than coming just to see the gardens. However, his failure to recognize the need to replace the tree shelter around the garden almost had disastrous consequences. In 1987, with the gardens in the hands of the fifth generation of the family, Robert DorrienSmith, Tresco suffered an unparalleled cold snap, with temperatures plunging to 18°F (-13°F with wind chill). 80% of the plants perished. That summer, the gardeners visited botanic gardens and public gardens all over the UK to restock the gardens at Tresco. Then, in 1990, the garden was hit by hurricane force winds that gusted up to 127mph. This brought down many of the original shelter trees which had long needed replacing. When we visited in July 2017, it was clear that the garden had been restored to its original glory. ‘Mr Robert’ (as he is known) and his family have added a number of very attractive features to the garden in recent years – a statue of Gaia carved from a block of marble donated by George Harrison of Beatles fame, a sculpture of Robert’s children playing, a gazebo decorated with shell murals by his wife Lucy, and an agave fountain. It is still the place to go to enjoy spectacular plants and flowers from all over the world. I even spotted one from Robinson Crusoe Island, more than 400 miles off the coast of Chile!
Professor Sandy Primrose will be accompanying Voyages to Antiquity’s 14-day Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast cruise, departing May 5, 2018 and visiting Athens, along with Nauplia, Olympia, Delphi, Corfu, Kotor Bay, Dubrovnik, Split, Trieste and Venice. The 18-day British Isles circumnavigation, departing July 19, 2018, visits Tresco Abbey Garden in the company of Royal Horticultural Society judge John Hughes, as well many other attractions in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Contact your travel professional or call 877-398-1460 for details. 17
CITY GUIDE: CAPE TOWN Some cities inspire with iconic attractions, others are gateways to natural wonders; some attract with delicious local food and wine, others with colorful culture. Perhaps uniquely, Cape Town offers it all. Take at least three or four days to fully appreciate its extraordinary richness and magnetic appeal.
Block of flat Instantly recognizable and endlessly photogenic, Table Mountain is an undoubted icon of world travel – indeed, it was acclaimed one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of Nature’ in a global poll in 2012. Little wonder that it represented a beacon of hope for Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment on Robben Island − a spiritual link with the mainland. Or that it is the only geographical feature to have a constellation named after it (Mensa). What’s more, its slopes comprise a unique ecosystem, with some animals, such as the splendidly named and presumably rarely seen Table Mountain Ghost Frog, found nowhere else on earth. Take a cable car to the summit for sensational views of Cape Town and the surrounding area.
On the waterfront Cape Town has a vibrant cultural scene, with art galleries and live music venues galore, and a full calendar of festivals and fairs. Much of the city’s cultural life is centered on the V&A Waterfront, South Africa’s most popular attraction (drawing
an astonishing 24 million visitors each year). Picturesquely set between mountain and sea, its elegant buildings house shops and restaurants, markets and museums.
Good taste One of the principal pleasures of a stay in Cape Town is the outstanding food and drink. Regularly ranked among the world’s great cities in which to eat, expect quality everywhere from street food stalls to Michelin-standard restaurants. Ingredients are as fresh as can be – sea-to-table or farm-to-table within a matter of hours; cooking styles reflect the cosmopolitan history and populace of the city; and stunning accompanying wines, produced just a few miles away in Stellenbosch, Paarl, Constantia and Franschhoek, now rival the very best oldworld vintages.
Flower power The Cape Floral Region is the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms and the only one to exist within a single country. Yet remarkably, it is by far the richest, with 9,600 plant species – three times
Good to know Flying time from New York
Rand (ZAR) – approx. ZAR12 to $1
11, including English, Afrikaans and Xhosa!
Think California or the Mediterranean, with seasons reversed
Best times to visit
September to November, March to May
as many as its nearest rival, the South American rainforest – 70% of which grow only here. The total global range of one of these endemic species might be as little as one acre on a hillside or in the outskirts of the city; a fragility that also makes the Cape Floral Region the world’s most endangered. UNESCO declared this collection of provinces, occupying less than 1% of Africa’s land mass but sustaining 20% of the continent’s flora, a World Heritage Site in 2004. Stays in Cape Town can encompass visits to several Cape Floral Region provinces, including Table Mountain, Boulders Beach, the Cape of Good Hope and breathtaking Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, the first botanical garden in the world established to protect local flora.
Creatures great and small Take a trip around the rugged, beautiful Cape Peninsula and wonderful wildlife awaits. At postcard-pretty Boulders Beach, named for the giant granite stones that shelter it from wind and waves, lives a colony of 3,000 African penguins. Walkways take you to within feet of these charming, characterful birds, also known as Jackass penguins for their amusing braying call. You may be fortunate enough to spot some rather larger coastal visitors on your peninsula tour – Southern right, humpback and Bryde’s whales are all known to frequent Cape waters. Sightings of Cape denizens as diverse as zebra and wildebeest, clawless otters and wild ostriches, baboons and rock hyraxes, are also common.
Voyages to Antiquity’s 33-day South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast cruise, departing March 12, 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. Contact your travel professional or call 877-398-1460 for details.
Sail and prosper 20
Introducing Odyssey Club SAPPHIRE and EMERALD membership tiers. Enjoy more exclusive rewards the more you travel with Voyages to Antiquity.
ODYSSEY CLUB Every one of you receiving this magazine is already a valued Odyssey Club member. Thank you! For some years now, we have sought to show our appreciation for your patronage with membership of the Odyssey Club, to which you are automatically enrolled at the end of your first cruise. Membership comes with a host of benefits, including exclusive discounts on every future cruise you book with us, reunion cruises with special excursions and events for returning guests, and complimentary wine, bottled water, Molton Brown amenities, Wi-Fi and laundry on board. As we have grown as a cruise operator, guests have had the opportunity to travel with us time and again, and we wanted to recognize this loyalty with even more rewards. Some of our returning travelers have now reached a milestone of 50 days at sea, some 100 days at sea, and a few have even topped 200 days at sea! We are proud therefore to introduce new Sapphire and Emerald tiers to the Odyssey Club. You achieve Sapphire status upon completing 50 days at sea, and Emerald status upon completing 100 days at sea. Brand-new benefits include complimentary cruise credit and cabin upgrades.
NEW Odyssey Club benefits by tier ODYSSEY CLUB
ODYSSEY CLUB SAPPHIRE
ODYSSEY CLUB EMERALD
One cruise, any duration
50+ days at sea (total)
100+ days at sea (total)
5-10% discount on future cruises
All Odyssey Club benefits PLUS
All Odyssey Club Sapphire benefits PLUS
NEW quarterly magazine
$50 on-board cruise credit
Molton Brown amenities in cabin
Dinner at the Captain’s Table**
Luxury travel wallet
Special cocktail party on board
Extra $50 on-board cruise credit
50 days at sea decorative pin
100 days at sea decorative pin
Complimentary bottle of wine
Advanced notice of cruises/ events
Tote bag and leather luggage tags Exclusive welcome party onboard Refer-a-Friend cruise credit Reunion cruises with special events *One bag per cabin per cruise **When the itinerary allows ***Single category upgrade, excluding E-to-D, subject to availability
So, the more you travel with us, the more benefits you can enjoy. At the top of the letter accompanying this magazine, you’ll find your Odyssey Club number and your current days at sea total. Please note – it is possible that days at sea among Odyssey Club members within a household may vary. Special thanks then to our new Sapphire and Emerald Odyssey Club members – we hope you like these added extras. If you haven’t quite reached these tiers yet, consider our 2018/19 voyages. If you are within 10-14 days of the next tier, just one summer cruise will get you there. If you are a little further short, our winter cruises are up to 37 days in duration. You can even combine cruises for instant tier progress. Any two consecutive winter cruises are good for immediate Sapphire status; combine three or four and Emerald membership is yours. Then every future cruise you book with us is filled with rewards! We look forward to the pleasure of your company on many more voyages. 21
OUR GREATEST CRUISE ADVENTURE EVER! SPECIAL SAVER FARE • COMPLIMENTARY $750 ONBOARD CREDIT • CALL FOR YOUR ODYSSEY CLUB DISCOUNT Five back-to-back winter sailings seamlessly combined into one great unforgettable journey of a lifetime, the epic, 130-day GRAND ODYSSEY is Voyages to Antiquity’s most spectacular cruise ever! Aegean Odyssey is your home away from home for four extraordinary months of discovery, encompassing the ancient treasures of Athens, Egypt and Jordan, legendary Oman, the Taj Mahal and vibrant Mumbai, the teardrop isle of Sri Lanka, scenic Thailand, the supercities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Burma’s glittering temples, the idyllic islands of the Indian Ocean, classic South African safaris, the Skeleton Coast of Namibia and imperial Morocco, among a host of other attractions and Christmas and New Year celebrations on board. An adventure not to be missed! YOUR ITINERARY
ATHENS Greece Embark Aegean Odyssey in Piraeus
6 DEC 18
SUEZ Egypt Daytime transit of the Suez Canal
SUEZ/CAIRO Egypt Disembark and transfer to Cairo hotel
CAIRO/AIN SOKHNA Egypt Rejoin Aegean Odyssey in Ain Sokhna
AIN SOKHNA Egypt
SAFAGA/LUXOR Egypt Disembark and transfer to Luxor hotel
LUXOR/SAFAGA Egypt Rejoin Aegean Odyssey in Safaga
MUSCAT Oman New Year’s Eve celebrations on board
3 JAN 19
MARMAGAO (Goa) India
COCHIN (Kerala) India
COLOMBO Sri Lanka
COLOMBO Sri Lanka
TRINCOMALEE Sri Lanka
PORT BLAIR Andaman Islands
KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia
Fly to ATHENS Greece Transfer to hotel
BOM BOM ISLAND Sao Tome & Principe
PRAIA Cape Verde Islands
LAS PALMAS Canary Islands, Spain
MALAGA Spain Disembark Aegean Odyssey and transfer to Malaga Airport for flight home
Dates not mentioned on this itinerary are days at sea.
PORT BLAIR Andaman Islands
COLOMBO/NUWARA ELIYA Sri Lanka H
NUWARA ELIYA/KANDY Sri Lanka
KANDY/COLOMBO Sri Lanka
PORT LOUIS Mauritius
PORT LOUIS Mauritius
ST DENIS Reunion
RICHARDS BAY South Africa
RICHARDS BAY South Africa
DURBAN South Africa
PORT ELIZABETH South Africa
PORT ELIZABETH South Africa
10-16 MAR CAPE TOWN South Africa 18 MAR
LUDERITZ (Kolmanskop) Namibia
WALVIS BAY Namibia
WALVIS BAY Namibia
H Hotel stay ashore O Overnight stay in port
O O O
Prices start at $22,750, and Odyssey Club members save an additional 10% on bookings made by March 15, 2018! Contact your travel professional or call 877-398-1460 for details.
FROM YOUR CRUISE DIRECTOR
After another record-breaking and award-winning year for Voyages to Antiquity in 2017, I’m very proud to be your Cruise Director again in 2018. Particularly in view of the direction the product is taking – with a host of exciting new itineraries encompassing the likes of Burma, India, the islands of the Indian Ocean and South Africa. However, one of my personal highlights will be a cruise that has been a firm favorite and a fixture in the Aegean Odyssey program for many years: Ancient Greece & the Dalmatian Coast. I would urge the few Odyssey Club members who haven’t yet undertaken this extraordinary voyage to consider it in 2018. The little-known scenic splendor of Kotor Bay; an overnight stay in Dubrovnik, inviting exploration when the crowds have departed; and, of course, the iconic ‘bookends’ of the cruise, Venice and Athens – all make this an essential vacation packed with wonders, whether you choose the May or late September departure. Summer 2018 will see Aegean Odyssey cruise the breathtaking fjords of Norway for the first time. Not the first time for me though – this has been one of my stamping grounds for many years. I first visited with my family 30 years ago and I have been traversing the fjords as a Cruise Director for 12 years aboard various ships. The anticipation never diminishes; I’m as excited to see them now as I was in my teens – enjoying postcard-worthy views at every turn, and tasting the freshest mackerel imaginable. On my many returns to Norway, I’ve witnessed the Northern Lights, Sami culture and the Midnight Sun – and, in turn, I’ve been able to share my experiences and enthusiasm with more than 25,000 passengers on 46 Norwegian cruises. If you want to see the fjords with Voyages to Antiquity in 2018, you’ll need to move fast – there is just a handful of cabins left on the June 20 sailing.
In terms of preparation, my key focus is now the late 2018/early 2019 winter program, Though I’m familiar with a lot of the ports, the in-depth nature of the Voyages to Antiquity product and the expectations of its passengers require detailed research and intensive planning. Interestingly, I spoke with many guests in 2017 who requested more time at sea – a chance to relax and reflect between those stunning and relaxing ports of call, absorbing wheat they have seen and making the most of the guest lecture program. By virtue of the longer durations and greater distances covered, the winter cruises do offer more days at sea than ever before. One of my goals is to ensure that passengers are as excited about the time they spend aboard Aegean Odyssey as their time in port. The stage is set for a superb year and a fresh batch of memories. I hope to see you crossing the gangway again soon, boarding Aegean Odyssey for your best adventure yet. Bergen, Norway
VOYAGES TO ANTIQUITY - CRUISE CALENDAR 2018/19 Aegean Odyssey hosts a full season of culturally enriching, expert-led voyages in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe from April to November 2018. Then, from December 2018, she sails for even more exotic waters on a program of six exceptional cruises to South Africa, India and Southeast Asia – longer in duration and an even greater value! Departure date
Fares from (pp)
SUMMER 2018 April 25, 2018
THE AEGEAN EXPERIENCE I
Athens to Athens
May 5, 2018
ANCIENT GREECE & DALMATIAN COAST
Athens to Venice
May 17, 2018
CLASSICAL ITALY & THE ADRIATIC
Venice to Rome
May 27, 2018
RENAISSANCE ITALY & HISTORIC ISLANDS
Rome to Seville
June 8, 2018
Seville to London
June 20, 2018
THE NORWEGIAN FJORDS
London to London
July 4, 2018
ICELAND, FAROES & SHETLANDS
London to London
July 19, 2018
THE BRITISH ISLES
London to London
August 2, 2018
ICELAND, FAROES & SHETLANDS
London to London
August 17, 2018
THE THREE RIVERS (Trois-Rivières de France)
London to Lisbon
August 29, 2018
MEDITERRANEAN ODYSSEY Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise
Lisbon to Rome
September 10, 2018
ITALIAN & ADRIATIC HIGHLIGHTS
Rome to Venice
September 24, 2018
DALMATIA & ANCIENT GREECE
Venice to Athens
September 30, 2018
THE AEGEAN EXPERIENCE I
Athens to Athens
October 9, 2018
THE AEGEAN EXPERIENCE II
Athens to Athens
October 17, 2018
THE AEGEAN EXPERIENCE & CAIRO
Athens to Athens
October 27, 2018
A VOYAGE THROUGH THE MIDDLE SEA
Athens to Malaga
November 9, 2018
Malaga to Tenerife
December 5, 2018
PASSAGE TO ANCIENT EGYPT & INDIA
Athens to Delhi
January 1, 2019
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE TO THE STRAIT OF MALACCA
Delhi to Singapore
January 22, 2019
BEYOND BURMA & THE MALAY PENINSULA
Singapore to Colombo
February 10, 2019
ISLANDS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN & SOUTH AFRICA Odyssey Club Reunion Cruise
Colombo to Cape Town
March 12, 2019
SOUTH AFRICA, NAMIBIA & THE SKELETON COAST
Cape Town to Malaga
April 12, 2019
CLASSIC CIVILIZATIONS OF THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN
Malaga to Athens
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 details, please call your travel professional or contact our FL office today: 877-398-1460 • email@example.com
Published on Mar 14, 2018