VOYAGES TO Antiquity MV Aegean Odyssey Expedition Cruises

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*Note the Helicopter Pad aft of the funnel

Please Note: Photographs are from the author’s collection, “Voyages to Antiquity” or provided to the author, but from unknown sources as Marked*

Those photographers please see the photo notes at the bottom of the page, as I prefer permission and provide full credit!

MV Aegean Odyssey is one of those very special cruise ships operated by “VOYAGES TO ANTIQUITY” (VTA) a Cruise Company established in 2009 that operates just one ship.

This delightful small ship is classically elegant, but far from being stuffy and formal, yet still a premium class cruise and expedition ship that offers her guests every comfort at sea, with a relaxed, congenial atmosphere and the highest calibre of personal service.

 

For cruising on a smaller ship provides so many special pleasures, considering that the Aegean Odyssey accommodates just an average of 350 guests, and therefore unlike the vast majority of the cruise ships of today, this delightful ship offers a genuine cruise experience! In addition, the MV Aegean Odyssey is small enough to sail up famous rivers and put into many more ports that have great and/or historic character, and many are simply inaccessible to larger cruise ships.

The Ship:

You will be surprised to learn that this delightfully modern looking ship has had quite a history and she was originally built as an Israeli ro-ro Ferry and at times she would have also carried ammunitions, thus the ships double hull is extremely strong. She was sold and rebuilt at a cost of US$26 million “Chop in half & stretch” which saw her come out as a cruise ship. Her well shaped funnel balanced out her rather high and angular stern section she was named MV Aegean I.

*Here we see the rebuild when she came out as the MV Aegean I. You will note the difference

of her aft slab section of her superstructure and her forward decks with a lifeboat fitted aft of her Bridge

In December 2007 VTA purchased the ship and gave her not just a total makeover, but more like a US$26 Million rebuild, upon completion her profile was far more pleasing, with balcony cabins having been added on three decks and a brand new stylish funnel added and many other external changes having been made. Her interiors had been completely changed and updated, and full Internet and Email services was now available, and her cabins were bright and fresh and fully updated with the very best of facilities. Each cabin had; Satellite TV, Phone, Hair Dryer, a Bar sized Refrigerator, and a Personal Safe and of course private facilities with either a full bathroom, or one with a walk in shower.

Here we see a Category D Cabin on Belvedere Deck aft, being the lowest price of the balcony’s cabins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

The all new sleek looking cruise ship the MV Aegean Odyssey

In addition her passenger numbers were significantly reduced from 650 to 350, however some rooms had additional sofa beds, if all were used passenger numbers could reach 380, which would hardly very happen! What makes this ship so special are her generous deck spaces, her beautiful thick highly polished timber handrails, and even Douglas Ward of “Berlitz” award’s her a far higher score than most of the well known brand of cruise lines we tend to know so well. Indeed the MV Aegean Odyssey is a very special 4˝ Star small cruise ship, and should be considered for your next cruise vacation!

Welcome Aboard!

 

We will now board the MV Aegean Odyssey and inspect the ship deck by deck!

Public Venues and Other Facilities:

The 12.000 ton ship is large enough to offer the best of amenities, including two fine Dining venues, spacious Lounges and Bars, a Shopping Centre, a beautiful and a well-stocked Library, Hairdressing Salon, Internet Café and of course there is the superb Athena Health Spa and Gym.

As I take you on a tour of the Aegean Odyssey, I will start from the lowest Deck and we will slowly head up. I will always commence from forward of the ship and reveal venues on the starboard side, and then the portside and slowly work towards the stern (aft), etc.

Marco Polo Deck:

This deck contains only one major guest facility, and it is certainly an important one. This is the ships elegant Marco Polo Restaurant, which is known for its gastronomic culture of using of the ships chef’s who will always source out the very best of freshest local ingredients in certain ports, and it is then cooked in a simple but delicious style, and that is the inspiration for the Marco Polo restaurant on the Aegean Odyssey. The Restaurant offers an open-seating dining policy, thus you may dine when you wish and with whom you wish!

 

Above & below: Two views of the Marco Polo Restaurant, where excellent service & fine dinning is always appreciated!

 

The Marco Polo Restaurant has two entrances, one from the forward lobby and the other via the aft lobby of the Restaurant. For interest, located at the forward lobby are the special doors that fold down and to become a platform almost to water level for easy access into tenders when these are required at some destinations!

Columbus Deck:

This deck is mostly occupied with Cabins. There are 36 outside rooms, 18 on the Starboard side and 18 on Portside that have windows, then 10 cabins located forward , 5 on both sides that have a porthole. In addition, there are also 21 inside cabins, which are light and bright and very well appointed!

Just forward of the aft stairwell located in the centre of the ship is the newly located expanded “Athena Health Spa and Fitness Centre”, with the entrance being located from the aft lobby, as can be seen below. Every possible facility is available at the Spa and there is a wide range of treatments available for both ladies and men. For those who enjoy working out, there is a gym to keep you fit, and classes are held regularly!

Entrance to the Athena Health Spa from the Aft Main Lobby

Just aft of the Cabins, Spa and the Lobby being the ships main Entrance Hall, which has lifts and a grand stairwell, on the Starboard side is the Medical Centre one facility we hope you will not require to visit during your voyage!

Belvedere Deck:

You will soon discover the ships spacious forward lobby the location of the Large Reception Desk located in the centre on the aft wall. On either side the desk is a comfortable lounge area, and just aft along the starboard hallway there is the Hairdresser and the Internet café.

 

Above & below: the lobby and reception Desk and guests and staff attending them

 

The rest of this deck contains mainly cabins in a variety of grades. All the Outside rooms have a window and there are 36 in of these in all, thus 18 on each side of the ship. Further aft there are 16 Balcony cabins, 8 each side. There are also 20 inside cabins

Please Note: Deck Plan of the ship and Photographs and details of the accommodations are located on Page Two.

Promenade Deck:

Located far forward is the grand Ambassador Theatre Lounge and Bar, it has its seating angled from starboard to port, as the stage  and circle Dance floor is located aft on the port side. A service Bar is located next to the Lounge entrance as staff will offer to serve drinks when shows are on, etc.

The Ambassador Lounge looking forward to starboard

As we head aft we first come to the forward lobby and lift that is accessible to all passenger decks, traditional timber doors will take you out to the Promenade Deck amidships, but sadly it is not a “walk-around” the ship deck, but certainly a pleasant deck.

Promenade Deck portside looking aft

Amidships is the spacious and delightful Charleston Lounge and Bar. The ships Band will play on the forward stage, where there is a black grand piano, and the venue is simply beautiful and elegant! The delightful Bar is located on the aft wall, making this one of the most popular venues aboard.

 

Above & below: The magnificent Charleston Lounge and Bar looking aft

 

The next venue on the starboard side is the simply magnificent Library, Writing and Games Room. This venue has been designed with great taste for the connoisseur; with fine timber cabinets and fittings, fine paintings and artworks. All this has been set of with yellow chairs to add colour against the dark timbers, and then there are those large windows over looking the ocean and the Promenade Deck forward.

 

Above & below: The Library and it also has other uses

 

On the Portside opposite the Library is the Shopping Centre, offering the Duty Free shop and the general shop, offering daily needs and sweets, etc, as well as souvenirs.

 

Above & below: The Duty Free shop is seen above, and the Souvenir and general shop below

 

We now head to the final venue located aft on Promenade Deck, being the popular and the spacious the Terrace Café that stretches right across the ship and has excellent view of the sea. This is the Aegean Odyssey’s casual Restaurant which is open for Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner, as well as late night buffets, etc. Outside aft is a spacious deck, which is mostly covered and along the sides there are floor to ceiling windows providing shelter from wind, if any,  and the deck offers ample tables and chairs to complement the interior of the Restaurant and area is complemented by the Terrace Bar. Out on deck there is also a grill, for the buffets, cooking a range of fine specialities!

 

Above & below: An interior view of the Terrace Café and an exterior one, both looking forward

 

 

 

This is a view looking down from two decks up (Lido Deck) and we can see the Terrace Café deck and the ships stern

Bridge Deck:

The deck’s name says it all, forward is the ships command centre, as it contains the ridge, that is equipped with the very latest navigational and safety equipment in the world, for the ship must continually pass the exceptionally stringent SOLAS Inspections, which are extremely difficult to pass unless the ship in 100% in perfect condition. SOLAS stands for “Safety Of Lives A Sea” for that is the major priority in keeping passenger ships up to date.

The Captain and an officer of the watch are seen at the Helm and at look-out duty

The balance of Bridge Deck is occupied with a vast range of Cabins offering a range of better grades. But all are with a window, or a balcony. There are 35 twin bedded, that are convertible to a queen-sized bed staterooms19 cabins on the starboard side and 217 on the Portside. Aft there are also and 14 balcony staterooms aft, 7 on each side, with an open deck aft.

Lido Deck:

Forward on Lido Deck we find the top end of the ships accommodations with two grand Owners Suites located forward one on each side. These suites have a separate bedroom and a huge lounge, a dressing room and an amazing bathroom, with a forward view over the bow and balconies along the side. These are followed by four excellent Junior Suites and four Premier Staterooms all with balconies. The Lobby is aft with a single lift, which reaches all seven passenger decks.

The as we head outdoors amidships we arrive at the Lido Pool Deck and it’s Bar which is located forward.

Lido Deck Pool looking aft

 

Lido Deck Pool looking forward

This deck has a huge deck area, ideal for relaxation around the pool section. Entering the aft superstructure you will first come to the lobby, stairwell and the lift, then heading aft there are 18 spacious cabins, 9 on each side. Cabins will be dealt with on Page Two.

Observation Deck:

We have arrived at the highest deck on the ship and although it only occupies a relatively small area, considering the length of the ship, but outside it does have a full “walk-around deck.” But it is inside where you will discover one of those very special places, where you can escape and read a book or have a quiet drink and chat with friends, etc in the Observation Lounge. This is a very popular venue, as it is surrounded with huge windows, and many will come here when the ship is sailing past Islands and other beautiful regions.

 

Above & below: Two views of the Observation Lounge

 

A Passenger Short Review:

But what past passengers have told me over the years, that that they love Aegean Odyssey’s warm and intimate atmosphere. In so many ways ships just like people tend to have their own personalities. Some ships are “Ever so Proper” and even “Frightfully Formal”, whilst others more delightfully casual and friendly, where the service and the staff are of a very high standard as well as being super efficient. Below is part of an Email that I received with comments received from a past passenger who sailed on the Aegean Odyssey a number of times.

“We have been on the Aegean Odyssey three times now, and each time we returned, Elizabeth and I were greeted like a returning family member, even when we joined the ship the very first time. It was so different from the times we cruised on larger ships, even if we had cruised with them many times before, you are treated just like another person, but joining the Aegean Odyssey you felt special. The other great thing about this delightfully intimate ship is that it is so easy to meet your fellow passengers, and mostly their interests tended to be so similar to ours, we will certainly sail on her again for she is one of a kind!”

MV Aegean Odyssey is seen berthed in a tropical paradise

VOYAGES TO ANTIQUITY” believes that their guest’s enjoyment ashore is as important as their experience aboard the ship. In fact, on many of the Mediterranean cruises, you will likely spend as much time on land as you will at sea. After all, the reason for taking a cruise with VTA is to see the many wonderful places which are easily accessible from the coast.

One of the side tours undertaken in Burma is to the amazing ancient temple the

2,600 year old “Shwedagon” Pagoda which is simply an amazing sight to behold

Therefore, VTA take great pride on the destinations they offer; from the famous and well known sites to the lesser known but equally stunning places, all have all been carefully selected in conjunction with noted historians. Many of the itineraries have a theme at heart, such as “he Crusades” or “Byzantine history”, while others take you across continents and combine outstanding sites. 

Speakers:

On each cruise celebrated speakers will be on board and they will have been carefully selected for their knowledge of art, history, archaeology, architecture, wine and cuisine of the areas visited. Their informative and enlightening talks will entertain you and bring to life the history of the remarkable civilisations and cultures of the fascinating places visited, be it around the Mediterranean or Asia. There is a list of around fifty speakers on the VTA list!

Great Value for Money:

Yet the Aegean Odyssey offers exceptional value for money by including those things that matters most. You will find that sightseeing tours, land stays and gratuities are extra with most cruise companies, and that can add up to significant sums over the course of your expedition cruise vacation.

What is included once you have paid your Fares?

You will discover that so much is included and that there’s very little extra to pay once you leave you home and are on board:

Your fares will include Free Return Economy Flights from Australia or New Zealand. What’s more on selected Grand Voyages there are Special Business Class offers available. But, early booking are strongly advised. You and your luggage will be transferred from the arrival airport to the hotel, and then from your hotel directly to your cabin on board the Aegean Odyssey. The same will happen on return homewards.

Also, included are fully escorted sightseeing in almost every port of call, and where there is no tour, it’s because VTA feels that your time ashore is best spent exploring the location on your own. On tours, you’ll be supplied with your individual “QuietVox” headset, a clever device through which you can hear the tour leader clearly even at the busiest sites, and at a distance. To keep you refreshed, you will be provided with bottled water as you disembark each time.

So many spectacular sites to visit in the Mediterranean and as seen above in Asia

The perfect way to begin or end your cruise, our hotel stays and overland tours will allow you to get to know the city and area before you embark or after you disembark. We only use 5 star hotels if you book a Balcony Class cabin (categories A to D) and 4 or 5 star hotels for all other categories. Please refer to individual cruise descriptions for details of the hotel accommodation included for each voyage.

At city hotels, breakfast, tax, service charges and a hospitality desk are included. In addition, on our overland tours, lunch and dinner are included.

To ensure that you will have ample time to experience the wonderful destinations the Aegean Odyssey visits, each cruise itinerary is designed with frequent evenings and extended stays in key ports of call. You will enjoy overnight stays aboard the ship in many historically significant ports, in addition to the included excursion, with more time in port you can take advantage of optional additional tours available, or delight in an authentic shore side experience such as an after-dinner stroll.

Selected for their expertise, guest speakers will enlighten and entertain you throughout the cruise. Usually several experts will be on board, each keen to share their knowledge with you. They also accompany you on shore excursions and some may make themselves available on board for more informal discussions.

Olden- Fjord Cruising in Norway & someone will guide you all the way through it

All meals are included on board, as well as afternoon tea and late night snacks. The Aegean Odyssey is known for its use of fresh ingredients to create a variety of inspired menus. Water is served with all meals, and wine, beer, or soft drinks are included with dinner.

All tips for cabin stewards and restaurant staff on board Aegean Odyssey are included in your fares.

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For further information, I suggest that you go online and simply do a search for VOYAGES TO ANTIQUITY, and choose the .au, .nz or the country you reside in site. In you are after a brochure, you will not the link obtain ‘Brochures’, and there are a number to download and view, or to have posted, including the new 2019 brochure.

But for reservations, I do highly recommend that you see a good qualified Cruise & travel Agent who has experience in Cruising, for they will know a great deal and also you will receive service, which you will not if you book online, or direct with the shipping company! Having been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, I know a great deal, and also know what is best!

General enquiries to VTA Australia; info@vta.net.au

 

General enquiries to VTA New Zealand; info@vta.co.nz

 

Go to Page Two Deck Plan and Accommodations

 

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