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From the birth of civilisation to the Crimean war: exploring the Black Sea aboard the MV Aegean Odyssey
13 nights from £2695

The Crimean War forms a central part of many people’s knowledge of the history of the Black Sea: Tennyson’s famous poem commemorating the ill-fated charge of the British cavalry on October 25th, 1854 and the heroic exploits of Florence Nightingale have helped to focus our attention on this conflict. Indeed, a tour exploring the battlefields and military history of this period is a highlight of this cruise. There is, however, so much more to the story of the Black Sea and this two-week itinerary aims to bring to life the fascinating and intriguing history of the region: a journey that will take you from the birth of civilisation to the dramatic end of the Cold War.

Since its first incarnation as the 7thcentury BC Greek colony of Byzantium, no other city has played a more important role in the fortunes of the Black Sea than Istanbul and it is here, most fittingly, that this journey begins. The Aegean Odyssey then sails through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea coast of Turkey calling at Trabzon. Founded in the 9th century BC, the city is mentioned in the writings of Herodotus and Xenophon. An important Roman and Byzantine centre, it was the capital of the Empire of Trebizond from 1204 to 1461.

We then leave Turkey for Batumi in Georgia, a city that has played host to the Greeks, Byzantines, Persians, Turks and Mongols. It is said that Jason and his Argonauts put ashore here when they travelled to Georgia, then known as the Kingdom of Colchis, in search of the Golden Fleece. Travelling along the beautiful coastline the next stop is the Russian spa town of Sochi, future site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. We then cross to the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine.

Here you will visit the port of Kerch at the mouth of the Sea of Azov, the splendid Genoese fortress at Sudak, the Russian imperial palaces of Yalta, and Sevastopol. Before leaving the Ukraine, the ship will also call at Odessa, Catherine the Great’s St Petersburg of the South.

Before returning to Istanbul, you will have the chance to explore the churches and delightful architecture of the ancient town of Nessebur in Bulgaria.

Prices per person based on double occupancy
Price Includes:  Scheduled economy class air fare; cruise on Aegean Odyssey ; all meals onboard the Aegean Odyssey; selected shore excursions as detailed in your itinerary; lunch (except as noted) on full day excursions;all on-board gratuities for restaurant and cabin staff; selected wine with dinner (beer or soft drinks if preferred); in-depth lecture programme featuring expert guest speakers; transfers between airports and Aegean Odyssey abroad; porterage of luggage to/from your cabin.
Not Included:  Transport to and from your UK departure airport, optional shore excursions, beverages (other than those included at dinner) and other items of a personal nature, beauty and spa treatments, laundry and pressing services, internet charges and telephone calls, visas and airport taxes where these are payable locally, government fees, surcharges and local taxes.
Note:  Included transfers are provided only in conjunction with arrival and departure dates of cruise-tours (including optional pre- and post hotel stays) as outlined in this itinerary for guests purchasing Voyages to Antiquity air arrangements.
Flight Credit:  £350 per person for non use of flights.
Single travellers:  There are single cabins available in many categories and these are clearly shown on the deck plan. There are special prices for these cabins and these are available on request. As they are limited in number it is recommended that you book early. Once these cabins are sold there will be a limited number of double cabins available for sole occupancy with supplements of 25% - 75% on the above fares, depending on the category selected.
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MV Aegean Odyssey

The MV Aegean Odyssey is a premium class ship that was rebuilt to cater for cruising in the coastal waters of the central and southern Mediterranean. Originally a mid-size vessel carrying up to 570 passengers, the new configuration includes generously sized suites, junior suites and staterooms with and without balconies, which means she now accommodates an average of 350 guests. The vessel provides the best features of a mid-size ship such as passenger space, a choice of restaurants and stability in inclement weather. She also has the personal service and intimate surroundings of a small ship.

Your Suite/Stateroom/Cabin
All suites, staterooms and cabins are en suite and feature a bath and/or shower, flat screen TV, safe, hair dryer and are fully air-conditioned. Guests in Balcony Class (categories A to D) will also enjoy: a stateroom or suite with balcony, a welcome bottle of Champagne, a fridge stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers, Molton Brown bathroom amenities and priority sightseeing boarding. The sizes, layout and bed configuration will vary within a category. Beds may be fixed double (queen size), fixed separate twin beds or twin beds that can be converted into double beds. All outside staterooms and cabins have windows except Category J, most of which have portholes.

Your Space
On board you will find two restaurants; the Marco Polo Restaurant on the Marco Polo deck and the Terrace Café on the Promenade Deck which has a beautiful outdoor seating area so passengers can enjoy dining al fresco in warm weather. There are four bars on board and three lounges so there will always be space for relaxation and quiet when desired, as well as ample room for socialising with new found friends. There is also a lecture theatre, a library, shop and internet centre. The on-board library features an extensive range of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture and philosophy. To attend to the body as well as the mind, you can relax on the sweeping sun decks and cool off in the outdoor pool. There is also a fully-equipped gym with lockers and showers, sauna, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga. The hairdressers and beauty centre are located on the Belvedere Deck adjacent to the reception area.

As well as being one of the world’s most interesting, exotic and naturally beautiful destinations, Southeast Asia is home to a range of unsurpassed culinary traditions. This gastronomic culture of using the very best fresh local ingredients cooked in a simple but delicious and healthy style is the inspiration for the restaurants on Aegean Odyssey. The most elegant of the ship’s restaurants, the Marco Polo has a casual country-club ambience and Oriental and Italian influenced food.

At lunch, you can choose from a variety of starters, three dishes of the day and a choice of desserts, fruit and cheese. In the evening, dinner will include appetisers, soup, salads, a choice of three or four main courses and desserts. As well as the The Terrace Cafe Cat GG cabin complimentary wine, there is a full list of fine wines and champagne to accompany your dinner. With a combination of indoor and outdoor seating, sophisticated interior design and cooking on the open grill, the Terrace Café replicates the charm and ambience of a seaside restaurant. As well as the grill, there is a large buffet with hot dishes of the day, a selection of salads, and Thai and Asian specialities such as satay and noodles.

The day starts in the Terrace Café with breakfast where you can either enjoy a healthy combination of yogurt, fruit and muesli or indulge in eggs, bacon or an omelette. Outside at the Terrace is the perfect place to start your evening. Here you can choose from a selection of inspired appetisers, try some delicious seafood or pick from the wide range of authentic pizzas. On afternoons when you are not ashore, afternoon tea including freshly prepared sandwiches, cakes and scones will be served. Accompanying these is, of course, a selection of refreshing teas and a choice of coffees.

For those passengers enjoying a late night discussing the excitement of the day’s sightseeing, a selection of light snacks freshly prepared by our chefs will be available in the Charleston Lounge.

Life Onboard
Classically elegant but far from stuffy and formal, the MV Aegean Odyssey has been designed to offer the sophisticated traveller every comfort at sea. During your cruise, there will be a programme of lectures and discussions designed to not only inform and entertain you, but also to bring to life the wonderful sites you will visit.

For your Comfort, Safety and Security
Ask any world traveller where they receive the best service and they will undoubtedly answer the Far East. Of all the nationalities in that part of the world, it is the Filipinos who carry the highest reputation for attention to detail. Fluent in English and always serving with a smile, the Filipino crew will win your hearts. They, and the rest of the officers and crew, are dedicated to making your holiday a delightful experience throughout. Valet service is available for laundry and pressing. The MV Aegean Odyssey is fitted with the latest satellite communication technology with direct dial telephones in all cabins. There is also an internet centre on Belvedere Deck for which there is a charge based on time connected. There is a doctor onboard for the duration of your trip and the Medical Centre is located on the Columbus deck.

Category BCategory CCategory D
Category FCategory HOn deck
LibraryTerrace CafeAmbassador Lounge
Observation LoungeDeck Cafe 
Observation Deck
 Observation Deck
Lido Deck
 Lido Deck
Bridge Deck
 Bridge Deck
Promenade Deck
 Promenade Deck
Belvedere Deck
 Belvedere Deck
Columbus Deck
 Columbus Deck
Marco Polo
 Marco Polo
Noble Caledonia Ltd, 2 Chester Close, Belgravia, London SW1X 7BE
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