Huffpost Travel

The Aegean Odyssey: A Huffington Post Travel Cruise Ship Guide

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The Aegean Odyssey is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Aegean Odyssey.

Destination

The Aegean Odyssey sails in the Central and Eastern Meditteranean, according to its official website. Cruises average 14 to 17 days and dock in ports such as Istanbul, Athens, Venice, Cannes, Mycenae, Crete and others.

Small Ship

The Aegean Odyssey was originally a car ferry, but it has undergone extensive retrofitting to become a small cruise ship, according to MaritimeMatters.com. Built in 1973, the ship underwent many changes in ownership and serious physical changes before being purchased by current owner Voyages to Antiquity in 2009. It has a passenger capacity of 380.

Special Features

According to the London newspaper the Telegraph, the most salient special feature of the Aegean Odyssey is not something most would typically think of as a "feature" at all: the ancient world-focused itineraries. Voyages to Antiquity focuses more on destinations and enrichment, such as the excellent lecture series, than on providing the latest in cruise ship amenities. Still, there are a variety of entertainment options, such as several bars, a very well-stocked library, Internet cafe and a small spa and exercise area.

Accommodations

The Aegean Odyssey features a wide range of cabin classes and layouts, according to CruiseCritic.com. Still, cabins can be comfortably classified in typical groups such as interior, oceanview, balcony and suite.

Cost

The Aegean Odyssey has somewhat higher prices than other cruise liners, but it is comparable to other ships of its smaller stature, as detailed on its official website. The most affordable cabins start in the $3,500 to $5,000 range for 14- to 17-day cruises, with prices quickly rising with cabin size and class. There are deals available on the company website. Note that children under the age of 12 are not recommended for travel aboard the Aegean Odyssey.

Excursion

Excursions are definitely the major selling feature of the Aegean Odyssey, according to many reviewers; official excursions are included in the price of the cruise. One favorite excursion, as detailed in this CruiseCritic.com member review, is a trip to Palmyra, the ruins of what was once a desert caravan city in Syria. Those making the excursion stop at a well-preserved castle from the Crusades era and get to explore the ruins of this ancient community.

Dining Experience

Dining options on the Aegean Odyssey are limited but satisfying, according to this three-part review from MaritimeMatters.com. There are two main dining options: Marco Polo features open seating and serves only lunch and dinner, and the Terrace Cafe is where one can take breakfast as well. Additionally, food is available in the evening at one of the major bars, the Charleston Lounge. Room service is only available for breakfast.

Maiden Voyage

The Aegean Odyssey underwent its maiden voyage on May 7, 2010, under its current flag and ownership, according to CruiseAbout.com. It had a long career previously as a car ferry, and under different ownership (and prior to retrofitting) as a cruise ship.

In The News

The Voyages to Antiquity line changed the itinerary of the Aegean Odyssey in response to continued unrest in the greater Arab world, according to the Mirror. Due to uprisings and unrest among the civilian populations, trips to ports in Libya and Syria were curtailed.

WATCH:

A typical trip on the Aegean Odyssey.

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