Read about Arthur’s last trip. Join him on his next!

I wouldn’t call myself a nervous traveller. Particular, for sure. Perhaps a tad obsessive.

Lynne says ‘neurotic’ is the adjective I’m searching for. I pack and re-pack my bags; check and re-check my itinerary. I arrive at the airport four hours early laden like a non-union Sherpa. The Lufthansa agent looks at my feet and smiles.

I’m wearing Crocs.

Crocs! I’m cruising from Athens to Venice, two fashion capitals of the world, and I’m wearing 18-dollar sponge rubber slippers!

What’s worse – they’re lime green.
Note to self: Look up Greek phrase for ‘Nearest shoe store.’

Turns out that’s the low point of the trip. Athens sparkles in sunshine so bright sunglasses are mandatory and contrary to news reports Greece is not dissolving in economic chaos. Everything works. ATMs deliver, wine flows, music plays. Wide smiles are the fashion accessory of the day and English is the lingua franca of choice.  I am directed – in English – to not one but three shoe stores, all within a drachma toss of the hotel.

I treat myself to a spiffy pair of Greek sandals.  I’m meeting Her at the dock and lime-green Crocs just wouldn’t cut it.

Not to be sexist or anything, but She’s a knockout. Drop dead gorgeous. Sleek and sassy but… built for comfort, if you catch my drift.

It’s the M.S. Aegean Odyssey of I’m talking about. A splendid cruise ship designed to ply the coastal Mediterranean waters, large enough to glide like a Zamboni through inclement seas; lithe enough to thread her way up rivers and into smaller ports unreachable in larger ships.

That’s not the only difference between the Aegean Odyssey and her grandiose cousins. You like casinos? Hollywood-style variety shows and thousands of fellow passengers? Best look elsewhere. The Aegean Odyssey takes only 380 guests. There’s a first-rate library in place of pseudo-Vegas night club acts; world class lecturers instead of Vaudeville jugglers and dancers. She boasts two restaurants, three lounges, four bars, an outdoor pool and an indoor spa. Yes, there’s a gym as well as telephone, fax and email facilities, but really… must you?

Lynne and I took our cruise last spring. Our Greek ports of call included Nauplia, Mycenae, Olympia, Ithaca and Corfu. In Croatia, we dropped anchor in Dubrovnik, Zadar and Split. The cruise bookends were two-night stays in ineffable, unmatchable Athens and Venice.  We had spectacular scenery, great shopping, guided tours and many opportunities to ponder the wisdom of the ages (favourite graffiti: a heart inscribed in the men’s washroom of the Cycladic museum in Athens encircling the words OEDIPUS LOVES MOMMY).

Passengers who’d had their fill of temples, ruins and monuments stayed on the ship basking like royalty in the care of the friendly Filipino crew.

Food was a problem – for those trying not to gain weight. We alternated dining on the afterdeck with meals in the more upscale Marco Polo lounge, where men were gently encouraged to at least wear sports coats or blazers. Otherwise, the dress code was as relaxed and friendly as everything else on board.

Mind you, the lime green Crocs stayed at the bottom of my suitcase.

Arthur Black

Arthur Black to host a cruise Bali to Bangkok… and Beyond
Arthur Black is a humorist as well as a TV and radio personality, best known as the long-time host of Basic Black on CBC Radio. Arthur writes a weekly humour column in Zoomer magazine and other columns that are syndicated in over 50 Canadian newspapers. He has authored sixteen books and three of Arthur’s books won the Stephen Leacock Medal–Canada’s highest award for humour. Arthur and his wife Lynn also enjoy travel and he is excited to be cruising again on the Aegean Odyssey. In addition to inviting you to join him, he will also regale us with some hilarious anecdotes and tall tales on board.

Arthur & Lynn invite you to join them; January 21 to February 10, 2013 to discover the mysteries of the Orient with Voyages to Antiquity. Begin your journey with a 3-night hotel stay in Bali, the “Island of the Gods,” with its varied landscape of hills and mountains, sandy beaches and lush rice terraces all providing a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual and unique culture. Then board the 350 guest Aegean Odyssey to explore the spectacular sites including Borobudur and the fascinating city of Singapore. We’ll have two-days to explore Ho Chi Minh City and then travel to Thailand’s vibrant capital, Bangkok. This unique experience comes to an end with a 4-night hotel stay in Bangkok and includes an unforgettable trip by air to the magnificent temple complex at Angkor in Cambodia.

EXTRAORDINARY VALUE – cruise fares include pre and/or post-cruise hotel stays, shore excursions, onboard gratuities, and wine with dinner on board. Featuring 26 dedicated single cabins, the 350-guest Aegean Odyssey has a choice of restaurants, open-seating dining, personal service and a renowned lecture program!

And airfares start at only $995 return, including tax. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

You could also win a cruise with Voyages To Antiquity – as offered by Exclusive Tours and Merit Travel Group. CLICK HERE TO ENTER.