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Passage to Ancient Egypt & India

Hosted by Martin & Judy Holcombe

Athens to Mumbai

29 days

1-night hotel in Agra

2-night hotel stay in Cairo

2-night hotel stay in Luxor

from £3,995 pp

09 Dec, 2018

Hosted by Judy & Martin Holcombe

Saver fares are limited in availability and can be removed at any time.

AEG181209BR

  • 29 days
  • 5 countries
  • 5 hotel nights
  • 12 shore excursions
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From Athens travel to Cairo for a two-night hotel stay to see the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), the Sphinx and the Egyptian Museum. Explore the sites of Memphis and Sakkara, including the monumental statue of Ramesses II.

Travel to Aqaba for the breathtaking Treasury of Petra, then return to Egypt for the vast temple complex of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Celebrate Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve on board Aegean Odyssey as you sail to Salalah, famous for the production of frankincense, followed by the Sultan’s Palace in Muscat, Mumbai and Porbandar, birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Date
Port
Depart
Arrive
Dec 09
Sun
Athens , Greece
Fly to Athens and embark Aegean Odyssey in Piraeus.
7.00pm
Dec 10
Mon
At sea
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea
Dec 11
Tue
At sea
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea
Dec 12
Wed
    Suez Canal , Egypt
    Daytime transit of Suez Canal
    Dec 13
    Thu
    Cairo , Egypt
    Disembark and drive to Cairo for afternoon sightseeing to the Egyptian Museum and hotel dinner and overnight stay.
    overnight hotel
    Dec 14
    Fri
    Cairo , Egypt
    Morning tour to discover the iconic Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx and free afternoon. Enjoy dinner on the Nile.
    overnight hotel
    Dec 15
    Sat
    Cairo , Egypt
    Morning sightseeing tour visiting Memphis and Sakkara sites. Afternoon drive from Cairo to rejoin Aegean Odyssey in Ain Sokhna.
    overnight
    Dec 16
    Sun
      Suez Canal , Egypt
      Full day tour to St Anthony and St Paul's Monasteries
      8.00pm
      Dec 17
      Mon
      At sea
      Cruising the Red Sea
      Dec 18
      Tue
        Aqaba , Jordan
        Visit to the rose-red ancient city - Petra.
        overnight
        7.00am
        Dec 19
        Wed
          Aqaba , Jordan
          Take an optional tour to one of the most enchanting deserts in the world; Wadi Rum.
          2.00pm
          Dec 20
          Thu
            Safaga , Egypt
            Disembark and drive to Luxor for afternoon sightseeing to Karnak and overnight hotel stay.
            overnight hotel
            7.00am
            Dec 21
            Fri
              Safaga , Egypt
              Visit the UNESCO Valley of the Kings.
              overnight hotel
              Dec 22
              Sat
                Safaga , Egypt
                Morning drive from Luxor to Safaga to rejoin Aegean Odyssey.
                8.00pm
                Dec 23
                Sun
                At sea
                Cruising the Red Sea
                Dec 24
                Mon
                At sea
                Cruising the Red Sea
                Dec 25
                Tue
                At sea
                Christmas Celebrations at sea
                Dec 26
                Wed
                At sea
                Cruising the Red Sea
                Dec 27
                Thu
                At sea
                Cruising the Red Sea
                Dec 28
                Fri
                  Salalah , Oman
                  Visit the town of Sumharam and the Tomb of Job for a morning sightseeing tour. In the afternoon take an optional tour to discover the Sultanate Heritage.
                  10.00pm
                  8.00am
                  Dec 29
                  Sat
                  At sea
                  Cruising the Arabian Sea
                  Dec 30
                  Sun
                  At sea
                  Cruising the Arabian Sea
                  Dec 31
                  Mon
                    Muscat , Oman
                    A visit to the Sultan's Palaca, and the famous 16-century Portuguese twin forts. Optional afternoon tour.
                    10.00pm
                    8.00am
                    Jan 01
                    Tue
                    At sea
                    Cruising the Arabian Sea
                    Jan 02
                    Wed
                    At sea
                    Cruising the Arabian Sea
                    Jan 03
                    Thu
                    Porbandar , India
                    Sightseeing tour to Porbandar by tuk-tuk
                    8.00pm
                    8.00am
                    Jan 04
                    Fri
                    At sea
                    Cruising the Arabian Sea
                    Jan 05
                    Sat
                    Mumbai , India
                    Discover the highlights of Mumbai
                    overnight
                    6.00am
                    Jan 06
                    Sun
                    Mumbai , India
                    Disembark Aegean Odyssey and transfer to airport for flight home.

                    Cairo Museum & the Treasures of Egypt

                    13 Dec Cairo, Egypt
                    Drive through downtown Cairo to visit the treasure trove in Egypt's National Archaeological Museum.

                    Imagine the feelings of the British archaeologist Howard Carter when, on November 5, 1922, he descended the steps to discover the tomb of Tutankhamun and its golden treasures.

                    This priceless collection includes a royal diadem, weapons used by the young king, a viscera coffin for his mummified liver and a gold mask weighing over 24 pounds of solid gold shaped in the image of the pharaoh's face. They date from 1347BC during Egypt's Golden Age and are some of the stunning artefacts of pharaonic art you will see during a visit to the National Archaeological Museum.

                    Situated in the world famous Tahrir (Liberty) Square in the heart of downtown Cairo, the museum is the repository of the world's largest and richest collection of Egyptian antiquities, spanning a period of over 50 centuries.

                    There will be plenty of time to enjoy the golden burial masks, papyrus scrolls and artefacts representing every period of Egyptian history on display.

                    Read more
                    Included
                    UNESCO World Heritage Site

                    Pyramids of Giza

                    14 Dec Cairo, Egypt
                    Half Day Extensive Walking
                    Stand in awe before the Pyramids at Giza, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

                    Stand in awe before the Pyramids at Giza, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

                    Drive to the Giza Plateau and the pyramids built for the pharaohs of the fourth dynasty: Cheops, Chefren and Mycerinos. From the Western Plateau, take in majestic views of all three pyramids with Cairo sprawling at their feet. The pyramid of Cheops alone required tens of thousands of workers over two decades. While it was once held that the workers who created this site were slaves, it is now thought they toiled for wages or to pay off taxes. Continue down the valley to contemplate the Sphinx, watching the passage of time and man in silence.

                    This colossal limestone monument with the haunches of a lion and the face of a king is held to represent the guardian deity of these royal burial grounds. So great were the Sphinx's mythical powers that 15th-century Egyptians thought it controlled the flood cycles of the Nile.

                    Note: This visit is to the exterior of the pyramids only. If you wish to go inside, there is an additional charge, but this is not recommended for those with claustrophobia or with breathing, knee or back problems. Photography is not allowed inside the pyramids.

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                    Included

                    Evening Nile cruise

                    14 Dec Cairo, Egypt
                    Evening sail Lunch Included

                    From your hotel, drive to the banks of the River Nile where a luxurious cruise boat awaits to sail you on the same timeless waterway traversed by Pharaohs, Queens and Nobles thousands of years ago. Sit back, relax and enjoy a sumptuous dinner in elaborate interiors as you glide past Cairo’s waterfront landmarks. For your entertainment, a folkloric presentation and belly dancing will take place during meal.

                    Read more
                    Included
                    UNESCO World Heritage Site

                    Memphis and Sakkara

                    15 Dec Cairo, Egypt
                    Half Day Extensive Walking
                    At its peak, Memphis must have staggered the out-of-town visitor. Egypt's first capital is situated at the apex of the Nile delta.

                    At its peak, Memphis must have staggered the out-of-town visitor. Egypt's first capital is situated at the apex of the Nile delta. For thousands of years this huge, cosmopolitan city was the capital of the Old Kingdom (2650-2134BC).

                    Arriving at Memphis, visit the remains of the temple of Ptah, the god of Memphis and mythical creator of the universe. See such breathtaking sights as the huge fallen statue of King Ramses II and the Alabastar Sphinx of King Amenhopis II. Continue a short drive from Memphis to Sakkara, a favorite necropolis of Old Kingdom pharaohs. View one of mankind's first monumental stone buildings, the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, built in 2750BC by the engineer Imhotep, a polymath who could arguably lay claim to being the world's first architect, first doctor, first priest, first poet, first dentist and first astrologer.

                    After visiting the complex, continue to one of the nearby mastabas (funerary chambers) such as Ptah-Hotep or Mereruca. These give important insights into the architectural origins of the pyramid and contain beautiful reliefs with depictions of daily life in ancient Egypt.

                     

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                    Included

                    St Anthony and St Paul's Monasteries

                    16 Dec Suez Canal, Egypt
                    Full day
                    Anthony the Great, the Father of All Monks, was born in 251AD to a wealthy family in Lower Egypt, but after answering the call of God he gave away all his worldly possessions and lived an ascetic life in the wilderness. Following his death in 356AD, his followers founded a Coptic monastery in his name at the foot of Al-Qalzam Mountain, not far from the tiny cave where Anthony had lived.

                    Anthony the Great, the Father of All Monks, was born in 251AD to a wealthy family in Lower Egypt, but after answering the call of God he gave away all his worldly possessions and lived an ascetic life in the wilderness. Following his death in 356AD, his followers founded a Coptic monastery in his name at the foot of Al-Qalzam Mountain, not far from the tiny cave where Anthony had lived.

                     

                    Your guides for the day will be the monks themselves, making for a truly fascinating insight into the daily life of what is the oldest still active monastery in the world. Dotted around this self-contained little village are a mill and bakery, as well as four churches, the oldest of which has some exceptional wall paintings of the Holy Knights. Also on the site is a library containing the largest collection of Coptic manuscripts in Egypt, totalling nearly two thousand volumes.

                     

                    St. Paul’s Monastery is another Coptic Christian retreat that relies on mountain spring water for its supply and still observes rituals that have barely changed for sixteen centuries. Founded in memory of Paul the Anchorite, one of Egypt’s greatest saints, it has a close association with St. Anthony’s as one of the other oldest monasteries in the country, dating from the 5th-century AD.

                     

                    The site has three churches, one of which is underground in the cave where St. Paul is said to have lived for eighty years. During the Middle Ages it suffered repeated attacks by Bedouin tribes, which is why, until recently, the only way in was via a pulley and winch system.

                    Read more
                    Included
                    UNESCO World Heritage Site

                    Walking Tour of Petra

                    18 Dec Aqaba, Jordan
                    Full Day Extensive Walking
                    One of the great moments in travel is when you emerge from the narrow winding Siq to encounter the extraordinary rose-red city of Petra.

                    One of the great moments in travel is when you emerge from the narrow winding Siq to encounter the extraordinary rose-red city of Petra. This guided tour is entirely on foot so you can more intimately interact with this UNESCO World Heritage Site, chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

                    Together with your guide, start your walk from the main gate to the obelisk tombs. Then continue to the Siq, the sole entrance to Petra, a long winding path between two overhanging cliffs that acts as the city's main gate.

                    As you proceed along this mile-long fissure, your guide will point out such details as Petra's ingenious water system where some of the original terracotta pipes are still in place. Your first sight will be the magnificent spectacle of Al Khazneh (The Treasury), carved out of the rock by Nabatean Arabs some 2,000 years ago. You may continue along the Street of Façades taking in such sights as the amphitheater and the Royal Court, where recent excavations have revealed a public pool and gardens.

                    The guides will take you to the Treasury area and from this point you will have the option of continuing on to the Street of Façades. Please note that there is an optional, one-way horse ride included in your ticket. Horse drawn carriages are available at the site entrance but passengers should be reminded that these are not recommended and are at the passenger’s own risk.

                    Read more
                    Included
                    UNESCO World Heritage Site

                    Desert Safari to Wadi Rum

                    19 Dec Aqaba, Jordan
                    Half Day
                    An open space and a setting that resembles that of the moon, Wadi Rum will engulf you with its enigmatic lure and is sometimes referred to as “the Valley of the Moon”.

                    Wadi Rum: one of the most enchanting deserts in the world. An open space and a setting that resembles that of the moon, Wadi Rum will engulf you with its enigmatic lure and is sometimes referred to as “the Valley of the Moon”. Surrounded by steep cliffs, narrow canyons and dramatic scenery, the Wadi has been inhabited by many cultures, including the Nabateans, since pre-historic times.

                    Still, Wadi Rum is perhaps best known to Westerners as the staging ground for Lawrence of Arabia’s attack on the port of Aqaba.

                    Our tour begins with an hour’s drive to the heart of the valley where you’ll transfer to Bedouin-driven jeeps for a two-hour desert tour including a visit to Khaz Ali canyon with its petroglyphs and the spring where legend has it that T.E. Lawrence washed; the Seven Pillars of Wisdom Mountain – this stunning formation is what T.E. Lawrence titled his philosophical memoir after; the Desert Jebels and Inscriptions – the awe-inspiring Jebels are amazing to look at, the sandstone rock formations rise from the Wadi floor all around.

                    Some even bear ancient inscriptions and rock art. After your tour you will continue on to Petra and check in to your hotel.

                    Please note that the desert safari takes place using various different models of Bedouin-driven jeeps. Some jeeps may be more difficult to climb into that others and are not suitable for passengers with mobility limitations.

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                    Optional $ TBC
                    UNESCO World Heritage Site

                    Karnak Temple

                    20 Dec Safaga, Egypt
                    Half Day Extensive Walking
                    This morning you head to Karnak to visit the great Temple of Amun, the greatest place of worship in history.

                    This morning you head to Karnak to visit the great Temple of Amun, the greatest place of worship in history.

                    The magnificent hypostyle hall is a veritable forest of 134 papyrus columns that once supported a massive roof. You can still see the remains of clerestory windows, designed to create the effect of a papyrus swamp. This hall connected the outer court with the inner sanctuary, where only kings and priests were permitted. On special occasions, a statue of Amun would emerge carried aloft on the shoulders of his priests.

                    The temple was completed by Ramses II (1290-1224BC), considered by some to be the pharaoh of the Exodus, and the site bears evidence of an even earlier temple, dating back another thousand years. Other highlights include the Avenue of the Sphinxes, creatures combining the body of a lion and the head of a ram. Once the main road linking the temples at Karnak and Luxor was lined with these fantastic creatures, each holding a statue of Ramses II between their paws.

                    In addition, visit the open-air museum to view remains from other areas of Karnak, such as the white chapel of Sanusret I.

                    Read more
                    Included
                    UNESCO World Heritage Site

                    West Bank & Valley of the Kings

                    21 Dec Safaga, Egypt
                    Half Day Extensive Walking
                    Thebes, the city of the god Amon, was the capital of Egypt during the Middle and New Kingdoms.

                    Thebes, the city of the god Amon, was the capital of Egypt during the Middle and New Kingdoms.

                    Like Babylon and Ninevah it was considered one of the great cities of antiquity. On the opposite bank of the Nile is located the necropolis known as the Valley of the Kings, the burial place of the New Kingdom pharaohs. These rulers were obsessed with the afterlife, and the magnificence of their tombs and temples has been a source of marvel to tourists since the time of the Greek historian, Herodotus.

                    Visit three of the royal tombs, including King Tutankhamun's, where one of archaeology's most dramatic discovery tales comes to life. Continue to Deir El Bahari to view the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the masterwork of Senenmut, the commoner turned royal architect.

                    Dramatically located at the foot of a cliff, the funerary temple befits a queen who once declared herself king, and is considered one of the finest buildings in all Egypt.

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                    Included

                    Scenic Salalah

                    28 Dec Salalah, Oman
                    Half day
                    Beaches, blow holes and a biblical site form just a part of the fascinating mosaic in Oman's second largest city.

                    Beaches, blow holes and a biblical site form just a part of the fascinating mosaic in Oman's second largest city, where colorful souqs and marketplaces sit in the shadow of a grand Sultan's Palace. Start your sightseeing with a scenic drive that reveals the contrast between the city's lush vegetation and the serene landscapes of the desert.

                    Then head to Mughsail Beach where white sand stretches for miles. If the tide is high, you may be lucky enough to see geysers spouting from the blow holes in the limestone cliffs. Legend holds that the prophet Job is buried outside Salalah, and the next site you visit is sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews. Job's tomb itself is simple, but the surrounding scenery is breathtaking with panoramas of the Qara Mountains and the Jubriah Plain.

                    Al Husn Palace, the summer residence of His Majesty, the Sultan of Oman is an imposing landmark with towering stone walls and teak doors. Although not open to visitors, you will be able to take photos en route to Al Husn Souq. Stroll among the vendors and colorful stalls heaped with mounds of frankincense, myrrh and incense and you'll soon see why this city was called the perfume capital of Arabia. In addition to fragrant oils, there are a variety of local artifacts like the fearsome Omani khangar daggers.

                    *Please note that visitors are required to remove their shoes at Job's Tomb. Please dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders  and knees covered as a general rule. 

                    Read more
                    Included

                    Sultanate Heritage

                    28 Dec Salalah, Oman
                    Half Day Extensive Walking
                    From desert landscapes and lush oases to ancient forts and the capital of the frankincense trade, this tour from the port of Salalah gives you a fascinating insight to Oman.

                    From desert landscapes and lush oases to ancient forts and the capital of the frankincense trade, this tour from the port of Salalah gives you a fascinating insight to Oman.

                    At the Al Husn Souq you will have an opportunity to browse the colourful stalls selling everything from myrrh and frankincense to perfumed oils and pottery. Continue on to Al Balid and the remains of the city of Dhofar. The most important ancient port on the Arabian Sea (part of the Frankincense Trail) the history of Dhofar dates back to before 2000 BC and some archaeological research suggests that the city's prosperity dates back to the Iron Age. The city was a trade hub, being one of the largest ports on the Indian Ocean, making it a thriving commercial centre for the export of frankincense to China and Rome.

                    The city’s location was first discovered in 1930 and the site and the ruins, which cover an area of 64 hectares, are surrounded by high walls to the east and north. The whole site is currently undergoing extensive archaeological investigation.

                    Then pass through the fishing village of Taqa with its old town and fort on the way to the ruined city of Samhuram at Khor Rouri creek. Excavations here have uncovered evidence of an ancient city with sea trade links to the eastern Mediterranean and Greece. Up until the 1st century AD, the transport of frankincense had been the domain of the camel caravans. As a result of improved navigation techniques, the trade routes became increasingly maritime via the Red Sea.

                    At that time Dhofar was part of the Yemeni kingdom of Hadramaut. The King recognized the importance of having a safe storage place and a port for the export of frankincense in the vicinity of where the frankincense was harvested, and in the 2nd century AD he ordered the building of Samharam.

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                    Optional $ 75

                    Mystical Muscat

                    31 Dec Muscat, Oman
                    Half Day
                    Medieval forts, Moorish mosques and modern architecture mingle enchantingly in Muscat, the seaside capital of the Sultanate of Oman.

                    Medieval forts, Moorish mosques and modern architecture mingle enchantingly in Muscat, the seaside capital of the Sultanate of Oman. The country's political, economic and commercial hub has a wealth of landmarks, as you'll soon see.

                    Sightseeing highlights include a visit to the Grand Mosque, built by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. This striking example of Islamic architecture accommodates 20,000 worshippers and has an immense handmade Persian carpet in the prayer hall. Next, wander one of the oldest and most interesting markets in the Arab Gulf, the Muttrah Souq, where everything from copper bracelets to camel bone vases can be found. At the Bait al Zubair Museum, gain a richer knowledge of Omani heritage as you peruse exhibits including clothing, household items and weaponry.

                    Enjoy a lovely coastal drive past the charming fishing village of Sidab to the old city and Al Alam Palace, overlooking sparkling Muscat Bay. This is the official residence of Sultan Qaboos, built in 1970 on the site of an earlier palace. The modern design blends oriental and occidental styles in bright gold and blue. Nestled between two 16th-century Portuguese forts, Jalali and Mirani, the palace ensemble is the perfect expression of Oman's compelling contrasts. Due to opening times of the Grand Mosque, included sightseeing will be in the morning of the second day in Muscat. Optional tours will operate in the afternoon of the day of arrival.  

                    *Please note you must dress appropriately for visiting religious sites. Women must wear modest clothing, which covers the body and the head, including the hair. Arms and legs must be covered to wrists and ankles.

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                    Included

                    Dhow Cruise

                    31 Dec Muscat, Oman
                    Half day
                    Board a traditional sailing dhow, modified for comfort, on this afternoon odyssey along the Omani coast.

                    Board a traditional sailing dhow, modified for comfort, on this afternoon odyssey along the Omani coast. The triangularsailed dhows that add such an exotic touch to these waters are a testament to centuries of seamanship. In the 8th century an Omani dhow sailed as far as Canton, China. These stalwarts of the sea are said to last from 60 to 100 years.

                    Your sailing adventure begins with a drive to the marina, where you step aboard the wooden dhow, Lubna, and set sail. The route has been thoughtfully designed to showcase old Muscat and such landmarks as the medieval Portuguese forts, as well as modern Al Alam Palace. Sinbad would feel at home aboard your dhow, which was built in the town of Sur, where the craft of dhow building is passed from generation to generation over the centuries.

                    Although modern comforts and safety features were added later in Muscat, this is a ship with a true Omani ambiance, featuring such Arabic touches as stained glass windows in the central stateroom and raised floor seating outside. Relax and enjoy the hour and a half cruise, during which assorted non-alcoholic beverages will be served. 

                    Note: Dhow cruise is subject to weather conditions.

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                    Optional $ 85

                    Porbandar by Tuk Tuk

                    3 Jan Porbandar, India
                    Half day
                    Visit the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, India's "Great Soul" and gain insights into the simple lifestyle of this coastal heritage town, once a thriving Mughal port.

                    Visit the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, India's "Great Soul" and gain insights into the simple lifestyle of this coastal heritage town, once a thriving Mughal port. First drive to the heart of Porbandar to visit the only temple in India dedicated to Sudama, the childhood friend of Lord Krishna. Pilgrims walk the temple's giant maze to be absolved of all sins.

                    Next, ride a tuk tuk to the Kirti Mandir memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. The temple stands 79 feet high, one foot for each year of Gandhi's life, and embraces six religions in its architecture. Tour the ancestral home where Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 and lived with his wife. The adjoining building houses a prayer hall, a Gandhian library and an excellent museum.

                    After a visit to the lively local market, continue to Bharat Mandir Hall. Admire the lovely gardens, huge marble map of India and colourful pillars where bas reliefs tell the tales of Hindu heroes from this land of legends.

                    *Please note socks are recommended, as it is required to remove shoes at most sites. Comfortable footwear and hats are recommended. Please cover your shoulders and knees. 

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                    Included

                    Mumbai City Highlights

                    5 Jan Mumbai, India
                    Half Day
                    Immerse yourself in the swirling contrasts of India's economic powerhouse, home to nearly 20 million people, global corporations and the Bollywood film industry.

                    Immerse yourself in the swirling contrasts of India's economic powerhouse, home to nearly 20 million people, global corporations and the Bollywood film industry. View the colonial heritage as you drive from the pier past such Victorian Gothic Revival landmarks as Rajabhai Clock Tower, Mumbai University, High Court, Crawford Market and the marvelous Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. Stop at Dhobi Ghat to watch men flogging clothes in the stone tubs of an immense open-air manual laundry.

                    Glimpse political India when you visit the charming residence of Mahatma Gandhi, Mani Bhawan, a museum to the leader's life and work. The father of the nation lived here from 1917 to 1934, when the city was still called Bombay. Then ascend Malabar Hill to the Hanging Gardens for panoramas of the entire city. On the return, enjoy a photo stop before the 262-foot-high Gateway of India, overlooking the Arabian Sea, built to mark the 1911 visit of King George V.

                    *Please note you must dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule. Comfortable shoes and socks are advised, as you are required to remove shoes upon entering the temple. 

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                    Included

                    Clare Coventry

                    Clare Coventry, Craft Tutor
                    Clare was born and brought up in the small and historic town of Youghal, in Co. Cork, in Southern Ireland. She was educated at the Presentation of the Sacred Heart Convent, in Youghal. a traditional Catholic school for young ladies. Whilst receiving the full curriculum of subjects, including Gaelic, Clare’s heartfelt interests lay in other directions.

                    Clare was born and brought up in the small and historic town of Youghal, in Co. Cork, in Southern Ireland. She was educated at the Presentation of the Sacred Heart Convent, in Youghal. a traditional Catholic school for young ladies. Whilst receiving the full curriculum of subjects, including Gaelic, Clare’s heartfelt interests lay in other directions.

                    Her mother was a classically-trained pianist, and her father a fine tenor. Clare and her siblings were all musically inclined from a young age, and Clare formed herself and her three younger siblings (two sisters and a brother) into a harmony ensemble, with their ages ranging from sixteen to just eleven.

                    In 1967, they won a grand concours held in Cork City Opera House, and were brought over to the UK on a tour, from which they never returned to Ireland.

                    They settled in the United Kingdom, married and had families. Clare and her sisters resurrected their musical career in the 1980’s, culminating in national TV appearances and selection for the Golden Rose of Montreux international awards festival, in Switzerland.

                    Clare went on to become a very successful BBC radio presenter, working for BBC Radio Lancashire, and BBC Radio Merseyside, two of Britain’s largest local radio networks. She had her own magazine-type show, interviewing right across the board, from authors to explorers, and from politicians to pop stars.

                    As well as musical ability, Clare also inherited from her mother a lifelong love of crafting.

                    “With six children to look after, my mother saw it as a necessity rather than a hobby,” reflects Clare. “I’ve just taken what I learnt and absorbed from her, and turned it to another use...teaching”.</p>

                    Clare has spent a lifetime singing and crafting. In 2008, she gained her ‘Fascinator of Excellence’ qualification, and since then has appeared on ‘Crafty Beggars’, a TV show sponsored by Hobbycraft.’

                    Clare has been singing and teaching her crafts aboard cruise ships for the past seventeen years. Her craft workshops are informative, effective, and great fun.With a unique blend of skill, patience, and humour, she brings to life the adage, “People learn best when they’re enjoying themselves”.

                    Please note Clare will not be lecturing.

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                    Dr Campbell Price

                    Dr Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum
                    Campbell Price is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptology collections. He first became interested in ancient Egypt when he visited Kelvingrove Museum in his native Glasgow as a child.

                    Campbell Price is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptology collections. He first became interested in ancient Egypt when he visited Kelvingrove Museum in his native Glasgow as a child.

                    He completed a BA, MA, and PhD in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, where he is now an Honorary Research Fellow. Campbell has undertaken fieldwork in Egypt at the sites of Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham, Saqqara, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He has published on ancient Egyptian material culture, most recently a co-edited volume Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt (Manchester University Press, 2016) and Pocket Museum: Ancient Egypt (Thames and Hudson, 2018). Campbell has lectured widely throughout the UK, and internationally.

                    He is a regular contributor to Egyptological documentaries on TV and radio

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                    Dr David Crilly

                    Dr David Crilly, Theatre Director, Conductor & Composer
                    Dr David Crilly graduated from the Universities of Southampton and London, first in Music and then with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies before completing his doctorate in the philosophy of art at Magdalen College, Oxford.

                    Dr David Crilly graduated from the Universities of Southampton and London, first in Music and then with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies before completing his doctorate in the philosophy of art at Magdalen College, Oxford.

                    For the past thirty years he has been Artistic Director of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival - an open-air festival presented annually in the gardens of the Cambridge University colleges. He is a conductor, composer and author and has given lectures all over the world, including universities as far flung as Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Montego Bay, Vienna, Chicago and Oxford.

                    He recently retired from academia having lectured in Cambridge for twenty years before taking on the role of Director of Creative and Performing Arts in Liverpool. He is also an arts practitioner and for eighteen years was Director-in-Residence for Anglia Opera, conducting and producing such classics as La bohème, Carmen, Peter Grimes, La Traviata and The Turn of the Screw.

                    For Voyages to Antiquity he has given talks on the music and cultures of India, Oman, Jordan, South Africa and Namibia – and this time will use his knowledge of Shakespeare's play as the basis of an exploration of the real Antony and Cleopatra. The talks will be supported by numerous recorded/video examples (and the occasional live demonstration), and Dr Crilly will place the music and characters within a cultural, political and historical framework in order to reveal how the region’s character is reflected in its art.

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                    John Coventry

                    John Coventry, Travel and Special Interests lecturer
                    John studied Modern Languages at Exeter and Salford Universities, majoring in French, German, and Spanish. A lifelong thirst for travel was partially assuaged by a stint in America, at the University of Texas, in Austin, followed by a year in the pipeline construction industry, working as a translator/interpreter, in Algeria.

                    John studied Modern Languages at Exeter and Salford Universities, majoring in French, German, and Spanish. A lifelong thirst for travel was partially assuaged by a stint in America, at the University of Texas, in Austin, followed by a year in the pipeline construction industry, working as a translator/interpreter, in Algeria.

                    John then embarked upon a working lifetime spent in some of the strangest corners of the travel industry.

                    At a time when the world was just starting to open up to leisure travel, he was in the vanguard of this revolution as a worldwide tour coordinator, accompanying groups of travellers on trips to a variety of exotic destinations and with a variety of diverse purposes.

                    From wildlife photo safaris to transatlantic flights aboard Concorde, from the slopes of Macchu Picchu to the outback of Australia, from the gates of Graceland to the Iron Gates of the Danube, John’s life was a kaleidoscope of people, places, and experiences, some exciting, some disquieting, but all memorable.

                    Smuggling a body across the Iron Curtain, being caught up in a revolution in South America, pinned down by sniper fire in San Francisco...these were just some of John’s experiences as he plied his trade around the globe. He went on to become general manager of one of the UK’s most prestigious independent tour operators.

                    John’s first experience of ocean cruising was in 1982, around the islands of Indonesia. Since that long-ago cruise baptism, he has sailed the seven seas, as cruise manager, charterer, port lecturer, destinations presenter, and special interests speaker.

                    A long time Mensa member and four time Brain of Mensa finalist, John&rsquo;s range of knowledge and interests is as intriguing as it is eclectic.

                    As a cruise lecturer, John brings to bear all his experience and expertise in a series of scintillating presentations on a- as you might expect - diverse range of fascinating subject matters.

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                    Professor Thomas G Fraser MBE

                    Professor Thomas G Fraser MBE, Emeritus Professor, Ulster University
                    Born and raised in Scotland, Professor Fraser gained his MA in Mediaeval and Modern History at the University of Glasgow before moving to the London School of Economics for his doctoral work in International History where his thesis was on the relationship between Germany and Indian revolutionaries during the First World War.

                    Born and raised in Scotland, Professor Fraser gained his MA in Mediaeval and Modern History at the University of Glasgow before moving to the London School of Economics for his doctoral work in International History where his thesis was on the relationship between Germany and Indian revolutionaries during the First World War. In 1969 he joined the New University of Ulster, now Ulster University, becoming in time Head of the School of History, Philosophy and Politics and finally Provost of its Magee campus. His teaching specialised in the modern history of the Middle East and India. He is now Emeritus Professor of History. In 1983-1984 he was Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Indiana University at South Bend. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.

                    He is widely published, mostly on the modern history of the Middle East and India, but also on American foreign policy and the Northern Ireland peace process. Amongst his recent books are a fourth edition of The Arab-Israeli Conflict (2015), which has also had Italian and Spanish editions, and an edited collection, The First World War andits Aftermath: The Shaping of the Modern Middle East (2015). He has travelled and lectured widely in the Middle East, India and Sri Lanka, but his academic work has also taken him to the United States, France, Russia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Croatia and South Africa.

                    His service as Chairman of the Northern Ireland Museum Council and a Trustee of the National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland reinforced an interest in ancient civilisations that he gained as a student on the Scottish Field School of Archaeology when he was an undergraduate.&nbsp; His wife Grace is a former university Research Fellow, specialising in aspects of the Northern Ireland Conflict, while his son Simon teaches Computing at university and his daughter Anna works in California.

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                    Courtyard Marriott Agra

                    Agra, India
                    1-night hotel in Agra
                    Balcony Class
                    Enjoy 5-star service at the Courtyard Marriott Agra. Set on the famed Fatehabad Road, just minutes from jewels of India like the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, our luxury hotel offers easy access to all points of interest.

                    Enjoy 5-star service at the Courtyard Marriott Agra. Set on the famed Fatehabad Road, just minutes from jewels of India like the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, our luxury hotel offers easy access to all points of interest. Enjoy spacious, elegant rooms and suites with contemporary decor. 

                    The hotel also features a spa and a choice of four restaurants - MoMo Cafe, Anise, Onyx and MoMo 2 Go - for innovative cuisine. 

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                    Included

                    Cairo Marriott Hotel

                    Cairo, Egypt
                    2-night hotel stay in Cairo
                    The Cairo Marriott Hotel is situated in the vibrant Zamalek district, set amidst six acres of verdant palace gardens. It is also near some of the city’s top attractions, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Cairo Opera House. The hotel has 1,060 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, which feature high-speed Internet access, 42-inch flat-screen TVs and plush pillowtop mattresses. 

                    The Cairo Marriott Hotel is situated in the vibrant Zamalek district, set amidst six acres of verdant palace gardens. It is also near some of the city’s top attractions, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Cairo Opera House.
                    The hotel has 1,060 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, which feature high-speed Internet access, 42-inch flat-screen TVs and plush pillowtop mattresses. 

                    Read more
                    Included

                    Steigenberger Nile Palace

                    Luxor, Egypt
                    2-night hotel stay in Luxor
                    On the banks of the Nile, at the heart of the historical district of Luxor, the Steigenberger Nile Palace extends a warm welcome.

                    On the banks of the Nile, at the heart of the historical district of Luxor, the Steigenberger Nile Palace extends a warm welcome. A luxurious refuge from where one can easily explore some of the world’s greatest cultural treasures and enjoy times of peace and recuperation.

                    Read more
                    Included

                    Winter Cruise Flights

                    Our cruise holidays usually feature scheduled flights on British Airways, for those travelling from the UK.  We will endeavour to advise flight details at time of booking, however actual flight confirmations will be sent to you as soon as we receive them from the airline. 

                    You can take advantage of all the benefits available flying British Airways.

                    For more information on flights, free domestic flight connections via London from regional airports and our very special prices to upgrade to Club Europe/World Traveller Plus, please see our Flights & Transfers Information page >

                    Included Transfers

                    Transfers between airports, hotels and Aegean Odyssey while on your cruise-tour abroad are included. You'll be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred in comfort to the ship. At the end of your cruise holiday, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

                    Note: Included transfers are provided only in conjunction with arrival and departure dates of cruise-tours (including optional pre- and post-hotel stays) when utilising Voyages to Antiquity’s group seat allocations and as outlined in our brochure and online. More detailed information can be found on our Flights and Transfers Information page >

                     

                     

                     

                    A

                    Owner's Suites

                    BALCONY
                    Owner's Suites, BALCONY
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    550 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, dressing area, separate sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

                    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £9,850*pp
                    Lido
                    Lido
                    B

                    Junior Suites

                    BALCONY
                    Junior Suites, BALCONY
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    310 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, walk-in closet, sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

                    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £8,995*pp
                    Lido
                    Lido
                    C

                    Deluxe Balcony

                    BALCONY
                    Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    275 sq ft staterooms located on Lido & Bridge Decks. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected. Cabins 807, 808 on Lido Deck are smaller and do not have a sitting area.

                    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £7,950*pp
                    Bridge
                    Bridge
                    Lido
                    Lido
                    D

                    Deluxe Balcony

                    BALCONY
                    Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    275 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected.

                    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £7,550*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    E

                    Deluxe Outside

                    PREMIUM
                    Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    215 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Private bath/ shower or walk-in shower. Convertible twin beds. Cabins 556 and 563 are smaller but have a fixed double bed and a balcony.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £6,950*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    F

                    Deluxe Outside

                    PREMIUM
                    Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    170-200sq ft staterooms located on Bridge and Belvedere Decks. Bath/Shower or walk-in shower.
                    Convertible twin beds or Fixed Double Bed. Cabins 535 and 536 have fixed twin beds only.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £6,595*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    Bridge
                    Bridge
                    Lido
                    Lido
                    G

                    Premium Outside

                    PREMIUM
                    Premium Outside, PREMIUM
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    130-150 sq ft staterooms located on Bridge & Lido Decks. Private shower, fixed twin beds, convertible twin beds or fixed double bed.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £6,150*pp
                    Bridge
                    Bridge
                    Lido
                    Lido
                    H

                    Premium Outside

                    PREMIUM
                    Premium Outside, PREMIUM
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    Premium Outside 130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £5,750*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    Columbus
                    Columbus
                    I*

                    Premium Outside

                    PREMIUM
                    Premium Outside, PREMIUM
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    130 sq ft cabins located on Bridge Deck. Private shower. Fixed twin beds or fixed double bed.
                    Views in some cabins partially obstructed by Life Boats.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £5,395*pp
                    Bridge
                    Bridge
                    J

                    Standard Outside

                    PREMIUM
                    Standard Outside, PREMIUM
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.
                    * Please note the photo shows a Category H premium outside cabin. Category J standard outside cabins feature portholes instead of windows.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £4,995*pp
                    Columbus
                    Columbus
                    K

                    Premium Inside

                    PREMIUM
                    Premium Inside, PREMIUM
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £4,650*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    L

                    Premium Inside

                    PREMIUM
                    Premium Inside, PREMIUM
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £4,295*pp
                    Columbus
                    Columbus
                    M

                    Standard Inside

                    PREMIUM
                    Standard Inside, PREMIUM
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £3,995*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    Columbus
                    Columbus
                    CC

                    Deluxe Balcony

                    SINGLE CABINS
                    Deluxe Balcony, SINGLE CABINS
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    135 sq ft single occupancy stateroom located on Lido Deck (Cabins 809, 810). Walk-in shower and private balcony. Fixed small double bed.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £8,295*pp
                    Lido
                    Lido
                    EE

                    Deluxe Outside

                    SINGLE CABINS
                    Deluxe Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    135 sq ft single occupancy Deluxe staterooms located on Belvedere Deck(554, 561). Shower, European full-size bed and a small balcony.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £7,295*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    GG*

                    Premium Outside

                    SINGLE CABINS
                    Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    Single occupancy Premium outside staterooms located on Bridge and Lido Deck. Private shower and a European full-size bed. Views in cabins 726, 724 on Belvedere deck are partially obstructed by lifeboats.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £6,495*pp
                    Bridge
                    Bridge
                    Lido
                    Lido
                    HH*

                    Premium Outside

                    SINGLE CABINS
                    Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    Premium outside single occupancy staterooms located on Bridge & Belvedere decks, featuring a European full-size bed and a private shower.
                     * Please note the cabin plan and photo shows the Category H double occupancy stateroom. Category HH single staterooms are smaller and feature one European full-size bed. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats in the cabins on Bridge deck.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £6,150*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    Bridge
                    Bridge
                    II*

                    Premium Outside

                    SINGLE CABINS
                    Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    130 sq ft Premuim Outside staterooms located on Bridge Deck, featuring a double window and a European full-size bed with private shower. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats.
                    *Please note the photo & cabin plan show a double occupancy I cabin. Cabins 710 and 712 (Category II, single occupancy) are smaller in size and feature a single European size bed.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £5,750*pp
                    Bridge
                    Bridge
                    JJ

                    Standard Outside

                    SINGLE CABINS
                    Standard Outside, SINGLE CABINS
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    Single occupancy standard outside cabins located on Columbus Deck, featuring portholes in place of windows. A single European size bed with private shower.
                    *Please note the picture shows a standard outside double occupancy cabin. Single occupancy cabins are smaller and feature a single European size bed and portholes instead of windows.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £5,350*pp
                    Columbus
                    Columbus
                    KK

                    Premium Inside

                    SINGLE CABINS
                    Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £4,995*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    LL

                    Premium Inside

                    SINGLE CABINS
                    Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £4,675*pp
                    Columbus
                    Columbus
                    MM

                    Standard Inside

                    SINGLE CABINS
                    Standard Inside, SINGLE CABINS
                    Layout
                    virtual

                    130 sq ft Standard inside single occupancy cabins located on Belvedere Decks. A small double bed with private shower.
                    *Please note the picture shows a double occupancy inside cabin. Cabins MM are smaller and feature a small double bed.

                    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

                    £4,350*pp
                    Belvedere
                    Belvedere
                    Third/forth person
                    £2,850
                    Air Credit (no air included)
                    £450
                    Cruise Only Credit (no air or land included)
                    £450

                    MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY

                     

                    There is a particular pleasure that comes with cruising aboard a smaller ship. Hosting an average of just 350 passengers, Aegean Odyssey is no ‘floating city’. She is small enough to sail rivers and put into the more characterful ports inaccessible to the ‘mega-ships’, the service is more personal and you get plenty of time to interact with the onboard experts.

                    Yet on the other hand, she is large enough to offer a superb selection of amenities, including two dining venues, several comfortable lounges and bars, a relaxing spa centre and well-stocked library. Cabins are spacious, modern and intelligently designed, and 39 cabins across a range of categories (including balcony) are set aside for solo travellers at low supplement.  

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                    Our website does not display live availability. All prices and availability be will confirmed at time of enquiry. The single supplement offers only apply to our single cabin categories. Special Offers are strictly capacity controlled, subject to availability, may be withdrawn at any time and are not always combinable. Please note – while we will do our best to adhere to this full itinerary, there may be changes at the discretion of the captain, due to weather advisories, port traffic and other unforeseeable circumstances. Shore excursions are subject to change. We reserve the right to alter, cancel or substitute an included excursion at any time.