Aegean Odyssey Testimonials

AIA Tours Testimonials from Aegean Odyssey program participants.

  • The part about cruise travel I liked the best was not having to pack and unpack from destination to destination. Carla Antonaccio [AIA lecturer] was an informative lecturer, and an excellent supplement to the local guides, and always ready to field questions from anyone.
  • [Highlights were…] the selection of destinations, - the ship and its crew, especially the tender boatmen who ensured our safe access and egress, - the selection and service of the Terrace Café, - the size and service available related to our cabin, - we would travel with the Aegean Odyssey again, particularly if you included airfare, optional hotel stays and other financial inducements.
  • [Highlights were…] The crew that provided excellent service and was always helpful, the people, the learning experience and the fact that I had some independent time to do what I wanted to do. I also found the library very useful for info I just did not get to read before I got there.
  • The insight and availability of Dr Carla [AIA lecturer] was outstanding. AIA is lucky to have her expertise and her willingness to just "be around" for questions.
  • [Highlights were…] Meeting Carla Antonaccio [AIA lecturer] and Oswyn Murray [ship’s lecturer], going on tours with them, and hearing their lectures. They are not only real pros who know their stuff, but also people who are very easy to talk with. 2. Visiting stunningly beautiful sites such as the Acropolis Museum, Epidaurus, Taormina, Agrigento, Selinunte, Segesta, and Paestum. 3. The view of the Acropolis from the Grand Bretagne Hotel. The upgrade was a pleasant beginning to our trip.
  • [Highlights were…] The excellent and helpful crew, from the stewards to the pursers to the chefs to the waiters and the guys that made sure we didn't get left behind while touring ashore, everyone strove to be friendly, cheerful, and helpful. Some of us had trouble keeping up on the tours and the people assigned to look after us did great jobs. The food was also very good, especially after they solved the problem of cold plates which cooled the food too fast. The open seating allowed us to make many new friends, and the staff was instrumental in assuring that no one sat alone unless they wished to.
  • Our AIA lecturer was extraordinary in the informal way she conveyed her extensive knowledge.
  • [Highlights were…]  The camaraderie of knowledgeable people; the well appointed ship; ship's staff, and thank you for the good weather.
  • The itinerary was very full and convenient with the cruise ship. The AIA part of the cruise was invaluable: we enjoyed the relatively small group and really appreciated Barbara's presence. The added morning tour of Istanbul was very welcome. The opportunities to see the museum at Aphrodisias and the National Archaeological Museum in Istanbul were especially important additions to the tour. We enjoyed the library on the boat and the musical entertainment.
  • I really felt that AIA and Todd [AIA Tours Director] really had our best interest in mind. The addition of the Underground Basilica and the Chora Church were certainly enjoyable. My highlight was the housing area in Ephesus. Having taken a trip like this 10 years ago, I have always wanted to see that area, which was closed off at that time. I would like to travel with AIA again, having appreciated the cost factor of this trip. I felt that I really received a valuable trip at a reasonable price.
  • We enjoyed the early morning walks, especially through Santorini, and the wonderful lunches that gave us the local flavor of Greece and Turkey, the expert guides explaining the sites with that FANTASTIC earpiece that let us wander around the site and still hear every word, and of course all of the destinations that were wonderful. We especially liked the tours to Epidaurus, Temple of Poseidon, Treasury of Atreus, Knossos and Malia, amazing Delos, of course Ephesus (thank you for taking us there late in the day!), Aphrodisias, and Istanbul. What can we say, it was a great trip!
  • The excellent itinerary was complemented with experienced guides who related well with participants and who had good English skills. The excursions were the highlight of my trip but the cruise ship was a jewel and the service superb. I appreciated the accessibility of both Todd and Barbara and their willingness to explain even the most fundamental facts to those of us who were not knowledgeable about the sights and locations we visited. I loved the lectures even though I was tired following the full day of sightseeing. AIA did an excellent job in seeing that our group received appropriate attention.
  • I plan to tell my friends and family about my wonderful experience and to refer them to AIA study tours, as appropriate.
  • I enjoyed the ambiance on the ship, the lectures, and getting to know a small group of other passengers quite well. The crew members were exceptionally courteous and helpful, without exception. We also enjoyed the musical trio enormously - they were excellent. Most of the land excursions were very good and the land guides were excellent. We were especially taken with Turkey, a big surprise. This maiden voyage posed quite a few challenges to the staff and crew and they really rose to the challenge. We also appreciated the "extras" that Todd arranged for the AIA group, especially the Seljuk museum - a real gem.
  • AIA took much better care of their group and we saw more then others on the ship.
  • Excellent lecturers enhanced our experience.
  • The highlight was seeing sites I’ve read about all my life and longed to visit! Having one “home” for the entire cruise was better then staying at one hotel after another.
  • I had a feeling of awe, seeing and exploring places I’ve read about but didn’t think I would ever actually visit.
  • It was a fantastic learning opportunity and the sites were stunning.
  • I had such a wonderful time that it is hard to say what I enjoyed most. The guides were all quite good and the time management was well done. Meeting all the wonderful people was a real treat. I was a bit apprehensive about going on a trip like this by myself, but it was really a great experience. I also liked the "adults only" atmosphere with like-minded people. I would definitely recommend AIA tours to my friends, and look forward to traveling with you in the future.
  • [Highlights were…] The number and variety of sites and museums, the service aboard ship, and the educational component aboard ship (namely Ili and Bruce).
  • I enjoyed everything. I loved the sailing from island to island and the captain’s interest in the comfort of his passengers. Ship was very clean and comfortable and the crew was spot on. Food was well cooked with much variety at all meals. Service was always very good. I must say that I was sad to have the trip end. I can’t remember when I enjoyed travel as much as your voyage. A special thanks to Lauren Cummings [AIA Tours Education Manager] for her help in my understanding of the archaeology and its purpose. Thanks.
  • I loved this trip. I had never been on a cruise before so I had nothing to compare with this experience. That said, the small size, the length of the cruise, the number of locations we visited and especially the wonderful staff were highlights. Each and every stop was different; the islands are all unique. The blue and white of Santorini; the library at Ephesus; the beauty of Athens; the excitement of Istanbul. We had wanted an 'archaeology focused' tour and we certainly got one. Of course, we missed going to Delos, and that was disappointing. I had so looked forward to seeing the 'sacred' island and so much seemed to be there. Of course, weather is what it is.
  • I thought the itinerary was excellent. The number of ancient sites visited was impressive.
  • Mycenae, Epidaurus, Lindos, Ephesus, Aphrodisias sites were wonderful. All the museums were great. Monemvasia, Santorini, Samos, and Rhodes were beautiful. The Haghia Sophia, Blue Mosque and New Mosque were extraordinary. It was great to have excellent professionals - Bruce, Linda, and Lauren in particular plus the well informed and friendly guides made the trip even more worthwhile.
  • The camaraderie of our tour group -- almost everyone was very interested in what we were doing and were themselves interesting individuals. Other than that, I would say the variety of sites, and the consistent excellence of the local tour guides, with a couple of exceptions, as well as the dynamic quality and knowledge of the onboard lecturers, especially Ili and Bruce.
  • I enjoyed learning about and seeing sites which I had only read about. I loved the experience of being in new cities, and learning about the current culture as well as the past. I liked the opportunity to discover some places on my own, in addition to the included tours. It's hard to be specific because what I loved most about this trip is what I love most about traveling in general; this trip was wonderful because it was well planned, well executed, and went to fantastic places. There is a long list of suggestions below, but not one of those problems was enough to "ruin" the trip for me. There are always problems when you travel, and for the most part, those that arose during this trip were dealt with very well. They're more about making very good even better than making bad good. And I would like to single out our guide in Istanbul, Nam (I of course can't find his full name, but he was assigned to the AIA Grey group) for being interesting, informative, personable, and giving us plenty of information at each site while also allowing us the time on our own to see what we wanted.
  • I enjoyed the atmosphere. Where everybody was there to learn and have a nice time. The feel of the ship with the excursions to interesting places. Places I have never been.
  • Excellent itinerary and a very comfortable way to do it.
  • [Highlights were…] Excellent AIA lecturers. Cabin comfort. Good service on board.
  • As a former teacher of Western Civ, and student of Latin, it was great to see some of the places first hand. [I was a professor of US Legal and Economic History] Probably tops on the list were the Valley of the Temples, Erice, and Pompeii.
  • [Highlights were…] Being able to see so much of Sicily, the coastal towns and cities anyway, without unpacking! Small ship. Lots of opportunities to walk and climb! Free time to explore Nauplion. An unexpected day in Naples, instead of a second day in Sorrento, which allowed us to take the train to Pompeii and visit the site on our own after having been disappointed the previous day by our schedule and our guide, Carmen, on the all-day trip to Naples Archaeological Museum and Pompeii.
  • First, the cruise ship was much nicer than I expected. It was immaculate, the staff very professional, and the food and service very good. They ran a very thorough and commendable operation with no noticeable flaws. The shore excursions were very good. Suzanne and Bill [AIA lecturers] gave very good lectures.

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