You won’t nd a 24-hour ice cream buet or sequined-studded cabaret lounge on board the Aegean Odyssey.Instead, you can grab a boo and settle into the library orcatch a pre-excursion lecture rom an Oxord-educatedexpert. That’s not to say the ship isn’t outtted withclassic cruising amenities. It is equipped with a spa,worout acility, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, numerousbar and lounge areas, and two restaurants including anoutdoor terrace caé. The stewards and ood servicecrew exude a warm, inviting energy without missing asingle detail. Oshore excursions are accompanied bya bevy o young, enthusiastic Brits, whose exuberanceor ancient cultures made me regret dropping out oMythology 101 during my reshman year.
city of the VioLet crowN
The pre-cruise itinerary began with several days atthe Westin Astir Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort &Spa. While I was hoping to be in the city center withviews o the Acropolis and Parthenon, I was happyto unwind (sans tear gas and yogurt bombs) on theAthenian Riviera, Vouliagmen—just a hal an hour romAthens.The poet Pindar wrote o Athens: “City o light, withthe violet crown, beloved o the poets, thou art thebulwar o Greece.” It may have been a testament tothe iridescent sunsets refecting o o the surroundingmountains or perhaps the majesty o the greattemples. The Athens that I saw elt both ractured andbeautiul.With the gracious accompaniment o Greece’sInternational Gay & Lesbian Tourism Association(IGLTA) representative Orhideea Rosu, I got a taste owhat Athens has to oer and a perspective on how thecountry continues to struggle with a ailing economyand a nancial structure without oundation. We hitthe Gazi area two nights in a row and it was everythingyou might imagine. Hopping rom bar to bar, the menradiated sensuality, their perect olive complexions seto by blinding white teeth and reshly pressed pastelshirts. Having dinner with Orhideea at an outdoor caé
top to BottoM:1) tHe AeGeAn odyssey;2) lecture tHeAtre;3) deluxe BAlcony stAterooM;4) VtA stAff MeMBer(top tHree IMAGes courtesy of VoyAGes to AntIquIty,lAst IMAGe MAttHew wexler)