Maureen’s Aegean Adventures

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Oceania’s Ship Nautica was built in 2000 and recently refurbished in 2007. With a 1.7:1 guests to staff ratio (684 guests and 400 staff) and 9 passenger decks there is ample space and attention to detail for even the most discerning cruiser.

If you have travelled with Oceania Cruises before on Regatta or Insignia then you will be well acquainted with the style and layout of these fantastic vessels. Nautica resembles the other two ships in every way. Once aboard the ship following an exceptionally warm welcome, the International staff are on hand to cater for your every need.

The 12 day voyage embarked from Athens and made a stop in Crete before cruising the Ionian Sea and onto Dubrovnik, Croatia. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The walled city is beautiful to walk around and admire the architecture. From Dubrovnik we sailed on to Corfu, Greece and the following day onto Katakolon where we disembarked for a shore excursion to Olympia – the original site of the Olympics in 776BC. We were able to walk around the impressive ruins, including the Temple of Zeus and the Temple of Hera. The Temple of Hera is the location where the torch of the Olympic flame is lit, by focusing the rays of the sun.

The next islands on the itinerary were Santorini and Mykonos. Both very attractive islands with many blue domed chapels and churches, busy streets with lots of blue balconies and an abundance of tempting jewellery shops – if you haggle you can get a great deal.

Delos and Rhodes were the next islands we stopped at; Rhodes has some wonderful castles and palaces to visit. Kusadarsi, Turkey is the penultimate port on our journey and a short ride from the ship takes you to Ephesus, an unbelievable site of past civilisation with stunning Roman architecture. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BCE), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Our final destination was Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey. There is an abundance of attractions to visit in this wonderful city; however the National Mosque of Turkey, more commonly known as the Blue Mosque, because of the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interiors, is worth seeing, as is Topkapi Palace. The spice market, grand bazaar Turkey’s largest and oldest covered market (with over 4,000 shops) are the best place to barter for a bargain.

Unfortunately the trip comes to an end all too quickly – 12 days has flown by!

In addition to the many shore excursions in each port there is a full program of activities on-board during the day and additionally evening entertainment for all guests to enjoy. Cabins are extremely comfortable and food delicious at every eatery.

This was once again a fantastic trip on Oceania Cruises, so much so that our reservations have already been made for next years cruise to the Caribbean – watch this space for future reports.

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