The Amman to Cairo program, which sails on Nov. 15, was a sellout in 2010 and with good reason. In Jordan, passengers tour Amman, the Roman city of Jerash and spend two nights in Petra before heading to Aquba to meet the ship, visiting the Wadi Rum en-route. The first port call is Sharm el-Sheikh for a visit to St. Catherine’s Monastery and Moses’ Well before sailing on to Safaga and transferring to Luxor for a 1-night hotel stay to take in all the temples and attractions, before moving on to the Suez Canal, the new library at Alexandria and Cairo’s Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.
All through the trips, says Mitchell J. Schlesinger, v.p., sales and marketing, Voyages to Antiquity, “We have guest lecturers on our departures who have specific expertise and background to the destination. We have chosen to develop a very specific specialty product designed to appeal to a psychographic audience that wants an enriching, educational travel experience at an extraordinary value.” Still, he adds, “The product isn’t for everyone, however, our sailings are ‘affinity-like’ in that all guests are motivated to travel with us for the same reason. And we are able to attract a wide spectrum of demographic guests due to the uniqueness of our itineraries and educational component on board.”
Schlesinger also points out that, “Specialty cruise products like ours are what we call ‘purpose built.’ We design the product based fully on the need to fulfill very specific expectations of well-traveled and educated guests. This includes providing extraordinary value by including shore excursions; pre- and post-cruise hotel stays; gratuities; wine, beer and soft drinks at dinner; bottled water with shore excursions; transfers when guests purchase our air and free $199 air add-ons.” At the same time, he says, “It also includes providing as much destination experience as possible with open seating dining to give guests more time ashore; 1-way itineraries to visit more ports and spend more time without having to return to the original port of embarkation; a small ship that sails close to coastlines and only 350 guests for a boutique onboard experience with no crowds.”
Schlesinger says what makes Voyages to Antiquity truly unique is the fact, “We design itineraries to bring guests to less-traveled destinations including Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon…. And, of course, our shore experiences are all designed to take our guests to the sites of ancient civilization development.”