Voyages to Antiquity FAQs

Booking a Cruise

  • How do I make a booking?
    • You can contact your travel agent or our Reservations team at 1-877-398-1460.
    • We are open Monday to Friday, 9.00 – 5.30 pm. One of our Travel Consultants will be pleased to assist you with your enquiry. Alternatively you can make an enquiry through our website.
  • How fit do I need to be to travel with voyages to antiquity?
    • The cruises and land programmes featured in our itineraries include extensive sightseeing, which may involve walking on uneven surfaces, up and down multiple stairs, and require a certain level of fitness and mobility.  Some ports on the itineraries may require disembarkation of the ship with the ship’s or local tenders/boats.
    • All preexisting medical conditions must be declared before travel.  By booking with Voyages to Antiquity and paying your deposit, you are accepting the terms, and certify that you are fit to travel and not travelling against medical advice.
  • I have paid the deposit for my cruise. What happens next?
    • Once you or your travel agent has your reservation confirmation, please visit the Manage My Booking section of our website. Here you will find everything you need to know before you travel, along with reading guides, information essential for visas, suggested dress, packing and if available at the time of booking, details concerning the shore excursions that will be offered during your voyage. Please note that, depending on the date of your booking and the date of your departure, information specific to your travels may not be available until approximately 9 months prior to departure. Voyages to Antiquity will send updates to booked guests when new information is added about their voyage.
    • Guests are also required to provide the Required Passenger Information. This information must be provided no later than 55 days prior to cruise departure. Guests can enter the required Passport details online simply visiting the Already Booked section of the website and clicking the Update Passenger Information Online button.  A booking number is required to enter your information online.
  • What is a grand voyage?
    • At Voyages to Antiquity we offer extended cruises called Grand Voyages, which combine the itineraries of two or more standard cruises back-to-back at a discounted rate. These packages range from 20-130 days long, are available in both the Mediterranean and Far East and are perfect for passengers wishing to extend their voyage through the history of the ancient world.
  • When do I pay the balance of my reservation?
    • Final balance is due 90 days prior to departure and we will send you a confirmation as a reminder shortly before your balance is due. Full payment will be taken at time of booking if made within 90 days of departure.
    • American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Discover Card, travel agency checks and personal checks are accepted for deposits and final payments.

Preparation

  • Can you accommodate my special diet on board?
    • Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary restrictions or specific food allergies.
    • Guests must advise Voyages to Antiquity in writing at the time of deposit, and while all possible will be done to meet the requirements the guest is expected to exercise due caution when dining.
    • The ship can meet most requests such as low fat, diabetic, and salt- or fat-free. While all dietary requests are provided to our local suppliers and hotels in advance, Voyages to Antiquity cannot guarantee fulfilment on included meals at hotels or local restaurants.
    • For further information, please view our Health and Dietary Restrictions
  • What documents do I need when embarking the ship?
    • At the check-in desk you will be asked to show your passport and hand in your public health questionnaire which is handed to guests at embarkation to be completed at the port.
    • In most cases your passport will then be kept securely in the purser’s office for the duration of the cruise. If you need to carry your passport ashore at any port of call you will be notified onboard. You will also be asked for your excursion sign-up sheet (if you have been part of a Voyages to Antiquity pre-cruise hotel stay then we will collect it at the hotel instead).
  • What is a visa and will I need to apply before I travel?
  • Several countries require travellers to obtain and carry official documentation, called a visa, before entering that country. VTA cannot assist guests with completing the Visa Applications, it is the guests sole responsibility to obtain and have readily available all proper documentation necessary for travel. The application process and governmental rules change frequently, please inquire with a travel agent or contact a Visa Service agent if assistance is required, which will impose additional charges. All effort will be made by VTA to provide updates as and when such changes are made.
  • Visa and documentation requirements vary by nationality and destination.  Please use the itinerary sent with your confirmation, and/or the website itinerary to check if a visa and which type is necessary for your voyage. Boarding may be denied if you arrive at embarkation without all the proper travel documentation, and in that case, unfortunately, you would not be eligible for a refund.
  • As a courtesy, VTA provides some information as to necessary travel documents, visas and vaccinations. However, it is very important that guests understand that requirements advised are ONLY for citizens of the US, UK, CA, NZ, and AU. ALL OTHER CITIZENS MUST CHECK THEIR FULL ITINERARY REQUIREMENTS WITH THE CONSULATE OF THEIR NATIONALITY. 

Types of Visas:  

  • Visa on Arrival
    • Most guests can obtain the following visas onboard when arriving with the ship. The visa is issued based on the information provided by the guest in their Required Passenger Information form. This form is received prior to embarkation, in the confirmation packet.  This information is provided by VTA to our port agents and/or our ground operators to process the visa on behalf of the guest.
  • In Transit Visa: This means that a visa stamp or other type of visa reference is completed by the port authorities and any paperwork required will be submitted and processed on the guests’ behalf by the Aegean Odyssey.
  • Visa In Advance: This means ALL guests must obtain the visa for themselves, in advance of their departure from their home. PLEASE NOTE THAT MOST VISAS HAVE VALIDITY RESTRICTIONS WHICH REQUIRE THE GUEST TO BE AWARE OF THE TIME FRAME IN WHICH THEY APPLY FOR AND RECEIVE THE VISA.
  • E-VisaMust be obtained in advance of travel.This is an electronic visa which can be obtained online from the government authorized website and printed out for guests’ to insert into passports.  Yes, some can be obtained at airports but others cannot – therefore it is essential guests’ apply and insert document into their passports.
  • ETA:  Must be obtained in advance of travel.This is an Electronic Travel Authorization which can be obtained online from the government authorized website and printed out for guests’ to insert into passports.
  • No visas are currently required for UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders visiting France, Spain, Morocco, Madeira, Canary Islands, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Malta, Morocco and Portugal.
  • Group visas for Albania and Russia are obtained by the ship upon arrival in both Sarande and St Petersburg for UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders. The cost of this visa is included in your cruise fare. However, passengers wishing to step ashore and explore St Petersburg independent of our included and optional excursions will need to obtain a full Russian tourist visa prior to travel and at their own cost. At least 90 days prior to departure, we must have the following information relating to each passenger: full name (as it appears on passport), address, nationality, date and place of birth; plus passport number, expiration date and date and place of issue.

INDIAN VISA APPLICATION – REQUIRED INFORMATION

  • The official site for applying for any type of Indian Visa for all nationalities is:
  • http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa
  • If you see any other sites, those are VISA SERVICES that will essentially do all the work for the guest but for which fees will be charged. Voyages to Antiquity strongly recommends using a visa service whenever possible.   Rules change often and changes are not always notified to travel suppliers/wholesalers immediately; whereas visa services do get notification of immediate policy changes.
  • US, CA, AU, UK, and NZ guests who are FLYING INTO DELHI OR MUMBAI, an E-Tourist Visa can be obtained.
  • Cruises that begin in Delhi (or Mumbai if the guest is doing their own land before the cruise).
  • Please note:
    • Indian E-visas cannot be applied for any earlier than 30 days in advance of ARRIVAL to India.
    • Indian E-visas cannot be applied for later than 4 days in advance of ARRIVAL to India.
  • Guests arriving to India WITH THE SHIP cannot use the E-Visaand must obtain the visa through the above website.  In 2019, this is the AEG181206, AEG181206A, AEG181206D, AEG181206E, AEG190126 (Port Blair), AEG190126A (Port Blair), AEG190126B (Port Blair), and AEG190126C (Port Blair) cruises.
  • Specifically for the AEG190126, AEG190126A, AEG190126B, and AEG190126C voyages, guests frequently ask if an Indian visa is required if the guests decide to stay onboard for the call to Port Blair.   The answer is:   The Andaman Islands are a territory for India and therefore, guests who intend to visit Port Blair, must have an Indian visa.
  • REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLYING FOR AN INDIAN E-VISA
      • The ability to open PDF documents in order to print out the E-VISA which must be in your passport on arrival
      • A planned arrival date for India
      • A credit card or debit card to pay the US $75 fee (or whatever fee is valid for the guests’ nationality
      • A scanned PDF image of the first page in your passport (max size: 300 KB)
      • A full-face JPEG photo of yourself, facing forward, from the top of hair to bottom of chin, no borders, with white background (max size: 1 MB)
      • Reference while in India:  First hotel guests will be staying at
      • Two blank side by side pages for stamping
  • REQUIREMENTS ON ARRIVAL TO INDIA
      • A passport still valid for at least six months
      • A printed copy of your approved E-Tourist Visa
      • Proof of a return flight out of India (Final Cruise Documents with sailing itinerary and flight confirmation with e-ticket information)
  • After applying and paying the non-refundable fee, you’ll be emailed your authorization code within four days. From the approval date, you’ll have 30 days to present your printed ETA in one of the visa-on-arrival airports in India to be stamped into the country. 
  • SRI LANKAN ELECTRONIC TRAVEL AUTHORISATION APPLICATION – REQUIRED INFORMATION
  • The official site for applying for any type of Sri Lankan E-Visa for all nationalities is:
  • http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/
  • If you see any other sites, those are VISA SERVICES that will essentially do all the work for the guest but for which fees will be charged. Voyages to Antiquity strongly recommends using a visa service whenever possible. Rules change often and changes are not always notified to travel suppliers/wholesalers immediately; whereas visa services do get notification of immediate policy changes.
  • US, CA, AU, UK, and NZ guests who are FLYING INTO COLOMBO, an E-Tourist Visa can be obtained.
  • REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLYING FOR A SRI LANKAN E-VISA
      • The ability to open PDF documents in order to print out the E-VISA which must be in your passport on arrival
      • You must have a passport valid for no less than 6 months from the date of arrival
      • A credit card or debit card to pay the US $20 fee (or whatever fee is valid for the guests’ nationality
  • REQUIREMENTS ON ARRIVAL TO SRI LANKA
      • A passport still valid for at least six months
      • A printed copy of your approved E-Tourist Visa
      • Proof of a return flight out of Sri Lanka (Final Cruise Documents with sailing itinerary and flight confirmation with e-ticket information)
  • After applying and paying the non-refundable fee, you’ll be emailed your authorization code within 2 working days. From the approval date, you’ll have 30 days to present your printed ETA in Sri Lanka.

When will I receive my travel documents?

  • Your final documentation pack will be sent about 3 weeks prior to departure. This includes:
    • Cruise ticket
    • Airline ticket (unless you have made your own flight arrangements)
    • Ship luggage tags (colored for each deck)
    • Shore excursion sign-up sheet
    • Ship emergency contact information
  • How much baggage can I take?
    • Baggage allowance policies vary by airline, destination and cabin class booked. Please check your carrier’s policy to ensure you comply with their regulations.
    • Some of our land tours may include domestic air travel and baggage limitations may apply in addition to those of your international carrier. This information will be included with your final documents around 3 weeks prior to departure. Ample storage space for baggage is available on board.
    • For further information on baggage, please read our Baggage & Packing
  • Do I need to bring an adaptor for my electrical appliances?
    • We recommend that you bring an adaptor/converter to European voltage and power sockets.
    • Our cabins and suites feature European 2-pin round outlets with 220 voltage.
    • Some adaptors/converters are available on board if required, but we recommend you bring your own adaptors as onboard supplies are limited. You may wish to bring an ‘all-in-one’ universal adaptor/converter for added convenience.
  • Which currencies should I bring with me on my cruise?
    • There is no need to obtain local currency before your trip, although we suggest that you exchange some money at the airport on arrival. ATM’s are widely available in most international airports.
    • A cashless system is operated onboard the Aegean Odyssey with all purchases charged to your cabin account. You will be required to register a credit card at reception shortly after embarkation. Your final account can be settled in UK£, US$, Euros or AU$.
    • UK Only: All card payments are procesed by a chip and pin system, which requires guests to enter their personal 4-digit pin number.
  • Do I need vaccinations before I travel?
    • There are currently no mandatory vaccinations for visitors to any of our destinations, however, Yellow fever inoculations are required only when visiting Angola – please consult your doctor before travelling.
    • It is a recommended that you are up to date with your routine immunisations, i.e. tetanus shots. We suggest you consult your doctor  or your local health department at least 10 weeks before your intended departure to check the latest requirements for the countries you will be visiting. Upon receiving pre-documentation materials, we will advise you of any mandatory vaccination requirements.

Flights and Transfers

  • Which airline carriers do you use?
    • Voyages to Antiquity utilizes only major airline carriers and arrangements can be made from many North American gateways.
    • We will try and honor any requests for specific carriers if possible, but cannot guarantee accommodation, and there may be additional costs for special requests. Please discuss your preferences with our Travel Consultant or your Travel Agent at the time of booking. Business class upgrade arrangements are available upon request within nine months of the sailing date.
  • When will you confirm my flight details?
    • Guests with flight arrangements provided by Voyages to Antiquity can expect to have confirmed flights within 45 days of your sailing. To obtain your flight schedule, please contact our office or your Travel Agent and we will be happy to email you the confirmation.

On Board

  • What is the currency on board?
    • A cashless system is operated on board the Aegean Odyssey, with all purchases charged to your cabin account for settlement at the end of your cruise. You will be required to register a credit card at reception shortly after embarkation. All charges are in USD. Your final account can be settled in US$, UK£, EU€, and AU or NZ$. UK only: All card payments are processed by a chip and pin system, which requires guests to enter their personal 4-digit pin number.
    • Exchange rates used are daily rate of exchange in place at time of settlement. Credit cards accepted for final settlement are Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo only are accepted. Voyages to Antiquity regrets that personal checks and pre-loaded cash cards cannot be accepted.
    • Note: A pre-authorization hold of funds will be placed on the credit card at time of registration. This ‘hold of funds’ will release once the initial charges have been approved for settlement by the cardholders’ bank.
  • Are internet and Wifi facilities available on board?
      • Our Internet Centre is located on Belvedere Deck and is open 24 hours.
      • Wi-fi is available in designated areas (Observation lounge, Reception area and Belvedere deck aft). Charges are based on connection time and will be added to your onboard account.
      • All cabins feature direct-dial telephones. Specific details concerning ship telephone numbers will be provided in your final documents.
  • Are the beds fixed twins or doubles?
    • Some cabins have fixed twin beds or fixed doubles, while others can be configured according to your wishes.
    • Please ask at time of booking to ensure we can accommodate your preference.
  • What is the dress code on board?
    • The mood  on board is casual and relaxed. Comfortable, sturdy shoes with non-slip soles are extremely important for walking around the archaeological sites.
    • In the evening, we recommend smart casual attire. Plan to dress and pack as you would for any sophisticated city where you would be going out for a festive evening.
  • Are there laundry or dry cleaning facilities on board?
    • Laundry and pressing services are available onboard.
      Price list and laundry bags are provided in your cabin or available on request from your cabin steward.
    • Dry cleaning is not available.
  • What happens if I am taken Ill during my cruise?
    • Aegean Odyssey has a well-equipped medical centre staffed by a doctor and licensed nurse.
      Charges apply for consultations, prescpriptions and cabin visits.
    • In the event of serious illness or accident, passengers may have to be taken ashore for medical treatment.
  • What are the dining arrangements?
    • We operate on an “open-seating” basis, meaning there are no pre-assigned tables or sittings.
    • Restaurant opening times vary depending on the day’s programme – information on this can be found in The Daily Journal which is distributed to each cabin the night before arrival in port.
  • What is the policy with regards to tipping / gratuities?
    • We include tips to cabin stewards and restaurant staff in your cruise fare.
    • You may wish to show your appreciation to individuals offering exceptional service, and this is totally optional. Please note a 12.5% gratuity is automatically charged on drinks.
  • Is there a pool?
    • The pool is located on Lido Deck and is filled with seawater each day, weather, local port regulations and sea conditions permitting.
    • Pool towels are available.
  • What can I expect to happen on embarkation day on board?
    • There will be a buffet throughout the afternoon of embarkation in the Terrace Café. We will also hold a mandatory life boat drill before sailing from the embarkation port. Our Welcome on board talk is held in the Ambassador Lounge where we will familiarise you with the ship, guest speakers and excursions.
  • How do I know what is happening on board on each day of my cruise?
    • Every evening a Daily Journal will be delivered to your cabin which documents everything which is scheduled to happen on the following day. On embarkation day you will find a Welcome Journal in your cabin.
  • Can I drink the water on board?
    • Yes, you can drink the tap water throughout the ship.
    • Bottled water is included on all shore excursions, and Balcony Class passengers (categories A to D) receive complimentary bottled water and soft drinks in their cabin. Guests in other categories receive a bottle of water in their cabin on embarkation. Additional bottles can be purchased from your cabin steward.
    • Soft drinks may also be purchased at the bars on board and may be selected with dinner in place of included wine.
  • What facilities are provided in my cabin?
    • All cabins onboard Aegean Odyssey come equipped with a hair dryer, flat–screen television, telephone and personal safe for your convenience.
  • Electrical appliances: Do I need to bring an electrical adaptor?
    • We recommend that you bring an adaptor/converter to European voltage and power sockets.
    • Our cabins and suites feature European 2-pin round sockets with 220 voltage.
      Some adaptors/converters are available on board if required, but we recommend you bring your own adaptors as onboard supplies are limited. You may wish to bring an ‘all-in-one’ universal adapter/converter for added convenience.

Excursions

  • What are the arrangements for shore excursions?
    • A shore excursion guide is sent to you with your Final Documents. We include escorted sightseeing in most ports of call. In some ports we offer a choice of included sightseeing and in others, you have the option to purchase additional sightseeing tours.
    • Group sizes vary according to the day’s programme but there are generally 35-42 people per coach.
  • What if I am put in a different shore excursion group from my close friend?
    • When organising the groups for the excursions, travelling partners are always taken into account. If for some reason this has been missed, please see the Excursion Manager on board and he/she will take care of it for you.
    • Please ensure you advise us or your Travel Agent at time of booking if you are travelling with other guests who are not sharing your cabin.
  • Can I change my excursion choices on board once I have handed in my excursion sign up sheet?
    • Yes, there is an excursion desk where you can come and discuss your options with the ship tour staff.
  • How much notice is needed for signing up or changing excursion choices?
    • For optional excursions or where there is a choice of included excursions 48 hours notice is generally needed.
    • For included excursions where there is only one excursion operated, 24 hours notice is sufficient. If you should cancel an optional excursion with less than 48 hours notice unfortunately a refund cannot be guaranteed, unless it is on medical grounds.
  • Where can I find more detailed information on the excursions?
    • Extra information (more than in the Shore Excursion booklet) can be obtained from the tour desk – especially about walking grades.
    • You can also book an appointment to discuss each of the excursions in more detail with the Excursion Manager. In addition, we hold excursion briefings on every port where hand-outs of important information are distributed.
    • You are encouraged to attend these short briefings and this is the perfect opportunity to ask any last minute questions so that you get the best of your sightseeing experience.
  • How fit do I need to be on participate in your shore excursions?
    • Every site varies in terms of ground surface, number of steps and walking distance involved. We have created some guidelines to help you have an idea of what’s involved. Each tour has been graded on a scale of 1 to 3 – see below for more information.
    • Moderate walking over relatively level terrain and some steps
    • Medium to heavy walking indicates cobblestones or slippery surfaces and some stair climbing.
    • Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments or where the excursion features climbing in and out of local boats or small vehicles.
    • If you have any concerns we recommend that you have a chat with the Excursion Manager once you get on board. Alternatively, give us a call in the office before departure so we can go through it with you.
  • What does the colored sticker on my cruise card mean?
    • This is the excursion color group to which you have been assigned.
    • You will remain in this group for the duration of the cruise. For some excursions it will be one color group per coach and on other occasions color groups will be combined.
Travel Leaders IATA CLIA ASTA