Geoff Brock & Bruce Gamble

A Grand Voyage: The Aegean and Black Sea

Greece   Turkey   Georgia  
23rd September - 18th October 2014

When we booked this trip in July 2013, the itinerary included several ports in Crimea, plus Odessa and Socchi. Sadly, because Russia annexed Crimea in February 2014, we could not go there. The tour operator made a decision to take Socchi and Odessa off the itinerary as well. To compensate, alternative destinations Constanta, Nessebur, Thessalonica, Kavala and Lemnos were added. We were given the option of cancelling our trip, with a full refund, or accepting the new itinerary. After careful thought, we decided to go ahead. We were not to be disappointed with the changes, especially as most of the new destinations were new to us and we had visited Crimea six years previously anyway. We enjoyed the cruise very much. We saw some amazing sights during our shore excursions and we were very lucky to have calm seas throughout the voyage, as well as lots of warm sunshine.

It was a very sociable holiday. We met our friends Kiki and Maureen in Athens before the cruise started and they gave us their personalised tour of the city. Our friend Susan joined us for the first half of the cruise, as she had done the previous year. On board, we met two couples with whom we had cruised previously; Diana & Doug from Melbourne and Janita & Andy from Johannesburg. We knew that they were going to be on board, so it wasn't a huge surprise to see them again, but we did have a surprise reunion with Linda & Brian, with whom we had shared a Baltic cruise in 2011.We also met several more people whose company we enjoyed, including Tom from Washington DC, Angela & John from London, Evelyn & Ken from Australia, Bruce and his wife (whose name unfortunately escapes me) also from Australia and Barbra & Peter from Canada.

©Geoff Brock and Bruce Gamble