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Excursions, Excursions

I’ve recently been booking excursions for our forthcoming 10-night cruise on Galaxy, during which we will be calling at Messina, Athens (Piraeus), Mykonos, Kusadasi, Rhodes, Santorini and Naples.

Some of these are easy – in my view there’s no point in arranging anything at Mykonos (unless you want to go to Delos, of course, and you can arrange a trip there from the quayside at Mykonos) or Santorini. So we’re doing our own thing at both of these calls. And at Kusadasi the choice is Ephesus or nothing, it seems, so Ephesus it is.

But what about Naples and Athens? For Naples, most of the comments on the main discussion forums recommend visiting Pompeii or the Amalfi coast – indeed, there is at least one excursion that will allow you to do both in a day. I’ve never been to either of these places, and I would like to do so someday. But I’m not sure that arriving at, say, Pompeii on a coach full of cruise passengers, which is itself just one in a line of such coaches, for a quick 90 minutes’ visit, will tell me anything about Pompeii that I don’t already know from the books I’ve read. I’d rather wait until I have the opportunity for a more leisurely visit when I can give the place the attention it deserves. So we’ve decided to do visit Capri (which is where we went last year, on an excursion) and take our time over the island.

Similarly with Athens. I know that the Parthenon is one of the glories of classical Greece, european culture & world architecture, and I’ve never seen it. But once again, I’m not sure that the context of a cruise line excursion, along with possibly thousands of others, will be at all rewarding. So we’re going to Ancient Corinth & the Corinth canal instead.

Am I wrong? Is it worth seeing these iconic places anyway, regardless of negative elements involved in the context of the visit?

One Response to “Excursions, Excursions”

  1. Dana says:

    Hmmm … I see your point on Pompeii. We’re visiting Capri as well when we visit Naples on our upcoming cruise.
    But going to Athens without seeing the Parthenon seems like Paris without the Eiffel Tower. (Wait, I’ve never ascended the Eiffel Tower in three visits to France … 😉
    Anyway, we’re hopping off our ship as soon as it docks in Athens and dashing off to see the Parthenon while the bus-trip cruisers are still breakfasting.

    I look forward to your new blog!

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