Home' The Australian Senior Traveller : April 2010 Contents 20 THE SENIOR TRAVELLER April, 2010
by SUE PRESTON
ATTENTIVE 'old-fashioned' service is
what the good ship Athena offers its
Going on board the sturdy mid-size liner
is like stepping back into the familiar,
where comfort reigns and airs and graces
are left ashore.
People are already mingling -- on the
deck, in the lounges and in the restaurants
-- like friends of many years standing.
In fact joining Athena just one day into
its cruise felt a little like arriving late at a
party when everyone else was already on
first name terms.
Originally a trans-Atlantic liner, the
classic-styled Athena features a remarkable
number of facilities given her small size -- a
wrap-around promenade deck with an
ample supply of traditional wooden deck
chairs and other outdoor tables and chairs,
marbled reception foyer, pool, fitness centre
and sauna, five bars and lounges, nightclub,
show-lounge, casino, library, boutiques, cin-
ema and two restaurants.
In all, she has 276 spacious cabins, each
with a bath -- a luxury generally only found
in suites on the latest superliners.
Forty-three of these are suites, includ-
ing eight balcony cabins with jacuzzi baths.
There is a wealth of Athena cruises to
choose from this coming summer, includ-
ing spending Christmas at sea.
A maiden visit by Athena to Christmas
Island during the Christmas cruise and the
first-ever return cruise from Western
Australia to South Australia will feature in
Classic International Cruises' biggest pro-
gram in Australia.
The 550-passenger liner will be the only
cruise ship based in Perth this summer and
will offer 13 cruises to and from Fremantle
for four months from November 14 to April
14.You can choose between cruises from
two to 39 nights including the Christmas
cruise from Perth to Christmas Island and
Bali, an 11-night cruise from Perth to the
seafood capital of Australia, Port Lincoln,
as well as Kangaroo Island, Adelaide and
an extended Asian cruise.
There will also be popular short and
weekend cruises around the West
Australian coastline and two traditional
line voyages between Europe and Australia.
Fares start from $445 per person, twin
share, for a two-night cruise, with children
under 18 cruising for free on six selected
cruises with only nominal taxes to pay.
Supplements for solo travellers in selected
cabins are as low as 25 per cent, instead of
The line's Australian managing director
Grant Hunter attributes Athena's populari-
ty to a "highly successful formula of tradi-
tional cruising on a real ocean liner, afford-
able fares, attractive itineraries, fine cui-
sine, friendly and personal service, and the
warm and relaxed atmosphere that you
only get on a smaller vessel".
Mr Hunter said Classic International
Cruises had a firm commitment to offering
cruising from Western Australia.
"People in Western Australia love the
fact that they can sail with us from their
doorstep," he said.
Bookings or a copy of the 2010/11
Athena brochure, are available from travel
agents or www.classicintcruises.com
* Sue Preston was a guest aboard
like old friends
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