Sometimes the most treasured travel memories are small ones that linger longer than the world-famous sights you sailed to see.
On our first cruise in Greece more than a decade ago aboard Sun Line's Stella Solaris, the thick, creamy homemade Greek yogurt served every morning at breakfast with a bit of honey drizzled over it was as memorable as the harbor at Rhodes where the great Colossus once straddled the entrance.
So it was with a bit of trepidation that we recently re-boarded the Stella Solaris for the first time in several years, concerned that things might have changed. While the same owners operate the vessel, it sails under a new banner, Royal Olympic Cruises.
We needn't have worried. The 620-passenger ship has scrupulously maintained its 1970s decor while adding a few contemporary touches, such as a new spa and gymnasium offering beauty treatments and a steam room.
Our Mediterranean Odyssey from Piraeus called in Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Patmos, Ephesus, Pergamum, Istanbul and Mykonos.
Departures for 1998 are between April 27 and Oct. 26, 1998, at fares from $1,365 to $2,925 per person, double occupancy.
The ship also offers a pair of unusual cruises for this winter. The first is a solar eclipse cruise between Fort Lauderdale and Galveston, Texas, on Feb. 23. Fares range from $2,740 to $5,190 per person, double occupancy, for the 10-day sailing, plus $165 port charges. Passengers who book before Dec. 25 are eligible for early booking discounts that lower the fares to between $1,781 and $3,374 per person, double occupancy.
The second special sailing is the 10-day Maya Equinox itinerary departing Galveston March 17. A complimentary excursion to Chichen Itza during the vernal equinox shows the sunset descent of the "feathered serpent" along the stone walls of the pyramid. With discounts for booking 60 days ahead of sailing, fares range from $1,918 to $3,633 per person, double occupancy, plus $175 port charges.
For a brochure, see a travel agent or contact Royal Olympic Cruises at (800) 872-6400.
Slater and Basch travel as guests of the cruise lines. Cruise Views appears the first and third week of every month.