Ready to be schooled in history on your next cruise? Viking Cruises has created a new resident historian program on its ocean ships that goes way beyond the usual on-board lectures.
This team of historians lead refresher courses on the history of European art, music, architecture and other cultural subjects.
Viking describes the program in a statement as providing passengers with "high-level historical and cultural education that is specific to their journey …"
The first three historians sail on Empires of the Mediterranean itineraries and lead roundtable and dinner discussions about subjects such as the Greek sculptures known as the Elgin Marbles, women explorers and Venetian naval power. They lecture in the ships' theaters and even hold one-on-one "office hours" for passengers who want to know more.
The 10-day Empires cruise starts in Venice and stops in Koper, Slovenia; Zadar and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Olympia, Santorini and Athens in Greece.
Prices start at $2,999 per person, which includes shore excursions, Wi-Fi, beer and wine, spa and fitness center access, port taxes and fees and airport transfers.
Mark Callaghan, who has a PhD in history and specializes in 20th century European art and culture, will lecture on the Viking Sky. European military historian Lt. Col. Tony Coutts-Britton will sail aboard the Viking Sea. And Fenella Bazin, who specializes in the Vikings era and modern Norway, will appear aboard the Viking Star.
Lectures will be filmed and shown on the ship's in-room entertainment system. The series will be available to all Viking river and ocean ships next year.
The new program complements other cultural programs introduced last year on Vikings' ocean cruises. The cruise line brought New York's Metropolitan Opera to sea by showing the HD video of "La Boheme" and partnered with the Munch Museum in Oslo to provide daily "Munch Moments" about the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch.
Info: Viking Ocean Cruises, (866) 984-5464 or contact a travel agent