Guided tour- The Nature of the Guided tour of Mount Athos
The guided tour aboard the vessels of Athos Sea Cruises derives elements from the history of the area, which are written in worldwide famous historic books, including historic notes which are not easily accessible.
The person who dealt with the recording, based on the most essential points which will grip the listener and the reader, is Georgios Rodokalakis, resident of the island Ammouliani. His ancestors came from Minor Asia, modern Turkey’s seaside in the Aegean Sea, who in 1925 settled as refugees on the island which was granted to them by the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi.
Georgios Rodokalakis was born in the 1960’s and spent his childhood years on the small island of Ammouliani.
At the age of 15, he enrolled and moved to Mount Athos, in the school of Athoniados in Karyes, the capital of Mount Athos. He graduated 3 years later with a lot of experience in the local history, in Iconography.
The basic information of this guided tour has therefore been derived directly from the source, the place of Knowledge and teaching of Mount Athos- the Athoniada Academy.
The guided tour was compiled by Georgios Rodokalakis in Greek and up to today has been translated into 8 languages including English, German, Russian, Romanian, Serbian, French, Czech and Bulgarian. In addition, it is being translated into other languages such as Spanish, Chinese, Turkish etc. The guided tour of Mount Athos is related to the general history of the Peninsula as well as information about each monastery and skite we admire from a 500-metre distance from the south-west coast of Mount Athos.
Some of the monasteries and skites that we will tour are the following: Holy Monastery Dochiariou, H.M. Xenophontos, H.M. Panteleimonos (Russian Monastery), H.M. Xiropotamou, the central port of Mount Athos Daphni, H.M. Simonos Petras, H.M. Grigoriou, H.M. Dionysiou, H.M. Saint Pavlos, Saint Anna’s skite, New Skite, Saint Modestos’skite, Skite Thivaida, Arsanas H.M. Zographou and Arsanas H.M. Konstamonitou.
Technical means of Guided Tour
The guided tour aboard the vessel is done by the Captain in Greek and tour guides in the other languages. A central unit for sound reproduction is linked to Dolby Speakers for better quality sound, which are placed all over the vessel so that the passengers are able to listen to the guided tour everywhere on the vessel.
As we have already mentioned, the guided tour is translated into different languages and the order of reproduction is connected to the number of visitors from different countries aboard. It is understandable that it is impossible for all the translations to be heard in front of every monastery. Therefore, the main translations are chosen based on the number of visitors from different countries on the vessel. The tour is usually heard in 3 to 5 different languages, so that the passengers will not be tired.
The vessel of Athos Sea Cruises is equipped with personal tablets, which the visitor can acquire from a crew member who will show him/her how to operate it. So they will be able to listen to the guided tour in their native language.
Headphones, which are connected to the tablet, will enable the passenger to listen to the tour. In addition, photographs of the monasteries as well as a map with the spot of the point of interest you have chosen to be guided will be available on your screen.
Guided Tour of the Surrounding Area
The ships of Athos Sea Cruises deport daily from Ouranoupolis and Ormos Panagias for daily trips of the surrounding area. Their destination is the only inhabited island of Khalkidhiki- Ammouliani- or the small bays of the area of Vourvourou or the group of islands Drenia and Diaporos.
The Athos Sea Cruises has in its property 5 ship vessels, which operate in Halkidhiki. 2 vessels are made of iron/metal, but 2 vessels are made of wood and the 5th vessel is made of plastic/polyester.
All the vessels were constructed or modified under our supervision as well as the supervision of the qualified naval architect, based on the laws of the Greek and European sea common law.
Every year, vessels cease their activities for approximately 6 months, docking in Greek shipyards where they undergo either mechanical maintenance or beautification. The philosophy of Athos Sea Cruises is that the heart of the vessel is its mechanical parts and thus, a lot of time and work is dedicated on this part. In addition, the design and beautification gives to the passengers a sense of security before they embark on our vessels.
All our vessels are insured by one of the largest insurance companies in the world for up to $100.000.000, in particular, by the Hanseatic P&I Insurance Company which is situated in Hamburg in Germany. The same company approves our vessels, their maintenance and our credibility.
Every year our vessels are inspected by valid classification societies along with the pertinent Greek authorities who carry out their ship. Our inspectors and our classification societies are Lloyds Register of Shipping, one of the strictest companies worldwide and INSB International Naval Survey Bureau.
Our vessels are equipped with lifejackets, lifeboats, dinghies and inflatables life rafts.
Every crew member on our vessels has attended seminars in connection with the lifesaving equipment on board and fire extinguishing system. Furthermore, every week fire emergency drills are organized, man at sea, sea inflow into the ship and ship abandonment. Also, all our crew members are trained and updated on first aid. Our company regularly checks the sailor’s knowledge so that it will ensure the passenger’s safety. Finally, we prefer our crew members to be local residents and so be knowledgeable of the waters and the local peculiarities of the weather conditions, the seas and the sea bottom.