Monastiraki Flea Market, Athens
55mm ISO640 1/250 f/20
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Chatting with Kelly
After lunch we had a long and interesting chat with Kelly Agathos, a charming and intelligent young woman who is the Classical Greece Coordinator at easyCruise. Both Kelly’s parents are Greek, but she was brought up in the USA and Belgium and speaks perfect English, French and Greek. She studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University, where she met Stelios when he was invited to speak at Cambridge Union Society about his businesses and his life as an entrepreneur. She was invited to join easyCruise as soon as she graduated in Summer 2007.
Kelly explained that her main role on board to ensure that the Classical Greece tours functioned smoothly and that she was responsible for selecting the sites to be visited and for local arrangements, such as employing tour guides. When the tours are not running, she markets and promotes the Classical Greece Cruise as well as selecting the sites and excursions for the following season. We asked her why easyCruise, a company known principally for offering low-cost, high-value leisure cruises, had chosen to enter this market. She explained that they saw it as an unexplored niche market which presented opportunities for attracting a new client group and extending the cruise season at both ends. No other company offered a one-week trip which included visits to so many major archaeological sites.
She felt that the company also had a commitment to promoting and supporting the Classics, as shown by their recent sponsorship of a Cambridge debate on the Parthenon Marbles. In some cases, this support could have very practical benefits, for example, including the little-visited but important site of Kolonna on the island of Aegina in this season’s cruise itinerary. Taking easyCruise guests to this site could affect its future by showing the Greek Ministry of Culture that it merits longer opening hours and more maintenance.
Kelly noted that the cruises were attracting a unique client-group, across a wide variety of ages, country of origin and background, whose only common bond was a shared love of culture. This presented challenges in marketing the cruises, but they were trying to attract interested clients through classics societies and classics journals. She said that Stelios himself believed that was important to make culture accessible by making it fun and exciting. She compared the cruise to an affordable 21st century version of the Grand Tour, the 19th century practice of visiting the cultural centres of Europe, enjoyed by the leisured classes.
We thanked Kelly for her time and wished her every success for future cruises. We are certain that her own obvious commitment and enthusiasm will play a major role in ensuring that this happens. We know that she welcomes comments from any of the passengers, so if you have anything to say, please let her know.