Day 1: Arrival Athens
Welcome to Athens, Greece! Upon arrival at the airport, you will meet our ground staff and driver, waiting to take you to your hotel for your first overnight in Athens! Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 2: Tour Athens & Cruise Embarkation
This morning you will begin your day with a tour of Athens. Visit among other masterpieces of the "Golden Age" the Acropolis, the Agora, and the Mars Hill where Paul taught. See Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the University, the Academie, and the National Library. Drive down Herodes Atticus Street and see the Evzones in their picturesque uniforms and the Presidential Palace. On your way to the Acropolis, you will see the Panathenaic Stadium (where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896), the Temple of Olympia Zeus, and Hadrian's Arch. On the Acropolis mount, you will visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylee, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and finally the Parthenon – the monument that "puts order in the mind" and "is harmony between material and spirit."Upon completing the city tour, you will have some time for shopping before heading to the port of Piraeus for Embarkation on board the brand new Celestyal Crystal.
Day 3: Docked in Thessaloniki, tour Veria & Thessaloniki
This morning you drive to Berea, as described in Acts 17:10-15 Paul and Silas went to Berea and preached at the Synagogue. Many of the Jews became believers, but Paul's ministry was cut short. While in Berea, you will see the Bema of the Apostle Paul, where he preached to the local Jews. Afterward, you will drive back to Thessaloniki. When Paul came to Thessaloniki, he went straight to the Synagogue; as described in the Bible in Acts 17:1-9, Paul preached in the Synagogue for three consecutive Sabbaths, and he gained followers. Some of the Jews who were not persuaded created an uproar and attacked Jason's House, where Paul stayed with during his visit. During your tour, you will view the agora in Thessaloniki, where Paul preached to the local Jews, as well as Jason's House. You will also have the opportunity to visit St. Demetrius Basilica, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyr of Christianity; also, you will see the Arch of Galerius rising over the famous Egnatia Road.
Day 4: Docked in Kavala, Tour Philippi
This morning you are docked in Kavala. Upon disembarkation, you will dive to Philippi to begin your touring for the day. Apostle Paul visited Philippi together with Silas during his Second Missionary Journey. Our first Biblical encounter with Philippi is through Act 16:11-40. At the time, Philippi had no synagogue and very few Jews, so Paul decides to wait for the Sabbath and go to the riverbanks outside the city. He began to talk to the women that gathered there, amongst them, Lydia-the first person to be Baptized on European soil-she and her household became believers. During your tour in Philippi, you will have the opportunity to visit and study the Bible where the Baptismal service took place called "Lydia's Baptistry." You will also see the prison where Paul & Silas were taken, and where the incident of the violent earthquake took place. After that, you will continue to Kavala, the site known as Ancient Neapolis, where Paul, Timothy, and Silas landed for Paul's Second Missionary Journey.
Day 5: Istanbul
Welcome to Istanbul. An exciting day lies ahead of you. After breakfast, you will disembark and meet your expert guide to tour the most amazing landmarks of Istanbul, including the Basilica of Hagia Sophia, a beautiful architectural example of the Byzantine era and Christian Faith. Then you continue to the Hippodrome, a venue of events in the Roman Period such as horse races, gladiator fights, and parades. Lates, you will see Topkapi Palace, which was the residence of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years. Last but not least, Blue Mosque famous for its blue tiles which cover the walls of the Mosque and the marvelous architecture.
Day 6: Docked in Dikili; Tour Ancient Pegamum
Upon arrival in the port of Dikili, your guide and driver will be waiting for you to take you on a tour of Pergamum, actually called Bergama. It is one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia Rev. 1:11; 2:12. Here we explore the impressive Acropolis, the steepest theatre in the world, the Asklepieion, a famous medical center of classical times, see the Altar of Zeus which is mentioned as the «Throne of Satan» in the Book of Revelation, the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan and the Library which was foremost in the world and was long a rival of the equally famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Its wealth of volumes was estimated at over 200,000. It inspired the invention of parchment. Lastly, We visit the Red Basilica (St. John’s Church)
Day 7: Docked in Kusadasi; Tour Ancient Ephesus & Miletus
Upon disembarkation, you will meet your guide and drive and head to Miletus. Miletus is an Ancient Greek city dating back to 1400 BCE. Thanks to its position right on the mouth of the Maeander River it became one of the wealthiest Greek Cities. It was later destroyed by the Persians in 499 and rebuilt and became a model for Roman cities. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to see The Roman baths, the temple of Apollo, the theater that could fit 15000 spectators, and the stadium. Paul visited Miletus during his 3rd Missionary journey. Acts 20:17-36, Paul sent a letter to the leader of the church in Ephesus to join him for a farewell gathering. After Miletus, you drive back to Kusadasi. Here you will visit the ancient city of Ephesus including the Basilica of St. John. Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. This church also received an epistle from him. You tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city, which was founded in the 10th century BC. Walkthrough history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings, among them the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Theatre. The Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, another of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was built in this city.
Day 8: Patmos & John of Revelation
Today you are in Patmos. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to visit the Grotto of the Apocalypse. John was on exile on the island of Patmos where in the Grotto he wrote the Book of Revelation. Rev 1:11 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Your tour will continue with a visit to St. John’s Monastery before you go back to your cruise ship.
Day 9: Disembarkation in Athens and Tour Corinth
Upon disembarkation in Piraeus the port of Athens, you will meet your guide and drive and begin your journey towards Ancient Corinth. Visit Corinth (Acts 18: 1-18), a city that inspired one of St. Paul’s most famous letter. You will visit the Archeological Museum, the Market Place, and Temples. Walk among the ruins and stand on the Bema where Paul stood. Read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, addressing his message to the Gentiles as he began the task of establishing his church in Corinth. Acts 18:9-11 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. Stop for Lunch at the Corinth Canal and return back to Athens. In Athens, your bus will drop you off in the Plaka area for some last-minute souvenir shopping, before you head back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.