Day 1: Departure from US
Today we embark on our Journey to the lands of ancient treasures
and Christian history with an overnight flight to Athens. Prepare
yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the
flight…Tomorrow you will be walking where the apostles walked!
Day 2: Arrive Athens
We arrive in Athens and check into our hotel. You will have the remainder of the day
free to relax or take a stroll along the streets of Athens to enjoy
the flavor of the city. This evening our group will enjoy the first
of many delectable European style dinners.
Day 3: Cruising Mykonos
We sail this morning from Athens to the quaint isle of Mykonos,
called the island of windmills. Experience the waterfront lined with
shops and cafes and then stroll the charming walkways through a maze
of whitewashed buildings before returning to the ship for dinner and
Day 4: Ephesus and Patmos
Docking in Turkey,
enjoy an optional tour of Ephesus,
the city of the Bible and one of the largest restorations still in
progress with miles of ancient treasures. Ephesus was once a
thriving port town of 250,000 people. Today you can still see the
spectacular excavations of the major streets in this ancient city.
We'll view the Library, Agora, Temple of Artemis and visit the
Basilica of St. John. The basilica is believed to be the site of the
grave of John. From here we'll also enjoy a panoramic view of the
area. This afternoon we visit the Isle of Patmos,
under statutory protection as a historic monument. Here we have a
optional tour to see the fortified monastery of St. John and the cave claimed
to be where John received the Revelation. Back on the ship, enjoy
the Captain's dinner before settling in to your cabin for the night.
Day 5: Beautiful Santorini
A full day is scheduled to visit
the island of Santorini which is perhaps the most breathtaking of
all the Greek Islands. The town of Thira where white-washed houses, narrow
streets, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques cling to steep
cliffs, is accessible by foot path, cable-car or mule. You may choose to take an
optional tour of sailing around an active volcano crater and
swimming in the water heated by hot springs or enjoy this lovely
island on foot. Again we return to the ship for dinner and evening
Day 6: Disembark Cruise – Athens
We disembark the cruise this morning and travel into Athens, the
foundation of democracy. We
visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and Erectheum before viewing
Athens atop Mars Hill where Paul stood and preached the truth to the
Gentile nation. Additional sites include the Agora (ancient market
place and center of Athenian public life), the House of Parliament,
the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Olympic Stadium, and Presidential
Palace. A short walk from your hotel is the famous Plaka with a
multitude of shops and cafes. Our lodging is in Athens for the next
Day 7: Corinth and Mycenae
Following breakfast this morning we depart Athens. We
immediately travel west with a rest stop and photos at the Corinth
Canal. We then travel to the ancient city of Corinth,
another treat for the New Testament scholar. Corinth is the city
that inspired many of Paul's most familiar letters. See the
Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Bema, and the Temples.
To enjoy a devotional in the midst of the ruins of the church of
Corinth and see the pillars, steps, and public worship place where
Paul preached will enhance your understanding and love of I & II
Corinthians. The ruins of this important cultural center are
fascinating as we walk along the stone path that the Apostle Paul
walked. The engineering skill and intellect of these people are
evident in the water systems that still flow from ancient to modern
day. Our guide will be sure to show you the room dedicated to the
medical care of that period. After the visit to ancient Corinth we
travel to Mycenae where the remains of the ancient city date back to
the Bronze Age to see the famous Lionesse Gate, the Tomb of
Agamennon in the shape of a Beehive, and many other sites before
continuing back to Athens.
Day 8: Free Morning, Flight to Frankfurt
Your morning is free with many things to do and see. This afternoon we transfer to the airport for a flight to Frankfurt.
Day 9: Frankfurt, Worms, Mannheim
An early morning flight to Frankfurt and we begin our sightseeing in nearby Worms. It was here, during the Imperial Diet in 1521, that Martin Luther challenged the entire Roman Catholic establishment by his refusal to recant the great doctrines of Protestantism. It was also here that William Tyndale completed the printing of his English version of the New Testament in 1525 which he had begun in Cologne. After seeing St. Peter's Church and the symbolic Luther memorial near the town square, we will stop in nearby Mainz for commentary and a picture of the Gutenberg Monument dedicated the German printing of the Bible. Our lodging this evening will be in Manheim.
Day 10: Heidelberg, Rothenburg, Romantic Road
This morning, we travel on to one of the most charming cities in all of the world - Heidelberg, ancient capital of the Palatinate and home of Germany's oldest university. But most importantly, it was a stronghold of German Reformed Protestants beginning in 1560. One of the great confessional statements of the Reformation, the Heidelberg Catechism was produced here in 1563. Heidelberg Castle, a most impressive historic landmark of Germany, stands majestically overlooking the Neckar River. The structure, now largely in ruins, preserves numerous examples of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque German architecture. The afternoon adventure includes the panoramic "Romantic Road" with a visit to the best preserved medieval town in all of Europe, Rothenburg. We see the quaint Rathaus (town hall) with its tower and have free time for coffee and shopping in the many delightful shops. You may choose to visit on your own the Kriminal-museum, housing all manner of medieval instruments of torture. Our lodging for the next two evenings will be in Augsburg.
Day 11: Neuschwanstein Castle, Augsburg
This morning we travel into the Alpine region of Bavaria to the Rococo-style chapel in the Meadow and Ludwig II’s most luxurious former residence, the Neuschwanstein Castle. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Augsburg, site of the Augsburg Confession, will bring to light the history behind much of our doctrine today. It was here in 1518 at St. Anne's Church that Luther met the papal legate, Cardinal Cajetan, who demanded that Luther submit to the pope. Augsburg was also the site of another Imperial Diet (1530) and in the town hall the Peace of Augsburg was signed in 1555 ending for a time the religious wars in Germany between the Catholics and the Protestants.
Day 12: Coburg, Erfurt
This morning we travel northward to view the fortress of Coburg known as Veste, the place of Luther's imprisonment in 1530. We visit the apartment where he stayed and continued his translation work, a chapel where he spoke and worshiped, and a gallery of period paintings. This afternoon we spend time in nearby Erfurt, where Luther attended the university. A highlight will be the Augustinian Monastery where he spent his early years as a monk and the famed doors that he closed on his protesting friends after saying "You can see me today, but never again." You will find it interesting and uplifting to hear how the studies here brought him to his understanding of scripture. Our lodging this evening will be in Erfurt.
Day 13: Erfurt, Eisleben, Leipzig
Leaving Erfurt, we visit Eisleben which is noted among the most significant in Luther's history; he was born here in 1483, died here in 1546 and old manuscripts indicate that he felt a special affinity to Eisleben. We will see the house of his birth and death, St. Andrews Church where he preached his last sermon, the Luther Monument, and St. Anne's Church with the famous Biblical scenes hewn in stone and many other sites. This afternoon we travel to the beautiful city of Leipzig, Bach's city, with free time and a visit to St. Thomas Church where Bach was choir master and organist. Our lodging this evening will be in Leipzig.
Day 14: Leipzig, Wittenberg, Berlin
We continue on the Reformation Trail today with a visit to Wittenberg where Martin Luther lived and taught for 36 years. You will see the Castle Church door area where Luther posted his 95 Theses, giving birth to the Reformation. This beautiful church is also the burial site of Luther. We see the university where Luther taught and the Luther House which is the greatest museum of Reformation History in the world with a detailed history display of his life and accomplishments, historical documents and an outstanding collection of period paintings of his life and family members. Our lodging for the next two evenings will be in Berlin.
Day 15: Berlin, Pergamon Museum
We enjoy a inspirational guided tour of this fascinating city including the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and many other sights. There will be free time this afternoon for shopping and sightseeing on your own. The highlight today will be a visit to the fabulous Pergamon Museum.
One of the most popular attractions in Berlin, the Pergamon Museum is world famous for its archaeological holdings. The monumental highlights are truly breathtaking to behold, including the
Ishtar Gate of Babylon from 6th century BC and the 2nd century BC Pergamon Altar. Also notable in this collection is the façade of the throne hall of King Nebuchadnezzar with artifacts from the earliest history of the written word, and an excellent collection of Islamic Art.
Day 16: Departure
We transfer to the airport early this morning for our flight home.
Ask about our 5-day extension to Imperial Europe.