Day 1: Departure
Today we embark on our Journey to the to the lands of ancient treasures and Christian history with an overnight flight to Thessalonica. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…Tomorrow you will be walking where the apostles walked!
Day 2: Arrival Thessalonica
We transfer to our hotel in Thessalonica, Macedonia for the next two evenings. The New Testament books of I & II Thessalonians will come alive to us today. En route to the hotel we will view the old city ramparts; the newly excavated Forum, St. George Church, an ancient Roman monument which was transformed into a church and the Galerius Arch which rises over the famous Via Egnatia. The remainder of the day is free to relax and explore on your own.
Day 3: Thessalonica/Philippi/Kavala
We begin the day by following the massive battlement Byzantine wall to the citadel for a panoramic view of the city. Next, we will visit Philippi and Kavala. Kavala is Greece's prettiest mainland port with a most elegant harbor. Paul landed here with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. Luke, the Evangelist, also came here from Troas. This ancient city of Neapolis was later renamed Christoupolis because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. Imagine walking on the same sod as these men of the Bible! We will see the Roman Aqueduct and the ruins of the Acropolis in this beautifully located city, known since the 5th century as Kavala. Continue on to Philippi where Paul preached his first evangelical sermon and baptized the first Christians on European soil. We will view the baptismal site where Lydia surrendered her life to Christ and visit a crypt dating from the Roman period that is thought to have served as a prison for Paul. See the famous Acropolis, the Market Place, Basilica, and the Theatre. We return to Thessalonica and visit St. Demetrius basilica, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyred Christian convert before returning to the hotel for the night.
Day 4: Berea/Meteora Monastery
A stop will be made in Berea to view the Bema surrounded by newly placed mosaics of Paul and the plaque of scripture regarding the "more noble" church. We also visit King Phillip's (Alexander's father) tomb in Vergina, one of the most outstanding finds in all of Greece. This afternoon we see the world famous Byzantine monasteries that are perched precariously on summits of gray rock pinnacles of varied and beautiful shapes. Their history goes back to the 14th century when the monks sought refuge in the cliffside caves then fled higher to build the original wooden shelters, later transformed into monasteries. Our lodging this evening will be in Meteora.
Day 5: Athens & Plaka
From the mountains, our tour travels southward past Thermopylae and on to the city of Athens, the birth place of democracy. 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.
Day 6: Corinth - Mycenae
This morning we leave Athens by motor coach, stop for a rest stop and photos at the Corinth Canal and 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 (UNESCO World Heritage Site) 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 transferring to Olympia for the evening.
Day 7: Olympia
Spend the morning in Olympia, admiring the splendors of this unique place, where the ancient Greek ideas of unity, peace and fair play flourished. See the impressive ruins of Hera’s and Zeus’s Temples, the Leonidaion, the Workshop of the sculptor Pheidias and of course, the famous Stadium, where the Olympic Games were held. Also, visit the Museum, with its new display of amazing pieces of sculpture and pottery and the architectural remains of the ancient edifices. Don’t miss the pride of this museum, the “Hermes” of Praxiteles, one of the most wonderful ancient statues ever made. Then, go north to Patras and drive on the new “hanging” bridge, which connects the Peloponnese and the region of Continental Greece to our lodging for the evening in Delphi.
Day 8: Delphi
We explore lovely mountain region of Delphi-the ancient sanctuary of Apollo. Delphi offers the most amazing views of the olive groves of Amphissa, the Corinthian Gulf and the Pelopennese mountains. We will then visit the museum which houses the famous bronze Charioteer and the statue of Antinoos. From there we will guide you along the sacred way to the Athenian treasury followed by a chance to visit the unforgettable Temple of Apollo, where the masses flocked to consult the oracle. This ancient site, backed by the imposing Mount Parnassus, is situated in one of the most beautiful natural settings in Greece. Next, visit the Museum of Delphi and marvel at the splendid collection of artifacts from the excavation, including the bronze “Charioteer”, one of the best preserved ancient works of metallurgy. After our visit to Delphi we have a stop at the traditional and famous village of Arachova before returning to Athens, our place of lodging for the next two evenings.
Day 9: Cape Sounion
The day begins with the scenic drive to Cape Sounion, the southeastern extremity of Attica. It’s a magnificent headland, famous for its strategic importance and the spectacular marble white columns of Poseidon’s Temple (5th B. C.) The afternoon is free and you can take the opportunity to explore the area of Plaka, the main shopping district of Athens. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 10: Athens/Mykonos
Today we sail 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 evening entertainment. Cruise Ship Info
Day 11: Ephesus and Patmos
This morning we visit the Isle of Patmos, under statutory protection as a historic monument. You may choose to take an optional tour to see the fortified monastery of St. John and the cave claimed to be where John received the Revelation. 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. Back on the ship, enjoy the Captain's dinner before settling in to your cabin for the night.
Day 12: Rhodes
The largest of our adventure islands, Rhodes is rich in Roman and Greek culture. Stroll down the Street of the Knights to the market area for shopping and a wonderful Greek lunch. You may enjoy an optional tour to the ancient city of Lindos. Magnificently situated between two bays with sandy beaches, an ancient acropolis and medieval castle, Lindos is famous as a most striking and impressive city. Again we return to the ship for dinner and evening entertainment.
Day 13: Crete/Santorini
Arrive in Heraklion, the capital and main commercial port of Crete, offers an optional tour to the ruins of the Palace of Knossos and vestiges of the ancient Minoan civilization. Sail on to Santorini, perhaps the most breathtaking of all Greek islands. The white-washed houses, the narrow streets, the open-air cafes and boutiques of sparkling white cling to steep cliffs, accessible by foot, cable-car or mule.
Day 14: Free day in Athens
Arrive in Piraeus, Athens, early in the morning and, after breakfast, disembark and you will be transferred to your hotel. The time is right for visiting one of Athens great museums or shopping for gifts and souvenirs. Tonight you have your farewell dinner at your hotel.
Day 15: Homeward
An early morning flight will bring us home full of wonderful memories.