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 Israel. 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 Israel
Arrive in Israel at Ben Gurion Airport where we will be met by our transfer agent. We travel northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area near Tel Aviv. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and have dinner. The time is right for a personal devotional with the sunset over the “Great Sea.” Meet your Israeli guide, enjoy a time of prayer of thanks for safety and the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of the "Promised Land," and a good night’s rest.
Day 3: Caesarea, Megiddo & Nazareth
After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the
Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and
were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre and aqueduct, and then
journey on to Mt. Carmel,
where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next we travel through the Jezreel
Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have
unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We drive through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth
Village - a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed
guides. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two
nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 4: Capernaum, Dan, Caesarea Philippi &
Mount of Beatitudes
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable
northern sites emphasizing the loss of God's blessing on Israel. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan
worship and Caesarea Philippi which is also the site of Peter’s Confession. In
order to save valuable time, a box lunch will be provided. In Capernaum we will visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and
Peter’s home. Then we travel on to the site of the multiplication of
loaves and fishes and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea. After viewing the
ancient Fisherman Boat at an operating Kibbutz, we enjoy a relaxing
cruise on the Sea of Galilee. A brief scripture reading and devotional
on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen
disciples concluding a wonderful day.
Day 5: Jordan River Baptism Site, Beth Shean,
Bethany & Dead Sea
We begin our day with an opportunity to be baptized at the Jordan River Baptismal site. Next we travel southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis - a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey,” the Kibbutz system and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world, before coming to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan as well as the area where the children of Israel led by Joshua entered the Promised land. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner.
Day 6: Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls,
Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot
stand. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat," an oasis on the western shore of the
Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the
site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm
groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated
the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King
Jehoshaphat. Next, we visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. This
afternoon we will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham's Tent,
where we enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of
the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, and
authentic food. Our lodging for the next four nights will be in Jerusalem.
Day 7: Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Holocaust Museum
Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, we visit the "Upper Room"
just outside the Zion Gate where the
disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His breast and where later
Thomas cried, "my Lord & my God." An interesting and educational
time awaits us at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of
centuries old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a
then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical
Jerusalem will help to prepare you for what you will experience in the
We conclude the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what
the Jews have suffered as a people.
Day 8: Jesus' Steps, the Last Days - Messianic Lecture
Today we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a panoramic
view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in
time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a
moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of
Jesus' prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here.
Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was
beaten and spit upon. See a
pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside
steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned. On our way into the
city we will visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical
Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and
exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the
Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord
was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense
cornerstone rejected by the builders. We move on to
the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and
are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation. From here we will
also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen's Gate and St. Ann’s
Church. This evening we enjoy a special lecture by a local believer
prior to dinner, giving us a perspective of Messianic life in Israel.
Important Note: Although the itinerary above obviously emphasizes the spiritual aspect of this marvelous country, our guides are also experts in and passionate about the miracle of the return of the Jews and the restoration of the state of Israel. This fact, along with many modern day topics (military, politics, education, and other cultural aspects), will be woven into the commentary in order to give you well rounded information.
Day 9: Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb, Pentecost, Bethlehem
While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of
suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing
opinions on the route that Christ was led. The actual place of
crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. Our climax of the
day is the area of
(place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with
communion and a time of praise. This afternoon we visit the Southern
Wall Excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance
for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own
entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which
led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along
with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the
people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and
preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of
Pentecost. We will enjoy a challenge from God’s Word and a song before
an optional time this afternoon. Those who wish may stay in the city
marketplace for shopping, while
others may choose to spend the remainder of
the day surrounding the birth of Christ, with a visit to Bethlehem.
Day 10: Arrive Athens
We arrive in
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 11: 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 12: Ephesus and Patmos
enjoy an optional tour of
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
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 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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
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 16: Meteora Monastery
From Athens, our tour travels northward past Thermopylae where we learn of the famous Spartan battle of 300. We continue
through the mountains to Meteroa. Here 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 17: Vergina, Berea, Thessalonica
Traveling north this morning, our first stop will be a visit to King Phillip's (Alexander's father)
tomb in Vergina, one of the most outstanding finds in all of Greece.
We then make the short trip to nearby Berea to view the synagogue wher Paul preached. We stop at the Bema
surrounded by mosaics of Paul and the plaque of scripture regarding
the "more noble" church. The New Testament books of I & II
Thessalonians will come alive to us today as we arrive in the
delightful harbor city of Thessalonica. 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. We spend two nights here.
Day 18: 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 our final night.
Day 19: Home
A very early morning departure for the Thessaloniki Airport for our flight homeward will allow for arrival home by early afternoon.