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Shore Excursion Info (for tours altered by daylight savings) - Click Here
Price Includes: Land Portion - first class (4 Star) lodging, breakfast and dinner daily, modern transportation, sightseeing as listed.
Cruise Portion - Inside cabin (category D), 2 port tours (Patmos & Crete), onboard gratuities, non-alcoholic beverage package, all meals.
Not Included: Land Portion - travel/cancellation insurance, gratuities to guide and drivers, Turkey visa.
Cruise Portion - Port taxes & service charges. ($165 will be added to your final invoice to prepay this cruise
Flight Departures - Special fares are available nationwide including transfers. (transfers not included unless airfare is purchased from Pilgrim Tours)
Please Note: Turkey Entry Visas* must be secured in advance prior to arrival. Visas can be obtained in advance online at the link below. Optional shore excursions can be purchased on tour prior to cruise embarkation.
*Turkey “E-Visa” online purchase - Click Here
Airport transfers are included only when airfare is purchased from Pilgrim Tours. Taxi service is available for those purchasing their airfare elsewhere.
Deposit Required: $500 per person will reserve your place. A $100 service fee will be charged for cancellation at any time in addition to our normal payment and cancellation policy.
Today we embark on our Journey to the lands of ancient treasures and Christian history with an overnight flight to Izmir. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…Tomorrow you will be walking where the apostles walked!
We transfer to our hotel in the lovely port city of Kusadasi, Turkey for the next two evenings. The remainder of your day is free to relax, sightsee on your own and enjoy your hotel facilities.
We travel to the nearby town of Selcuk for a visit of ancient Ephesus. 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 view the Library, Agora, theatre, colorful mosaics in the aristocratic Terrace Houses, and a panoramic outlook of the surrounding ancient port area (including a wealth of church history and cultural insight). Then we continue with a visit to the Basilica Church of St. John, which houses an immersion baptismal and is believed to be resting place of John. From here we have an excellent overview of the Ephesus harbor, the Mosque of Jesus, and see the site of the Temple of Artemis, which is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
This morning, we embark our cruise ship and sail for a visit to the beautiful Isle of Patmos, which is under statutory protection as a historic monument. Here we have a 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 dinner before settling in to your cabin for the night.
Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek islands. Take a tour to Heraklion and the fantastic ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Discovered in 1899 and partially reconstructed, the elaborate Palace is believed to be the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos and the seat of ancient Minoan culture. This afternoon visit the island of Santorini which is perhaps the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. You may choose to take an optional panoramic bus tour viewing some of the most spectacular scenery of the Aegean. Travel through countless villages and settlements with delicate architecture and beauties eventually arriving in Oia. During your time in Oia, visit the many narrow streets, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques. Upon returning to the ship, we view the lace-like caldera, the little islands of Thirasia, Palea, & Nea Kameni. We arrive at the ship for dinner and evening entertainment.
We disembark the cruise this morning and travel west with a rest stop and photos at the Corinth Canal. Next, we visit ancient Corinth, the city that inspired many of Paul's most familiar letters and is a highlight for the New Testament scholar. 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 for the Bible. 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. We travel on to the top of the nearby Acropolis where our guide will speak on the worship practices and point out the bird’s eye view of what was a bustling city of around 800,000 during Paul’s stay. Another important stop is a visit to Diolkos where we view the paved trackway which enabled boats to be moved overland across the Isthmus of Corinth and served as a life line for Corinth. This shortcut allowed ancient vessels to avoid the long and dangerous circumnavigation of the Peloponnese peninsula. Before returning to Athens, we will visit Cenchreae, the ancient port region of Corinth. Acts 18:18 states the Apostle Paul stopped at Cenchreae during his second missionary journey, where he had his hair cut to fulfill a vow.
Following breakfast this morning we tour 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. From atop Mars Hill we view the Agora below, the ancient marketplace and center of Athenian public life. Additional sites viewed during our panoramic bus tour are, the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Olympic Stadium, and Presidential Palace. An option later this afternoon is a visit to the famous Plaka with a multitude of shops and cafes.
Please prepare for a dress code today. In Meteora, women are required to wear skirts below the knee and men, pants.
From Athens, our tour travels northward past Thermopylae where we learn of the famous Spartan battle of 300. We continue through the mountains to Meteora. 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.
Traveling northward into Macedonia we visit King Phillip's (Alexander's father) tomb in Vergina, one of the most outstanding finds in all of Greece. A stop will be made in Berea to view the ancient synagogue where Paul spoke and 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.
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.
We transfer to the airport for our flight back to the USA.