Click here for "Frequently Asked Questions"
Category Prices - Cruise Ship Info
Shore Excursion Info - Click Here
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 guides and drivers.
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 Turkey. 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 charming city of Izmir, Turkey for the next two evenings. The remainder of your day is free to relax, sightsee on your own and enjoy your hotel facilities.
Our first visit of the day is Pergamum. The church of Pergamum was praised for its forbearance; (Rev. 2:12-17) it was here that the first Christians were executed by Rome. We'll visit the fabled Acropolis, pass through the Royal Gates, view the foundations of the Altar of Zeus and visit the ruins of the library (which once held 200,000 volumes). Next we travel east to Thyatira viewing the ancient roadway and period columns. Thyatira was once a busy trading center and famous as a "seller of purple," the most favored of the Seven Churches. We continue south to Izmir, which is the third largest city in Turkey and a long time center for Jews and Christians. In Paul's day, Izmir was known as Smyrna and was another of the Seven Churches (Rev. 2:8-11). Our lodging this evening will be in Izmir.
Departing our Hotel in Izmir, we'll see Polycarp's Church and visit the ancient roman agora. Then, we travel to Sardis, which was berated by John for its facade of strength when, in reality, it was weak (Rev. 3:1-6). Here coins were minted and the dyeing of wool originated. We'll visit the gymnasium and synagogue. Our next stop is nearby Philadelphia from where we are challenged to “hold fast” and look forward to the coming of the "new Jerusalem" (Rev. 3:7-13) in the Book of Revelation. Not much is left of the city except for the ancient wall and the remains of a Byzantine basilica in the modern city of Alasehir. Our lodging this evening will be in a lovely spa hotel in Pamukkale.
Hierapolis, meaning "Sacred City," was an ancient center for pagan cults until it was transformed into a Christian center in the first century. According to tradition, the Apostle Philip lived and was martyred in Hierapolis. It was likely the hot springs of Hierapolis (in contrast to the cold mountain springs near Colossae) that combined to bring application to the "lukewarm" Laodiceans (Rev 3:14-22). This connection between the cities lies behind Paul’s reference to Hierapolis and Laodicea in his epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:13). Laodicea contains many acres of ruins to visit including a stadium and remnants of a sophisticated water system. Nearby Colossae is well-known throughout Christian circles as the receiver of Paul's letter to the Colossians. Today, the town has fallen into obscurity and nothing remains. We spend the remainder of the day traveling through the Turkish countryside arriving in the port city of Kusadasi where we spend two nights. The day will not be complete without a visit to a local Turkish Rug cooperative.
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.
We transfer to the airport for our flight back to the USA.