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Price Per person double occupancy
(6 Mo. Adv.)
|March 29-April 20
(Greece & Italy Tours before Israel)
*SINGLE CRUISE CABINS ARE LIMITED AND SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. A $200 DISCOUNT IS AVAILABLE TO SINGLE PASSENGERS WHO ARE WILLING TO SHARE A CRUISE CABIN.
Price Includes: Land Portion - first class (4 Star) lodging in Israel & Greece, moderate first class lodging in Italy, breakfast and dinner daily in Israel & Greece, breakfast daily and 3 dinners in Italy, modern transportation, sightseeing as listed.
Cruise Portion - Inside cabin (category IA), 3 port tours (Patmos, Ephesus, & Crete), non-alcoholic beverage package, all meals.
Not Included: Land Portion - travel/cancellation insurance, Israel and Italy gratuities ($209 per person will be added to your final invoice for gratuities to be paid to drivers, guides, and hotel staff while in Israel and Italy)
Cruise Portion - Port taxes & onboard gratuities. ($165 will be added to your final invoice to prepay this cruise charge)
Flight Departures - Airfare (including Tel Aviv to Athens flight and Athens to Rome flight), special fares are available nationwide including transfers. (transfers not included unless airfare is purchased from Pilgrim Tours)
** Walking with Paul Drama Presentation (Greece Portion) - God's word is powerful and moving. Not only will you see the land where the Apostle walked, but you will see and hear these powerful words of scripture portrayed with scenes from the life of Paul at different times during the tour. A drama clinic will also be available for those who are interested. Drama Information Page - Click Here
Airport transfers are included only when airfare is purchased from Pilgrim Tours. Taxi service is available for those purchasing their airfare elsewhere.
*Customers traveling to Israel that do not provide their full passport information will incur an additional fee of $160 per person to cover the Israel VAT (value-add tax) on their final invoice.
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.
Day 1: Depart USA
Overnight flight to Athens.
Day 2: Arrive Athens
We fly to 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. (B, D)
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 evening entertainment. (B, D)
Day 4: Ephesus and Patmos
Docking in Turkey, enjoy a 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 including the Agora, the Odeon, the Library, the marble-paved main Street, the Baths, Trajan’s Fountain, the Residences of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, and Temple of Hadrian. The Great Theatre, built in the 4th century B.C., could accommodate 24,000 spectators and it is famous even nowadays for its acoustics. This afternoon we visit the Isle of Patmos, 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 the Captain's dinner before settling in to your cabin for the night. (B, D)
Day 5: Crete and Santorini
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. (B, D)
Day 6: Disembark Cruise – Ancient Corinth & Cenchreae
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 lifeline 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. (B, D)
Day 7: Athens
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 market place 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. (B, D)
Day 8: Arrive Rome
We fly from Athens to the Rome airport, and transfer to our lodging for the next three nights. This afternoon we will take an afternoon tour of the Catacombs where thousands of Christians were buried in a remarkable tiered series of galleries. (B, D)
Day 9: Forum, Mamertine, Coliseum, Ostia Antica
We begin our walking tour at the ancient Roman Forum, where our guide will divulge its secrets. We will visit the Arch of Titus which commemorated the sack of Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70. We will view the Mamertine Prison exterior, where tradition says the Apostle Paul was imprisoned. The Roman church would say that Peter was imprisoned here as well, but there is no imperial evidence that Peter was ever in Rome. Next, we visit the Coliseum, where thousands of people and animals perished during gladiatorial games. The Coliseum first opened in AD 80 and within 100 days of its opening, 5000 wild beasts perished here. The slaughter of both humans and animals continued for three more centuries. Historians believe the Coliseum could hold between 40,000 and 80,000 people depending on how close the seating was. The floor has recently had a plank placed over the middle making it accessible for people to walk over the labyrinth of brick cells, ramps, and elevators used to transport animals and gladiators into the arena. Hear the stories of the games that have fascinated people for hundreds of years. We conclude our day at the ruins of Ostia Antica, which provides an excellent example of city life in classical times and the Ostian Gate, today called the Gate of St. Paul. (B)
Day 10: Vatican Museums, St. Peter's, Scala Santa, Abbey of Three Fountains, St. Paul Outside the Wall
After breakfast you will begin a full day of sightseeing. First visit Vatican City where you will see the Basilica at St. Peter, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums with stunning works of art at every turn. After some free time for lunch, you will stop at The Abbey of the Three Fountains, the traditional site of Paul's martyrdom and the ancient street that he walked on. Next, visit the 4th century Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the site of Paul’s tomb, and the Scala Santa, where Martin Luther made his stand against the practice of indulgences. This fascinating museum houses the Steps from Pilot's Judgment Hall in Jerusalem brought to Rome by Helena, the mother of Constantine. Additional sights include the Arches of Constantine and Titus, Circus Maximus and the beautiful marble monument called the Wedding Cake. (B)
Day 11: Frescoes, Assisi, Florence
After breakfast you will say “Arrivederci Roma” and board your coach and travel through scenic Umbria to the ancient walled hillside village of Assisi. After lunch on your own, you will enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful, medieval town, which will include the Basilica San Francesco, decorated with some of the most renowned frescoes in the world. The stories of the sacrificial life of St. Francis will be an encouragement to us all. This afternoon, we travel on to the spa village of Montecatini Terme, our place of lodging for the next two nights in the heart of Tuscany. (B, D)
Day 12: Beautiful Florence, Michelangelo’s David
You will spend the morning enjoying a guided tour of Florence, one of the world’s greatest artistic capitals, which will include the Piazza della Signoria, Duomo, Baptistry (outside view) and a visit to the Accademia Galley, home of Michelangelo’s David. A stop will also be made on the hillside overlook across the river from Florence where we will enjoy a panoramic view of the beautiful red-tiled roof cityscape. This afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy shopping, visiting more galleries or strolling on the famous Pont Vecchio, the old bridge which spans the Arno River. Remember that Florence leather shops are the best in the world and bargains on excellent quality goods are abundant. It may be the time to purchase those special Christmas gifts. (B)
Day 13: Pisa & Verona
The sightseeing this morning includes a tour of Pisa where you will visit the Baptistry, Duomo and the famous leaning tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli. This afternoon we stop in romantic Verona, medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with a walk through the historic center/shopping district to see the famed balcony of Juliet. Our lodging for the next two evenings will be in Venice Mestre. (B, D)
Day 14: Charming Venice
Start the morning sightseeing in style as your guide takes you by private boat along the Giudecca canal to meet your resident expert. Highlights of your walking tour are St. Mark’s Square and the Byzantine splendor of St. Mark’s Basilica, lavish Doges’ Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Afterwards enjoy Venice at your own pace, or join an optional gondola ride through the picturesque canal system, visit the many charming shops and take photos galore. (B)
Day 15: Arrive Israel
Arrive in Israel and 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. (B, D)
Day 16: 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. (B, D)
Day 17: Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum, Magdala, & Sea of Galilee Boat Ride
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of alternative sacrifice and Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession and pagan worship. We pass the possible site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes in Bethsaida and the Mount of the Beatitudes. Returning to Tiberias for a St. Peter’s Fish Lunch (other selections available), we then visit the ancient Fisherman Boat followed by 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. In Capernaum we view the excavations of the sea-side village and Peter’s home, followed by a visit to Magdala, home town of Mary Magdalene. The recent excavation of the First Century Synagogue and well preserved village makes Magdala one of the most interesting Biblical sites in Israel. (B, D)
Day 18: Jordan River Baptism Site, Beth Shean, & Dead Sea
We begin our day with the 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” and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho and view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world. To the east of Jericho along the Jordan River Valley (Queser El Yehud) is the Israeli side of Bethany Beyond the Jordan. In this area Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan, as well as 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. (B, D)
Day 19: Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Abraham's Tent
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, camel ride and authentic food. Our lodging for the next four nights will be in Jerusalem. (B, D)
Day 20: Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Bethlehem
Conditions permitting, we will visit the Temple Mount, with commentary on the Temple Periods, and the variety of belief systems past and present that make this area so valuable. Next 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 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 spend the remainder of the day surrounding the birth of Christ with a visit to Bethlehem. (B, D)
Day 21: Jesus' Steps, Last Days, Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb
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. 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." 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 and the actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. The climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise. (B, D)
Day 22: Israel Museum, Friends of Zion Museum, House of Caiaphas, Yad Vashem
An interesting and educational time awaits us today at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of century’s old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem. This model will help put into perspective all that you have seen over the previous days touring. We then visit the Friends of Zion Museum to learn of the 19th and 20th century heroes of the Jewish people. Next we spend time at 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. 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. This evening we enjoy a special lecture by a local believer prior to dinner, giving us a perspective of Messianic life in Israel. (B, D)
Day 23: Home
A very early morning departure for the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight homeward will allow for arrival home by early afternoon. (B)
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.
*The tour itinerary is subject to change or be slightly modified in order to best meet the interests of the group.