Take a 7-Night Greek Isles Cruise Through Paul’s Journeys
The first full day on land before starting the Greek isles cruise, we visit Ancient Corinth, where Paul spent over a year preaching the Gospel. We visit the Archaeological Museum, the Forum, the Temples and the famous Bema. We travel to the port of Lavrion of Athens to embark on your cruise ship, CRISTAL of Louis Cruises, which is our floating hotel for the next seven nights on the Greek isles cruise. The following day, we arrive at Thessaloniki and start our tour by seeing the landmark of the city, the White Tower. We visit the House of Jason where Paul lived and the Agora where he preached. We also see the Walls of the Byzantine Acropolis and drive to Veria, where we visit the Bema of Paul. The next morning, our Greek isles cruise ship is docked at the port of Kavala (Neapolis), a picturesque port with a Byzantine Castle and a Roman Aqueduct. From there we drive to the site of Philippi and see the Baptistery of Lydia near the river. We also visit the ruins of the Forum of Philippi, the Christian Basilicas, “Prison of Paul” and the Theater before returning to our Greek isles cruise ship.
Experience Turkey on the Greek Isles Cruise
When we wake up we’re in Istanbul, Turkey, the city which straddles two continents. Istanbul is famous for many beautiful places and museums, which we have the opportunity to see today. The tour starts with the Blue Mosque, the most splendid mosque in the city. Visit St. Sophia (Divine Wisdom), one of the greatest churches in the world, built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. We continue with a visit to the famous Topkapi Palace, and view the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. This morning, our ship is docked at the port Dikili in Turkey. Our Greek isles cruise continues with an excursion to Pergamum, a city mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Then we visit the majestic Acropolis with the Altar of Zeus, and the Asclepion, the earliest healing center. The following day of our Greek isles cruise, we arrive in Kusadasi and enjoy our tour of Ephesus, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Walk the marble-paved street and see the Fountain of Trojan, the Library of Celsus, and the Great Theatre. We also visit the House of the Virgin Mary and have a demonstration at a Turkish rug factory. Time permitting, we’ll visit the Basilica of St. John. You continue to Miletus, home of ancient philosopher Thales.
Visit Patmos and the Grotto of the Apocalypse
In the morning, our Greek isles cruise arrives at the island of Patmos, where we visit the Monastery of St. John. We drive to the village of Chora, where the Monastery of St. John is built within the walls of a strong fortification. As we walk uphill towards the entrance of the monastery, marvel at this magnificent structure, which was built 900 years ago. Once inside the monastery, we see the courtyard and the old bakery before we visit the main church and the small museum where priceless ecclesiastical treasures are housed. We return to the motor coach and continue to the nearby Monastery of the Apocalypse. Here we walk down the steps to the Grotto of the Apocalypse and see the niches in the wall that mark the pillow and ledge used as a desk by the author of the Book of the Revelation. Afterwards, we drive back to the port and our Greek isles cruise sails for the island of Syros, one of the most beautiful of the islands. We have free time in its main town called Ermoupolis. In the morning, our Greek isles cruise ship arrives in Athens where we disembark. The tour continues as we admire the architectural wonders of ancient Athens, as we follow our guide to the world-renowned Acropolis, to see the Propylea, the Erectheum and the Parthenon. We visit Mars Hill and the Agora, the ancient center of the economic and public life of the city, where Paul preached to the skeptical Athenians. During the bus tour, we see Constitution Square with the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Temple of Zeus, the Old Olympic Stadium and the neoclassical buildings of Athens. The afternoon is on your own to explore the city. We enjoy a special Farewell Dinner at your hotel in Athens before concluding our tour with a transfer to the airport for our return flight home.
Continue with an Optional Extension to Rome and Pompeii
If you choose to take the optional Rome and Pompeii extension, you’ll transfer to the airport for our flight to Rome. Upon arrival, we meet our tour escort and head south for Pompeii to visit the spectacular ruins, which were covered by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. The city remained buried and undiscovered for almost 1500 years until excavations began in 1748. Our first stop the next morning is the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, known around the world for its magnificent ceiling, beautifully decorated by Michelangelo. Our next visit is the Basilica of St. Peter, the largest church in the world, which overlooks the enormous Piazza San Pietro. Afterwards we drive through the streets of Rome, and stop near the Fontana di Trevi, following tradition by tossing a coin into the fountain, promising to return to Rome. The following day, we enjoy a sightseeing tour and special visit to the Catacombs where we explore tunnels and see the carvings on the walls from early Christians. From here, we continue to St. Peter in Chains. Then we visit the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Piazza Venezia, dominated by the imposing monument to Vittorio Emanuel II. We visit St. John Lateran and the “Sacred Steps” (where Martin Luther climbed on his knees, trying to merit forgiveness). Afterwards, we visit St. Paul’s Church where tradition believes the Apostle Paul is buried, before transferring to the airport for our flight home.