Today you begin your Biblical journey to Athens! Upon arrival in Athens, you will be transferred to your hotel to drop off your bags. Enjoy some free time before dinner. Overnight in Athens
Day 2: Cruise Embarkation
This morning you will begin your day with a tour of Athens. Visit among other masterpieces of the "Golden Age" the Acropolis, the Agora, and the Mars Hill where Paul taught. See Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the University, the Academie, and the National Library. Drive down Herodes Atticus Street and see the Evzones in their picturesque uniforms and the Presidential Palace. On your way to the Acropolis, you will see the Panathenaic Stadium (where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896), the Temple of Olympia Zeus, and Hadrian's Arch. On the Acropolis mount, you will visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylee, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and finally the Parthenon – the monument that "puts order in the mind" and "is harmony between material and spirit."Upon completing the city tour, you will have some time for shopping before heading to the port of Piraeus for Embarkation on board the brand new Celestyal Crystal.
This afternoon you arrive in Istanbul. Today you enjoy your included shore excursions. Your excursion combines sailing on the narrow of Bosphorus, natural strait in a private tender boat, with a unique exploration of the enticing aromas and bright colors in the historic spice market. Relax and enjoy the spectacular vistas along the river’s southern and northern shores. Dinner onboard
Located on Turkey’s dramatic peninsula that points out across the Bosphorus Strait to Asia, Sultanahmet is the historic former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. It’s home to Sultanahmet Meydani (Square), and hidden secrets and gems that you can discover on our exciting excursion.
The iconic Sultan Ahmed Mosque (known the world over as the Blue Mosque) is one of the finest treasures of Istanbul. The functioning mosque was constructed during the rule of Ahmed I and features stunning hand-painted blue tiles in its ornately decorated interior.
After visiting the Blue Mosque, we continue to Hagia Sophia. The enduring Ottoman and Byzantium symbol of architectural beauty was once the Byzantine Church of the Holy Wisdom of God. It later became a mosque and is now a museum.
Day 5: Docked in Kavala, Tour Neapolis & Philippi
Follow in the footsteps of St Paul through the ancient city of Neapolis and the nearby town of Philippi where the missionary established a church during his second visit to western Europe in 54AD.
This tour takes you to the famous Via Egnatia, which once ran from Rome to Istanbul. Our experienced guide walks you through the archaeological excavations where you will hear about the highs and lows of Paul’s treacherous journey including the prison where he was held captive right here in Neapolis.
You will also discover the legacy he left behind including St. Lydia Purpuraria, an open-air baptistery by the riverside which became the first Christian convert in Europe. Your guide will also point out other points of interest including St. Paul’s Monument which commemorates the location where Paul came ashore during his second visit to Europe.
Day 6: Docked in Thessaloniki, Tour Berea
The biblical city of Veria (Berroia) promises a unique pilgrimage experience. We journey from the port of Thessaloniki to the Citadel and Vlatadon Monastery. The 14th-Century structure features a mix of architectural styles and displays a collection of historic biblical manuscripts and religious icons.
We follow in the footsteps of St Paul who visited Vlatadon on his 2nd missionary journey. During his visit, he spent time in the city of Veria where he preached to the Jewish nobility. The traditional Tribune displays a recently finished mosaic that commemorates the patron Saint’s sermon.
Established in the foothills of Mt. Vermion, fortified Veria flourished as a city behind its massive protective walls. It was one of the first cities to surrender to the Romans in 168 BC and became the second most important city in Macedonia.
Discover the beautifully frescoed churches located in “Small Jerusalem.” We visit the 14th-Century Church of Christ, to admire the artistic masterworks of one of the most celebrated painters of his generation – Kalliergis.
Day 7: Docked in Volos & Tour Meteora Monasteries
Located in Thessaly, this unique and breathtaking attraction commands your presence. The spectacular Meteora complex showcases ancient pillars towering 400m into the sky, and rock formations that are connected to Heaven and Earth via a collection of 1000-year old Eastern Orthodox monasteries.
For Orthodox Christians all over the world, Meteora is a sacred place of pilgrimage. Its organic geological construction features huge rock formations that look as if they were molded and pushed together by the giant hands of God.
Aesthetically, Meteora is a monumental natural work of art that harmoniously blends organic forms and elemental textures to create a spiritual paradise. Ancient monasteries occupy many of the suspended rocky terraces.
Of the original monasteries, six remain open to the public, and collectively they make up a designated World Heritage site.
Day 8: Tender in Santorini & Excursion Oia
The charming coastal village of Oia is widely considered to be Santorini’s jewel attraction. On our scenic excursion, you have an opportunity to discover the village’s beauty and romantic ambiance for yourself.
The postcard-perfect homes of Firostefani and Imerovigli provide a pleasing visual distraction, as we drive towards our destination of the island’s second-largest village. Capture on camera the stunning views of the whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches surrounded by the sweeping vineyards of Megalochori.
Santorini’s famous caldera also offers unforgettable vistas. From the prime clifftop location, it’s possible to admire the island’s capital Fira and the cluster of islands which includes Thirassia, Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni.
On arrival in Oia, take a moment to soak up the atmosphere, before wandering through the winding, narrow streets that lead you to the hidden gems nestled in the villages narrow arteries and main shopping street. There are many delightful paths where you can enjoy idyllic romantic views and admire the spectacular landscape.
Day 9: Disembarkation - Tour Athens & Ancient Corinth
Upon disembarkation in Piraeus the port of Athens, you will meet your guide and drive and begin your journey towards Ancient Corinth
. Visit Corinth (Acts 18: 1-18)
, a city that inspired one of St. Paul’s most famous letter. You will visit the Archeological Museum, the Market Place, and Temples. Walk among the ruins and stand on the Bema
where Paul stood. Read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, addressing his message to the Gentiles as he began the task of establishing his church in Corinth.
Acts 18:9-11 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Stop for Lunch at the Corinth Canal and return back to Athens. In Athens, your bus will drop you off in the Plaka area for some last-minute souvenir shopping, before you head back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.