Welcome to Athens, upon arrival at the Athens International Airport, your Christian guide and driver will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Athens
Day 2: Biblical Athens Tour & Cruise Embarkation
The Cruise portion of the tour begins today! Before we get onboard the majestic MSC Lirica, we will begin our day with a tour of Athens. In 51 AD, Apostle Paul traveled from Berea to Athens by boat. His boat anchored at Faliron that used to be one of the main ancient ports of Ancient Athens. Paul walked from the port to the city of Athens. While waiting for Silas & Timothy to come from Macedonia, he spent most of his time talking with citizens at the Synagogue and in the Agora. The Athenians took an interest in his teachings and invited him to present it more analytical on the Aeropagus, the hill west of the Acropolis (Mars Hill). Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and gave his famous Aeropagus Sermon, emphasizing the need to “a known God” rather than worship the “unknown” as described in Acts 17:16-34. Follow your guide on a visit to the Acropolis where you will see the Propylaea, the Parthenon, the Erectheum, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Touring through modern Athens You will view the Olympic Stadium, where the modern Olympic games began and where the games returned in 2004. After your tour continue to the Piraeus for your embarkation.
Day 3: Biblical Ephesus
Today you are docked in Kusadasi, Turkey and start your excursion to ancient Ephesus. Ephesus was one of the most beautiful cities of the ancient world and its former glory can still be appreciated today from its well- preserved streets, temples, fountains, public baths, terraced houses, and theatres. Paul went to Ephesus on his third Missionary journey, staying and preaching for a period of about two to three years,and where several certain incidents took place (Acts 19:120, 20:20). It was to this community that Paul may have written his epistle to the Ephesians. You will visit the ancient Agora and go back in time where Demetrius, the silversmith, sold his silver shrines to the Ancient Greek goddess, Artemis. See the Library of Celsius and view the Great Theatre mentioned in the Book of Acts.
Day 5: Haifa for Jerusalem & Bethlehem
Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”(Acts 21:13) Travel to Bethlehem. View Shepherds' Field. Continue to Jerusalem where you will visit the Upper Room, the House of the High Priest Caiaphas, and the Western Wall. Visit the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane. You'll walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Enter the Old City and visit the Pool of Bethesda. Worship together in the Garden Tomb.
Day 6: Limassol, Tour Paphos
On his First Missionary Journey, Paul's first stop was the Island of Cyprus. Along with him were Barnabas and John Mark, together they preached the word of God on the Island in the Synagogues of the Jews (Act 13:4-5). Today you will arrive in Paphos where Paul and Barnabas brought the gospel to the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus.
Rhodes, the island of "roses", is the legendary home of the sun god Apollo. The old town (the largest inhabited medieval town of Europe) and its mighty fortifications (built by the crusaders of St. John) are the finest surviving example of defensive architecture. Your tour takes you to Lindos, which is guarded by medieval walls which were constructed by the Knights of St. John in the 14th century. Within, stands the ancient Acropolis of Lindos, 400 feet above the sea. From the Acropolis, you will indulge in a breathtaking view covering the great expanse of the Aegean Sea and St. Paul's Bay, where the Apostle cast harbor during his historic voyage to Ephesus.
This morning you are visitng the island of Santorini which is perhaps the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. The town of Thira where white-washed houses, narrow streets, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques cling to steep cliffs, is accessible by foot path, cable-car or mule. You may choose to take an optional tour of sailing around an active volcano crater and swimming in the water heated by hot springs or enjoy this lovely island on foot. Again we return to the ship for dinner and evening entertainment.
Day 9: Disembarkation in Athens & Tour 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.
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.
Return to Athens for dinner and overnight.