For 15 days you will follow the footsteps of St. Paul and experience beautiful sites throughout Greece and Turkey. On your 3-day cruise you will discover the captivating and beautiful Greek Islands like Mykonos, Crete, and Santorini.
NOTE: Please review Celestyal Olympia Cruise Ship – General information’s & upgrade options and Confirm which Stateroom you choose in the registration process notes.
24 June 2024
08 July 2024
$1,500 Include Interior Cruise Cabin state Room in Inclusive Offer.
Ten nights hotel accommodations at 4 or 5 stars:
Two nights: Istanbul
Two nights: Izmir
Two nights: Thessaloniki
One night: Kalambaka
One night: Delphi
Two nights: Athens
Three nights Celestyal Olympia Cruise.
Half Board Hotel accommodations includes Breakfast and Dinner.
Full Board Cruise includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
English speaking tour guide
Excellent bus driver for entire tour
Deluxe motor coach
Visits and admission fees where applicable.
Shore excursions while on ship include:
Mykonos – Walking tour
Kusadasi – Ephesus & the house of the Virgin Mary
Patmos – Monastery of St. John & Grotto of Apocalypse
Crete – Palace of Knossos
Santorini and Thira & Oia Village
Beverages & drinks Except Cruise
Any services not mentioned in the program
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight. Your meals are served on board.
Arrive in Istanbul Airport
Upon arrival in Istanbul Airport, you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the arrivals hall where you will be greeted by our tour escort and/or driver. You will be transferred to your hotel in Istanbul. Attend a welcome briefing. Dinner and a restful overnight.
Following breakfast, we begin our full day of the old City with a guided tour exploring the ancient city including the magnificent Topkapi Palace (main residences of Ottoman Sultans) and the Byzantine Hippodrome that was the scene of chariot races. Around the corner we will visit St. Sophia Basilica, historic seat of the Byzantine church, built in 360 AD and now a museum whose mosaics, stained glass windows and decorated domes have been crafted to create an environment of breathtaking beauty. Enjoy a short walk-through garden and proceed to the Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet 1 built in 1616, famous for its unparalleled ceramic tile work. Dinner and overnight.
Istanbul - Izmir
After breakfast at the hotel, we will depart for Izmir. Our day starts with visit the site of Philadelphia also one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 3: 7-13). Christ told those who overcame that He would write upon them “the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem.” (Rev.3: 12). Continue onto Then Sardis, another of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Jesus told Sardis, “I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead”(Rev. 3: 1-6). Sardis, located on the banks of the Pactolus River in western Asia Minor. “The church of Sardis is described as dead, and it must wake up. We continue on to Thyatira, known for its textiles and dyeing trade. It is now known as the Turkish city of Akhisar. It is “praised for its increasing faith and service” (Rev. 2:18-29) Return to Izmir for dinner and overnight.
Izmir - Smyrna – Pergamum - Izmir
Smyrna, nowadays a modern Turkish city of Izmir. In ancient times it was in a powerful trading position on the Aegean Sea known for its harbors, commerce, and marketplaces. Visit St. Polycarp Church. This 19th-century church is lavishly decorated and is the oldest in the city. It was named after St. Polycarp, the first bishop of Smyrna who was burned at the stake. Continue to Pergamum, located on the plains and foothills along the Caicus River in Western Turkey. The city, is “praised for its martyrdom and perseverance but those who hold false teachings are criticized” (Rev. 2:12-17). Here you will see the Acropolis Famous for Greek & Roman Temples as well as the unique Greek theatre built into the steep hillside. Also visit the , the ancient medical center for the Greeks. Return to Izmir for dinner and overnight.
Izmir - Thessaloniki
Upon landing at Makedonia Thessaloniki Airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/-or driver. Board the bus to transfer to your hotel. Enjoy some time to relax after check-in. After a delicious meal, overnight in Thessaloniki.
Philippi - Kavala – Thessaloniki
After breakfast, start your journey in Greece with the first stop of the day in Philippi. Philippi was the city where Saint Paul the Apostle delivered his first sermon and, he established the 1st church in Europe. "And from there (He went) to Philippi, which is the leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman Colony. We remained in this city some days". (Acts 16:12-18). It is also the site where Saint Paul baptized a woman named Lydia, the first convert to Christianity in Europe. Visit the Roman Forum, where Saint Paul cast a spirit out of a fortune-telling woman. View the prison (now in ruins) where Saint Paul and Silas were thrown into by the owners of the fortune-tellers. Continue to the modern port city of Kavala, which was once the ancient Neapolis. This port is where Saint Paul, Silas, Luke, and Timothy landed when they sailed into Europe. After enjoying this city by the sea, return to Thessaloniki for a delicious meal and restful overnight.
Thessaloniki City Tour – Kalambaka
Start your day with breakfast at the hotel. In the winter of 49-50 A.D., Saint Paul wrote two epistles to the Thessalonians. These letters urged Christians to "live blamelessly" and to refrain from living idly while they wait for the second coming of Christ. While in Thessaloniki, you will witness several ancient artifacts, such as the triumphal Arch of Galerius found at the start of Via Egnatia. Due to the convenient location, this arch was once a strategic artery of the Roman Empire and constructed to honor the Roman Emperor Galerius following the Roman victory over the Persians. Following the city-tour, transfer to Kalambaka. This evening, you will have a wonderful meal and a relaxing overnight in Kalambaka.
Meteora – Delphi
After breakfast, board the motorcoach for a short drive to the Meteora Monasteries. In the eleventh century, some monks settled within caves. However, as the Turkish occupation increased, the monks were forced to move their settlements higher upon the rocks until they were unreachable by any opposing enemy. These settlements became Monasteries by bringing building and lifting materials by ladders and baskets. Notorious for preserving the Hellenic religion as well as their academics and arts. During your visit, you will be able to view stunning Byzantine art, as well as the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the monastery. Continue to Delphi for dinner and overnight.
Delphi – Athens
Today, visit the center of the ancient world (navel) of the earth, Delphi. Its prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. Visit the site and the museum and continue to Athens “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found, also, an altar with this inscription “to an unknown God”. What, therefore, you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you” Athens is one of the most glorious cities in the world and the cradle of western civilization as we know it today. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Athens.
Athens - Excursion to Corinth
After breakfast at the hotel, start with a tour of the oldest city in the world, Athens! Visit the rock that has dominated the panorama of Athens for twenty-five centuries, the Acropolis. At the Acropolis, you will see the ruins of the Parthenon, Erectheum, and Propylene. After, you will ascend Mars Hill of where Saint Paul spoke to the Athenians about the one and only God (Acts 17:22). While in this city, view the ancient Agora, the former public center of Athenian life. It held the focus of a political, commercial, social, religious, and cultural center. As you are in the former political center, proceed with a drive through the city to view the House of Parliament on Syntagma Square. Also, have the opportunity to view the University of Athens, the oldest higher education institute in Greece and, the National Library of Greece that holds 4,500 Greek manuscripts. Visit Panathenaic Stadium, the beautifully marbled multi-purpose stadium. It is home to the Olympian Zeus and the site of the first modern-era Olympics (1896). Following your visit to Athens, you will proceed to ancient Corinth. Under the shadow of the towering Acropolis, Saint Paul lived in Corinth for two years. While here, Saint Paul felt great grief over what the Gentile Church in Corinth has become. As a result, he wrote four letters, all with the overarching theme of love. In Corinth, have the opportunity to view the remains of the first century shops, the site of the Saint Pauls trial by Gallio, the Fountain of Peirene, and the Temple of Apollo. Following your visit to Corinth, return to Athens for a delicious meal and overnight.
Athens - Start 3-day Cruise to Mykonos
Following breakfast, proceed to the Piraeus port, where you will board your 3-day cruise. Your first stop will be the Island of Mykonos, the most cosmopolitan of the Greek islands that attract visitors from all over the world. After docking, transfer to Hora, the capital of the island. Enjoy a walking tour that will take you on the narrow-cobbled streets of the city. Pass by chic boutiques, elegant nightclubs, and white-washed houses to arrive in Alefkandra. This part of Mykonos, known as the "Venice of Mykonos", as homes have wooden balconies and are built on the sea. Historically, these homes were of the wealthy merchants and captains. Return to the cruise ship for dinner and overnight.
Kusadasi - Ephesus (Mary's House) – Patmos
Enjoy breakfast on board in the lively Turkish port of Kusadasi. We then transfer to the small village of Mt. Koressos. Visit the stone chapel situated upon the site, where the Virgin Mary spent her last days following the crucifixion of Christ. Following this visit, walk through the Magnesian Gate to the ancient Ephesus. Enjoy a walking tour that will take you through the most magnificent excavations in the world. Some of the sites include the Odeon (concert hall), the Fountain of Trajan, the Scholastica, the Temple of Hadrian and the Latrians, the Library of Celsus. The last stop on the walking tour is the Great Theatre. The largest ancient theatre with a capacity of 25,000 people and is a site where Saint Paul preached. Follow the exact route that Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession via the Arcadian Way. This main street runs from the Great Theatre to the city harbor. On your transfer back to Kusadasi, have the opportunity to view the Basilica of Saint John. In the sixth century, Emperor Justinian erected this structure over the grave of the evangelist, John. Upon arrival in Kusadasi, enjoy free time to explore on your own before returning to the ship. The cruise journey continues to Patmos, where you will transfer to the village of Chora. While in this capital, visit the monastery of Saint John the Theologian. This marvelous structure, built nine-hundred years ago, continues to be supported by the walls of a strong fortification. In addition to the stunning main church that contains outstanding frescoes, you will have the opportunity to view the beautiful courtyard, dining room, and bakery. Visit the small museum, where you will view priceless ecclesiastical treasures such as books, manuscripts, mosaics, icons, textiles, vestments, and jewelry. Board the bus and transfer to the monastery. Visit the Grotto of the Apocalypse believed to mark the spot where John of Patmos received his visions that he recorded in the Book of Revelation. The silver niches in the wall mark the pillow and ledge were used as a desk by the author. View the three-fold crack made by the voice of God, who emphasized the importance of honoring the Holy Trinity. Your day will culminate with a transfer to the port of Scala. While in this quaint and picturesque harbor, enjoy free time before returning to the ship.
Heraklion – Santorini
This morning awakens and transfer to the largest city on the island of Crete, Heraklion. While in this administrative capital, visit the in 1899 discovered ancient ruins of the Palace of Knossos. The palace is currently partially reconstructed and believed to have been the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos and the seat of ancient Minoan culture. Here is where Saint Paul met the owner/-and captain of the ship and was warned by him of continuing his journey to spread Christianity in Rome. Following this historical visit, embark by ship to the idyllic island of Santorini. Santorini is definitively the most breathtaking island of all of the Greek Islands. Upon arrival in Santorini, visit Thira with its iconic white-washed houses, narrow streets, open-air cafes, and glittering boutiques that cling to cliffs. This evening enjoys your last dinner and overnight on the cruise ship.
Departure to USA
In the morning as the ship arrive to Athens, Transfer to Athens Airport and board your flight back to USA.