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    HIGHLIGHTS

    We will be calling into some beautiful, historical and biblically relevant ports such as Thessaloniki, Philippi, Istanbul, Pergamon, Ephesus, Patmos & more.

    Join us for the journey of a lifetime this October for an amazing 13 day tour as we head off on a special faith cruise in the Footsteps of St. Paul. Sailing the Aegean on a luxury cruiser, this really is the trip of a lifetime.

    Not only will you experience an amazing faith experience, but you will be accompanied by like-minded Christians, giving you the opportunity for fellowship and to make new friendships.

    A fun, relaxed, faith-filled atmosphere is guaranteed!

    Open to Christians across the globe
    While the tour departs from Australia, you are welcome to join from any country and you simply organize your own flights. Contact us for more information and we can complete your pricing without flights.

    INCLUSIONS

    Your holiday includes:

    • Return economy class airfares to/from Brisbane/Melbourne/Sydney with Emirates via Dubai to/from Athens
    • All current airport & departure taxes
    • Porterage, tips and gratuities throughout
    • Transport by deluxe air-conditioned motor coach
    • 3 nights in a superior 4 star Athens hotel in shared twin rooms
    • Breakfast and dinner daily, plus lunches on the cruise
    • 7 nights on the Celestyal Cruise in an inside cabin
    • Daily shore excursions during the cruise as per the below itinerary
    • Select drinks package on the cruise during meals in the onboard restaurant
    • All guiding and entrance fees as per the itinerary
    • Overnight hotel taxes in Greece
    • Headsets for the land tour and shore excursions

    YOUR HOSTS

    Meet Russell and Sue Driscoll, recently retired pastors with secular careers. Sue was a teacher, and Russell, a businessman. They are proud parents of four children, their wonderful spouses and now nine grandchildren. They cherish life as a precious gift from God. They love the adventure of life with all its twists and turns. Their love of God’s Word, with everything it contains, fuels their valued friendships, both long-term and new.

    PRICING

    This amazing tour is just $6,990 (AUD), $3,397 (USD). Only Australian travelers’ flights are included. Our US pricing excludes flights, however you can book your own flights and meet us in Athens on Friday October 11.

    Please contact us and we can accommodate those wanting to join us from any country

    Optional extras
    Our pricing is based on internal cabins. If you’d prefer to upgrade to an outdoor cabin, with your own porthole to view the Aegean, the price is an additional AUD $475 (USD $315) per person.

    Want to join is?
    To secure your place, a deposit of AUD $750 (USD $495) per person is due by 15 th  May, 2024.

    The final balance payment will be due by 31 July, 2024.

    TOUR MAP

    Below is the route we will be taking on board the Celestyal Cruise:

    ITINERARY

    Day 1

    Thursday 10 October - Depart Australia

    Depart Australia today on our Emirates flight to Athens (via Dubai).

    Day 2

    Friday 11 October - Arrival Athens

    Upon arrival at Athens airport, we will transfer directly to our hotel for dinner and overnight. (Dinner provided)

    Day 3

    Saturday 12 October - Athens, Board Cruise

    This morning after breakfast we will visit the National Archaeological Museum. The National Archaeological Museum contains a vast collection of Greek antiquities collected from the various and multiple archaeological sites around the country dating from prehistoric times (Neolithic, Cycladic and Mycenaean) to Archaic, Classical and Roman periods. Some of the most outstanding exhibits are the frescoes from Akrotiri in Santorini, the mask of Agamemnon and the Horse and Jockey of Artemision. We will then transfer to the port of Piraeus to board our Celestyal Journey cruise – Steps of Paul, our home for the next 7 nights. (Breakfast and dinner provided)

    Day 4

    Sunday 13 October - Thessaloniki

    Following the path of St Paul’s Second Missionary in Europe, leads us beyond the imposing Byzantine walls that guard the sophisticated port city of Thessaloniki. The beguiling architecture and meandering cobblestone streets are a pleasure to explore. Our first stop is to the Citadel and the impressive Vlatadon Monastery with magnificent views of the city. It was here that St Paul preached on his Second Missionary in 49 AD. Our journey today continues to the countryside where it is topped only by the captivating site of the biblical city Berea, known today as Veria.

    Join our expert guide to hear all about St Paul’s tribulations as he tried to win over the noble Jews that lived here. During the Byzantine era many small churches were built in the city, which became known as “Small Jerusalem”. We visit one of these immaculate churches, the Church of Christ, built in the early 14 th  century and is home to masterworks by the famous painter of the era, Kalliergis.  Visit Thessaloniki’s most popular landmarks with a first stop on the seafront promenade to view the White Tower. Built in 1430, it is one of the city’s most famous monuments and a majestic symbol of Thessaloniki. Our next stop is at the Byzantine Museum where we will explore the amazing collection of artifacts from the early Christian period onwards including sculptures, mosaics and religious icons. We shall then drive past the International Trade Fair grounds, the Aristotelian University toward the Citadel where we will have a panoramic view of the city, Mt Olympus and the Thermaic Gulf.  From there our drive will take us to the 5 th  century Basilica of St Demetrius, the largest church in Greece famous for its impressive mosaics and the crypt where St Demetrius was confined. Returning to the ship we will drive past the Arch of Galerius and St George’s Rotonda. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

    Day 5

    Monday 14 October - Kavala

    The seaport resort of Kavala perched on the slopes of Mt Symvolo offers spectacular panoramic views. It was here that St Paul baptized the first Greek and European Christian convert, Lydia, and gave his first sermon. Visit the open-air baptistery, the monument that honors the Saint and the prison ruins where he was held captive with St Silas or join our specialist guide for a fascinating excursion to Neapolis and Philippi. Overlooking the bay and coastal plain of Kavala is the hilltop town of Philippi. Apostle Paul’s journey brought him to Philippi during his first mission, we’ll see where he preached, spent time in jail and after a short coach ride to St Lydia’s baptistry where he performed the first European conversion.  (Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

    Day 6

    Tuesday 15 October - Istanbul

                  

    The vibrant city of Istanbul straddles the continents of Europe and Asia via the Bosphorus Strait. On our full day excursion of the city, we visit the lavish Byzantine churches and Imperial mosques which pierce Istanbul’s skyline with their towering minarets. The iconic Sultanahmet (blue) mosque, the Byzantine Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace and the world-famous Church of Hagia Sopia are just a few of the enigmatic attractions to admire. From there we discover a whole new world beneath the city, the Cistern of Philoxenos or the Sunken Palace, a water reservoir constructed in 535 AD.  The tour ends exploring the incredible Grand Bazaar which boasts 4000 shops and stalls. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

    Day 7

    Wednesday 16 October - Dikili (Pergamon)

    Snaking its way along the beautiful coastline of Turkey’s seafront city of Dikili is a lush landscape of green forestry and expansive golden sands. Sparking crystalline turquoise waters complete the captivating scenery. Here, we visit Ancient Pergamon and the ancient Acropolis. Pergamon was the location of the northernmost of the seven churches of Aisa Minor according to the book of Revelations in the New Testament. The city was at the heart of a powerful kingdom and held the reputations as a political and cultural center in the Byzantine era.

    We then drive to the remains of the Asklepion, one of the world’s first hospitals. Excavations date the construction of the temple to the 4 th  century BC, but it mainly flourished during the Roman period, thanks to the efforts of Hadrian.  As well as facilities for the care of patients, the Asklepion also included a theatre for up to 3,500 spectators, lecture halls and a library. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

    Day 8

    Thursday 17 October - Kusadasi (Ephesus)

    In Turkey’s picturesque seaside resort of Kusadasi, St Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesians and preached at the Great Theatre of Ephesus. The second-largest city of the Roman Empire is also the home of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Temple of Artemis. We will learn about this and more on our tour to ancient Ephesus and the city of Miletus. Ephesus is one of the 12 cities of Ionia. This is a stunning marvel in the hills above the Aegean and one of the world's largest and most important open-air archaeological museums. The city was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. The temple built in her honor took 120 years to complete. We wander through the Odeon and the Prytaneion, stroll the marble colonnades of Curetes Street to visit Trajan’s Fountain, Hadrian’s Temple, Scholastica baths, the astonishing Terrace Houses, the spectacular Library of Celsus and the Agora.  We also visit the great Theater of Ephesus where St Paul once preached. Our tour takes us to the Rug Village for lunch and a demonstration of traditional Turkish carpet weaving.

    We continue to the ancient coastal city of Miletus, another of the greatest and wealthiest cities in Ancient Greece and one of the first to mint coins. Homer mentioned Miletus in the Iliad and Paul preached here on the way back to Jerusalem. There are many well preserved ruins here, including the Temple of Apollo and a Byzantine church. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

    Day 9

    Friday 18 October - Patmos

    Today we will follow in the footsteps of pilgrims to St John’s Monastery and the Holy Grotto of the Apocalypse. Patmos is the smallest of the Greek Dodecanese islands and its most spiritual. The tranquil island is famously known for being the location where John the Apostle experienced the visitation that inspired the Book of Revelation. The last remaining disciple was banished to Patmos by Rome. Visitors can see the location where John is said to have had the revelation, the Cave or Grotto of the Apocalypse. A number of churches are named after the apostle, and we are able to call at the Monastery of St John. The picturesque alleyways wind up to the Monastery which was founded by St Christodoulos in 1088. We can enter the yard, where the monks take their meals and the old bakery. We tour the Byzantine Church of St John, adorned with a wood-carved icon screen. We will stop at a small museum, home to priceless religious treasures including manuscripts, medieval textiles and vestments. Behind the chapel of St Anne lies the entrance to the Grotto of the Apocalypse. We will see the cross engraved by St John and the triple fissure in the wall where John is said to have heard God telling of the Apocalypse. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

    Day 10

    Saturday 19 October - Disembark, Corinth, Athens

    We arrive back in the Greek capital of Athens this morning. Disembark and continue on a mesmerizing trip to the Ancient Corinth and the Bema of St Paul.  We drive through the coastal road to the Corinth Canal, which separates Peloponnese from the Greek mainland and connects the two Seas, the Ionian and the Aegean. Continue to Ancient Corinth, one of the most important trading cities of ancient Greece dating back to the 6th century B.C. Visiting the archaeological site we will come across the Temple of Apollo, the agora, the sacred spring and the Peirene Fountain. The apostle Paul resided in Corinth for 18 months in A.D. 51–52. Here he wrote the First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians. We will visit the site of the Bema of St. Paul, where he preached.

    Return to Athens for dinner and overnight. (Breakfast and dinner provided)

    Day 11

    Sunday 20 October - Athens

    Enjoy the day in Athens visiting the Acropolis and New Acropolis museum. Athens, the capital of Greece, is one of the oldest cities in the world spanning a history of 3,400 years. Home of the great minds, philosophers and teachers of ancient times such as Plato, Socrates and Aristotle, Athens is the birthplace of democracy and the cradle of Western Civilization.

    A bus tour will guide us through the highlights of Athens; House of Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Presidential Palace, Panathenaic Stadium, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, to lead us to the world renowned Acropolis.

    We will walk through the architectural wonders of the Golden Age of Pericles; the Propylaia, the Parthenon and the Erechtheion. We walk to Areopagus or Mars Hill, the site where trials were heard before the Council of Elders and where St Paul delivered his speech to the Athenians.  Our visit is not complete without a tour of the New Acropolis museum, which houses the findings of the Acropolis of Athens. Take advantage of your free afternoon to explore the beating heart of Greece.

    Dinner and overnight in Athens (Breakfast and dinner provided)

    Day 12

    Monday 21 October - Depart Athens

    Transfer to airport for return flight to Australia or onward flight to your home country. (Breakfast provided)

    Day 13

    Tuesday 22 October - Arrive Australia/your country

    BOOK/INQUIRE NOW

    Simply complete the form below and we will be back in contact with you within 24 hours.

      FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

      Yes. We have partnered with Olive Tree Travel, one of the leading Christian-owned travel agencies in Australia. They have been in business for decades and serve a broad range of Christian ministries in coordinating travel.

      Yes. You can join the tour from any country. For those in Australia, the above pricing includes flights. For those residing outside Australia, we can price the tour in your currency, excluding flights.

      Yes, there is full medical help available for anyone that may fall ill.

      All attending the tour are strongly advised to obtain their own travel insurance.

      Yes. Each morning, Russell and Sue Driscoll will hold a short time of prayer and devotion for those that would like to attend. This is optional for all touring.

      All deposits are held in a trust account, which is in line with Australian travel agency laws. If, for any reason, the tour does not proceed, all deposits are 100% refundable.