In the Footsteps of Paul — 2017

October 18 — October 27, 2017

ITINERARY

OCTOBER 17: DEPART USA

airplane

Depart your hometown and take an overnight flight across the Atlantic. Enjoy in-flight entertainment and meal service as you travel to start your vacation.

ACCOMMODATION: On board your International flight
MEALS: As served by the airline

OCTOBER 18: ATHENS, GREECE — ARRIVAL

Ancient Corinth

Upon landing in Athens, complete customs and immigration formalities and collect your luggage. The trip will start with your arrival in Athens airport where we will meet and transfer you to your hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure for you to explore Athens.
Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner at restaurant in Microlimano (the coastal area of Athens).

ACCOMMODATION: Titania Hotel, Athens
MEALS: Dinner

OCTOBER 19: ATHENS & ANCIENT CORINTH

Acropolis

Following breakfast & morning devotions we will take a city tour to explore the city of 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…" (Acts 17:16-34).
Athens is one of the most glorious cities in the world and the cradle of western civilization as we know it today. We will visit the main points of interest in the city: the Acropolis, the Parthenon and Mars' Hill (Areopagus) where Paul preached the truth to the Gentle Nation.
Ancient Corinth Following lunch in the Plaka neighborhood of Athens, we will head toward Ancient Corinth (Acts 18.1-18). It was in ancient Corinth where Paul came and worked, established a thriving church and writing two of the epistles, which are now part of the New Testament. We will see the sites associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema & Gallio's seat, the pillars, stairs and the place of public worship, where Paul preached. These sites will certainly enhance the understanding of I and II Corinthians.
Before ending the tour and return to Athens, we will visit the ancient Greek port of Cenchrea (Acts 17:15) where Paul was during his second missionary journey and the ruin of the early Christian 5th Century basilica.
Return to Athens for dinner and out evening teaching at the hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Titania Hotel, Athens
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

OCTOBER 20: EMBARKATION — 3-NIGHT CRUISE

Mykonos

Following breakfast and check out, the group will depart following our morning devotions for the Port of Lavrion.
We will board the MS Celestyal Olympia for a wonderful 3-night cruise to the Greek Islands and Turkey.
Early in the afternoon arrival at Mykonos island (18:00-23:00), the whitewashed jewel of the Cyclades Islands, is your first stop. This charming, mountainous island is known for the hundreds of tiny chapels, white-washed buildings and beautiful windmills that dot its landscape. Don't miss taking a stroll down Mykonos Town, where mazes of narrow streets link the whitewashed buildings and traditional life continues amidst the bustling activity. Enjoy free time to explore this little paradise in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

ACCOMMODATION: MS Celestyal Olympia
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

OCTOBER 21: KUSADASI, EPHESUS & PATMOS

Library

Morning arrival at the Turkish port of Kusadasi (07:00-13:00) for an included excursion to the ruins of Ephesus where Paul spent three years during his ministry and where its inhabitants were the recipients of Paul's famous epistle.
Ancient Ephesus was the Roman capital of Asia Minor and an important center for Christianity from AD 50s. During AD52-54 Paul lived here working with the congregation and organizing his missionary activity and teaching the Word of God (Acts 20:31). This is where he wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Additionally this was one of the seven churches found in the Book of Revelation(Acts 2:1-7).
Library We will visit the house of Virgin Mary where she lived with John, on the hill behind the city. After this amazing experience we will have lunch and then visit the Basilica of St. John as well as the ruins of the famous Diana's temple with the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Odeon, the Arch of Hercules, the Temple of Hadrian, the Agora and the Greco-Roman theater.
Continue your cruise to the island of Patmos (16:00-21:00), a beautiful and spiritual island where In 95 AD, SJohn the Theologian (one of the twelve disciples of Jesus) was sent into exile. John remained on the island for eighteen months during which time he lived in a cave below the hilltop temple of Diana. In this cave exists a small hole in the rock wall, from which derived a series of oracular messages that Prochoros, a disciple of John, transcribed as the Biblical chapter of Revelations. During his time in the sacred cave (now known as the Holy Grotto of the Revelation) John also composed the Fourth Gospel.
Monastery During our time there we will visit the Monastery of St. John the Theologian UNESCO World Heritage Site where we will see the Holy Grotto as well as priceless icons and manuscripts. Afterwards, drive back to the port of Scala and enjoy some free time in this quaint and picturesque harbor.

ACCOMMODATION: MS Celestyal Olympia
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

OCTOBER 22: HERAKLION (CRETE) & SANTORINI

Palace of Knossos

A morning arrival at the port of Heraklion (07:00-11:30) on the island of Crete. It is here that Paul met the owner and captain of the ship, who warned him about continuing his journey to Rome. Enjoy an included tour to the Palace of Knossos — the center of the Minoan civilization. Knossos was inhabited for several thousand years, beginning with a neolithic settlement sometime in the seventh millennium BC, and was abandoned after its destruction in 1375 BC which marked the end of Minoan civilization. The first palace on the low hill beside the Krairatos river was built around 1900 BC on the ruins of previous settlements. It was destroyed for the first time along with the other Protopalatial palaces around Crete at 1700 BC, probably by a large earthquake or foreign invaders. It was immediately rebuilt to an even more elaborate complex and until its abandonment was damaged several times during earthquakes, invasions, and in 1450 BC by the colossal volcanic eruption of Thera, and the invasion of Mycenaeans who used it as their capital as they ruled the island of Crete until 1375 BC.
Blarney Castle After lunch on board thew ship, we depart for the most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea known as the "Black Pearl of the Aegean" — the volcanic Santorini (16:30-21:30) where we will enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean.
The latest excavations have suggested that Santorini might be the lost sight of Atlantis.

ACCOMMODATION: MS Celestyal Olympia
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

OCTOBER 23: DISEMBARK — DELPHI & KALAMBAKA

Delphi

Following breakfast we disembark in Athens at 7:00am and begind our journey north towards Delphi.
Delphi is the famous oracle where the priestess of Apollo, Pitia, influenced, with their prophecies the history of cities and states of antiquity. Visit the archaeological site and museum, where you will admire the famous statue of "Bronze Charioteer" the young driver of the sun chariot. Enjoy lunch in Delphi brfore departing for the Monastery of Hosios Loukas.
Monastery of Hosios Loukas Near there you will find the famous Monastery of Hosios Loukas. This is a historic walled monastery and one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture & art, and has been listed on UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
Dinner and evening teaching at the hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Divani Meteora Hotel, Kalambaka
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

OCTOBER 24: METEORA, VERIA, VERGINA & THESSALONIKI

Meteora

After breakfast and morning devotions, the group will visit the spectacular Meteora, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a mountainous region of stunning scenery. You will see hundred-year-old Byzantine monasteries on top of huge rocks, during the Middle Ages, first built in the 14th century by monks seeking isolation and salvation. We will visit the most famous one, the Great Meteoron (now a popular museum), to admire superb icons, old manuscripts, unique mosaics and frescoes.
Berea Following our visit in Meteora, depart for Veria (Berea), another town evangelized by Paul (Acts 17.10-14). When Paul visited this town in AD50, he came across a more "noble" Jewish community where he preached and created an important Church. This is where Paul met Sopatros, who would later become a valuable comrade and followed him on his return journey to Asia. We will visit the ancient synagogue where we will see the Byzantine mosaic in the monument commemorating his preaching. According to tradition it was at this place where he preached.
Vergina Following lunch in Veria, we depart for Vergina — the legendary burial site of the Macedonian kings. This place is considered as a World Heritage Site, also known as the Royal Tombs and houses the tomb of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great and conqueror of Greek territories which resulted in the expansion of Hellenism.
Return to Thessalonica, dinner and overnight.

ACCOMMODATION: Capsis Hotel, Thessaloniki
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

OCTOBER 25: THESSALONICA, PHILIPPI, KAVALA & THESSALONIKI

Philippi

Following breakfast and morning devotions we travel to Philippi, the town where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe, sowing the seeds of Christianity. "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). Paul arrived here with Silas and Luke on the winter of AD 49 to AD50. There the first Christian baptism was performed — a woman named Lydia. Although they were prosecuted and arrested, they received God's help to escape from prison (Acts 16: 11-23) where there was the conversion of the jailer (Acts 16: 23-26). We will visit the Roman Theatre, probable site of the prison where Paul and Silas were arrested.
We will continue towards the city of Kavala and the ancient city of Neapolis (Acts 16:11) where Paul landed with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. It was later renamed Christoupolis, meaning city of God, because it was the first European city to accept Christianity.
Arch of Galerius We will visit the Roman Aqueduct and the ruins of the Acropolis on our way back to the hotel.
Dinner and evening teaching at the hotel in Thessalonica.
ACCOMMODATION: Capsis Hotel, Thessaloniki
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

OCTOBER 26: THESSALONIKI, HARBOR CRUISE, THERMOPYLAE & ATHENS

Thessalonica

After breakfast and morning devotions, we discover Thessalonica, where Paul preached the gospel on his second and third missionary journeys.
For the early Christians of this city he wrote epistles "To the Thessalonians.". We will visit the Cathedral of St. Demetrius, the Protector Saint of the city, the Church of Saint Sofia, the great Church of Saint George which is hosted in a medieval building, the Byzantine temple of "Panagia Chalkeon", the historical Church of Prophet Elias, the White Tower and the Byzantine fortress of the city. Finally we will visit the monastery of Vlatadon, which was founded in 1360.
Thessalonica Boat At the end of the city tour we board a traditional boat for a Cruise around the Thessaloniki harbor! During the cruise you will enjoy refreshments and coffee with the captivating view of the Thermaic Gulf!
Following the cruise, we depart for Athens. On the way we will see the walls of the Old Town, the newly excavated Forum, an ancient Roman monument that was transformed into a church and the Arch of Galerius, which rises along the famous Via Egnatia and we will also pass through Thermopylae, where we will see the statue of the Spartan King Leonidas. This place was an important and vital point because Spartan of its location. Several battles occurred there during the ancient time and the most famous was the heroic battle of the Spartans against the Persians in 480 BC.
Following a late afternoon arrival in Athens, you have an opportunity to say your farewells to your new friends and Greece at the Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant with live music, folklore dancers and breaking dishes!

ACCOMMODATION: Titania Hotel, Athens
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

OCTOBER 27: ATHENS TO USA — INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS TO USA

Airplane

Today your Greek vacation has come to its final day.

Transfer to Athens Airport in time to check in for your flight. You may do some last minute shopping at the duty free stores before boarding your aircraft and flying across the Atlantic Ocean back to home.

MEALS: Breakfast at the hotel; meals as served onboard your international flight

Cost: from $3,199*

Tour Inclusions:
  • 9-nights accommodation (based on double occupancy)
  • Exclusive transport by luxury motorcoach with a driver & guides
  • Meet and greet service with one group transfer upon arrival and departure at the airport
  • Meals: Daily Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (including a Welcome Dinner and a Farewell Dinner)
  • Visits to: Athens, Ancient Corinth, Delphi, Kalambaka, Meteora, Veria (Berea), Vergina, Thessaloniki, Philippi, Kavala and Thermopylae
  • 3-night cruise in an inside stateroom with visits to Mykonos, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Patmos, Herklion (Crete) and Santorini
  • All tours, entrance fees, service charges, taxes as noted in the itinerary
  • Gratuities
  • Porterage at hotels (based on 1 bag per person)
  • All taxes and service charges as applicable to itinerary
  • $500 New Life Program Fee
  • Expanding Horizons Escort throughout the tour

    * pricing is land only; based on double occupancy.
    **Itinerary subject to change at the discretion of New Life Ministries or Expanding Horizons if conditions beyond our control warrant an itinerary change to enhance your tour experience.