Pilgrimage of St. Paul



10 Days / 9 Nights

2 Nights Athens, 7-Night Pilgrimage Voyages Cruise

Day 1, Wed: Athens:
Upon arrival in Athens, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 2, Thu: Athens:
Morning sightseeing tour of Athens. Visits include the Acropolis and its museum. Spend the afternoon at leisure or explore this fascinating city on your own. (B)
Day 3, Fri: Athens / LAVRION / CRUISE:
Your morning is free to explore Athens on your own. Spend some time viewing the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Shop at the Athens Flea Market, or visit the National Archaeological Museum. Afternoon transfer to Lavrion to board your 7-day Pilgrimage Voyages cruise. Tonight enjoy the shipboard activities. (B,D)
Morning arrival in Thessaloniki. After breakfast, you will start your tour at the Citadel and visit the Vlatadon Monastery where St. Paul preached during his second missionary trip. Then, drive to Veria, the city of Berroia as mentioned in the Bible, where St. Paul preached to the Jews that they were more noble. Visit the traditional Tribune where three steps in situ coexist with the recently created mosaic of the Saint to commemorate the event. After a visit to the Church of Christ, you will have some free time to explore on your own before heading back to Thessaloniki. The tour of Thessaloniki begins with a brief stop for photos of the White Tower, an excellent example of post-Byzantine architecture which stands as a majestic symbol of the city. Next stop is the Byzantine Museum, where you will enjoy an hour perusing displays that feature artifacts from the Christian Era through the post-Byzantine period. Then continue past the International Trade Fair grounds and Aristotelion University as you head to the Citadel. Here, enjoy a superb panoramic view of the city, with Mt. Olympus and the Thermaic Gulf in the background. Your next visit will be to the 5th century Basilica of St. Demetrius, the largest church in Greece. View an impressive display of mosaics and visit the basilica's crypt where Demetrius, an officer of the guard, was confined. Return to the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 5, Sun: KAVALA:
Morning arrival in Kavala, the ancient city of Neapolis, founded in the 7th century BC, which is the very same place where St. Paul set foot on the European Continent during his second missionary journey, establishing a thriving Christian church in the nearby city of Philippi. Depart the port by motorcoach and drive a short distance to see the Aqueduct, built by Suleiman the Magnificent after the Roman style. From here, you will cross the city and pass by the St. Sylas Monastery named after one of St. Paul's companions. Arrive in the famous city of Philippi, one of the most interesting biblical and historical ancient cities and named after King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. It is the place where Brutus and Cassius were defeated by Mark Antony and Octavian Augustus. From here, drive a short distance to the Baptistery and the River where Lydia, the first European convert, was baptized. Return to the archaeological site for a guided tour through the excavations, marveling at the upper and lower parts, as well as the Forum, the Walls, the two Basilicas and the Theatre. Then, a 12:30pm return to the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 6, Mon: ISTANBUL:
After breakfast, you will begin your tour of Istanbul. Your first stop will be the Ancient Hippodrome, which was a sporting and social center of Constantinople (capital of Byzantine Empire). Afterwards, you will continue to the fabulous Blue Mosque, a very important place in the Orthodox World. Before lunch, you will visit the Topkapi Palace, a primary residence of the Ottoman Empire for approximately 400 years. You will have lunch at the palace's restaurant, offering a view of the Bosphorus. Before the tour ends, you will have a shopping opportunity at the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3000 shops. 5pm return to ship. (B,L,D)
Day 7, Tue: DIKILI:
The first stop of your tour today will be the Acropolis in the ancient town of Pergamon. Afterwards, you will visit the Red Basilica, which is one of the largest Roman structures still surviving in the ancient Greek world. You will attend mass here and then lunch. Your last stop will be Aslepion Ancient City before returning back to the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 8, Wed: KUSADASI:
Upon arrival at the Kusadasi port, you will begin your full day tour. Begin with the House of Virgin Mary for a visit and Mass. Your next stop will be at Ancient Ephesus, which was the trade center of the ancient world, a religious center of early Christianity. Visits include the Hadrian's, Trajan's and Domitian's Temples, the Scolastica Baths, Curetes Street, Polio Fountain, Memnius Monument, the Prytaneion, Odeon, the Satet Agora, the Celcus Library and the biggest amphitheater of Turkey. You will then visit St. John Basilica. It is believed that St. John has spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and is buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. You will drive to the Rug Village for lunch and a free carpet demonstration. Afterwards, visit Miletus Ancient City, which was considered the greatest and wealthiest of Greek cities, where you will visit its magnificent theatre and the Byzantine fortress on the acropolis above. Then drive back to Kusadasi to return to the ship. (B,D)
Arrive in Patmos in the morning. Your tour begins with a short drive to the village of Chora, where the Monastery of St. John is built within the walls of a strong fortification. As you walk uphill towards the entrance of the monastery, marvel at this magnificent structure, which was built 900 years ago. View the courtyard, monks' dining room and the old bakery before you visit the main church noted for its outstanding frescoes and interior decoration. Next, visit the small museum where priceless treasures, books, mosaics, icons and jewelry are housed. Return to the motorcoach and continue to the nearby Grotto of the Apocalypse. Here you will see the niches in the wall that mark the pillow and ledge used as a desk by the author of the Book of Revelations and the crack in the rock made by the voice of God honoring the Holy Trinity. Afterwards, drive back to the port of Scala to enjoy some free time in this quaint and picturesque town. (B,L,D)
Day 10, Fri: LAVRION / Athens:
Return to Lavrion (approximately 6:30 am at port). Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Athens airport. (B)