16 Day Holy Land & Greece Pilgrimage -3 Day Cruise
What to Expect
Begin our journey as we depart for the overnight flights.
Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, meet with our professional tour guide, who will be with us during our visit to the Holy Land. Transfer to Nazareth for dinner and overnight.
Start our day by visiting ancient Caesarea, which was once the ancient capital of the Roman province. Visit the Byzantine churches, the Roman Theater, Crusader’s moat and the aqueduct. Continue to the city of Haifa; ascend to the top of Mt. Carmel for a panoramic view of the city and port. Celebrate Mass at Stella Maris Convent, and the Cave of Elijah. Drive to Cana where the Jesus performed his first miracle, turning water into wine at the wedding feast; here couples may renew their wedding vows. Continue to the Basilica of Annunciation in Nazareth and then visit Mary’s Well and the Church of the Angel Gabriel. Dinner and overnight in Nazareth.
After Breakfast will start the day with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee; where Jesus walked on the water, to Capernaum to see the synagogue and St. Peter’s house, a visit to the Mount of the Beatitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was given, to Tabgha to see the splendid mosaic about the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and to the nearby Church of Peter’s Primacy where Peter was told ” Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” There will be a Mass near the shores of the Sea of Galilee at the Primacy or Mt Beatitudes. In the afternoon we will visit Caesarea Philippi, location of the testimony of St. Peter and where Jesus answered him “You are the Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Dinner and overnight in Nazareth.
We start the day at the traditional baptismal site at the Jordan River. Here we have the opportunity to get baptized. Continue to Mount Tabor, scene of the Transfiguration, where we will have Mass. We proceed through the Jordan Valley / Judean Wilderness to Jericho the oldest city in the world. In Jericho, we will have the opportunity to view the exact location, the Mount of Temptation, of where the Devil tempted Jesus during his forty-day fast, and then will continue to visit the excavations of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered. On the way back there is time for a swim (or rather a float!) in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, renowned for its healing properties. The day of touring culminates with a pass-through Bethany. Bethany is the site where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
This Morning we start our day by visiting the Shepherd’s Fields where the angels announced the birth of Jesus. Then we continue to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem that stands upon the site where Jesus was born. Mass in Bethlehem or the Shepherds Fields. After Lunch we drive to the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of St. John the Baptist and to the Church of Visitation where the Blessed Virgin Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth, and proclaimed the ‘Magnificat’. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
After breakfast, we will make our way to the Mount of Olives, where we will be able to take in the beautiful panoramic view of Jerusalem. Will start by visiting the Pater Noster Shrine, where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Will continue to visit The Dominus Flevit, which is the Church that commemorates where Jesus wept for Jerusalem. The tour continues on to Gethsemane, a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Jesus brought His disciples here to pray the night before He was crucified. Beside the Garden is your next stop, the Church of All Nations, built over the “Rock of Agony”. This is where Jesus prayed alone on the night of His arrest. Proceed to Mount Zion, we will visit the house of the High Priest Caiaphas (Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu). This Church commemorates where Jesus was brought to jail after his arrest. It also commemorates Peter’s Denial of Christ. Continue to visit the Upper Room, where Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Last Supper and where He appeared to them after His Death and Resurrection. Will continue to visit the nearby Benedictine Church of the Dormition. This Church is where our Blessed Mary, “fell asleep.” Dinner and overnight
Early in the morning we retrace the last steps of Jesus. As we walk along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow), through the markets of the Old City praying the Stations of the Cross, we reflect on the greatness of His sacrifice. Finally, we arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for Mass. We will continue our tour by visiting St. Anne’s Church, the home of the Virgin Mary and her parents Saints Joachim and Anne. We will pass the Ecce Home where Pilate proclaimed “Behold the man”. Continue to the Wailing Wall, the most holy place for Jews. The rest of the day is open for revisit to Holy places, rest or Shop. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
After an early breakfast, will head to the airport in Tel Aviv to catch our flight to Thessalonica. Dinner and overnight in Thessalonica
Today after a great breakfast, we head for the ancient city of Philippi (Acts 16:12). This city was built by Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, in 358 BC. Here Paul preached his first sermon in Europe and here the first believers in Europe were baptized. We will visit Lydia’s Spring, the place where Paul led Lydia to Christ, making her the first person in Europe to ever give her life to Christ. Pastor will give a message at this beautiful and significant spot. Then we will visit the archaeological excavations of the Roman city of Philippi from Paul’s time. We will see the remains of the Agnation Way, the famous Roman road that connected Rome itself with Greece and the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. The Apostle Paul walked on these very stones almost 2000 years ago. We will also visit the actual jail where Paul and Silas were imprisoned (Acts 16:22ff). Time will be taken here at the ancient city of Philippi for a devotional message. Then we move on to the port of Neapolis (Acts 16:11), the spot where Paul first set foot on European soil. Following lunch here at one of the charming outdoor cafes along the shores of the sparkling Aegean Sea, we’ll focus on Paul’s obedience to God in coming to Europe in Acts 16. After a full day of spiritual challenge, we return to hotel for dinner and overnight in Thessalonica.
After a hearty breakfast, we will spend our day visiting the capital city of northern Greece, the city of Thessalonica (modern day Thessaloniki). The ancient city on this same spot was home to some of Paul’s most exciting ministry, resulting in a church that has two letters in the New Testament. We will see the triumphal arch of Galerius; we will also visit the archaeological site of the ancient city of Thessalonica where Pastor will share a devotional based on the events of Acts 17. After an exciting morning in Thessalonica, we will visit the ancient city of Berea (Acts 17:10). Here Paul found a community of Jewish people who were serious about Paul’s message and who “examined the Scriptures to see if it was true”. While we are here, we will be able to stand on the very marble synagogue steps where Paul stood and preached. Standing on these steps, Pastor will share a message from the Bible about the attitude towards the Bible that these folks in Berea had and how that should change our lives. We will then return to Thessalonica and board our flight to Athens. Welcome to the birthplace of western civilization! Dinner and overnight in in Athens
After a great breakfast, we will transfer to the port of Piraeus in Athens, where we will board our cruise ship. We sail at noon and head for our first stop at the beautiful Aegean island of Mykonos, where we will have the chance to get off the ship, have dinner, and explore this quaint island. Later we return to our ship for overnight.
After breakfast, we begin a day full of exciting events. First, we head to Ephesus and the unmatched archaeological excavations at the ancient city of Ephesus. Ephesus was considered the third most significant city in the Roman Empire of Paul’s day and the capital city of the entire eastern Roman Empire. Recognizing this, Paul dedicated over two years of his life to ministry in this city (Acts 19:10). The archaeological excavations here at Ephesus are perhaps the most incredible excavations in all of the Middle East. Time will be taken here in Ephesus for a devotional word by pastor and a walking tour of the ancient city. After our awe-inspiring visit to ancient Ephesus, we return to the port area where you will have time for shopping. We then board our cruise ship for lunch. Upon our disembarking in the early afternoon, we find ourselves on the beautiful island of Patmos. It was here that the Apostle John was exiled (Rev 1:9) and that he received the Book of Revelation from the Lord Jesus Himself (Rev 1:19). We will go directly to the cave where Apostle John received the Revelation and wrote it down. We will visit the church that stands on this site overlooking the beautiful Aegean Sea, and pastor will share a message here from the Book of Revelation. We will then visit the monastery on the uppermost part of the island, which contains priceless icons and ancient artifacts, including an original painting of Jesus by the famous artist El Greco (Dominikos Theotokopoulos). Dinner and overnight on our deluxe cruise ship.
After breakfast, we disembark to spend the morning in Heraklion, the largest city on the island of Crete. Its archaeological museum holds the remains of the 3000-year-old Minoan civilization. The city was a stronghold for the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire from 961 AD until 1204 AD. This city was bought by the Republic of Venice in 1204 AD and became an outpost for the Italian Renaissance. In 1669 AD, Heraklion was captured by the Ottoman Turks and made part of their empire. Finally, in 1913, Heraklion (and all of Crete) was incorporated into the Kingdom of Greece. The city has a charming mixture of architectures as well as wonderful outdoor markets, restaurants, and shopping. You will have all morning to explore and enjoy this quaint city. After returning to our ship for lunch, we set sail for the beautiful island of Santorini. First settled by the Phoenicians in 1200 BC, the island became part of Greece in 1821. The expansion of tourism here in the 20th century has resulted in the growth of the island’s economy and popularity. The island is one of the most breathtaking in all the Aegean and is full of cafes, shop, and restaurants. We will spend the dinner hour here and then re- board our cruise ship for our final night of cruising the Aegean.
After the breakfast, we head to ancient Corinth. This city was a major commercial crossroads in the time of the Apostle Paul and a city in which Paul spent a year and a half in ministry activity (Acts 18:11). We will see the Corinthian canal, which connects the Aegean and Adriatic Seas. We will then visit the ancient city of Corinth and see the very road that Paul walked on almost 2000 years ago when he entered the city. We will see the Bemah platform where Paul’s case was dismissed by Roman proconsul Gallio (Acts 18:12). Time will be taken here for a devotional message. We will also visit the archaeological museum. We will then return to Athens and explore the Parthenon. Then we will visit Mars Hill (the “Areopagus” of Acts 17:19) where Paul addressed the philosophers of ancient Athens. Time will be taken here for a devotional message by Pastor. We will then visit the Parthenon, considered by many to be the grandest architectural structure of the ancient world. After seeing this incredible sight, we enjoy a free time for a leisure & shopping at the Plakka agora. Dinner and overnight in Hotel in Athens.
After breakfast, we will head to the airport to return home, carrying with us incredible memories of our spiritual journey.
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