Journeys of Paul & Greek Islands Cruise
March 4–11, 2008 • Hosted by Dr. Dale Pederson
Includes airfare, great hotels, transfers & more!
Please join us as we travel to Greece, the Greek Isles and Ephessos in Turkey, retracing the journeys of the Apostle Paul. You will experience personally the places where Paul lived and wrote, making the New Testament come alive in ways you never imagined. For almost two decades, we've led groups through the lands of Bible. We can personally attest to the amazing educational and spiritual value of these trips, as we learn, explore, build fellowship and gain deeper insights into our Christian faith travelling these lands together.
This wonderful opportunity is available at prices that are very affordable and inclusive of flights, first class and deluxe hotels, inside cabins aboard our cruise ship, and all shore excursions and most meals. It's value that can't be matched anywhere, and that is in addition to the benefits which cannot be measured in monetary terms.
We hope you'll accept our personal invitation to be a part of this awesome experience, but don't wait too long. We look forward to welcoming you aboard our journey in the Footsteps of Paul.
Dr. Dale and Tara Pederson-McDonnell
Pastor, First Congregational Church, Salida, CA
Day 2:Wednesday, March 5: Athens. You'll be met by our representative and then escorted to your centrally located hotel within a short distance of Constitution Square and the famous Plaka (Old Town). Athens, the birthplace of western civilization, once hailed as the Paris of the Mediterranean, is now a bustling modern city, a colorful tapestry of eastern and western influences, full of outdoor cafes, pedestrian streets, parks and gardens, street bazaars, dilapidated mansions and ancient ruins. Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel
Day 3: Thursday, March 6: Corinth & Athens. This morning, drive west from Athens, along the scenic coastal highway to the bridge crossing the spectacular Corinth Canal. Continue to the site of Ancient Corinth, one of the most celebrated cities of antiquity, owing its great importance to its strategic physical location that controlled the only land route into the Peloponnese. Here you'll view remains of the ancient Romans as well as the ancient Greeks, with a portion of the Temple of Apollo, one of the oldest ruins in Greece. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure to explore Athens. Your hotel is ideally located in the heart of the city, within short distance of many major attractions, as well as the best shopping and dining. Breakfast provided.
Day 4: Friday, March 7: Athens, Piraeus & Mykonos. Transfer to Piraeus this morning to board your Greek Island cruise ship, the luxurious Celestyal Crystal of the Louis Cruise Lines. Spend the afternoon enjoying the sun, warm seabreezes, pool and shipboard facilities. Arrive at Mykonos later this afternoon, where chic crowds flock to the island's trendy restaurants, discos and clubs each night, and where you can sit seaside, sipping ouzo and watching the sunset while listening to traditional Greek music. Before heading back to the ship, enjoy a stroll through Mykonos town with its labyrinth of winding alleyways and whitewashed buildings, basket-laden donkeys, cascading geraniums and upscale shops and cafes. Please note that in March, arrival at Mykonos (about 6:00 pm) is after sunset. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 5: Saturday, March 8: Rhodes. Today you'll visit Rhodes, the beautiful "Island of Roses". In the heart of the island's biggest city, also named Rhodes, is the largest inhabited medieval town in Europe, a fascinating web of Byzantine, Turkish and Latin ruins. Its mighty fortifications provide the finest surviving examples of defensive architecture of the time. Lindos, with its whitewashed houses clustered beneath a soaring castle-capped acropolis, is Rhodes' most picturesque village and most important Doric settlement because of its natural harbor and vantage point built 125 meters above sea level. Wander about on your own or take advantage of several optional tours. Late this afternoon, return to your cruise ship to continue sailing to Patmos. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 6: Sunday, March 9: Patmos, Kusadasi, & Ephessos, Turkey. Arrive at Patmos this morning and disembark at Skala harbor, a lively place with whitewashed houses, flowered courtyards, tavernas and shops. The Island of Patmos is famous in history as the place where St. John wrote the Book of Revelation. An optional tour takes you to the cave where St. John lived and the nearby Monastery, built on one of the island's highest points, housing priceless icons and manuscripts in its Treasury.
Return to the ship in time to enjoy lunch as you sail to Kusadasi in Turkey. Just ten kilometers from the port of Kusadasi, you'll find the ancient city of Ephessos, where you'll find an archaeological site that ranks among the wonders of the world. Explore this fascinating town where history truly comes to life on an included shore excursion that includes the the Great Theatre of Ephessos, which had a capacity of 25,000 people, and the Library of Celsus dating from 135 A.D. Later this evening, return to your ship to enjoy your last night aboard your cruise. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 7: Monday, March 10: Piraeus & Athens. Disembark from your ship at Piraeus. Enjoy a full day to explore Athens on your own or on optional tours. We suggest an evening at the Plaka, where you'll find typical Greek tavernas complete with music and celebratory throwing of plates. It's an experience not to be missed! Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel Breakfast & dinner provided. Or, continue on our Classical Greece Tour (see itinerary below).
Day 8: Tuesday, March 11: Athens/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport and bid farewell to Athens as you board your return flight. Your journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.
Classical Greece Extension
Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare and visit the classical cities of Mycenae, Olympia, and Delphi? Your extension includes superior hotels, most meals and guided touring of the most fascinating of the classical cities of Greece.
Day 7: Monday, March 10: Athens, Mycenae & Olympia. Early morning arrival at Piraeus and disembark from your ship. Board your touring coach and begin a tour of the classical cities of Greece. Drive across the Corinth Canal, which connects the Ionian Sea with the Aegean, to the Peloponnesian Peninsula, where 4,000 years of history are more fully and comprehensibly illustrated than anywhere else in Europe. Here we'll visit the famous theater of Epidaurus, the best preserved in Greece, which reached the height of its fame in the 5th & 4th centuries B.C. The acoustics are so perfect that even from the last of the 55 tiers, every word can be heard. Continue to ancient Mycenae, which, according to the poets, was founded by Perseus and built with the aid of the mythological Cyclops. Drive on to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic games, for dinner and overnight. Hotel Amalia Olympia Breakfast & dinner provided..
Day 8: Tuesday, March 11: Olympia, Nafpaktos & Delphi. This morning we'll tour the archeological site and museum at Olympia, where the Olympic games were conceived as a tribute to Hercules, son of Zeus. These games were the most important international event in the Hellenic world from 776 B.C. to 393 A.D. and continue today, with the lighting of the Olympic flame that is carried by runners throughout the world. Visit the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus and the Museum. This afternoon we drive via Patras to Rion, Antirion and picturesque Nafpaktos, where according to mythology, Hercules slew the Erymanthine boar and where we'll view the lovely circular Venetian harbor. Continue our drive to Delphi for dinner and overnight. Hotel Amalia Delphi Breakfast & dinner provided..
Day 9: Wednesday, March 12: Delphi & Kalambaka. After breakfast we'll explore the ancient site of Delphi, located on the slopes of the breathtaking Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty. Here lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the museum, which contains masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture including the famous bronze Charioteer.The site had been sacred since at least the Bronze Age. According to legend, the shrine was originally guarded by the she-dragon Pytho. She was killed by Apollo who then took over the oracle. In antiquity, Delphi was regarded as the center of the world. Later, we'll depart for the small town of Kalambaka, built at the foot of the majestic gray rocks, at the point where river Pinios leaves the Pindos Mountain. Hotel Amalia Kalambaka Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 10: Thursday, March 13: Meteora & Athens. This morning we will visit the spectacular Meteora monasteries, perched upon the summits of some precipitous and isolated rocky pinnacles, which rise above the almost flat valley of the Pinios river, 9 km beyond Kalambaka. The monastic history of Meteora goes back to the 11th century AD, when the monks constructed inaccessible eagle's nests in the crannies of these rocks and today, four are still occupied. Later this afternoon we'll drive back to Athens, via Thermopylae, famous battleground from the Persian wars. Arrive in Athens and check in at our hotel. Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel Breakfast & dinner provided..
Day 11: Friday, March 14: Athens/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport and bid farewell to Athens as you board your flight back home, via Germany. Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.
• Round trip flights from San Francisco or New York via Lufthansa Airlines (flight schedule)
• All transfers with meeting, assistance and porterage
• 3 nights superior hotel accommodations at the Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel.
• 3 nights aboard the Louis Cruise Lines MV Cristal in standard inside cabins (Cat. F).
• Breakfast and dinner daily in Athens and all meals aboard the cruise
• Comprehensive touring program, including half-day tours of Ephessos and Corinth, all entrance fees to places visited and professional, English-speaking tour guide
• On the Classical Greece extension, 3 nights accommodations at the Superior First Class Amalia Hotels in Olympia, Delphi and Kalambaka
• On the Classical Greece extension, buffet breakfast and dinner daily
• All transfers
• Professional, English-speaking tour host throughout
|Price from San Francisco||$1798|
|Price from New York||$1613||TAXES, FEES & OPTIONS|
|Additional Taxes, Fees & September 11th Security Fee||$160|
|Single Occupancy Room/Cabin||$293|
|Travel Insurance (recommended)||$129||CABIN UPGRADES|
|A (outside, porthole) DBL||$100|
|A (outside, porthole), SNGL||$150|
|TB (outside, picture window) DBL||$150|
|TB (outside, picture window), SNGL||$225|
|TA (outside, picture window) DBL||$185|
|TA (outside, picture window) SNGL||$275|
|SB (junior suite) DBL||$420|
|SB (junior suite) SNGL||$810||CLASSICAL GREECE EXTENSION|
|Classical Greece Extension||$495|
|Single Occupancy Room||$195|
Important Note: If you are reserving this tour less than 60 days prior to departure, confirmation is subject to space availability. We will advise you within 48 hours if we can confirm your reservation. In the meantime, no credit cards will be debited for deposits or payments until we are able to confirm your reservations.
Please download the reservation application and fax or mail it to us, together with your $300 per person deposit. Fax to: 215-572-9803. Mail to 500 Old York Road, Suite 200, Jenkintown, PA 19046.
For additional information, please contact:
Dale or Tara Pederson-McDonnell
First Congregational Church of Salida
P.O. Box 1039
Salida, CA 95368