In the Footsteps of St. Paul with Greek Isle Cruise
Spiritual Director: Fr. Robert Hughes
October 20 - 30, 2023
In the Footsteps of St. Paul with Greek Isle Cruise
Fr. Robert Hughes
October 20 - 30, 2023
Thessaloniki · Phillippi · Kavala · Kalambaka · Delphi · Corinth · Athens · Kusadasi · Ephesus (Mary's House) · Patmos · Heraklion · Santorini
For eleven days you will follow the footsteps of St. Paul and experience beautiful sites throughout Greece. Visit Philippi where Paul the Apostle delivered his first sermon and established the first Church in Europe, Mars Hill in Athens where he spoke to the Athenians, Corinth and the site of St. Paul’s trials by Gallio, and more! You will even visit the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus in Turkey where she lived until her Assumption according to Catholic Doctrine. A popular Pilgrimage site, this Shrine has even received several papal visits and blessings. On your 3-day cruise you will discover the captivating and beautiful Greek Islands like Mykonos, Crete, and Santorini.
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from Newark (EWR) or Philadelphia (PHL)
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 2 nights | Oct 21 – 23: Hotel Lazart, Thessaloniki, Greece
- ~ 1 night | Oct 23 – 24: Hotel Amalia, Kalambaka
- ~ 2 nights | Oct 25 – 27: Hotel Athenaeum Palace, Athens
- ~ 3 nights | Oct 27 – 30: Celestyal Cruise Line, (outside cabin)
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner while on Cruise
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of local guide throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Whispers for LAND tour
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Port taxes & fees
- All tips included while on cruise
- Shore excursions while on ship include:
- ~ Syros Island - Walking tour
- ~ Kusadasi - Ephesus & the house of the Virgin Mary
- ~ Miletus - Faustina Baths
- ~ Santorini – Thira(Fira) by cable car, walking tour
- Lunches on day 2 - 7, Meals not mentioned, Tips to your guide and driver
Providing you coverage for situations that may arise during your trip, including medical and dental emergencies, loss of luggage, trip delay, and so much more.
Cancel For Any Reason Waiver
A Cancellation Waiver - allowing you to cancel your trip and receive a refund anytime - up until 48 hours prior to departure.
Day 1, Friday, October 20: Depart for Greece
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Onboard, meals will be served to you.
Day 2, Saturday, October 21: Arrive in Thessaloniki
Upon landing at Makedonia Thessaloniki Airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/-or driver. Board the bus to transfer to your hotel. Enjoy some time to relax after check-in. After a delicious meal, overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 3, Sunday, October 22: Philippi - Kavala - Thessaloniki
After breakfast, start your journey in Greece with the first stop of the day in Philippi. Philippi was the city where Saint Paul the Apostle delivered his first sermon and, he established the 1st church in Europe. "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). It is also the site where Saint Paul baptized a woman named Lydia, the first convert to Christianity in Europe. Visit the Roman Forum, where Saint Paul cast a spirit out of a fortune-telling woman. View the prison (now in ruins) where Saint Paul and Silas were thrown into by the owners of the fortune-tellers. Continue to the modern port city of Kavala, which was once the ancient Neapolis. This port is where Saint Paul, Silas, Luke, and Timothy landed when they sailed into Europe. After enjoying this city by the sea, return to Thessaloniki for a delicious meal and restful overnight.
Day 4, Monday, October 23: Thessaloniki City Tour - Kalambaka
Start your day with breakfast at the hotel. In the winter of 49-50 A.D., Saint Paul wrote two epistles to the Thessalonians. These letters urged Christians to "live blamelessly" and to refrain from living idly while they wait for the second coming of Christ. While in Thessaloniki, you will witness several ancient artifacts, such as the triumphal Arch of Galerius found at the start of Via Egnatia. Due to the convenient location, this arch was once a strategic artery of the Roman Empire and constructed to honor the Roman Emperor Galerius following the Roman victory over the Persians. Following the city-tour, transfer to Kalambaka. This evening, you will have a wonderful meal and a relaxing overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 5, Tuesday, October 24: Meteora - Delphi
After breakfast, board the motorcoach for a short drive to the Meteora Monasteries. In the eleventh century, some monks settled within caves. However, as the Turkish occupation increased, the monks were forced to move their settlements higher upon the rocks until they were unreachable by any opposing enemy. These settlements became Monasteries by bringing building and lifting materials by ladders and baskets. Notorious for preserving the Hellenic religion as well as their academics and arts. During your visit, you will be able to view stunning Byzantine art, as well as the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the monastery. Continue to Delphi for dinner and overnight.
Day 6, Wednesday, October 25: Delphi - Athens
Today, visit the center of the ancient world (navel) of the earth, Delphi. Its prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. Visit the site and the museum and continue to 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” Athens is one of the most glorious cities in the world and the cradle of western civilization as we know it today. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Athens.
Day 7, Thursday, October 26: Athens - Excursion to Corinth
After breakfast at the hotel, start with a tour of the oldest city in the world, Athens! Visit the rock that has dominated the panorama of Athens for twenty-five centuries, the Acropolis. At the Acropolis, you will see the ruins of the Parthenon, Erectheum, and Propylene. After, you will ascend Mars Hill of where Saint Paul spoke to the Athenians about the one and only God (Acts 17:22). While in this city, view the ancient Agora, the former public center of Athenian life. It held the focus of a political, commercial, social, religious, and cultural center. As you are in the former political center, proceed with a drive through the city to view the House of Parliament on Syntagma Square. Also, have the opportunity to view the University of Athens, the oldest higher education institute in Greece and, the National Library of Greece that holds 4,500 Greek manuscripts. Visit Panathenaic Stadium, the beautifully marbled multi-purpose stadium. It is home to the Olympian Zeus and the site of the first modern-era Olympics (1896). Following your visit to Athens, you will proceed to ancient Corinth. Under the shadow of the towering Acropolis, Saint Paul lived in Corinth for two years. While here, Saint Paul felt great grief over what the Gentile Church in Corinth has become. As a result, he wrote four letters, all with the overarching theme of love. In Corinth, have the opportunity to view the remains of the first century shops, the site of the Saint Pauls trial by Gallio, the Fountain of Peirene, and the Temple of Apollo. Following your visit to Corinth, return to Athens for a delicious meal and overnight.
Day 8, Friday, October 27 : Athens - Start 3-day Cruise (Celestyal Cruises) to Syros island
Following breakfast, proceed to the Piraeus port, where you will board your 3-day cruise. Your first stop will be the Island of Syros. Syros is the administrative capital of the Cyclades and is one of the smallest islands within the group. With its resplendent pastel-hued villas cascading down the Ermoupoli hill, this island is rich in history and culture and provides visitors with a slice of Greek perfection without the crowds. The island of Syros hosts a vast Catholic community, which reaches almost half of the island's population. The most impressive Catholic church is the church of St George, on the highest point of Ano Syros village, with the Centre of Historical Studies of Catholic Bishopric on the back side of the church.Built in 1200 St George Cathedral has undergone numerous renovations over the years.It is a large complex including the Church,the Bell Tower,the Baptistry,the Sacristy.The Cathedral is a three-aisled Basilica with marble comumns,Satues of Saints by Italian sculptors of the 18th century dominate the entrance while on the inside will certainly be impressed by the wood-carving and marble flooring. Walk with your guide and discover the charm and beauty of magical Syros on this private guided walking tour. Our excursion of this beautiful island begins in the picturesque capital of Ermoupoli, which is named after the Greek messenger god of commerce and healing, Hermes.We visit the charming Church of the Dormition of the Virgin to admire El Greco’s famous 16th-Century painting of ‘The Dormition of the Virgin’. We continue on to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Metamorphosis and to the impressive Orthodox Cathedral of Agios Nikolaos.In the nearby Vaporia Quarter, you can observe many fine and beautiful examples of neoclassical architecture. The lavish 19th-Century mansions feature elegant paths and arches. The interiors of some buildings are ornately adorned with highly decorative wall paintings and ceiling frescoes.The downhill stroll from Vaporia leads the way to Miaouli Square and to the city’s cultural icon. The historically significant Apollon Theatre was built in 1862 and has the honour of being Greece’s first opera house.To fully appreciate the sublime ambience of Syros, we recommend you mix and mingle with the locals in the heart of Ermoupoli. We conclude our tour at the Town Hall, situated in the magnificent Platia Miaouli – the city’s top tourist attraction.As the lively main square is adjacent to a good selection of interesting shops and quaint little cafes and bars, you can savour the vibe of authentic Cyclades island culture as you shop and enjoy refreshments with the locals.
Day 9, Saturday, October 28: Kusadasi - Ephesus (Mary's House) and Miletus
Enjoy breakfast on board in the lively Turkish port of Kusadasi. We then transfer to the small village of Mt. Koressos. Visit the stone chapel situated upon the site, where the Virgin Mary spent her last days following the crucifixion of Christ. Following this visit, walk through the Magnesian Gate to the ancient Ephesus. Enjoy a walking tour that will take you through the most magnificent excavations in the world. Some of the sites include the Odeon (concert hall), the Fountain of Trajan, the Scholastica, the Temple of Hadrian and the Latrians, the Library of Celsus. The last stop on the walking tour is the Great Theatre. The largest ancient theatre with a capacity of 25,000 people and is a site where Saint Paul preached. Follow the exact route that Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession via the Arcadian Way. This main street runs from the Great Theatre to the city harbor. On your transfer back to Kusadasi, have the opportunity to view the Basilica of Saint John. In the sixth century, Emperor Justinian erected this structure over the grave of the evangelist, John. Upon arrival in Kusadasi, enjoy some free time to explore. We then drive to the coastal city of Miletus, an ancient city that built its reputation as a central trade hub for the twelve leading cities of the Ionian Confederation. The city’s wealth can be seen in its remains including one of the world’s first mints and the famous Faustina Baths. Miletus was also the home of several well-known philosophers and architects, such as Thales, Hippodamos, and Isidoros.It is here that St Paul called the elders of Ephesus and talked to them. Return to the cruise ship.
Day 10, Sunday, October 29: Santorini
This morning awaken on the idyllic island of Santorini. Santorini is definitively the most breathtaking island of all of the Greek Islands. Upon arrival in Santorini, we drive to Akrotiri. The Minoan Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri is recognised as the source of inspiration for Plato’s legend of Atlantis. With connections to mainland Greece, Egypt and Syria, Akrotiri was one of the most important Minoan urban centres and ports in the Aegean Sea.The archaeological site is home to many ancient treasures. Although volcanic ash destroyed the prehistoric settlement, it also preserved historic artefacts dating back to the 4th-century BC.Stroll along the walkways suspended over the archaeological remains to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the ruins. Further exploration in the small on-site museum allows you to discover the beautiful and delicate pieces of art that were an important part of the ancient life and society of the Minoan civilisation. We will also visit Thira with its iconic white-washed houses, narrow streets, open-air cafes, and glittering boutiques that cling to cliffs. Here we celebrate Mass at St John the Baptist Catholic Cathedral. This evening enjoy your last dinner and overnight on the cruise ship.
Day 11, Monday, October 30: Return Home
Today marks the end of your cruise. Following disembarkation, you will say your heartfelt farewells to a journey that will last in your memory forever. Transfer to the Athens airport for your return flight(s) home.*206 Tours Disclaimer:
Occasionally local religious and national holidays, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of events or the missing of certain events/places. Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of events and places to be visited.
- In case your flight is cancelled 206 Tours will assist to get you to your destination.
- Your transfer will be waiting.
- In the rare event your tour is not operating we will refund you.
- Your seats will be assigned.
- If you need to travel a few days prior, stay a few more days or make a stop-over, we will arrange it for you.
- If your flight is cancelled, delayed or overbooked, 206 Tours is unable to rebook your flights
- To guarantee your arrival and departure transfer, we need your detailed flight arrival / departure by 45 days prior. Any changes within 45 - 3 days prior, additional transfer cost may apply.
- Any changes to your arrival / departure within 3 days of departure, we may not be able to rebook your transfer, you may need to make your own arrangements.
- If you book your own airfare, travel insurance provided by 206 Tours may not reimburse expenses caused by your trip interruption or cover your expenses due to flight changes.
Book your trip now
$400 Deposit is due at the time of Registration
Options & Upgrades
*All pricing is per person
Single Supplement / Private Room $949.00 (USD)
Business Class Trans-Atlantic (One-Way) $2,200.00 (USD)
Business Class Trans-Atlantic (Round-Trip) $4,400.00 (USD)
Would like to stop over in Europe?
Options and upgrades
Options & Upgrades
*All pricing is per person
Single Supplement / Private Room $949.00 (USD)
Business Class Trans-Atlantic Upgrade (One-Way) $2,200.00 (USD)
Business Class Trans-Atlantic Upgrade (Round-Trip) $4,400.00 (USD)
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earlier or stay later?
About your trip
- Ephesus (Mary's House)
About Greece and Saint Paul
The important role that Greece has played in history is widely known; philosophy, the arts, medicine, democracy. But there is also a great page in the history of Christianity: early days of Christianity and the ministry of the Apostle Paul! This amazing man, moved by the Holy Spirit preached "good news" to Jews and Gentiles. Traveling along the major trade routes of the Roman empire and visiting large thriving communities of Asia Minor and Greece his mission was accomplished; Christianity became the biggest religion in the world. Our tours are not just tours; they are an inspiring journey to the actual places where the Apostle Paul lived and preached God's word. Travel with our bible-oriented guides down timeless roads; take time to pray and rejoice in the ancient biblical sites; visit thousand-year-old Churches and temples; and encounter a unique spiritual experience that will help you to better understand "The Steps of Paul" selecting bible-oriented guides, incorporating lectures and providing printed material, for people to achieve a deeper understanding of the Apostle Paul and his work.
Know Before You Go
We promise to do all within our power to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us, please note should any problems arise during your trip you should first contact your local emergency contact in your destination country or the 206 Tours.Read more