DAY 1: DEPART USA
We depart USA en route to Athens, with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.
DAY 2: ARRIVE ATHENS
Upon our arrival we are met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative and escorted to our private motor coach for transfer to our hotel. Dinner will be at the hotel. (D)
DAY 3: ATHENS: CITY TOUR
This morning we make our way outside the city to the Monastery of Kaisariani, founded in the 11th century AD and consecrated to the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple. After a prayer service, we have a brief tour of the grounds, then some time for reflection and our Pilgrims’ prayer to Mary with some time for the pilgrims to share their hopes for the pilgrimage. We then tour the city of Athens, including the agora, where Paul addressed the Athenians, the famed Acropolis and Parthenon, Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus. We will have lunch in the Plaka area and return to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city and its museums. (B, L)
DAY 4: ATHENS: CORINTH EXCURSION
We journey to Corinth, the largest city in the land now known as Greece. Here Paul spent 18 months, preaching to the Jews and Gentiles. The site is overlooked by an Acropolis housing the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite,
goddess of love. In Corinth, Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla and his trial by Gallio took place in the agora. The community he founded here caused him much grief and prompted him to write at least four letters. We celebrate our liturgy today in Corinth with a reflection on Paul the Missionary. We have lunch in Nauplion and complete our day in Epidaurus, one of world’s best-preserved amphitheatres with remarkable acoustics. We return to Athens with dinner on our own. (B, L)
DAY 5: ATHENS: CITY TOUR AND LEISURE
This morning we visit the Athens Archeological Museum, one of the finest in the world. The balance of the afternoon is at leisure, with plenty of time for last minute shopping or preparing for our journey home. Then we gather for dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
DAY 6: CRUISE: PIRAEUS / MYKONOS
This morning we transfer to the port of Piraeus for our Greek Isle Cruise. Our first stop of the day is the island of Mykonos, a beautiful island of white washed houses and beautiful vistas. We are shuttled to the town followed by some time for shopping. This evening we leave for Rhodes. (B, L, D)
DAY 7: CRUISE: RHODES
We arrive in Rhodes this morning for our half-day tour. Our private included excursion includes a visit to the town of Lindos with its famed Acropolis and then to Rhodes’ Old Town. The afternoon is free for sightseeing or a swim. This evening we sail for Turkey. Before dinner, we celebrate the Eucharist on board ship. (B, L, D)
DAY 8: CRUISE: PATMOS AND KUSADASI
This morning, our ship will dock in Patmos, which was considered sacred and often called the Jerusalem of the Aegean. It was here that John the Evangelist received the inspiration to write the Apocalypse. We will have a private included excursion to visit the island of Patmos, including the Monastery of St. John, a huge fortress-like building dating from the 11th century, and the grotto where tradition says that John wrote the Book of Revelation. We return to our ship for lunch.
We continue on our cruise to Kusadasi where we make an excursion to Ephesus, where Paul founded the Church in 53-56 AD. From here, he wrote letters to Galatia, Philippi, and Corinth. We visit the great theatre where St. Paul addressed the crowds and the scene of the riot from which Paul escaped, plus the Temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. After lunch, we visit the Cathedral of St. John, the museum of Ephesus, and then to the House of Mary. We return to our ship for dinner and our return to Athens. (B, L, D)
DAY 9: ARRIVE PIRAEUS / EXCURSION TO DELPHI
This morning we arrive in the port of Piraeus and disembark from our cruise. We make our way to Delphi, the Sanctuary of Apollo and the Oracle of Delphi. We visit the Arch, archaeological sites and the Museum. In the afternoon we return to Athens. Farewell dinner is at a local restaurant in Athens. (B, D)
DAY 10: RETURN USA
We transfer to the airport for our return flight to the USA. (B
NOTE: While no changes are anticipated, there might be occasions when certain alterations become necessary to this itinerary due to changes in airline schedules or for other reasons. All Masses are subject to final church schedules.