In the Footsteps of St. Paul: Greece and a 3-Day Cruise on the Aegean Sea

In the Footsteps of St. Paul


Join EWTN Host and Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell and his wife, Cathy, as they lead a pilgrimage and cruise to this ancient and biblical world.

October 16 – 26, 2019

Athens • Corinth • CRETE • PATMOS • EPHESUS • Lepanto



from Washington Dulles on Lufthansa Airlines
 (based on double room occupancy)

Includes: Round trip airfare from Washington Dulles; All land transportation by luxury motorcoach; Six nights at 4 star hotels; Three nights sailing on Celestyal Cruise Line “Olympia” with an outside cabin (picture windows); Island excursions to Patmos, Ephesus, and Crete; Breakfast and dinner daily on land; All meals while on board cruise; All touring as on itinerary; All entrance fees for sites visited on itinerary; Arrangements for daily Mass.

Cost is based on double room occupancy: add $950 for a single room | Land cost only: $3795.00


October 16: Departure Flight
Evening flight departure from Washington Dulles to Munich and on to Athens.

October 17: Athens
Early evening arrival in Athens. Transfer to the city center to take in our first glimpse of this ancient city, the cradle of Western Civilization. Check-in and overnight at the Athenaeum Grand Hotel in Athens.

October 18: Embark on Cruise – Mykonos
Transfer to the port of Piraeus for a morning embarkation on-board Celestyal Cruise Line’s, “Olympia”, for a three night sailing on the beautiful Aegean Sea to the Greek Isles with the first port of call being later this afternoon in Mykonos, the island of windmills. One may choose to stay on-board and enjoy the harbor view of the windmill dotted island from deck or disembark to discover the charming waterfront at leisure. Stroll along the cobblestone paths through a maze of whitewashed buildings to discover the Roman Catholic Church and light a candle. Overnight sailing to Kuşadasi, Turkey.

October 19: Ephesus & Patmos
Morning docking in Kuşadasi from where we’ll set out for Ephesus, the city where St. Paul and the Apostles first began the spread of Christianity (53-57 AD), establishing a strong and vibrant community, before relocating to Rome. Visit the humble chapel built on Mt. Koressos over the original house traditionally believed to be the final home of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the time when our Lady lived there, Ephesus was a thriving Greek and Roman city of 250,000 people. Today it is the greatest archaeological site in the Aegean region and one of the largest restorations still in progress with miles of ancient treasures. As you walk amongst the ruins of this remarkably preserved Greek and Roman city, you can easily envision a chariot clattering down the main avenue, the same avenue down which Cleopatra and Mark Anthony rode in procession more than 2,000 years ago! The Great Theatre, where Paul preached, built in the 4th century B.C., could accommodate 24,000 spectators and it is famous even nowadays for its acoustics. Once when Paul was preaching in 57 AD, he narrowly escaped a riot that erupted over his words. Mid-day return to the ship for an afternoon sailing to Patmos, the island of St. John’s exile. Late this afternoon the ship will anchor off the shore of Patmos. Disembark for a tour to St. John’s Monastery and the cave where he received the inspiration to dictate the Book of Revelation. The whole island enjoys statutory protection as a historic monument. Evening sailing southeast for Heraklion, Crete.

October 20: Crete – Santorini
Morning arrival in Heraklion, Crete, which St. Paul reached on his way to Rome. Here he warned the captain of a ship of the danger of continuing his journey to Rome. Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek islands. Enjoy a tour to see the fantastic ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Discovered in 1899 and partially reconstructed, the elaborate Palace is believed to be the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos and the seat of ancient Minoan culture. Mid-day return to the ship to sail for the idyllic isle of Santorini; legendary site of the lost city of Atlantis. Anchor in the open sea off the port of Old Fira. Take a cable car ride to the fabled cliff-top town where whitewashed houses, narrow streets, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques cling to steep cliffs. You might climb further up to the beautiful Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to pay a visit and light a candle. Return to the ship for an overnight sailing to Piraeus.

October 21: Disembark cruise – fly to Thessaloniki – Philippi
We disembark the cruise this morning at Piraeus and transfer to the Athens Airport for a flight to the Byzantine city of Thessaloniki (northern Greece). Upon a mid-day arrival set out on an excursion to the archaeological sites of Philippi and Kavala. Traveling along one of the most important roads of the Roman Empire, the Via Egnatia, to Philippi, a flourishing city of ancient times. Upon a visit from St. Paul, Timothy and Silas, Philippi became the first center of Christianity in Europe. St. Luke the Evangelist, from Troas, also came here. See the ruins of the theatre where he preached and the church he established. Here he and Silas were imprisoned and miraculously set free by an earthquake. Visit Lydia Springs along the River Gangites, where he preached to his first European flock. Among them was Lydia, a “seller of purple cloth”, who was the first to be baptized. Visit the port city of Kavala (biblical Neapolis) on the Aegean Sea, where St. Paul, along with Timothy and Silas, first landed before going to Philippi. Early evening return to Thessaloniki and check-in at the Holiday Inn Hotel for overnight.

October 22: Thessaloniki – Metorea Monastery
Morning check-out and tour of the sites where St. Paul lived and preached in Thessaloniki during the winters of 49-50 AD, writing two epistles. Afternoon departure west to Kalambaka, stopping en-route in Veria where he had a devoted following. Continue on through the mountains to Metorea, where world famous Byzantine monasteries are perched precariously on summits of gray rock pinnacles of varied and beautiful shapes. Their history goes back to the 14th century when the monks sought refuge in the cliffside caves then fled higher to build the original wooden shelters, later transformed into monasteries. Visit one of the monasteries wherein are beautiful 16th century Byzantine frescoes. Check-in and overnight at nearby Hotel Eden Famissi.

October 23 – Thermopylae – Delphi – Gulf of Lepanto
A day of amazing scenery and ancient history on our drive southwards to the Gulf of Patros (formerly the Gulf of Lepanto), stopping first in Thermopylae to see the Leonidas monument commemorating the famous Spartan battle victory in 480 BC, and next in Delphi, to see the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo (1500 BC), the most important historical site in Greece considered to be the center of the ancient world. Continue southwest along the exquisite Aegean Coast to the Gulf of Patros. Late afternoon arrival in Nafpaktos where the great naval battle of Oct. 7, 1571 was fought between an alliance of Christian forces known as the “Holy League” (under the command of Don Juan of Austria) and the Ottoman Turks who were threatening to control the Mediterranean, the gateway to the West. Despite the Holy League being greatly outnumbered, a victory was won for them and the Christian West was spared. Attributing the stunning victory to the intercession of our Blessed Mother through the worldwide recitation of the Holy Rosary, Pope Pius V declared Oct. 7 henceforward to be the feast of Our Lady of Victory. Overnight at the Hotel Nafs overlooking the panorama of the Corinthian Bay in Nafpaktos.

October 24: Nafpaktos – Corinth – Athens
Following a morning visit to the “Botsari Tower” to see a fascinating exhibition of replica paintings, maps and designs related to the Battle of Lepanto, head east crossing over the Rio-Antirrio Bridge, the worlds longest cable-stayed bridge. Travel along the south side of the Gulf of Corinth, to the ancient city that inspired many of Paul’s most familiar letters. Stop at the awesome Corinth Canal for pictures before arriving in Corinth at the ruins of the site where St. Paul arrived in 50 A.D. and spent eighteen months building a thriving Christian community, writing the First Thessalonians, and most likely the Epistle to the Romans. See the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Bema, the pillars, steps, and public worship place where Paul preached and your perception of his letters I & II Corinthians will be henceforward seen through a new lens. The ruins of this important cultural center are fascinating as we walk along the stone path that the Apostle Paul walked. The engineering skill and intellect of these people are evident in the water systems that still flow from ancient to modern day. Continue on to Athens for a late afternoon arrival and check-in at Hotel Athenaeum Palace in Athens.

October 25: Athens
A full day in Athens! Considered the cradle of western civilization, Athens has been the leading city of Greece since the first millennium BC and is famous for its rich cultural heritage. On the way to the Acropolis, pass the Panathenaic stadium (where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896), the temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. in the Acropolis visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: the Propylae, the temple of Athena Nike, the Parthenon (the monument that “puts order in the mind”) and finally Mars Hill where St. Paul was brought before the Council and spoke of the Unknown God. Pass by Constitution square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the National Library before stopping for a visit at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Dionysius, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyred Christian convert. Evening Farewell Dinner.

October 26: Flight Home
Mid-day flight departure from Athens to Munich and on to Washington Dulles. Evening arrival in Washington Dulles.


PAYMENT: A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold a reservation. Balance of payment is due 50 days prior to departure. Make check payable to Syversen Touring. If cancellation is received in writing more than 45 days prior to departure, a full refund excluding the $500 deposit will apply. If cancellation in writing is received within 45 days prior to departure the de- posit plus any amount that the airline, hotel & ground operator withhold are non-refundable. Personal Checks, Cashiers Checks & Credit Cards (with a 3.5% surcharge) are accepted

DOCUMENTATION: All passengers must have a valid passport. U.S. citizens do not need visas or vaccinations How ever, visa and health requirements are subject to change. For citizens of other countries check with the consulate of Spain for entry requirements. 

MEALS: As the meals offered on the tour are pre-set, we are not able to accommodate special dietary needs. 

ITINERARIES: Itineraries and hotels are pre-arranged and are subject to change. Activities are scheduled according to the best information available at the time.

BAGGAGE: 1 average size suitcase plus 1 carry-on are permitted at no charge as well as a personal item such as a purse.

SINGLE OCCUPANCY: Tour costs are based on double room occupancy. Accommodation in a single room is available at an additional cost as specified on the tour application.

AIR CARRIER RESPONSIBILITY: The airlines cannot be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board their aircraft. The airlines, as lnternational carriers are subject to lnternational conventions limiting their liability; the limitations of liability contained on the passengers airline ticket shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and the passenger under the conditions stated on the ticket. The airlines are not responsible for any negligent acts and/or omissions of independent contractors, their agents, employees or representatives. Tour participants will fly transatlantic by jet service in economy class.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: Travelers must be medically and physically fit for this tour. This tour requires signifiant walking, as transportation is not permitted to pick up and drop off in front of major sites. The tour is not wheelchair accessible. Any special medical conditions or equipment must be advised in writing, for evaluation of feasibility, at the time of making your reservation.

RESPONSIBILITY: SYVERSEN TOURING LLC acts only as an agent for the hotels, airlines and bus company or contractors providing accommodations, transportation or other services, and all coupons, exchange orders, receipts, contracts and tickets issued by the company are issued subject to any and all tariffs, terms and conditions under which any accommodations, transportation or any other services whatsoever are provided by such hotels, airlines or bus companies or owners or contractors, and by the acceptance of such coupons, exchange orders, receipts, contracts and tickets, the tour member agrees to the following and also agrees that neither SyversenTouring nor its affiliates or subsidiary companies shall be or become liable or responsible for any loss, injury or damage to any person, property or otherwise in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services resulting, directly or indirectly, from acts of God, dangers incident to the sea, fire, breakdown, in machinery or equipment, acts of governments, or other authorities, dejure or de facto, wars (whether declared or undeclared), hostilities, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferage, epidemics, quarantines, medical or customs regulations, cancellations or delays, of or changes in itinerary or schedule, or from any causes beyond the control of Syversen Touring or for any loss or damage resulting from improper or insufficient passports, visas or any documents, and that neither SYVERSEN TOURING LLC nor any of its affiliated or subsidiary companies shall be or become liable or responsible for any additional expense or liability sustained or incurred by the tour member as a result of any of the foregoing causes. If illness or other imperative reason compels a member to withdraw after a tour begins, SYVERSEN TOURING LLC will refund all savings possible. There will be no refund for an absence of less than two days for missing occasional sightseeing or meals. SYVERSEN TOURING LLC reserves the right to require any individual to withdraw from any tour at any time if his conduct is deemed detrimental to or not compatible with the interest, harmony, comfort, welfare of the tour as a whole. The airlines, bus company or other transportation company whose services are featured on this tour is not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on-board their conveyance. The passage contract in use by these companies when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the companies & the tour purchaser.

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