Steps of Paul & Eclectic Aegean - 14 Nights
Steps of Paul & Eclectic Aegean - 14 Nights
Trace the stories and explore the lives St. Paul the Apostle, early Christianity, and the melting pot of cultures we call home. Embarking on two adventures back-to-back, you’ll experience the combined wonder of our Steps of Paul and Eclectic Aegean Cruises.
You’ll get closer to faith as you follow Paul’s footsteps around the emerald waters of the Cyclades, taking in the Hagia Sophia, Grotto of the Apocalypse and ancient Ephesus. Then you’ll fill your heart in Oia among blue domes and golden sunshine, live a Byzantium dream on the moonlit streets of Istanbul, and do so much more. A joyous journey for modern missionaries.
Cruise itineraryAt-a-Glance Itinerary
Your Steps of St Paul journey begins in the magical city of Athens. The Greek capital is one of the oldest cities in the world and home to the iconic landmark of the Acropolis. Take your time to discover the heritage, history and culture that is firmly embedded in the heart of this captivating modern metropolis before joining us onboard as we head for Thessaloniki.
Following the path of St Paul’s Second Missionary in Europe, leads you beyond the imposing Byzantine walls that guard the sophisticated port city of Thessaloniki. The beguiling architecture and meandering cobblestone streets are a pleasure to explore, topped only by the captivating site of the biblical city Berroia, known today as Veria. Join your expert guide to hear all about St. Paul’s tribulations as he tried to win over the noble Jews that lived here.
The seaport resort of Kavala perched on the slopes of Mt Symvolo offers spectacular panoramic views. It was here that St Paul baptised the first Greek and European Christian convert, Lydia, and gave his first sermon. Visit the open-air baptistery, the monument that honours the Saint and the prison ruins where he was held captive with St Silas or join our specialist guide for a fascinating excursion to Neapolis and Philippi.
The vibrant city of Istanbul straddles the continents of Europe and Asia via the Bosphorus Strait. Here you can visit the lavish Byzantine and Imperial mosques which pierce Istanbul’s skyline with their towering minarets. The iconic Sultanahmet (blue) mosque, the Romanesque Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace and the world-famous Church of Hagia Sophia are just a few of the enigmatic attractions to admire.
Snaking its way along the beautiful coastline of Turkey’s seafront city of Dikili is a lush landscape of green forestry and expansive golden sands. Sparkling crystalline turquoise waters complete the captivating scenery. Here you have the opportunity to visit the Ancient Pergamon and the ancient Acropolis. The remains of the healing temple of Asklepion is the final stop of the day.
In Turkey’s picturesque seaside resort of Kusadasi, St Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesians and preached at the Great Theatre of Ephesus. The second-largest city of the Roman Empire is also the home of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Temple of Artemis. You will learn about this and more on our complimentary tour to ancient Ephesus and the city of Miletus.
Patmos is the smallest of the Greek Dodecanese islands and also its most spiritual. The tranquil island is famously known for being the location where John the Apostle experienced the vision that inspired the Book of Revelations. The last remaining disciple was banished to Patmos by Rome. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims to St John’s Monastery and the Holy Grotto of the Apocalypse.
Breathtaking panoramas await you on your Eclectic Aegean odyssey. Before heading out to sea, take the time to explore the sprawling capital of Athens and step back in time across more than three millennia. Clustered around its landmark 5th-Century BC Acropolis are many historically important archaeological sites. And as you wait to board, enjoy the captivating ambience by the harbour’s edge.
Our adventure next takes us to the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul, and today you have the chance to see it from a unique perspective. Sailing down the Bosphorus Strait on a private boat, you’ll catch spectacular views of the Topkapi Palace and Rumeli Hisari Fortress. Followed by a wander around the historic spice market to set your senses ablaze.
An Istanbul morning is rich with the melodic call to prayer and the scent of spices going to market. This is one of the world’s truly great cities, wonderfully eclectic and full of opportunities. Be sure to take in the city’s skyline, embellished with the silhouetted minarets of lavish Byzantine and imperial mosques, to get a sense of what makes Istanbul so special.
Perched on the slopes of Mt Symvolo, this vibrant seaport resort has been a little-known favourite for centuries. Its name, Kavala, is said to have been based on Alexander the Great’s favourite horse. These days it’s also affectionately known as ‘the blue city’, boasting crystal-clear waters and dreamy sea views. For a taste of ancient life, you can also explore the nearby ruins of Neapolis and Philippi, with a specialist guide bringing their stories to life.
Thessaloniki’s ancient ruins rooted in the middle of the city create a rich tapestry sewn with a Roman Agora, the Arch of Galerius, the Rotonda, the Byzantine Baths and the Crypt of Agios Demetrios) together with the neoclassical architecture and the impressive Aghia Sofia. The island also has a reputation for its sumptuous culinary delights and delicious pastries.
Volos itself offers everything you need for an exciting or relaxing day in port. Step off your Volos cruise, and you’re greeted by a thriving university city whose energetic pace will whisk you up into its whirlwind of activity, along the edge of the beautiful natural harbor and in the tsipouradika—traditional tavernas—and set you on course to uncover some real architectural gems, both ancient and neoclassical. Wander around and you’ll find grand urban mansions sitting beside nods to the city’s long-lasting industrial heritage.
The mesmerising landscape of Santorini is instantly recognisable all over the world. The sweeping cluster of traditional whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches are instantly recognisable, and you have the opportunity to experience the island’s charming villages on our complimentary excursions to the picturesque beauty spot of Oia perched on the Caldera rim. You won’t want to forget your camera.
While your cruise may be drawing to an end, the tantalising city of Athens still lies ahead. Delve deep into the city’s sidestreets, bursting with life and culture. Or, clamber up high to the Acropolis for a stunning view of this thriving, cosmopolitan city. As the sun sets, take in the Athens skyline by night and wonder at the dancing Aegean. There’s no better place to end your cruise than here.