Daily Devotions and time for worship
Return Economy Airfares to Europe
3 Night Aegean Cruise with CFT shore excursions
Quality hotel accommodation with private
Sightseeing as outlined and all entry fees
Professional local guides
Luggage assistance at hotels
We begin our journey with an evening flight from Australia (Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth). We arrive in Dubai in the early morning and have arranged for the hotel rooms to be ready on arrival.
On Wednesday following an early morning transfer from the airport to the hotel you will have time for a shower and change in our hotel rooms that will be arranged to check into early. Later in the morning you’ll enjoy a guided tour of this amazing new city resplendent with stunning skyscrapers and towers: an architectural oasis in the desert. Tonight, we will enjoy our first group dinner together when we dine in a local restaurant overlooking the dancing fountain show.
We depart Dubai for Munich, the beautiful capital of Bavaria in the far South of Germany. This afternoon you will have time at leisure to relax or explore as you wish.
Explore the best Munich has to offer with our city tour including historic Marienplatz, the city’s central square since 1158. The square is dominated by the New Town Hall (famous for the Glockenspiel) and the reconstructed gothic Old Town Hall and Marian Column. Watch the Glockenspiel mechanical display and enjoy time at leisure in central Munich. From here it is off to the superb Nymphenburg Palace, once the summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs and one of the largest royal palaces in Europe.
Today is the day we have long been anticipating, a chance to experience the unique event that is the original Passion Play. Since 1634 the Villagers of Oberammergau have performed the “Play of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ” once every 10 years to fulfil their solemn oath to God. In 2020 it will be the 42nd time the Community of Oberammergau have performed the Passion Play that they have preserved throughout the centuries. After a relatively short drive from Munich we will have time to admire the town’s beautiful muralled buildings before a light lunch. After lunch prepare yourself for an incredibly emotional experience – the Passion of the Christ.
We farewell Oberammergau and travel to Salzburg, believed to be the first place north of the Alps to receive Christianity and gateway for the spread of faith into Germanic Europe. After lunch we will visit St. Peter’s Church and Abbey, the spiritual heart of the city since the church’s foundation in the 7th century. Aside from its striking Christian architecture, the cemetery and catacombs are also a must-see for fans of “The Sound of Music”. Drive by the nearby 10th century Nonnberg Convent one of the world’s oldest continually active convents, known to us as home to “Fraulein Maria”. Salzburg is synonymous with music and famous as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Enjoy a late afternoon wander through the historic centre with our local guide – amongst the many pretty town houses and mansions we will also see Mozart’s birth place in Getreidegasse and his later residence.
This morning we will drive out to the glorious Mondsee Lake and visit the baroque St Michael Basilica, made famous for the wedding scene in the “Sound of Music” movie. Enjoy picture postcard views as we travel through spectacular alpine scenery.
We arrive in beautiful Vienna in the afternoon.
Today is a chance to enjoy the glory of Vienna – whether you love baroque streetscapes, imperial palaces, artistic and musical masterpieces or oldworld coffee-houses, Vienna offers something for everyone. A morning city tour will take us to see St Stephen’s Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece with its distinctive tiled roof.
Be amazed at the secular and ecclesiastical treasures as we tour the Hofburg Palace and its Imperial Treasury.
The rest of the day you can spend at leisure – explore the Museum Quarter and see the works of such artistic greats as Klimt, Van Gogh, Da Vinci and Rembrandt or enjoy people watching as you indulge in afternoon tea at a KaffeeHaus. Don’t forget to try Vienna’s famous “Sacher-Torte”, the chocolate cake invented for royalty in 1832.
The European leg of our wonderful spiritual journey is at an end so tonight we will celebrate with a delicious farewell meal.
After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Athens, the capital of Greece and the heart of its ancient empire. On arrival in Athens we will be meet and transferred to our hotel. Athens was an important stop on St Paul’s missionary journey and it is from here that we start our own travels in his footsteps.
Today we visit Corinth (Acts 18:1-18), a city that inspired Paul’s most familiar letter. You’ll visit the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Temples, and walk among the ruins and stand on the Bema where Paul stood. Whilst there we’ll read some of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and visualize his address to the Gentiles as he began the task of building Corinth’s church. Take time to imagine where Aquila and Priscilla lived and where they had their tent making business. Enjoy a cruise along the Corinth Canal before our return to Athens.
After breakfast, we will be transferred to the “Celestyal Olympia” where will begin our 3-night cruise around the Aegean. Our first port of call is Mykonos; the whitewashed streets and windmills of this Cycladic Island will enchant you. Free time to walk the winding narrow streets or enjoy the beautiful sunset from the waterfront! We will then set sail for the Turkish city of Kusadasi.
From Kusadasi we visit Ephesus, the most impressive archaeological site in Turkey; its excavated remains reflect centuries of history, from classical Greece to the Roman Empire to the spread of Christianity. In the 1st Century AD the Apostle Paul spent 3 years in Ephesus preaching the Gospel and we will tour the Great Amphitheatre where the crowds chanted for two hours in protest of Paul’s preaching. Nearby is the legendary House of the Virgin Mary that we will also visit. This afternoon we cruise to the island of Patmos, known as the “Holy Island” for the Christian faith. We’ll visit the grotto where the Book of Revelation was written during John’s exile from the Roman Empire, and see the 11th Century Monastery of St John, home to over 300 beautifully preserved early manuscripts, including a Gospel of Luke.
Heraklion is Crete’s largest city and one of Greece’s major urban centres. Titus travelled here from Corinth to present the Apostle Paul’s fundraising letter and it is believed that he remained in the city of Candia (present day Heraklion) until his death. Crete was once the centre of the Minoan civilization (2700 to 1600BC), an empire that stretched to other Aegean Islands such as Santorini. This afternoon we will travel to Santorini, a breathtaking island believed to be the lost continent of Atlantis. In the early evening, we will embark the ship for the return trip to Athens.
After disembarkation we start our tour to Northern Greece. Here we visit Delphi, whose famed temple and oracle was so important in the ancient world that the site was known as the “Omphalos” (navel) or centre of the earth. We visit the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo, Pythios and its museum, set in a landscape of unparalleled beauty on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. We travel onto Kalambaka, a picturesque town located at the foot of the incredible rock formations of Meteora.
In the morning visit the famed Meteora Monasteries, one of the most important religious complexes in Greece. Set on top of a series of giant sandstone pillars, the monasteries appear to be suspended in mid-air. Dating from the 11th Century these are still active religious communities and offer us insights into the historic church as well as exquisite examples of Byzantine art. On the way to Thessaloniki we will drive to Veria (ancient Berea), visiting the memorial that commemorates Paul’s preaching to the local Jews in 54AD (Acts 17).
Today we visit Philippi where Paul delivered a sermon that sowed the seeds of Christianity. A moving and special time will be spent remembering the baptism of Lydia, the first baptism on European soil, as well as the imprisonment and conversion of the Philippian gaoler (Acts 16:11-15;16- 34). Amongst the ruins, located on the rocky ledge above the town’s main road is the actual site of the prison where Paul and Silas were thrown. This is the Bible truly coming alive! From Philippi we continue on to the modern port city of Kavala, once ancient Neapolis. It was here that Paul first set foot in Europe, accompanied by Silas, Luke and Timothy.
Paul first came to Thessaloniki in 50-51 AD during his second missionary journey and it was here that he established the second Christian community in Europe (after Philippi) and wrote his letter to the Thessalonians. This morning we will explore Thessaloniki, visiting the Agora where Paul preached and Byzantine Churches, including the Church of St. Dimitris, the caves and Well of Apostle Paul, the House of Jason and the Monastery of Vlatadon. Other highlights include the ancient walls that once surrounded the town, the White Tower, the Roman Market, theatre and baths and Arch of Galerius. In the afternoon we fly back to Athens.
A morning of sightseeing begins with a visit the ancient citadel of the Acropolis that dominates the city skyline; these 5th Century BC ruins include the famous Parthenon. It is a great moment when we ascend the nearby Areopagus (Mars Hill) where Saint Paul delivered his famous “Men of Athens” speech (Acts 17:15). This site is just south of the ancient Agora or market place. We will also drive past the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Presidential Palace, Hadrian’s Arch, and the Panathenaic (Olympic) Stadium. This afternoon we will travel to the airport for our flight to Dubai.
On arrival in Dubai we will be transferred to our hotel for two nights.
Saturday is a full day of leisure in Dubai. You might like to visit the famous Dubai Mall, explore the Gold and Spice Souks or choose one of the many optional tours (available on tour). Tonight, will be a fitting end to our holiday as we enjoy a dinner cruise along the historic Dubai Creek. What a wonderful experience of faith and fellowship we have shared.
After breakfast on Sunday, we will be transferred to the airport for our final flight home to Australia.
Monday morning arrival in Australia. Our holiday may be at an end, but we hope that your personal spiritual journey has been enhanced having followed in the Steps of the Apostle Paul and that the wonderful experience of Oberammergau lives on in your heart.
22 September 2020
12 October 2020
22 September 2020
12 October 2020