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Mediterranean Christian Cruise With Dr. Erwin Lutzer of The Moody Church

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Aug. 27 – Sept. 8, 2015 With Optional Extensionn

Our Footsteps of Paul cruise and tour spends 10 days on an all-suite, five-diamond, 212-guest luxury cruise ship. We also spend two additional days of touring while not on board the ship. The cruise is all-inclusive with tips, Bible tours, all meals, transportation, beverages, teaching opportunities, and luxury hotels in Athens and Istanbul. The unique sites visited on this tour include the best of the Seven Church sites of Revelation, including Sardis, Miletus, Didyma, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, plus Istanbul, Rhodes, Athens, Corinth, Cenchrea, Crete, and two colorful Greek islands. The cruise begins at Athens, Greece, and ends at the original site of Constantinople just prior to sailing down the Bosporus through the history-rich Dardanelles. While going through this strait we will pass close to the various war memorials that dot the waterway. The cruise also visits the Greek islands of Rhodes, Crete, Monemvasia, Kalymnos, and everyone’s favorite—Santorini! We end our trip at Istanbul, where we’ll stay overnight in a beautiful hotel. We will have 12 unique biblical stops with teachings on this tour. The ship will be a highlight due to its size, all-suite cabins, and intimacy. See the “Ship” tab for more details. The price of an outside suite begins at $4,999 per person, plus an air add-on of $1,199 per person from either Chicago or New York. Private French-balcony cabins and expansive suites with private verandahs are also available. Our pricing includes tours of Istanbul, Pergamum, Izmir, Sardis, Smyrna, Ephesus, Miletus, Didyma, Crete, Rhodes, Athens, Corinth, and Cenchrea. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the unique site of Cappadocia and its underground historic Christian cities. We top this option off with a trip to Nicaea, where the important First Council of Churches took place.

DayItinerary at a Glance
Aug 27Guests will depart their home cities. An optional airfare add-on is available at a very low, discounted price. If you purchase our airfare package from New York or Chicago, you will also receive airport transfers.
Aug 28We will arrive in Athens, take a city tour on our way to the hotel and partake of a welcome dinner overlooking the Acropolis.
Aug 29You will finish your tour today of Athens plus visit Corinth and Cencherea with dinner aboard our lovely ship.
Aug 30This will be a leisurely day in Monevasia, Greece – the “Gibraltar of the East”.
Aug 31Today we will have a walking tour of Chania, Crete
Sept 1We visit the Greek Island of Santorini for a relaxing leisure day.
Sept 2Today we will have a walking tour of the walled city of Greek Rhodes.
Sept 3Today is another leisurely day on the Greek Island of Kalymnos.
Sept 4We have an incredible day planned: Ephesus, Miletus and Didyma!
Sept 5Today we tour Sardis, Pergamum, Izmir (Ancient Smyrna) and the home of Polycarp, as we visit Cesme, Turkey.
Sept 6We will be at sea today for great fellowship and worship. We will sail past the war monuments of the Dardanelles.
Sept 7We arrive in Istanbul – ancient Constantinople where we will have a tour of Hagia Irene, Blue Mosque, the Cistern and the Grand Bazaar. We spend this night in the Old City and we will have a memorable dinner.
Sept 8Guests will depart for their home cities today, unless taking the additional tour of Cappadocia.
Extension at a Glance (Sept 8-11)
Sept 8Fly to Cappadocia this morning, have a nice lunch and begin touring.
Sept 9Today we tour of the underground cities of Cappadocia and Early Church sites.
Sept 10We depart Cappadocia today, enjoy lunch on the Asian side of Istanbul and visit Nicea.
Sept 11Guests will transfer to the Istanbul airport to begin flights home.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Ability to book a low air add-on of $1,199 per person from either New York or Chicago.
  • Hotel stays in luxury accommodations in Athens and Istanbul in the best city locations. If you choose the Cappadocia extensions, the hotel will become a memorable treasure to you!
  • Dining in top restaurants and meals throughout the itinerary.
  • All inclusive non-alcoholic and specialty beverages throughout the tour.
  • Private teachings aboard ship plus informative tours hosted by Pastor Erwin and Rebecca Lutzer.
  • Special private tours of 12 Biblically rich and historic sites.
  • A cruise aboard the small, 5-star luxury boutique Windstar cruise ship – Star Pride. The luxury ship has a high space-to-passenger ratio and a maximum of only 212 passengers! See the “ship” tab for detailed photos of this beautiful vessel.
  • The opportunity to visit one of the most unique places on earth as an optional extension at the end of the tour. The extension is to the whimsical rock-hewn area of Cappadocia, where our Early Church Christian brothers and sisters created interesting homes and churches underground and within unique stone formations-even our hotel is built within a cave! See the “Extension” tab for more details.

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DayMediterranean Christian Cruise Itinerary
Aug 27Guests will depart their home cities. There is an air add-on available of $1,199 per person that includes round-trip airport meet, greet and transfers for those flying on our air program from New York or Chicago. We will send you the exact schedule once you are confirmed. Limited air options are available; please call or email for these details.
Aug 28We will arrive in Athens and take a city tour on the way to our hotel. We will be able to see the original Olympic Stadium, the “Changing of the Guard” at the main square, Hadrian’s Arch and the quaint flower-draped entrances to Plaka – the oldest area of Athens. Settle into your hotel and join us for an early welcome dinner overlooking the Acropolis.
Aug 29You will have a full day’s tour of Athens, where we will have a teaching by Pastor Lutzer at Mars Hill, see the Tomb of the Unknown God, visit the famed Acropolis of Athens and then drive outside the city to Corinth. We will stand over the working Corinth Canal, where we will have an opportunity to see a ship passing through this man-made wonder. The site at Corinth is impressive. You will see the entrance to the Synagogue where Paul spent time and you will be able to stand at the actual Bema stone at Corinth. We will also visit the beach at Cenchrea where Paul took his Nazarite vow by cutting his hair. We will join our ship late this afternoon and have our first ship-based dinner together. We sail out of the busy Piraeus harbor.
Aug 30Today is a great day to sleep in and relax from your flight to Europe. This is a leisurely day in Monemvasia, Greece, the “Gibraltar of the East”. The ship will arrive at 8:00AM. There is a unique church at Monevasia atop a hill (also named Agia Sophia) that can be visited. You can also just enjoy strolling the promenade or visit the museum that has Early Church artifacts. We sail on at 5:00PM.
Aug 31We will be at Chania, Crete, from 8:00AM until 7:00PM. Biblically, Crete has been significant to the Early Church’s development. Titus had been left on the island to create the church and to establish its elders. Today, the island is strong in Christianity and you will feel the warmth of the people in this delightful port. We will have a morning walking tour that will incorporate the old port, the old prison walls and the lovely Etz Hayyim Synagogue with its treasure trove of textiles and a garden mikveh. Chania will be a favorite stop! They have an expansive marketplace for homemade Greek treats and a beautiful flower market. From here you can hire a boat (even a glass bottomed boat!) for a snorkel trip or just to see the unique rock outcroppings. We have plenty of time to enjoy the island.
Sept 1Greek Island leisurely day on exquisite Santorini. Our ship will arrive at 8:00AM. You can take your time to disembark the ship today. There will be optional tours that can include an island tour, a snorkel trip or a visit to Akrotiri which was a hidden city dated from the Minoan period (3200-1200BC). Don’t feel pressured to take a tour; the most enjoyable activity to do while on Santorini is to get a coffee and settle in with a fantastic view from atop Fira Town. Santorini is always a favorite! The ship will depart at 5:00PM.
Sept 2We have a walking tour of the walled city of Greek Rhodes. Our ship will arrive at the port adjacent to the lovely gated city. Our guide will be waiting for us and we will take a tour of the highlights of the island. We will learn about Paul’s time on the island as well. The ship will depart Rhodes at 10:00PM. You will have plenty of time to enjoy dinner and then take an evening walk along the ramparts that circle the village.
Sept 3We will visit the Greek island of Kalymnos today from 8:00AM to 10:00PM. This is a day of leisure on your own. The island is known for its involvement in the Trojan War and is adjacent to both Kos and Rhodes. This island chain is where Paul spent time and where much of Acts 17-21 takes place. Today, the island has hidden mysterious Orthodox Christian caves that can be explored, or you can find one of the many beaches where you can relax and enjoy the simple, Greek life of today. We have plenty of time this evening to disembark and walk the promenade and outdoor cafes. Pastor Lutzer will also be using this day for in-depth teachings and fellowship.
Sept 4Today we visit Ephesus, Miletus and Didyma. The site at Ephesus and the teachings that Pastor will provide on the Seven Churches is worth the entire journey itself! There is so much here! As a bonus, we will also be visiting three very interesting Biblical sites: Miletus, Didyma and the Temple of Artemis! This will be an awesome day of discovery. Search out our recent blogs for good information on these sites.
Sept 5We spend today in Cesme, Turkey, where we will enjoy another hallmark day of Biblical teachings. Pastor Lutzer will be speaking on the 7 Churches of Revelation, but he will also be providing us in-depth knowledge on Polycarp and the Early Church that was developed at these locations. Today, we will actually visit the archeological sites of Sardis, Pergamum, Izmir (Ancient Smyrna) and the home of Polycarp, who was persecuted and was an important man of faith.
Sept 6We will be at sea today for great fellowship and worship and will sail past the well-lit monuments of the wars of the Dardanelles. Having a historian like Pastor Lutzer with us will be an exceptional bonus as we learn of the history of the Dardanelles, Gallipoli and World Wars I and II.
Sept 7We spend today in Istanbul – ancient Constantinople. Tour of Hagia Irene today (located behind the Hagia Sofia which will be closed during our visit to Istanbul), the Blue Mosque, the Cistern and the Grand Bazaar. We will spend time in what is considered the oldest sections of Istanbul. We will spend tonight in the Old City at a beautiful hotel with views of the Bosphoruss strait. We will enjoy our final dinner together as one group this evening.
Sept 8Guests will depart today for the U.S. Those continuing on the Cappadocia tour, please see next tab labeled “Extension.”

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DayCappadocia & Nicea Extension Itinerary
Sept 8We have a short flight to Cappadocia together. No destination is more appealing than the wind-and-time-sculpted lava formations of Cappadocia, dotted with early Christian cave churches, cave dwellings and even entire underground cities. Your heart will jump as you see the painted Biblical stories that the early converts created to pass on the message of Jesus Christ in those first centuries. The tour will include a visit to the natural citadel of Uchisar with a panoramic view of Göreme Valley. The valley houses the Göreme Open Air Museum, Zelve Valley, the town of Avanos where Kizilirmak River is running through and also the famous Cavusin and Pigeon Valleys. You will have a scrumptious lunch at a quaint Anatolian restaurant and then return to the hotel for dinner and our overnight stay. You may choose to enjoy time in the lighted garden this evening with Pastor and Rebecca. Our hotel is a 5-star museum piece itself! You will enjoy walking around the grounds this evening and enjoy fellowship under the lamps and orange trees.
Sept 9After breakfast, we leave for another full day visiting the area. Today’s tour will include a visit to the Christian Underground City of Derinkuyu. It was inhabited by 20,000 believers between 700 and 1,000AD, complete with baptismals, wine presses and expansive living quarters. Considered the most impressive site in the region, it has 200-300 foot deep walkways with 53 air shafts. The original ventilation system still functions remarkably well. The first two floors under the surface housed a missionary school with two long rock-cut tables, the baptismal, kitchens, storehouses, living quarters, wine cellars and stables. The third and fourth floors were for the tunnels, a place to hide and armories. The last floor had water wells, hidden passageways, a church and the place for orthodox confession. We will break up our day with shopping and then lunch at Old Greek House. We will also visit the villages of Sinassos and Ortahisar. We will have a special dinner tonight at a pretty restaurant called Muti Prokopia that’s built into a cave.
Sept 10In the early part of the day we will fly to the Asian side of Istanbul where we will have a lovely, waterside lunch. We will have the opportunity to visit Nicea. Nicea is a very important site as it was where the First Council of Chuches took place. We will also have a lively discussion on how important the separation of Rome from Constantinople was in our history. We will have dinner and spend tonight at the Rennaisance Hotel Polat.
Sept 11Flights home are scheduled for today, arriving back in the U.S. in the early evening.

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Dr. Erwin & Rebecca Lutzer

Mediterranean Christian Cruise with Erwin Lutzer Since 1980, Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer has served as Senior Pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. Dr. Lutzer earned his B.Th. from Winnipeg Bible College, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, an M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University, and an honorary LL.D. from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law. A clear expositor of the Bible, he is the featured speaker on three radio programs that are heard on more than 1,000 outlets in the United States and around the world:

  • Moody Church Hour—The Moody Church’s Sunday morning worship service;
  • Songs in the Night—an evening program that’s been airing since 1943;
  • Running to Win—a daily Bible-teaching broadcast.

Dr. Lutzer is also an award-winning author of numerous books including: The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent, The King Is Coming, Covering Your Life in Prayer, One Minute After You Die, When a Nation Forgets God, Christ Among Other gods, and Christian Bookseller’s Gold Medallion Award winner, Hitler’s Cross. He and his wife Rebecca have co-written the books: Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know, and Jesus, Lover of a Woman’s Soul. His speaking engagements outside of The Moody Church include Bible conferences and seminars, both domestically and internationally including: Russia, the Republic of Belarus, Germany, Scotland, Guatemala, and Japan. He also leads tours to Israel and to the cities of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Dr. Lutzer and Rebecca live in the Chicago area and have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

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Every suite on this luxury Windstar ship includes an Ocean view! Prices include 12 Bible tours, all meals, beverages, transportation, transfers, luxury Hotel stays in Athens and Istanbul and expert teaching aboard the ship. This 13-day trip is significantly longer than many Mediterranean Christian Cruises and includes more Biblical locations than leading competitors! Prices start at $4,999.

Choose Your Luxury Suite

Starting at $4,999Christian Cruise Ocean Suite Room

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Ocean View Suite: Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.

Starting at $6,799Christian Cruise Balcony Room

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Balcony Suite: Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers. Includes spacious balcony.

Starting at $9,299Christian Cruise Classic Room

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Classic Suite: Relax in 400 spacious square feet. Your living area offers beautiful views from the forward-facing window and French doors onto your private veranda. Two spacious closets give you plenty of room to unpack.

Starting at $10,799Christian Cruise Owner's Suite

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Owners Suite: With 530 to 575 square feet, your Owner’s Suite offers separate living room and dining areas. A veranda, two flat-screen TVs and DVD players, and a full master bath and separate powder room indulge you in spacious comfort. Suites 5 and 6 living room windows and private veranda have an obstructed view due to ship’s equipment.

Ship Layout & Pricing Details

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Windstar Cruises Star Pride: a Small, Luxury Ship

Christian Cruise Top DeckWith only 212 guests, a Star Pride cruise will make you feel like you’re on board your own private yacht almost as soon as you step aboard. The sitting area of your spacious, newly refurbished suite gives you an expansive ocean view — making it a welcome retreat. When you’re ready to make an appearance, the lounges and library are waiting to be explored. Take some “you” time in the tranquil WindSpa . . . enjoy a dip in the pool . . . work off that decadent dessert in the Fitness Center . . . and, of course, you are always welcome to visit the Bridge to examine navigation charts with the Captain. Star Pride is large enough to pamper and entertain you, yet small enough to tuck into delightful tiny harbors and hidden coves that others can’t reach.

Christian Cruises Star Pride

  • CAPACITY: 212 guests
  • SUITES: 106 suites, all outside with ocean views
  • OWNER’S SUITES: 4, with private verandas
  • CLASSIC SUITES: 2, with private verandas
  • BALCONY SUITES: 36, with French-style balconies
  • OCEAN VIEW SUITES: 64, with picture windows
  • DECKS: 6 guest decks
  • CREW: 140 international staff
  • LENGTH: 440 feet (134 meters)
  • TONNAGE: 9,975 gross registered tons (grt)
  • PROPULSION: Twin propeller, driven by four Bergen marine diesel engines
  • SPEED: Cruising speed 15 knots

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