April 26 - May 9, 2019
First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas
From His Heart Ministries
Invite you take a trip of a lifetime.
A MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE
Aboard NCL's Norwegian Spirit
Including the Footsteps of Paul
Rome, Athens, Corinth, Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Malta, Sicily, the Amalfi Coast and Florence
Cruise into antiquity on this amazing cruise from Rome through the Greek Isles and along the Italian coast. Late April and early May is the perfect time of year to visit this Mediterranean region– with pleasant high temperatures in the 70’s. Our trip will retrace most of Apostle Paul’s 4th Missionary Journey (60 – 63 A.D.) which ended with his imprisonment in Rome. In addition, we’ll tour ancient Athens and Corinth both of which he visited on his 2nd Journey (49 – 52 A.D.).
In addition, we will spend two exciting days in the Eternal city of Rome, a unique fusion of ancient, historical sites, masterful artistic wonders, and lively modern life. In Athens, we will visit the famed Acropolis, the Parthenon (Temple of Athena), Mars Hill and the Plaka. In Crete, the largest of the Greek Isles, we will view the remnants of brilliant civilizations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountain-scapes, fertile valleys and steep gorges. In spectacular Santorini, we visit the whitewashed hilltop towns of Oia and Fira and their breathtaking views of the caldera below. We have opportunity to enjoy time in Mykonos with its beautiful beaches of golden sand and turquoise water. We can wander through the narrow, winding streets of a delightful seaside village with its whitewashed houses, flowers and brightly painted shutters and doors. In Malta, we have opportunity to admire the stunning scenery and wander through imposing churches and down the streets of fortified towns where the Knights of St. John once held sway. From historic Naples, we will explore the picturesque Amalfi coast and view the enchanting towns of Positano, Amalfi and Sorrento. We will also spend a glorious day in Tuscany; visit Florence and its historic Duomo and view the leaning tower in nearby Pisa. When we return from this trip, it will be hard to imagine what we have seen and done in only two weeks!
April 26th Texarkana (Or home city) DFW DEPART for ROME
This morning we will leave Texarkana headed for DFW where we will depart on our afternoon nonstop flight bound for ROME, Italy.
American Airlines 240 Depart DFW 1:40 p.m. Arrive in Rome at 7:15 a.m.
APR 27th ARRIVE ROME TOUR HIGHLIGHTS OF ROME
We are scheduled to arrive early this morning in the Eternal City of Rome! Endless adventures await! With twenty-five hundred years of history, art and culture, it is no wonder Rome is one of the most visited places on earth. Paul wrote to the Christians of Rome and he eventually traveled to Rome where his ministry continued, although he was technically a prisoner. We will experience the glory of Imperial Rome when we visit the Colosseum, famous as a place of spectacle and death. Gladiators died here as thousands looked on. See Circus Maximus, built during the reign of Nero. This huge stadium was able to seat 250,000 spectators for chariot races and other spectacles. See the Roman Forum, an ancient meeting place, market place, religious and political center. View the Arch of Titus that commemorates Titus’ conquest of Judea. We will visit two of the most significant shrines in Rome which honor St. Paul; the Church of San Paolo alla Regola and the Papal Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. We will also see the Mamertina prison, where it is believed that both Paul and Peter were imprisoned. We will then check into our First-Class hotel and enjoy our Welcome Dinner together prior to a good night’s rest.
April 28th ROME DEPART on MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE at 5 p.m.
After breakfast at our hotel this morning, we’ll be transferred by private motor coach to the port city of Civitavecchia where we will board the beautiful Norwegian Spirit, our home for the next 11 exciting days! The Spirit is a mid-sized 2,000 passenger ship that was completely refurbished in 2017. Our departure is scheduled for 5 p.m. We will have our bon voyage dinner together this evening.
Relaxing Day at Sea
APR 30th SANTORINI 12 Noon 10 p.m.
Whitewashed villages clinging to the sides of the sea cliffs have made the volcanic island of Santorini one of the most widely photographed places in the world. The island’s charm and subtle mystery have even made it a target of speculation as the location of the lost city of Atlantis. We will visit the picturesque volcano island with the most beautiful sunset in the world to enjoy from the top of Fira, Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, forever shaping its rugged landscape, resulting in cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). They overlook the sea, small islands to the west and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles. MAY 1st CORINTH ATHENS 7 a.m. 7 p.m.
From the port of Pireaus, Greece, we begin our exciting day with a drive to Corinth following closely the same route Paul took during his journey. After a short stop at the Corinth Canal, which connects the Aegean and Ionian Seas, we’ll arrive in Ancient Corinth. While there, we visit the ruins of Corinth, where St. Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla. Included are the first century shops, the Agora, Temple of Apollo and the Bema Seat.
Later, we drive north to the Greek capital of Athens. We will see Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the University, the Academy and the National Library. Driving down Herodes Atticus street and see the Evzones in their picturesque uniforms and the Presidential Palace. On our way to the Acropolis we will see the Panathenaic Stadium (where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896), the Temple of Olympia Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. On the top of Acropolis hill, we will visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylee, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally the Parthenon – the monument that “puts order in the mind” and “is harmony between material and spirit.” Beneath the Acropolis is the Areopagus or Mars Hill. This is where Paul made his famous “Men of Athens” speech revealing a considerable knowledge of the Greek philosophy and character. Pastor Jeff will share a special time of scripture and prayer with us at Mars Hill. Afterward, we transfer back to Piraeus and board our ship.
MAY 2nd MYKONOS 8 a.m. 6 p.m.
Mykonos, the whitewashed Greek island that the world jet set loves, famous for windmills, blue domed churches, Little Venice and Peter the Pelican. Experience the waterfront lined with shops and cafes and stroll the charming walkways through a maze of whitewashed buildings. Add a reputation for beautiful beaches and we’ll understand why Mykonos is the most popular island in the Cyclades.
MAY 3rd CRETE 7 a.m. 12 noon CHANIA
One of the most beautiful cities on the island of Crete, charming Chania has also been the site of many great battles. Greeks, Christians, Moors, Venetians and Ottomons all fought for control of the city. See how these cultures interweave when we explore the Old Town with its Venetian Harbor. 16th century Turkish prison, 17th century mosque, Greek Orthodox Cathedral and more
MAY 4th MALTA 1 p.m. 9 p.m. VALLETTA
Although somewhat scarred by World War II, the city of Valletta prides itself on its magnificent baroque palaces, piazzas, gardens and churches. The Magisterial Palace, built between 1571 and 1574, now houses the Maltese Parliament and offices of the President of Malta.
Paul’s ship ran aground in Malta en route to Rome where he was to be tried, as was his right, as a Roman citizen. His stay in Malta lasted 3 months.
We plan to visit the Mellieha Sanctuary, to view a painting of the Madonna on the rock face, attributed to St. Luke, who was shipwrecked on Malta together with St. Paul.
The next visit will be to St. Paul’s Bay where the ship is believed to have been wrecked. This is a very remote part of the shore, where the group will be able to reflect on Chapters 27 and 28 of the Acts of the Apostles, which deal with Paul’s shipwreck on Malta. A little distance away is Paul’s shipwreck church, where it is thought that the locals lit up a fire, to warm up Paul and his fellow survivors, after having swam to shore. It was here that he was bitten by the viper, which he shook back into the fire, never to have been affected by the venom. Then a visit to San Pawl Milqi (Paul hosted), once an extensive complex, comprising of a country villa from the Roman era, then equipped with wine and oil-making facilities. This was possibly the summer residence for Publius, the Roman governor of the island at the time of Paul’s shipwreck, and the place where he was first offered refuge. The present 17th century church can be visited, as can the area beneath the church, showing the foundations of earlier chapels. Next, we visit Naxxar, where another chapel stands on the site from where Paul’s preaching is said to have been heard from the island of Gozo. Then, at the Franciscan Convention Center, we will view a 35-minute docudrama on Paul’s shipwreck as recorded in the Acts, projected on a 40-foot-wide screen. MAY 5th SICILY 8 a.m. 6 p.m. MESSINA SYRACUSE
The third largest city on the island of Sicily, Messina welcomes cruise ship visitors with its lovely harbor, extraordinary architecture (much of which miraculously survived a horrendous earthquake and tidal wave in 1908) and wonderful food. Stroll through Messina's Piazza Cairoli taking in magnificent fountains and cathedrals.
This morning, we will travel about 2 hours by private coach to visit Syracuse. At some point, around the year 59, Paul visited Syracuse where he preached - probably in the place where the paleo-Christian Church of Saint John was built. Whatever was said was expressed in Greek, the vernacular of Roman Sicily (where Latin was a second language). It is possible that a few Jews came to hear Paul talk, as there was a Jewish community at Syracuse. There was no subsequent "Letter of Paul to the Syracusans." However, there is no doubt that it was Paul who brought Christianity to Sicily, even though his stay in Syracuse lasted only three days before he departed for Reggio Calabria, Pozzuoli (a coastal town near Naples) and then along the Appian Way to Rome. The description of this journey is found in Acts 28:11-13. "After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered on the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli."
We will visit beautiful Taormina, a lovely town perched high on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. Since the opening of the first hotel in 1874, Taormina has become one of the world top tourist destinations where visitors can experience a perfect combination of old times charming atmosphere, preservation of history and culture, an elegant and lively way of life to be enjoyed in relaxing walks through the old town pedestrian areas. The tourist has a lot to do and see: top level art performances at the Greek theatre, several painting exhibitions held in local palazzi and churches, fine elegant shopping along the famous “Corso Umberto” with its classical music cafès and pastry shops.
MAY 6th NAPLES 7 a.m. 4 p.m. AMALFI COAST SORRENTO
Today from the port of Naples, our private coach and guide will take us to the nearby resort town of Sorrento with its magnificent views of the Bay of Naples. Sorrento is perched atop cliffs that separate the town from its busy marinas. It’s known for sweeping water views and Piazza Tasso, a cafe-lined square. The historic center is a warren of narrow alleys that's home to the Chiesa di San Francesco, a 14th-century church with a tranquil cloister. After time for shopping and lunch on our own, we’ll take the famed drive along the Amalfi Coast with memorable stops at the gorgeous towns of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello.
For those who have already done the Amalfi drive, you may choose to cruise to the nearby isle of beautiful Capri – once there, you can cruise into the Blue Grotto.
Or visit nearby ruins of Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
MAY 7th LIVORNO 8 a.m. 8 p.m. TUSCANY FLORENCE PISA
Today, from the port of Livorno, we will drive through Tuscany and visit nearby Florence & Pisa, resplendent in art and history. What’s fortunate is that all the main attractions in Florence are centrally located for a perfect walking tour. See Santa Croce, Piazza del Duomo and Michelangelo’s David.
For those who have already been to Florence and Pisa, you may want to visit San Gimignano, probably the most beautiful Tuscan village of all – high atop a hill overlooking the Tuscan countryside and romantic Sienna, located in the center of Tuscany and is famous for its Palio horse race which takes place in city center twice a year.
MAY 8th ROME 7 a.m. Disembark Ship ROME TOUR VATICAN
Arrive back in the Eternal City, Rome. Today is our chance to gaze at the masterpieces of the Vatican and walk into the past with visits to ancient relics, historic monuments
and legendary museums or people-watch while sipping on an espresso in a quaint café. Discover the Vatican Museum, home to many of the world’s masterpieces. Enter the Sistine Chapel and view Michelangelo’s frescoes which have been restored to their full, colorful glory. Tour St Peter Basilica where Michelangelo’s “Pieta” will be just one of the many highlights.
We will enjoy some free time this afternoon to see the city on our own. We will check-in to our First-Class hotel and enjoy a special farewell dinner together on our last night in Rome.
MAY 9th ROME DFW
We’ll depart our hotel early this morning as we transfer to the Rome International Airport. There we board our nonstop flight back to DFW.
AA 239 9 MAY THU FCODFW 915A 215P
SHIP INFORMATION …
The beautiful NORWEGIAN SPIRIT, completely refurbished in 2017, holds 2000 max is 882 feet long, 127 feet wide and 76,000 tons in size. She has 912 crew members. While you are exploring the history of the Mediterranean, just sit back and relax while you cruise along the beautiful ocean. Whatever you choose to do, you will be traveling in style on Norwegian Spirit. While on-board, make a trip to the Tivoli Pool, soak in one of our four outdoor hot tubs. That's just the beginning - with 14 delicious dining options, 12 lounges, the Maharaja's Casino, and the Roman Spa & Fitness center at your fingertips, you're ready to have a vacation of a lifetime!
From the stages of the Stardust theater we’ll have you singing along, moving your feet and getting into the groove. Laugh all night with our comedians or join our signature bash, the White Hot Party.
17 Extraordinary Dining Options
Sit down to a multi-course meal. Or grab a burger hot off the grill. Go French, Italian, Asian — you name it. With 17 dining options, your taste buds will always be in for a thrill.
ALL ARRANGEMENTS are being handled through First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas (Pastor Jeff Schreve's church). www.fbctexarkana.org
For information, questions, pricing, and a brochure, contact:
Wendy Stephens at First Baptist Church, Texarkana by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 903.831.6000.
She'll be happy to help you.