MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE (ITALY CROATIA ADRIATIC) with Celebrity Cruise Line: June 22 - July 5, 2020 "The Gospel Transformation" (Program #200601)
Pre-Cruise Italy Land Program
Day One: Departure Day (Monday, June 22, 2020).
Depart international gateway for Italy. Meals and overnight: In flight.
Day Two: Stepping Back into the Roman World (Tuesday, June 23, 2020).
Theme: To be a Roman – how goods, services and transport held an Empire together. Rome was both an Empire and an idea. Today we will examine what held the identity of this vast Empire together. After touring Ostia Antica, we check into our hotel for a late afternoon rest, or enjoy the pool before our evening meal. Those arriving on late flights may meet us at our hotel for our evening meal. Sites include: Ostia Antica. Overnight: Rome. D
Day Three: Paul's Visits in Rome (Wednesday, June 24, 2020).
Our two days in Rome will follow these themes: Paul came to Rome the first time under guard and house arrest. During this two year period he wrote the so-called "Prison Epistles." Today we visit the Rome most never see. In the morning we will experience the setting where Paul was likely writing from. Later, we will follow Paul's second visit from his arrival to his beheading and burial. Sites include: Roman Forum, Colosseum, San Paulo alla Regola and Jewish Ghetto, Three Fountains Abbey. Overnight: Rome. B,L
Day Four: From Empire to World Faith (Thursday, June 25, 2020).
Theme: The Gospel did not stop with Paul, but was transmitted through the centuries to the ordinary people by means of the arts. One cannot spend time in Rome and miss a visit to the incredible Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. So today we will shift our focus away from Paul's life and break some new ground in our understanding of Bible art. Sites: Catacombs, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's. Free time at the end of the afternoon. Overnight: Rome. B
Day Five: Rome / Orvieto / Florence (Friday, June 26, 2020).
This morning we will depart early for a drive following the Tiber River to view the heights of Orvieto and have an afternoon to enjoy the glory of Umbria! This is a city not to be missed, and we will use the time on the journey well! Then on to Florence, for our stay in one of the jewel cities of the Renaissance. (Sites include: tour of Duomo di Orvieto and free time for shopping and wandering in Orvieto). Overnight: Florence. B
Days Six: Florence (Saturday, June 27, 2020).
With the art of Florence at our fingertips today we visit the city described as a great living museum of the Renaissance! (Sites include: Walking tour of Florence, the Uffizi Gallery of Art, the Accademia Museum featuring Michelangelo's David, the Duomo and see the Baptistry doors. Overnight: Florence. B
Land Day Seven/Cruise Day 1: Venice (Sunday, June 28,2020).
Today we have a trip to the canal city of Venice, a favorite of romantics everywhere! Ride along a Venetian canal, visit St. Mark’s Basilica and Piazza San Marco along with the Doge’s Palace to see the center of Venetian trade and power for centuries! Overnight: Celebrity Infinity. B, D
Cruise Day 2: Venice, Italy (Monday, June 29, 2020).
FreeDay at port in Rome: Celebrity wrote it this way: “One of the world’s most beautiful cities also happens to be one of its most unusual. Venice is actually spread over 120 islands in the Adriatic Sea. Because the city is connected by canals instead of streets, a good way to see Venice is by boat or, if you prefer, a romantic gondola ride. The epicenter of the city is St. Mark’s Square, where you’ll find the 900-year-old St. Mark’s Basilica. On your cruise to Venice you’ll admire all the buildings that line the banks of the Grand Canal and enjoy morning espressos, in this capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region. The city has been immortalized in art, literature, and film over the centuries and one of the prime buildings found reflected in these mediums is the Palazzo Ducale. This proud, ornate building on the waterfront represents Venice’s seat of power. Make your way to the countless galleries and landmarks this city has to offer, and once you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll be thrilled to be in a city that takes its food very seriously. Squid-ink spaghetti, risotto with prawns and zucchini, and marinated sardines are a specialty, while the world-favorite tiramisu, originally invented in nearby Treviso, has found a happy second home in Venice.”
Cruise Day 3: Split, Croatia on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 (Docked 9 AM to 6 PM)
Lined with palm trees, this Adriatic seaside town is also a cultural mecca. Within the walls of the Diocletian Palace, you'll discover historical buildings, numerous museums, the National Theatre and a collection of old churches. Culture, beauty, natural wonder – your Split cruise has it all. The mixture of old and new is very pronounced here. Everywhere there are signs and evidence left behind from the city’s previous conquerors namely the Romans and Austro-Hungarians and there is no better place to view them than in Split’s Old City. The Old City is so otherworldly that it’s been dedicated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and you’ll encounter the most imposing Roman ruins left on Earth, including the Diocletian’s Palace which was built facing the harbor in 4 A.D. for the Roman Emperor. This sprawling, expansive structure was built to be an all-in-one fortress/imperial residence/fortified town. The Cathedral of St. Domnius stands as one of the most pristine and preserved examples of ancient Roman architecture in the world. And for a breathtaking, all-encompassing view of Split you won’t soon forget, head to Marajan Hill which is just 10 minutes outside the city.
Cruise Day 4: Dubrovnik, Croatia on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 (Docked 8 AM to 5 PM)
Established 1,300 years ago on the far southern tip of the Dalmatian Coast, this city once rivaled Venice in terms of its importance. Take a walking tour to the Dominican Monastery and marvel at the finest collection of Renaissance paintings, including a painting by Titian. Prepare to be riveted when first laying eyes on the old walled city on your cruise to Dubrovnik. This land has had many invaders including the Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Romans, Hungarians, and French, to name a few, and it has resulted in a fiercely independent citizenry with dynamic cultural influences. The views of the Adriatic from its rooftops are truly awe-inspiring. If beach-going is on the agenda, make sure to wear appropriate footwear as the beaches here tend to be of the pebbly variety. That said, the beautiful emerald green waters and coves make the slight inconvenience more than worthwhile. And, there’s plenty of seafood, specifically mussels and oysters, deliciously prepared in authentic regional styles on offer at restaurants throughout town.
Cruise Day 5: Corfu, Greece on Thursday, July 2, 2020 (Docked 9 AM to 6 PM)
According to myth, Poseidon honeymooned on this picturesque Greek island—and it's easy to see why. Its breathtaking natural landscape and long history as an artistic and cultural hub make Corfu one of the most cosmopolitan and captivating of the Greek Isles. Wander through the cobble-stoned streets of Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or soak up some sun on one of the island's many beaches.
Cruise Day 6: At Sea on Friday, July 3, 2020
Cruising in Style while we get some classroom time in the Word!
Cruise Day 7: Naples, Italy on Saturday, July 4, 2020 (Docked 7 AM to 6 PM)
Framed by Mount Vesuvius along a dramatic skyline, the 2,800 year-old port city of Naples is chock full of historical sites, churches, and museums that make it a fascinating place for you to explore. For all of Rome’s notoriety and reputation, Naples, with its historic city center deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has just as many important archeological sites and landmarks. Visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale for a world-class collection of Egyptian and Graeco-Roman artifacts. And, if you’d like to venture a little deeper on your Naples cruise, then exploring Naples from below the ground is a must. Start with a trip into the basement of the San Lorenzo Maggiore church where you’ll find a partially excavated Roman market and a little deeper, just below the Roman ruins, you’ll find remnants from the Greeks to discover. And in the region where pizza was first invented, you know the food is going to be incredible. Whether you’re looking for a thin, wood-fired Margherita pie, spaghetti alle vongole or a zeppole dusted with confectioner’s sugar, Naples and her bountiful edible treasures is sure to please. Only 35 miles down the coast, Salerno offers you a rich history, but also boasts a marvelous collection of parks, natural wonders, and unique vantage points to take in the beauty of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Two cities. One incredible stretch of Italian coastline.
Cruise Day 8: Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy on Sunday, July 5, 2020 (Arrival: 5:15 AM)
Depart from Rome to the USA, arriving later the same day.