MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE (ITALY, FRANCE AND SPAIN) ON Celebrity Cruise Line’S NEW SHIP “APEX”: June 24 - July 4, 2020 "FOLLOWING THE MINISTRY OF ST. PAUL" (Program #200601)

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Pre-Cruise Italy Land Program

Participants may choose a land-cruise package (utilizing Rome round-trip air transportation). Others may prefer to do the “cruise only” package (flying into Venice and out of Rome).

Day One: Departure Day (Monday, June 22, 2020).

Depart international gateway for Italy. Meals and overnight: In flight.

Day Two: Where the Gospel started - Look into the Roman World of the Apostles (Tuesday, June 23, 2020).

Theme: Let’s consider how the Gospel sounded to someone in a Roman tunic as we explore how goods, services and transport held their empire together. Rome was both an Empire and an idea, and the Gospel challenged some foundations of their culture. 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 before our evening meal.

***Our day tour commences at 9:30 AM from the airport in Rome. Participants who arrive at Fiumicino airport (Rome) a day or two early are advised to meet us at the arrival hall of the airport at the meeting point closest to the coffee shop. (If you need more details, request it from our office). Others who opt to arrive on later flights may meet us at our hotel for our evening meal. Sites include: Ostia Antica. Overnight: Rome.  D

Day Three: How the Message Came to Rome (Wednesday, June 24, 2020).

Our time in central Rome will remind us that Paul came to the city the first time under guard and house arrest. During this two year period he wrote the so-called "Prison Epistles." His second visit ended in his martyrdom. Our travels will include the heart of the empire at the Forum, but also little visited sites from Paul’s life. Sites include: Roman Forum, Colosseum, San Paulo alla Regola and Jewish Ghetto, Three Fountains Abbey. Overnight: Rome. B

Day Four: The Good News in Pictures (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. We will also try to provide some free time to wander Roman streets.  Overnight: Rome. B

Day Five: The Medieval Village and the Gospel: Rome / Orvieto / Florence (Friday, June 26, 2020).

Orvieto sits perched above the Umbrian hills.

Orvieto sits perched above the Umbrian hills.

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 village on the hill will be the setting of our learning time about the Medieval spread of the Gospel and other stories that were joined to the message.  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: The Reawakening: Florence, Art and the Growth of the Church (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

Cruise Program

Land Day Seven/Cruise Day 1: Florence to Venice (Sunday, June 28, 2020).

This morning you can take a few hours free to continue your exploration of Florence, but by mid-morning we will make our way in our bus to Venice, so we can check in to our cruise ship and get comfortable! Overnight: Celebrity Infinity. B, D

Cruise Day 2: Venice, Italy (Monday, June 29, 2020).

Wake up aboard our vessel harbored in beautiful Venice, a favorite of romantics everywhere! Explore on your own or book an excursion with Celebrity Cruises if you want to ride along a Venetian canal, visit St. Mark’s Basilica and Piazza San Marco or the Doge’s Palace to see the center of Venetian trade and power for centuries! Overnight: Celebrity Infinity. B, L, D.

Cruise Day 3: Split, Croatia on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 (Docked 9 AM to 6 PM)

If you walk within the walls of the Diocletian Palace, you'll discover historical buildings, numerous museums, the National Theatre and a collection of old churches. The Old City includes Diocletian’s Palace, the Roman Emperor of the last major persecution of Christians in the early C4 CE. The Cathedral of St. Domnius stands as one of the most pristine and preserved examples of ancient Roman architecture in the world. Head to Marajan Hill which is just 10 minutes outside the city for a breathtaking view. B, L, D.

Cruise Day 4: Dubrovnik, Croatia on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 (Docked 8 AM to 5 PM) 

You may want to book 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. The city is easy to navigate within the walls and many places are easily accessible. The views of the Adriatic from its rooftops are truly awe-inspiring. B, L, D.

Cruise Day 5: Corfu, Greece on Thursday, July 2, 2020 (Docked 9 AM to 6 PM)

This picturesque Greek island is a romantic wonder! 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. B, L, D.

Cruise Day 6: At Sea on Friday, July 3, 2020

Today we will be offering two optional morning lectures and one in the afternoon by Dr.Smith. Topics to be announced! B, L, D.

Cruise Day 7: Naples, Italy on Saturday, July 4, 2020 (Docked 7 AM to 6 PM)

Today we have included an organized touring day by our CTSP staff to Ercolano and Pompeii, examining the letters of the Apostle Paul. These sites are fabulous and will illustrate the Epistles very well! B, D.

Cruise Day 8: Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy on Sunday, July 5, 2020 (Arrival: 5:15 AM)

A group transfer from the port to airport is included. Depart from Rome to the USA, arriving later the same day. B.

Airfares are not posted this far in advance.

Even though prices are not yet listed for this study program, if you want to go, we recommend you reserve your space with a deposit and registration. When our price is released, you will be notified. If at that time, you decide this program will not work for you, the deposit will be refunded.