Nov 12
Last Updated on 10 June 2014

In the Footsteps of Paul and the Ancient World

When: May 24 – June 2, 2013
Where: Rome, Ephesus, Athens, Crete and Sicily
How: Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas
Highlights: The Acropolis in Athens, Ancient Ephesus, Taormino Sicily, Crete, Blue waters of the Mediterranean

Trevi Fountain – Rome We tossed in a coin to assure our return to the Eternal City

Walking in the footsteps of Paul as we started our journey in Rome entering the realm of  Caesars, Popes and Apostles exploring the Ancient Forum, the Colosseum and descending into the Mamertine Prison, Nero’s political detention location where it is believed that both Apostles Peter and Paul were imprisoned and where many historians believe Paul wrote the book of II Timothy.

Following a night’s stay in Rome we strolled through the city and explored more local sights including the Pantheon, a gelato stop, Piazza Navona, another gelato stop and on to the famous Trevi Fountain before taking a final gelato stop prior to boarding a private motor coach that transported us to the port of Civitavecchia,about 45 minutes outside of Rome.

Home as we cruise the Mediterranean

After boarding Royal Caribbean’s lovely Navigator of the Seas, our home for the following week, once we settled in our staterooms, no more hauling luggage or packing and unpacking to get from destination to destination. Our ship sailed the stunningly beautiful waters of the Mediterranean to deliver us to our ports of call. We unpacked once and allowed Royal Caribbean to transport us in luxury from port to port through the Mediterranean around the breathtaking Greek isles as we explored the cities, the culture and the beliefs of the people of Paul’s time.

Taormino, Sicily

Our first port  of call – MessinaSicily driving to the scenic hillside town of Taormino and exploring this walled city that was once a castle and a place of refuge for King Richard III of England as he traveled to the crusades.

Our next stop – Athens climbing the hill of the Acropolis and where the Parthenon still stands overlooking Mars Hill where Paul preached to the Athenians. When Paul visited the revered Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon, which is still studied as a masterpiece of architectural form was already over 400 years old! We climbed the same marble steps used for over 2500 years.


After sailing through the stunningly beautiful Greek isles, we stopped at the Turkish port of Kusadasi and traveled inland a few miles to the city of Ancient Ephesus. During Paul’s time Ephesus was one of the largest cities in the world and the most important city of Asia minor. The river, which has since been silted in, brought the emperors, traders and evangelists of the world to the famous columned entryway to the city. The magnificent ruins here provide amazing

Ancient Ephesus

insight into the lives and culture of the ancient Romans of Paul’s time. After exploring the remarkable ruins at this significant site in both Biblical and world history we were treated to a traditional Turkish lunch while observing a demonstration of the ancient art of hand rug making which still provides a valuable living for the women of Turkey today as it has for the past 3000 years! As in ancient times, bargains were rampant in this port city – spices, leather and beautiful fabrics!

From Ancient Ephesus on to Crete, home to some of the first believers at Pentecost and visited by Paul who left the new church there under the leadership of Titus. Today over 90% of those living on the island consider themselves

Hand-made lace

“devout” Christians worshiping regularly. This stunning island is home to a lush tropical plant life and some of the most beautiful and diverse beaches in the world. We traveled inland to explore several tiny villages and examine the work of local artisans that have been both learning and teaching their craft here for generations.

This trip brought fresh insight into Paul’s world as we walked the streets he walked and stood in the dark prison cell where he spent his last days and still wrote letters of encouragement to new believers allowing each of us to gain a new understanding and perspective of the similarities in the culture of the Romans of Paul’s time and that of the modern western world.

Ports of call included:
  • Messina, Sicily
  • Athens, Greece
  • Ephesus, Turkey
  • Chania, Crete

Allow these locations to shed new light and understanding on the context of Paul’s writings  as you explore where he lived, preached, wrote about and died. We would love to have you join us as we repeat this tour in the near future. If you have any questions about this tour, please contact us and we will be happy to answer any queries you may have. Looking forward to traveling with you soon! E-Tours Contact: Dana@E-Tours.biz or Lori @ E-Tours.biz