Above the city, looking out towards the blue Aegean, stands the Acropolis. Here lie the ruins of a culture 2,500 years old: the Propylaea; the Temple of Athena Nike; the Erechtheum temple, and, most famous of all, the Parthenon. Meanwhile, modern day Athens is a blend of past and present. Historical and archaeological museums are popular attractions along with performing arts and sporting events.
Welcome the warmth of the Mediterranean clime at Patmos, a small island in the Aegean Sea. Most notably, Patmos has long been a Christian pilgrimage destination because the Book of Revelation states that John was on Patmos when he received a vision from Jesus. Visitors can see the Cave of the Apocalypse, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006, where John is said to have had his vision. Also known as the Holy Grotto the cave is 21 feet long and 18 feet wide. The monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos, visible from anywhere on the island, is the most significant center there. It includes a library full of historic documents and manuscripts, and the Ecclesiastical Museum housing valuable icons and ornaments. Numerous beaches on the island include the most popular, pebbled and clean Skala Beach, Kampos Beach with crystal clean water and shade trees, and Agios Nikolaos, a rocky secluded beach.
Not far from the pier you'll come across Meryemana, the House of the Virgin Mary, said to be where St. John took the mother of Jesus after the crucifixion. From there you'll enjoy a panoramic view of Ephesus below. Take time in Kusadasi for a little shopping and a cup of Turkish coffee.
Rhodes, called the island of roses, is mountainous, with beautiful beaches. On the plains, figs, wheat, and citrus fruits grow. When the three ancient Doric cities of Ialissos, Lindos, and Kameros banded together in 408 B.C. to create a new capital, Rhodes flourished. Great temples were erected, a modern code of law was instituted, and the Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was built to symbolize Rhodian strength and wealth. In 1291, the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem took refuge on Rhodes and reigned for over two centuries. The Street of the Knights, from the 15th- and 16th-centuries, leads to the Palace of the Grand Masters.
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This is your invitation to a day of indulgence. Treat yourself to a luxurious spa experience. Stretch out by the pool with your favorite beverage. Grab a great book or your favorite movie from the library. Stretch your muscles with our state-of-the-art fitness equipment. Dine in sumptuous casual style, or wrap yourself in that comfy waffle-weave robe and enjoy your meal in the privacy of your beautiful stateroom. Your delight is our single priority for your day at sea.
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The major seaport of Haifa is built on the Israeli Mediterranean Coastal Plain on the northern slopes Mount Carmel, with a history of settlement that spans more than 3,000 years. This area of enormous historical significance has many fascinating sites like Elijah’s Cave, a pilgrimage site for believers, the Stella Maris Church and Monastery, located near the Cave, and serving as a hospital for Napoleon’s soldiers, Muhraka, now a Carmelite monastery on the site where Elijah the Prophet defeated the prophets of Baal, and the Bahai Shrine, a lovely gold-domed shrine where the remains of Said Ali Muhammad, one of the two founder of the Bahai religion are buried, which is surrounded by spectacular gardens planted in 1909. Other interesting sites include the Druze Villages at the summit of Mount Carmel, Kababir, a Ahmedi Moslem village with the Mahmoud Mosque at its center, the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space, The Haifa Museum of Art and the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, the only museum in the Middle East of its kind. Three gardens of note are The Remembrance Garden, in memory of Haifa citizens of the Israel Defense Forces, Gan Ha’em, situated in the Carmel Center and the Sculpture Garden, where 22 bronze statues overlook the striking Bay area and landscape. On the southwest side of Haifa is a beautiful beach bustling with a boardwalk of shops.
Ashdod is Israel’s largest port with ever increasing cruise line traffic. Settled during the 17th century B.C., Ashdod is one of the most ancient cities in the world. Visit the Korin Maman Museum, which has a permanent archeology exhibition called “Philistian World,” Ad H'alom Memorial Park, the northernmost point the Egyptian army invaded before the Israeli forces turned them back during the 1948 Israel Independence War, and Fatimid Fortress, erected during the Crusader period and located on the beautiful, quiet southern beach but can be viewed only through a fence. Climb to Giv’at Yonah, the highest point of the city at 492 feet, with a city lighthouse atop and named after the prophet Jonah, believed to be buried there. Take time to stroll the seaside promenade, or HaMidrehof or wade in the waters of the Dead Sea, long known for their health benefits. The only sand dunes are located in the Ashdod Sand Park, with the largest dunes an imposing 114 feet high and 820 feet long. The Mevo Ashdod Reserve, to the north of the city, has an East African savannah landscape with herds of gazelles. Museums include the Ashdod Museum of Art, with 13 exhibition halls, the Bar-Gera Museum, whose collection of art is by artists banned or persecuted by the Nazis and the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum, dedicated to the 6 million Jews who died during the Holocaust.
Relax at sea and enjoy the numerous onboard amenities.
Disembark this morning for your continued journey home.