Ancient Empires. Holyland Cruise 20 days. Depart 20 September, 2022

Please Note: the operation of this tour is totally dependent on our freedom to travel next year in what will still be a covid environment. You are welcome to register with us, no cost or obligation, and early in 2022 we will decide whether to finalise it. Prices are provisional. Cruising with Holland America is a great experience and great value. Shore excursions are included in the four main cities of interest - Galilee and Jerusalem in israel, Athens, and Ephesus.


Tour 603. 

Ancient Empires. 20 days escorted. 20 September - 10 October, 2022 


Day 1. Tuesday 20 September, 2022      Depart Auckland 

Depart Auckland today 

Day 2. Wednesday 21 September.  ARRIVE  ROME   (D) 

Arrive Rome and transfer to our hotel. Tour of introduction to Rome on arrival.

Day 3. Thursday. 22 September. ROME        (BD)

Full day sightseeing including St Peters and St Pauls, Sistine chapel, Colosseum, and other sights of Rome. 

Day 4. Friday. 23 September.    (BD) 

Free morning to explore at your leisure before we take the train to fabulous Venice and transfer to our hotel for the night.

Day 5. Saturday. 24 September.    VENICE  DEPART.        (BD)

This morning's guided walking tour will introduce us to the best of Venice, with of course the obligatory gondola ride. This afternoon transfer to our home for the next 14 nights, Holland America's "Volendam". (57,092 tons, 1,350 passengers). Sail at 5pm 

Day 6.  Sunday 25 September     HVAR. CROATIA   (BLD)    

Arrive 10am - sail 6pm.     (Tender to shore required).

Optional tours available.

Day 7.   Monday 26 September.  DUBROVNIK - CROATIA.   (BLD) 

Arrive 8am - sail 5pm.   Optional tours available.

Day 8.  Tuesday 27 September.  KERKIRA (Corfu) GREECE   (BLD).

Arrive 8am - sail 5pm. Optional tours available.  

Day 9.  Wednesday 28 September.   AT SEA       (BLD)

A free day to relax, try the spa, work out in the gym, and enjoy the entertainment.   

Day 10. Thursday 29 September. AGIOS NIKOLAOS. CRETE    (BLD)

Arrive 8am - sail 6pm. Optional tours available.

Day 11.  Friday 30 September.    AT SEA       (BLD)

A free day to relax, try the spa, work out in the gym, enjoy the entertainment, and get ready for Israel.   

Day 12.  Saturday 01 October.   HAIFA       (BLD)  

Arrive 8am - sail 11pm.  Disembark after breakfast and drive across the Valley of Jezreel to Nazareth. Visit the Church of the Annunciation and the ancient Israel Village presenting life in Israel as it was at the time of Jesus Christ. Continue to the Mt of Beatitudes where Jesus gave the 'Sermon on the Mount', Tabgha where Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and Capernaum where Jesus lived during part of his ministry. See the 2nd century Synagogue and enjoy a cruise on Lake Galilee  and fish lunch before returning to our ship with some sightseeing in Haifa if there is time Sail at 11pm. 

Day 13. Sunday 02 October.    JERUSALEM      (BLD) 

Arrive Ashdod 7am. Sail at 8pm.

Disembark on arrival and drive to Jerusalem.  Visit the Mt of Olives for a fabulous panoramic view over the ancient city of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane and Church of All Nations. Enter the Old City through the Jewish Quarter and see the 'Cardo', part of an unearthed main Roman thoroughfare from 2,000 years ago and marketplace. Visit the Western Wall and Temple Mount (subject to political conditions on the day) and walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Enjoy a quick lunch of local delicacies and this afternoon visit the Garden Tomb,  Yad Vashem and a brief look at the Israeli Museum to see the model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus Christ and Dead Sea Scrolls OR Bethlehem and the Shepherds fields. Return to our ship early eveniing and sail at 8pm. 

Day 14. Monday 03 October.   AT SEA     (BLD)

Free day at sea to relax, reflect, and recharge.

Day 15. Tuesday 04 October.   EPHESUS    (BLD)

Arrive Kusadasi 7am - sail 7pm 

Our included tour will take us to one of the best preserved ruins of the ancient Roman Empire - Ephesus. St Paul spent some years here teaching and being a tentmaker and was the subject of a major riot in the Grand Theatre. See the theatre, Celsius library, and the few remaining ruins of the Temple of Diana. We will also visit the traditional house of  Mary, mother of Jesus, and Basilica of St John who wrote the book of Revelation on the nearby island of Patmos. See the remains of the nearby Selcuk fortress from the Byzantine and Ottoman era. A traditional Turkish lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. 

Day 16. Wednesday 05 October.   ATHENS     (BLD) 

Arrive Piraeus 7am - sail 6pm          

Full day sightseeing included. Climb to the Acropolis and visit the Parthenon and Mars Hill and pass by the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, Parliament House, Temple of Zeus, and Hadrians Arch and enjoy a lunch of Greek specialities before returning to our ship.    

Day 17. Thursday 06 October   KATAKOLON, GREECE   (BLD)

Arrive 10am - sail 8pm. Optional tours to ancient Olympia available  

Day 18.  Friday 07 October. AT SEA    (BLD)

Final day at sea to enjoy your ship.                               

Day 19. Saturday 08 October.      VENICE. ARRIVE - DEPART.   (B)

Arrive Venice 7am. Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for departure. 

Day 19. Sunday 09 October - en route. 

Day 20. Monday 10 October. AUCKLAND ARRIVE

Arrive Auckland this morning. 



Fly to Amsterdam 8th October for 1 night hotel and 14 night luxury cruise to Budapest with the option to extend for 3 nights Prague, 3 nights Krakow, and 2 nights Warsaw before flying home. 



Tour 603. 

Ancient Empires   20 Days escorted. 20 September - October 10, 2022,  


** Return economy class air fares from Auckland (Upgrade to Premium Economy and Business class available) 

** Arrival and departure transfers at each point outside New Zealand. 

** 2 nights accommodation, dinner, breakfast, and isightseeing in Rome. 

** 14 night Holland America cruise aboard "Volendam". Ocean view cabins included. Upgrade to verandah cabins available.   

** Full day sightseeing in Athens

** 2 days touring in Israel including 1 day touring to Jerusalem and 1 day to Nazareth and Galilee. 

** Day tour to Ephesus


Projected cost per person                                       2 per room/cabin 

Oceanview cabin              $9,990 

Verandah cabin               $13,940  

Upgrade to Premium Economy fares   $1,500 extra per person 

Upgrade to Business Class $4,000 per person.

25% deposit required on booking. Balance due 30 June 2020.


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