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Passion Play 2020, Swiss Alps & Mediterranean

0
$500 Off
From$15,350$14,850
$500 Off
From$15,350$14,850
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August 10, 2020
Cabin Options
  • Inside$15,350 $14,850
  • Exterior$15,710 $15,160
  • Junior Suite$15,950 $15,375
  • Balcony Suite$16,330 $15,730

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651
27 Days
10 August - 5 September 2020
Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth (other cities available)
Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey

Early Bird Offers

$500 Off

If you book and pay 10% deposit by 16 August 2019 you’ll receive $500 off per person

Discounted Upgrades

Discounted upgrades for bookings made by 15 November 2019 see ‘Cabins’ for more details

Tour Details

The unique cultures of Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Greece await on this trip.

Explore Geneva and Montreaux in the Swiss Riviera before travelling through the Alps to glimpse the Matterhorn and later Mt Rigi. Learn about the Reformation in Zurich and be inspired by the faith of the Villagers of Oberammergau as you witness a spectacular performance of the Passion Play, whose origins date back to 1634. Watch as over 2000 villagers come together to present you with their rendition of the Biblical story. 

After travelling through the Dolomites, into Italy, uncover Roman monuments, Venetian canals and Florentine artistry. Cruise along the canals of Venice and journey through striking Tuscan landscapes. Encounter the Renaissance romance of Florence, Leaning Tower of Pisa and the colourful coastline of Cinque Terre.  In the Eternal City of Rome, toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain and travel back to gladiator times in the Colosseum.  Dine on authentic Italian food in Naples Italy, the home of the Neapolitan pizza.  Learn how the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii, burying it under tons of ash.

Towards the end of the tour, retrace the missionary journey of the Apostle Paul as you travel to Corinth in Greece and the Roman city of Ephesus in Turkey. Enjoy a 4-night cruise though the magical Greek Islands of Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete and Santorini. Also, cruise to the island of Patmos and visit the grotto where the Book of Revelation was written during John’s exile.

Departure & Return Location

Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth

(contact us for departures from other cities in Australia & New Zealand)

Price Includes

  • Return flights from your nearest capital city
  • Fully escorted tour
  • 25 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches & 12 Dinners
  • 4 Night cruise aboard the Celestyal Olympia
  • Passion Play seating
  • Accommodation
  • Shore excursions and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Cruise porterage
  • Tips

Price Excludes

  • Visas (if required)
  • Any Private Expenses

Complementaries

  • Luggage Tag
Map
Itinerary

Day 1: Monday, 10 August 2020Depart Australia

Depart from your nearest capital city and fly to Europe.

Overnight: Plane
Meal: Lunch, Dinner (on the plane)

Day 2: Tuesday, 11 August 2020Geneva, Switzerland

Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland where you will take a short coach tour to see the Jet d’Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument. Take a photo stop at the United Nations before travelling along the shoreline of Geneva Lake on one of the most beautiful roads in Switzerland. Arriving our destination in the Swiss Riviera town of Montreux, we will check into our hotel with balcony views over the lakeside and surrounding mountains.

Overnight: Eurotel Montreux
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch (on flight)

Day 3: Wednesday, 12 August 2020Montreux – Chillon Castle - Zermatt

Today, we will board a paddle steamer for a cruise on Lake Geneva taking us to Chillon Castle where we will enjoy a guided tour of the castle with its ramparts, formal halls and a chapel with 14th century murals. In the afternoon, we will travel by train to Zermatt via Visp. Early evening, we will arrive into Zermatt, home to the world’s most photographed mountains, the Matterhorn.

Overnight: Walliserhof Zermatt 1896
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Thursday, 13 August 2020Zermatt & the Matterhorn

This morning, you will have some time to explore the car free village of Zermatt at leisure.

In the afternoon, we will board the cog rail to the summit of the Gornergrat to enjoy sweeping views of the Alpine scenery during the 35-minute ride. Arriving at the top (3,135 metres above sea level), take in direct views of the summit of the Matterhorn as well as 28 other giant mountains as well as
the third-longest glacier of the Alps. You might like to enjoy a snack or drink (not included) at one of the two restaurants on the site before returning to Zermatt by train.

Overnight: Walliserhof Zermatt 1896
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Friday, 14 August 2020Glacier Express - Zurich

Today, take ‘the slowest express train in the world,” the Glacier Express, on a panoramic journey through the Swiss Alps. Travel through the Rhine Gorge, Switzerland’s own Grand Canyon. This feast for the eyes is followed by a feast for the palate freshly prepared in the on-board kitchen and served directly at your first-class seat.

Arrive into Zurich and check into our hotel in the city centre.

Overnight: Montana
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Saturday, 15 August 2020Zurich

Visit a local Adventist church for a worship service in the morning or spend time at leisure.

In the afternoon, we will visit the Old Town and gain some insights into the city’s history and culture. Learn how the Reformation came about in Zurich as you stroll past the majestic facades of the most important churches in downtown Zurich, visit commemorative monuments and learn about the work of the reformer Ulrich Zwingli.

Overnight: Hotel Montana
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Sunday, 16 August 2020Lucerne & Mt Rigi

Depart by train from Zurich and travel to Lucerne with its charming Old Town. Get acquainted with the city’s rich history on a short sightseeing tour and visit monuments like Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument.

While savouring a traditional lunch at the Stadtkeller enjoy traditional Swiss folklore performances which will include national costumes, flag throwing and yodelling.

Enjoy a scenic boat ride on Lake Lucerne before reaching Vitznau where we will take the cog train to the top of Mount Rigi. Known as the “Queen of the Mountains,” Mount Rigi offers stunning 360-degree panoramic views of the Swiss Plateau with the Bernese Alps, Vosges mountains, Black Forest and Glarus Alps beyond. Spend some leisurely time exploring Mount Rigi at your own pace. Descend on a cable car before returning to Zurich where you can enjoy a free evening at leisure.

Hotel: Montana
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Monday, 17 August 2020Neuschwanstein Castle and Oberammergau, Germany

Travel across the scenic countryside from Switzerland to Germany to see the castle that inspired Disney movies. The extraordinary Neuschwanstein Castle was the vision of Bavaria’s Ludwig II, known as the Swan King. Explore the fairytale-like castle before heading to the charming village of Oberammergau. See the frescoes that decorate many homes with scenes from Bavarian folktales.

Overnight: Oberammergau Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Tuesday, 18 August 2020World-Renowned Passion Play

Enjoy a morning of leisure to explore the village of Oberammergau. This afternoon attend a moving performance of the world-famous Passion Play that is held every 10 years and performed by the inhabitants of Oberammergau. Witness the covenant that the villagers made with God in the 17th century to spare them from the plague. During the break, join your travel companions for dinner before witnessing the stirring second half of the Passion Play performance.

Overnight: Oberammergau Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Wednesday, 19 August 2020Bavaria – Austria - Venice

Cross the Austrian border to mountain-ringed Innsbruck. Journey over the impressive Europa Bridge and travel into Italy through the magnificent Dolomites. Continue south following the Adige River to arrive in Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. After a stop to view Juliet’s Balcony, we will finish our journey to the lagoon of Venice.

Sit back, relax and enjoy an unforgettable boat ride as you speed past the spectacular scenery of the Venetian Lagoon and canals – an amazing first look at Venice as you arrive at your hotel in style.

Overnight: Venice
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Thursday, 20 August 2020Venice

You’ll begin on a morning walking tour of Venice’s signature sights, including the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica. Take a boat trip to the islands of Murano and Burano in the lagoon. Watch Murano’s glassblowers and Burano’s lace-makers at work and enjoy the opportunity to buy typical Venetian handiwork.

In the evening, after the day-trippers have left, enjoy the quiet atmosphere of Venice.

Overnight: Venice
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12: Friday, 21 August 2020Venice to Tuscany

On our journey south to beautiful Tuscany pass through rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards and olive groves. Rolling Hills and rural villages will be the backdrop of your journey today.

We stay here for the next four nights, in a traditional family run, hotel.

Overnight: Tuscany
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Saturday, 22 August 2020Tuscany

Our group will set aside time for Sabbath worship this morning. Spend the afternoon at leisure or join a picnic and walking tour of the picturesque Tuscan countryside near our accommodation.

As a highlight, this evening we will dine at a local farmhouse estate.

Overnight: Tuscany
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Sunday, 23 August 2020Pisa – Cinque Terre

Travel through the rolling hills of Tuscany to the dramatic rocky coastline of Cinque Terre. These five small villages cling to the cliffs with their brightly painted houses perching right over the Mediterranean Sea. The area outside of town is just as magnificent – the national park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a coastal boat ride to admire the spectacular scenery and reach the almost inaccessible fishing villages.

Stop in Pisa on the return journey to see the famous leaning tower.

Overnight: Tuscany
Meals: Breakfast

Day 15: Monday, 24 August 2020Florence

This morning, see the magnificent Florentine skyline, dominated by the dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and explore the splendour of Santa Croce and the medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge Take a guided tour which will include the Piazza della Signoria with its impressive sculptures and stunning palazzi. Visit the Accademia Galley, home of Michelangelo’s David. A stop will also be made on the hillside overlook across the river from Florence where we will enjoy a panoramic view of the beautiful red-tiled roof cityscape. Enjoy free time to explore further areas of interest before returning to our Tuscany residence in the late afternoon.

Overnight: Tuscany
Meals: Breakfast

Day 16: Tuesday, 25 August 2020Tuscany - Rome

This morning drive to medieval Siena which was, during the 12th and 13th centuries, one of the world’s largest and richest cities. An unrivalled period of building took place and the range of palaces, grandiose townhouses and piazzas were built. Without doubt the main square, the Campo is one of the most beautiful you will ever see. Unusually half-moon shaped and surrounded by tall, centuries-old buildings, they are all different embracing an overall harmonious and beautiful style.

In the afternoon, arrive into Rome where you be introduced to all Rome’s must-see landmarks such as the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus, St. Peter’s Square and Trevi Fountain.

In the evening, dine out the group and watch a recreated gladiator fight in the heart of the ancient city in the Gruppo Storico Romano, close to the Colosseum. Watch fights, ancient dances, and rituals of the Vestal Virgins, and even pose for photos in gladiator armour.

Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17: Wednesday, 26 August 2020Rome

In the morning, enjoy panoramic views of the best-preserved part of the Colosseum. Exploring the amphitheatre and learn all about the history of this iconic Roman landmark. Hear stories about gladiator battles and Roman emperors, and marvel at the engineering of the ancient structure.

The afternoon is left free to explore Rome further at leisure. You may wish to visit the Vatican Museums (entrance fee is not included), which is the largest, richest and most compelling such complex on earth which contains so many artefacts from the city’s history. Many of the finest artists of the Renaissance worked for a variety of Popes but there are other displays too: Egyptian antiquities, furniture, sculpture, silverware and of course, Michelangelo’s wondrous masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel which really has to be seen to be believed.

Overnight: Rome
Meals: Breakfast

Day 18: Thursday, 27 August 2020Rome to Naples and Pompei

Travel south to the famous ancient city of Pompeii which covers 170 acres and was once a large port city connected with the Roman empire. It was covered in pumice and ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Hear the fascinating stories of Pompeiian life, and see the villas, temples and frescoed houses that subsequent excavations have exposed.

Next travel north along the bay, past Vesuvius, to Naples where we will explore the city’s historic centre. Gaze across the Piazza Plebiscito to the curved collonades of San Francesco di Paolo and take in the astonishing view across the bay to Vesuvius from Posillipo.

In the late afternoon descend below the streets of Naples for a walking tour of the San Gennaro Catacombs. A sacred burial site and place of Christian pilgrimage, the subterranean corridors that lay beneath the southern city are home to vestibules, bishops’ crypts, and a wealth of early Christian mosaics and frescoes.

Overnight: Naples
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 19: Friday, 28 August 2020Athens

Today, we will transfer to the airport for a flight to Athens, Greece. On arrival, visit a combination of classic and contemporary sites to gain an overview of the bustling capital including the colossal Panathinaiko Stadium, the venue of the first ever Olympic games, the Royal Palace, the Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch and the Agora.

Overnight: Athens Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 20: Saturday, 29 August 2020Corinth

Today we visit Corinth a city that inspired Paul to write the New Testament books of the First Corinthians and Second Corinthians. It is here that the apostle Paul preached to the people of Corinth in AD 51-52. Visit the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Temples, and walk among the ruins and stand on the Bema where Paul stood. Whilst there we’ll take time for worship and to read some of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and visualize his address to the Gentiles as he began the task of building Corinth’s church. Take time to imagine where Aquila and Priscilla lived and where they had their tent making business.

Stroll around the relics of Corinth before your return to Athens where the group will enjoy a traditional Greek dinner while being entertained with Greek music and dance performances.

Overnight: Athens
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Sunday, 30 August 2020Athens

View the exterior of the Temple of Olympian Zeus — a gigantic, semi-ruined edifice completed in the 2nd century AD. Continue to Athens’ showpiece: the Acropolis. Stroll up to the UNESCO-listed site that served as the ancient citadel, and tour the buildings. Admire the magnificent Parthenon, and see monuments including the Propylaea gateway and stunning Temple of Athena Nike.

After exploring the sprawling citadel, continue to the New Acropolis Museum and learn more about the excavations in the magnificent galleries.

Overnight: Athens Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 22: Monday, 31 August 2020Athens – Mykonos, Greece

Travel to the Port of Piraeus, the largest port in the Mediterranean and the departure point for our cruise on the Celestyal Olympia on Mediterranean Sea. Settle into your comfortable cabin and explore your home for the next four nights as we set sail for the Greek Islands

As soon as you set eyes on the coastline, the island of Mykonos flaunts its double personality. Its rugged rocky landscape blends seamlessly with smooth sandy beaches. In the distance, undulating hills host the island’s iconic windmills turning in symphony with the seasonal winds that have branded Mykonos ‘island of the winds’. Use the included shuttle bus service to explore Mykonos at your leisure or take an optional countryside tour.

Optional: Mykonian countryside tour with Hora & Little Venice
Overnight: M/V Celestyal Olympia
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Tuesday, 1 September 2020Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey – Patmos, Greece

Disembark at the Turkish port of Kusadasi for an included excursion to the ruins of Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site reflecting centuries of history from classical Greece to the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity. In the first Century AD, the Apostle Paul spent three years during his ministry in Ephesus. Tour the Great Amphitheatre where the crowds chanted for two hours in protest of Paul’s preaching. See the Agora, the great theatre and stadium where chariot races took place and gladiatorial combats were held. It is said that Paul himself fought here against wild beasts. Visit the House of Mary, where she is said to have spent her last days.

In the afternoon cruise to the island of Patmos where we will visit the grotto where the Book of Revelation was written during John’s exile from the Roman Empire. Then visit Chora, a medieval settlement where you can enjoy a view of the Monastery of the Apocalypse, Skala and the north-eastern side of the island. Continue exploring with a scenic tour of the rocky volcanic landscape and ethereal windmills.

Overnight: M/V Celestyal Olympia
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24, Wednesday, 2 September 2020Rhodes, Greece

Centuries of culture and layer upon layer of extraordinary civilizations await to be discovered during our included bus tour through impressive Lindos and within the awe-inspiring structure of the Acropolis of Lindos. We will follow the footsteps of heroes as we walk along the Knight’s Street in the heart of historical Rhodes. The seven lodges of the Order, still bearing their original coats of arms, are displayed along the cobblestone street where Rhodes’ history was written for over two centuries. Sitting at the top of Knights Street, the Grand Master’s Palace is well worth its name. You will be awed by the fort’s imposing Gothic architecture and strength displayed throughout its court structures, as you get a glimpse into the fascinating era of the Knights. We end our tour of historical Rhodes with some free time.

Overnight: M/V Celestyal Olympia
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: Thursday, 3 September 2020Crete (Heraklion) – Santorini, Greece

Sailing into Heraklion port, the intimidating walls of the Koules Fortress emerge from the sea to guard the ancient treasures found within the city. Capital of Crete, Heraklion is brimming with landmarks, world-class museums and golden beaches.

In the afternoon, find yourself cruising towards Santorini. The island will greet you with its striking cliffs, promising adventure and legendary tales. The almost vertical towns of whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches rise above the blue Aegean.

Optional Tours: Venetian Heraklion and the Unique Archaeological Museum, Cretan countryside, Minoan Palace of Knossos, Oia Village, Santorini’s Islands and Volcanoes, Akrotiri Excavations
Overnight: M/V Celestyal Olympia
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26: Friday, 4 September 2020Athens, Greece

Our cruise ends this morning at the port of Piraeus. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Alternatively, extend your stay over the weekend with a stopover on the way home or further European extension.

Overnight: Plane
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner (on plane)

Day 27: Saturday, 5 September 2020Australia

Arrive into your home city.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch (on plane)

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