Greece Cruise and Tour 2020
Footsteps of Paul & John
 

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B E   A   P A R T   O F   H I S T O R Y

:::::::  I T I N E R A R Y  :::::::
APRIL, 2020

5 Star-Rated, All-Inclusive, Educational Greece Cruise/Tour
 

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LOOKING  FOR  MERRY  ADVENTURERS
People who are interested in connecting the history, archaeology, geography
and topography of Greece to their personal understanding of Biblical times.

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Join Dr. Freeman on Mars Hill as he provides a quick panoramic view of the Acropolis, Athens and more...


Call Dr. Freeman right now about the next Greece cruise/tour...cell: 410-991-9718...email: greatworkshops@gmail.com

 

FREEMAN   INSTITUTE®   TOURS 

 


Acropolis...Athens

Santorini

 

E X E C U T I V E   O V E R V I E W
GreeceCrazy.com


Ever seen a tour group with 2 - 6 busloads of dazed people
with headsets on.....hardly even talking with each other?
No fun at all.   Kind of like herding cats.

THAT.  IS.  NOT.  A.  FREEMAN.  INSTITUTE®.  TOUR.
 


We are limiting the upcoming all-inclusive 2020 trip to only 45 people. Ask why.

We guarantee that we will never fill more than one fun-filled bus. Ask why.

We always use non-stop flight itineraries to and from Athens. Ask why.

We lead tours to Greece only in late Fall and/or early Spring each year. Ask why.

We sold out all the seats on the last tour quite rapidly. First come, first served.
 

We lead the Greece cruise/tour every 18 months.

We do not have the specific dates yet for the APRIL 2020 cruise/tour.

We will have that information by May 2019.

We will put you on the list for the upcoming all-inclusive cruise/tour.

Interested?

Email me

   Are you in?  Or do you know of anyone who might be interested in going on an 11-day Greece cruise/tour?

   If so, please share this website with the right people. Watch the two videos below...

  Review the itinerary below: Athens, Corinth, Patmos, Ephesus, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and much more...

   Please forward this website to the right people.

   The cost and what is included in the trip will be listed below. Plus, we will email you a document responding to FAQs.


POTENTIAL  FUTURE  TRIPS

Email for info...and to be put on the list of people
interested in a future Greece and/or Israel trip.
 


  Many of our seasoned travelers from previous trips to Israel have commented this this is the best group tour they have ever experienced...anywhere. We work hard to make this a reality for each group. Review some photographs from past trips on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) -- #FreemanInstituteTours

  We are planning some new experiences this year. Going to Greece with The Freeman Institute® Tours is not a vacation, nor a luxury, but an investment that will pay spiritual dividends for the rest of your life. You will never read the Bible the same way.

   This ain't my first rodeo...
 

T H E   T E A M
(tour guides, hotels, transportation, et al)

THE TEAM: Joel and Shirley in Santorini


T O U R   L E A D E R
Joel A. Freeman, Ph.D.

   GUIDES -- English-speaking. Officially trained and registered Greek tour guides will be providing the direction for the entire tour. Come on this trip with a lot of questions, because the guides possess a deep/wide reservoir of historical, biblical and geographical knowledge. You will learn much from them on this trip.
 
 
  Dr. Joel Freeman will help to fill in with some added geographical, biblical, historical, and topographical information, along with spiritual application.

   Basketball Metaphor: Our guides do the play-by-play. Joel provides the color commentary.

   "We welcome you to the promise of a life-changing experience. Get ready for the next trip."
                                                                                                             -- Joel A. Freeman

  During our tour of Greece and the surrounding region we will explore the fascinating monuments made by man and nature over the centuries.

  A trip to Greece, Patmos, and Ephesus is safe, affordable, and transforming. This is part of the land of the Bible and it connects you with the roots of your faith in a way that is truly life-changing. You’ll never be the same.

 

   OCTOBER: Pastor's Appreciation Month -- Give the gift of a trip to Greece to your pastor and spouse. I like to tell people that tour of Greece -- following the steps of Paul and John -- is almost like two semesters of intensive Bible School training.

   There's nothing quite like seeing what is being read in the Scriptures. And this trip will make the Bible come alive like nothing else can.

   If you are a member of a congregation, drop the hint with a few people to see if the idea gathers some traction. Let us know how we can help...

BEAUTIFUL ATHENS (1:48)

  We believe that people who travel to Greece:

  • Are in search of a deeper understanding of their faith -- physically, spiritually & emotionally.
  • Desire to add color & depth to the faith story that has already shaped their lives.
  • Long to see, touch, & encounter real places & real people that bring real meaning to the Bible.

   We believe that groups (large or small) that travel together:

  • Gain spiritual enrichment in learning together “on site” as they follow in the steps of Paul.
  • Build community by strengthening bonds among members, bringing together generations, and reaching out to non-members.


Part of our merry band of adventures at the ancient ruins of Ephesus (2016)

W A T C H   V I D E O

Theater of Ephesus (video 1:20) where Paul preached -- Acts 19: 23-41
 

"This is something everybody should experience."
                       
-- Bobbie Williams (NFL Ravens Champion)

"I took a tour to with Joel Freeman in 2014 and our time was an experience beyond my wildest dreams.  Joel orchestrated a tremendous experience for our group which included me -- a former NFL chaplain -- and one of our Super Bowl winning players and his family.  If you're a professional athlete, Joel understands the unique travel needs you and your family will have.  We had top tier accommodations all the way!  Thanks Joel for a life-changing experience."
                                                -- Rod Hairston, NFL Chaplain (retired), Baltimore Ravens

 

MEMORIES FROM PREVIOUS TRIPS
Exhilarating. Exhausting. Educational.


Our merry band on Mars Hill in Athens (2016)

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"This was my first group trip and it was a great experience." -- Angie

"I was overwhelmed, awestruck, humbled, and inspired -- all at the same time.
The Bible comes alive as you read it. " -- Bill

"Thanks for a great trip. We really enjoyed being with your group. Everyone was really friendly and good to be with. We are home now and catching up on our naps.  Keep us tuned in to your future trips. Thanks again for your effort in making the trip worthwhile." -- Oscar


Beautiful Santorini

"The 2012 trip was conducted with a great deal of thought and planning that far exceeding my expectations. I am still baffled of how well this trip went. I am even getting “goose bumps” while I am typing this. For the price that I paid I received way more that it was worth. All of the sites were my favorite because they had their own story which was fascinating and breathtaking to me. I absolutely hated group trips before this one because of past experiences but knowing Joel, trusting his judgment and embracing his friendship I took the challenge and loved every moment of the trip and group that I was so honored to be with during this trip. Thank you Joel Freeman from the bottom of my heart."  -- Marcus


Light in a shell on a table in a restaurant on the water's edge in Mykonos

"Thank you for the wonderful trip. Prior to going on the trip I did not know exactly what to expect. I suppose I thought it would be like other vacations we have taken to other parts of the world. It was not at all anything like any other trip I have taken. It was a surreal trip into all those Bible stories I learned as a child. It helped me to put them into a historical sequence instead of individual stories.  It has inspired me to be sure my Grandchildren learn all of these Bible stories as well.  I have told them  to include at least one Bible story to the bed time stories we read when they spend the night. All in all it was a wonderful experience and I love that we had great leaders we could count upon.  On your trip I felt I was able to sit where it made me comfortable and I could talk to whom I pleased and I could get to know people as I wished.  I would definitely recommend this trip to my friends.  It was the most unique vacation I have ever taken." -- Sue

"We had a wonderful experience! We are so glad that our friends invited us to take this trip. Thank you for all you did to make this trip a success. We truly enjoyed meeting and interacting with him. We are enjoying reviewing all the photos we took (1,000+). I am annotating each one. It will take me several more days (weeks?) to get it all done, but worth the effort as I am happily re-living the trip while doing it." -- Jim and Rita

"Kudos for creating our superb Discovery Tour! Joel, thanks to your attention to detail and hands-on approach. Our tour was a rare in-depth spiritual journey -- plus a comprehensive view of the past, present and future. We didn't just visit; we brought the meaning of the Bible home with us. Thanks again for the journey of a lifetime." -- Terry and Carolyn


Our cruise ship tied up at the Mykonos dock
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"An unforgettable experience. It's the trip of a lifetime and so much more than I expected. The sites transported me to events of thousands years past -- the Old Testament through the New Testament. It's all about God. Beauty, history, landscape and culture will draw me back one day, but as I wait, I will share what I learned with my own beloved country. And, I will hope that it draws you to visit one day soon." -- Miriam
 


Joel & Shirley Freeman in Corinth, Greece -- overlooking the Ionian Sea

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What Motivates Us to Lead Trips to Greece?

  It takes an inordinate amount of time, energy & “brain-damage” to put together a group trip to Greece and the surrounding region. Every traveler has legitimate questions and needs and we try to anticipate as many in advance as possible. Some issues are more detailed than others.

  The process starts about 10-11 months prior to each trip. And there are endless discussions with tour operators, our travel agent and guides. We are always searching for the best pricing, coupled with the most excellent hotels, food and customer service. One could be exhausted before the tour even starts in Greece.

  So, why do we bother leading annual trips to Greece? Good question. We do not even have to hesitate with our response.

  - It’s because of the impact each trip has on the lives of every person who takes the journey. We get the joy of watching the decision-making process every person goes through before they sign on to such an adventure.

  - It’s seeing the excited looks on people’s faces when they learn the behind-the-scenes historical backdrop to many sites throughout the region.

  - It’s knowing that each person who has experienced Greece will now not only “read” the Bible, but they will be “seeing” what they are reading.

  - It’s the testimonials we receive from people, months after they have taken a trip with us.

   We put a lot of thought into developing a trip that most of the other larger tour groups are not able to visit. We welcome you to be a part of the next trip. It's going to be an unforgettable adventure!



Beautiful view on Mykonos Island at sunset
 

What's so Different About this Trip?

  There are many options when it comes to traveling to Greece.
Our tours are different.

  1.   We keep the numbers small, which makes us much more nimble and we connect much better as a group than groups with, let's say, 2-5 tour buses.
     

  2.   We are very experienced. Each Greek guide we use knows the land from various disciplines -- geographical, topographical, archaeological, Scriptural, historical, etc. They are not jaded. They approach each tour with a great passion that you can feel -- as if it was their first tour group.
     

  3.   We plan surprises every trip.
     

  4.  We have a lot of fun! Each group develops its own personality. When people travel together excellent  friendships, camaraderie and fond memories emerge.
     

  5.   If we happen to have extra time, we even throw in an extra previously unplanned site, if our group is willing and able.


Harbor in Crete

   Make contact  as soon as possible so that your spot on the trip will be secured for you. First come, first served. Every person who has been on this trip tells us that we should have charged more for the trip. But we are committed to keeping the pricing as inexpensive as possible -- at the same time never skimping on the quality of hotels, food, travel & customer service."   

                                                            -- 100,000 Blessings, Joel & Shirley -- Email
 

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2018 Trip Theme
Following the Footsteps of Paul and John
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Here is an overview of the itinerary for this upcoming memorable 2018 trip to Greece:

ITINERAY:

Day 1: Arrival Athens -- Upon arrival at Athens Airport you will meet your tour guide and you will board your coach to drive to Athens. Arrive at the hotel, check in, dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Full Day Tour of Athens -- Discover the modern and classical side of Athens. Our city tour begins from the contemporary heart of Athens, Syntagma Square where the impressive building of the Greek Parliament is located. In front of it the Presidential Guard in their traditional colorful uniform offers honors to the memorial Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We drive by numerous beautiful neoclassical buildings, including the President’s Residence, a former Royal Palace, to reach the Panathenaic Stadium that held the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. After a small stop we pass by the classical temple of Olympian Zeus, the Hadrian's Arch, erected by the Romans as a boundary the separated the Greek and Roman part of city. As we continue in the Panepistimiou Avenue to see the National Library and Academy, the University of Athens and the Catholic Cathedral, you will be amazed by the rich heritage of Athens and the unique combination of its ancient and contemporary faces.

   Our next stop is at the National Archaeological Museum. Not only this is the largest museum in Greece but it is considered one of the greatest museums worldwide due its rich collection of artefacts from Greek antiquity. The multiple museum’s collection will take you to a journey from the prehistoric to Roman period. The tour continues with a visit to the Acropolis, landmark of Athens, the eternal symbol of democracy, education and inspiration. Your guide will explain the history of the Golden Age of Athens as you visit the architectural masterpieces the Propylea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally the Parthenon, the one of the world’s most famous landmark monuments dedicated to the goddess Athena. Our next stop is the Acropolis Museum. Besides a collection of 4.000 artefacts, this museum has a unique modern design that incorporates excavations, visible through a glass floor, and offers a breath-taking panoramic view to the Acropolis. The tour ends at Plaka a neighborhood characterized by a unique architecture. You will have some free time to shop, make pictures and enjoy a walk it its colorful alleys, before you return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 3: Corinth & Acrocorinth -- After breakfast, we will head toward ancient Corinth (Acts 18.1-18). It was in ancient Corinth where Paul came and worked, established a thriving church and writing two of the epistles, which are now part of the New Testament. We will see all the sites that are associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s seat, the pillars, stairs, and the place of public worship, where Paul preached. All these visits will certainly enhance the understanding of Corinthians I and II. Before ending the tour and return to Athens, we will pass by the ancient Greek port of Cenchrea (Acts 18:18) where Paul was during his second missionary journey and the ruin of the early Christian 5th Century basilica. The tour continues as we reach Acrocorinth. This impressive fortified acropolis was occupied from archaic times till the 19th century. Visit the temple of Venus at its highest point and cherish the breath-taking view. Return to Athens, dinner and overnight. ARE YOU READY FOR A CRUISE?

Day 4: Embark Three-Day Cruise/Mykonos -- Embark on a wonderful 3-night cruise to the Greek Islands and Turkey. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily while on board. Mykonos, the whitewashed jewel of the Cyclades Islands, is your first stop. This charming, mountainous island is known for the hundreds of tiny chapels, white-washed buildings and beautiful windmills that dot its landscape. Don’t miss taking a stroll down Mykonos Town, where mazes of narrow streets link the whitewashed buildings and traditional life continues amidst the bustling activity. Enjoy free time to explore this little paradise in the middle of the Aegean Sea.


Mykonos

Day 5: Three-Day Cruise-Kusadasi/Patmos -- Breakfast and stop at the Turkish port of Kusadasi for an included excursion to the ruins of Ephesus where Paul the Saint spent three years during his ministry and where its inhabitants were the recipients of Paul’s famous epistle. Ancient Ephesus was the Roman capital of Asia Minor and an important center for Christianity from AD 50s.

  During AD52-54 Saint Paul lived here working with the congregation and organizing his missionary activity and taught the Word of God (Acts 20:31) and this is where he wrote the Epistle to Corinthians I. Additionally this was one of the seven cities found in the Book of Revelation(Acts 2:1-7), indicating a strong church. We will visit the house of Virgin Mary where she lived with John, on the hill behind the city. After this amazing experience we will have lunch and then visit the Basilica of St. John as well as the ruins of the famous Diana’s temple with the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Odeon, the Arch of Hercules, the Temple of Hadrian, the Agora and the Greco-Roman theater. Continue your cruise to the island of Patmos, a beautiful and spiritual island where In 95 AD, St. John the Theologian - one of the twelve disciples of Jesus - was sent into exile. St. John remained on the island for eighteen months during which time he lived in a cave below the hilltop temple of Diana. In this cave exists a small hole in the rock wall, from which derived a series of oracular messages that Prochoros, a disciple of St. John, transcribed as the Biblical chapter of Revelations. During his time in the sacred cave, now known as the Holy Grotto of the Revelation, St. John also composed the Fourth Gospel. During our time there we will visit the Monastery of St. John the Theologian UNESCO World Heritage Site where we will see the Holy Grotto as well as priceless icons and manuscripts. Afterwards, drive back to the port of Scala and enjoy some free time in this quaint and picturesque harbor.


Patmos, 1832

Day 6: Three-Day Cruise-Heraklion/Santorini -- In the morning the ship will dock at the port of Heraklion on the island of Crete. In Heraklion Paul met the owner and captain of the ship, who warned him about continuing his journey to Rome. You can take a tour (optional) to the Palace of Knossos, the center of the Minoan civilization. After lunch, the ship will travel to the most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea known as the “Black Pearl of the Aegean”, the volcanic Santorini where we will enjoy the breathtaking Panoramic View. Latest excavations have suggested that Santorini might be the lost site of Atlantis.


Santorini

DAY 7: Disembarkation Athens//Mycenae//Epidaurus -- Upon disembarkation, we leave the Port of Piraeus and enter the region of Peloponnese as we pass from the Corinth Canal. We make a short stop to admire and make photos of this great canal that connects the Aegean and Ionian seas. We continue to Mycenae, which is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Mycenae was described as the ‘City rich in Gold’ in Homer’s epic poem Iliad. Such descriptions were matched once the Golden Mask of Agamemnon was discovered among many other treasures. Enter the ancient town from the Lion Gate and walk up to Agamemnon`s Royal Palace, as your guide explains the history and mythology of the site. Our next stop is Nafplio, the first capital of the modern Greek state. We have lunch (optional) at a local restaurant and then stroll around the picturesque town, to see the Syntagma Square, the primary Parliament House of Greece and numerous other historic buildings. We continue our trip with a visit to the theater of Epidaurus, still in use today and renowned for its amazing acoustics. In the antiquity, apart from a theater Epidaurus was a world famous medical and healing center. Temples dedicated to Apollo and Asklepeios are located here. Following the same route we return to Athens and your hote for dinner and overnight, filled with images and memories from the rich Argolis region.

Day 8: Delphi --
 


            Map Of Greece and Surrounding Region
  We begin our journey in the morning heading to Delphi, located 170km northeast of Athens. Passing through the fertile plain of Boeotia, crossing the towns of Thebes which is connected with the tragedy of king Oedipus - Levadia and Arachova we will arrive at Delphi –the Omphalos (Navel of Earth) whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic World.

  On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lies Delphi’s archaeological site filled with monuments and temples, with the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo being the most important. You will also be astonished by Treasury of the Athenians, the Theatre, the Stadium and the Museum with the famous statue of Antinoos and the unique bronze statue of the Charioteer dated from 475 B.C and the famous athlete Aghias. The tour takes you to the modern village of Delphi or Arachova, for a short walk, lunch and shopping. The area is well known for its hand woven colorful quilts, rugs and carpets, as well as for its wine and cheese. We return to Athens by the same route early in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Day 9: Cape Sounion -- We leave the city centre of Athens for an escape to the 'Riviera of Attica'. Drive a long a scenic costal road with wonderful beaches and majestic view of the Saronic Gulf, as we pass from some of the most beautiful suburbs (Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza, Lagonissi and Anavissos) to the southern-most point of the entire peninsula, Cape Sounion (Sounio). The ancient Greek traveler writer and geographer Pausanias mentions Cape Sounion at the very beginning of his description of Greece as a 'sacred promontory of the Athenians'. Your guide will tell you the history and mythology of this unique location with great strategic and religious importance in ancient times. You will visit the impressive Temple of Poseidon, built by the edge off the cliff, and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea. We return to Athens for free time until dinner time at the hotel.

Day 10: Departure from Athens -- After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for departure from Athens with wonderful memories of a magnificent journey.

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   We fly home, a little older and wiser. And with a greater desire to study the Bible -- knowing that now the Scriptures will jump alive like never before as we study about places we have actually visited. Plus you will now have some new "traveling buddies" you will want to keep in touch with on Facebook!

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   WHAT YOU CAN BRING WITH YOU ON THIS TRIP: Many of us will meet as strangers at the beginning of the trip and will part at the end of the trip as friends. Joel, our guides, the bus driver and other helpers will supply excellent customer service, clear communication, smiles...and hugs if necessary.

   There are unpredictable aspects to traveling abroad. And travel to another country with others we did not previously know can be quite stressful for some travelers and an adventure for other travelers.

   It's all about the curiosity-driven life. We hope you pack your "adventurous spirit" for your trip to Greece! You will have a great time on this trip if you bring along your great attitude, a sense of humor and an adventurous spirit.

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"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered
." --
G.K Chesterton

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~   O V E R V I E W   O F   T R I P   ~


Step back in time...the Ancient Areopagus, Mars Hill -- late 1800s


Ephesus -- 1836

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    Why do we require an up-front deposit? In order for us to get the flight and ground travel/hotel costs, we actually have to provide advance guarantee to airlines that all of the seats will be purchased and to the hotels and bus company we must guarantee that all of the food, ground travel, park, museum, and hotel costs are going to be covered. This is a big responsibility.

   That's why we need an up-front deposit from each person, along with the payment schedule you will see below. The payment schedule is for your budgeting convenience. If you want to pay more at any time, you can do so and we will keep a record of all payments. We will place all of the funds for this trip in a separate account and will release funds when required to do so by the airlines, hotels and bus company.

   With rising fuel costs and taxes we have fought hard to keep the pricing as low as possible. You may find moderately less expensive trips to Greece, but when you compare the quality of the hotels, the food, the specialized customer service, and some of the unique experiences we provide on this trip -- you will realize that our price is a bargain.

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   The total cost of the Greece cruise/tour is $4,285. What do you receive for your money? R/T flight on Delta Airlines (coach), all ground travel (air-conditioned bus), excellent hotels (based upon shared accommodations in twin-bedded rooms and private showers or baths) , remarkable Greek registered tour guides, and food (breakfast and supper every day). We are still looking at the hotels. Here are the hotels we stayed at during the last trip:
 
         Athens -- staying at luxurious Divani Acropolis Hotel -- 6 nights
         Celestyal Cruise -- Food and lodging on ship -- 3 nights



  
 

 

F L I G H T     I T I N E R A R Y

We'll know the exact flight itinerary by May 2019

11-Day Tour

  1.  INTERNATIONAL "DELTA AIRLINES" TICKETS (April 2020):


    Departing  NONSTOP from JFK Intl Airport (NY) on Delta Airlines
    : Leave NY (JFK) at  (Flight #) and arrive in Athens the next morning, , at  (lose 6 hours)

    Returning on  NONSTOP from Athens to JFK Intl Airport (NY): Leave Athens at  (Flight #) and arrive at NY the same day ( ) at  (gain 6 hours)...

     

  2.       Each traveler is responsible to get to JFK International Airport. We will supply a list of all travelers well in advance so that you can connect with other travelers in your region. Perhaps some who live in the same region will rent a van together and leave it at the JFK Airport in long-term parking (online payment for long-term parking at airports is always cheaper). Flight times are always subject to change.

    BAGGAGE
    : Delta allows one free checked bag (up to 50 pounds...23kg...verify this for yourself prior to the trip) and one small carry-on. Please weigh your bag to make sure that it does not weigh over 50 pounds. You will be responsible for any cost charged by Delta for excess weight or additional luggage.

     

  3. PRICE (We have worked hard to keep the price as low as possible):
    $4,285 per person.

    What's covered by $4,285?  (Checks payable to: Freeman Institute, Box 305, Gambrills, MD 21054)

    INCLUDED:
       1. Non-stop, Delta R/T air travel from JFK to Athens (includes tax & fuel surcharges)
       2. Ground travel (includes cost of driver and A/C tour bus)
       3. Four star+ hotel rooms and food (6 nights in hotel...includes breakfast/dinner)
       4. Greek registered, English-speaking tour guides for entire trip
      
            - Full Day Athens  Sightseeing Private tour with English Speaking Licensed  guide (8 hrs)
               - Ancient Corinth Private tour with English Speaking Licensed guide (approx. 8 hrs)
               - Argolis Tour including Mycenae & Epidaurus with English Speaking Licensed Guide (10 hrs)
               - Delphi Private tour with English Speaking Licensed guide (approx. 10 hrs)
               - Cape Sounion Tour with English Speaking Licensed Guide (approx. 4 hrs)

       5. Entrance fees to all parks and museums
         
         - Acropolis, New Acropolis Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Ancient Corinth,
               - Acrocorinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Delphi Site & Museum, Cape Sounion.

       
    6. Inside cabins (no windows) on cruise (see below for outside cabin upgrade)
       7. Turkish Visa needed for visiting Ephesus (done on ship…offshore excursion in Turkey)
       8. Port taxes – we are paying the extra $168 per person (most tours do not cover the port taxes for a cruise)
       9. Tipping for every aspect of the cruise (guides, waiters, cabin cleaning, etc.)
       10. Double occupancy in hotel room and cruise cabin (see single occupancy below)
       11. Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
       12. Entertainment on cruise
       13. All-inclusive drinks package on board the cruise

       14. PLUS: We are paying for two Shore excursions for you (Patmos & Santorini)
                 - Kus-02: Ancient Ephesus Through The Ages-Hellenistic & Roman
                 - Pat-01: Religious visit to St. John’s Monastery & Grotto of the Apocalypse

    NOT INCLUDED:
       1. Every cruise has optional shore excursion costs. And this cruise is no different. We have included 2 shore excursions for you.
    The rate quoted
           for shore excursions is for excursions when we stop at the various islands.

       2. Cabin with Porthole (with outside view) on cruise. $195 extra per person. The quoted and reserved
           outside cabins are the standard outside cabins. Those cabins have either big portholes or a picture
           window. Depending on the ship’s availability, the cruise line almost always accommodates the
           Freeman Institute Tours groups to cabins with a picture window. But it is not a guarantee.   
      
    3. Cabin with large Window on cruise. $245 extra per person. The Celestyal Cruise Lines ship can handle about 1,000 passengers.
           It is not like the huge cruise lines with balconies. This is the finest cabin available on this particular cruise.
       4.  The cost of obtaining a US Passport, meals or beverages other than specified, insurance,
            items of personal nature
    (laundry, telephone calls, any extra extra tips you want to give, etc.)
       5. Supplement for single occupancy hotel room and cruise cabin ($800 extra)


    Make checks out to: Freeman Institute, Box 305, Gambrills, MD 21054.

     

  4. PAYMENT, GROUP SIZE & WEATHER CONDITIONS:

    $1,000 deposit per person (minimum $500 deposit allowed) is due ASAP. Your only financial risk on the deposit: $100.00 of the deposit per person is a non-refundable administrative fee...unless you can find people to fill your seat(s).  (Payment is to The Freeman Institute...by check or cash. If you want to pay with credit card, 3% will be added to cover processing fee.)


    We are keeping this trip to 45 travelers because it makes for a much better opportunity for everyone to get the most out of the trip. We want to retain a more intimate family atmosphere that is missed when more than one bus is utilized. If you know of people who might be interested in traveling on this trip, please send them to this website. In the unlikely event of the number of passengers falling below 10 travelers, the airfare may increase, as group pricing will no longer apply. We have set aside enough seats with the airline by placing a down payment for each ticket (your ticket). But once ticketing is finalized (in July) and the full price is paid, your flight ticket is non-refundable and non-changeable.


    GENERAL WEATHER DESCRIPTION
    : October is nice season of the year (Fall), with very comfortable weather. That's one of the main reasons we chose this time of year for our trip to Greece and the surrounding region. Temperature in Athens is usually between 76 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Modern, large-windowed air-conditioned/heated motor coaches -- designed for sight-seeing -- will be used for all ground travel in Greece.

    WHAT TO WEAR
    : Think layers. You will definitely want to bring a fleece or jacket.  It will be chilly in the morning when you start out, then warm up to short sleeves weather, and then cool off again in the evening. On some of the days you may want a long t-shirt and light jacket, while on other days a short sleeve T-shirt will do. So, bring a good range of generally light clothes, with comfortable walking shoes. There will be no need for any fancy clothes.

    The evening dinners will be in very nice open seating dining rooms, with an incredible choice of food to fill your own plate. Business casual wear is appropriate. You may want to pack a swimming suit for the hotel swimming pool. Remember that your checked suitcase needs to be under 50 pounds, so pack accordingly. Some airlines charge for an extra checked bag and/or an overweight bag.

     

  5. PASSPORT:
    Photo copies of valid United States passports for all passengers must be received by December 15th, 2019 for a ticket to be issued for that passenger. If you do not have a valid US passport, please start that process right away at your local Post Office. We will notify you of the best address to mail a photocopy of the first page -- in plenty of time to share the info with the airline.
    IMPORTANT
    : The expiration date on any passport must be no earlier than October, 2020.

    TURKISH VISA: We will be making a stop at Ephesus (Turkey) during the cruise portion of the trip. Our tour operator is facilitating the Visa process.

    HEALTH REGULATIONS: No vaccinations are required. Water is safe to drink, but most people drink bottled water. You will always be reminded to bring bottled water when walking any distance.

     

  6. PAYMENT SCHEDULE (You can make payments any time you want...but this is a suggestion):
    -- ASAP: Deposit of $1,000.00 per person to guarantee your seat on the plane. Checks can be made out to: The Freeman Institute, Box 305, Gambrills, MD 21054.

    Deposit of $1,000 is preferred ($500 is required). This is a low-risk deposit. ($100 per person is a non-refundable administrative fee for canceling...up to 90 days before departure. But if you have to cancel up to 90 days prior to the trip, they are even willing to waive the $100 admin fee if you can find people to replace the exact number of seats you are giving up.)

     -- As soon as possible: If deposited only $500, you must have another amount of $500 per person.
     -- Set your own payment pace: Send in whatever you can and we will account for it.
     -- July 10th, 2018 (100 days prior to trip): You must have the final amount per person.
                   -- Total: $4,285.00 per person

    NOTE: I have to submit a final list of passengers to the airline by December 15th, 2019.


    The payment schedule mentioned above is designed to make it easier for some travelers to better afford the trip. Knowing the payment schedule in advance, many can place the funds in an envelope every month so that there are no surprises when the payments are due.

    Five  main elements make up this trip:
    1. R/T air travel
    2. Ground travel (tour bus),
    3. Hotel rooms and food (breakfast/dinner)
    4. Greek registered tour guide
    5. Entrance fees to parks and museums

    You are given one unified price, but we have to address all five aspects separately behind the scenes if anyone needs to cancel.

    IMPORTANT: In case of cancellations, the following penalties apply:

    CANCELLATIONS: In the event of cancellation from registration date to 90 days before departure, there is a $100 per person non-refundable administrative fee...unless you can fill your seat(s).
    Thereafter the following charges apply:
    * 89-50 days prior to departure the charge is 50% of total cost.
    * 49 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty of 100% of the total cost of the tour will be charged. No refunds whatsoever! Trip cancellation insurance is suggested.
    * No shows or cancellation after date of departure will receive no refunds.

    If cancellation is due to health or illness in the immediate family of the traveler, and can be supported by a Doctor's Certificate, this may be waived. Air travel cancellation insurance is recommended. While is is not required, if you can find a replacement for your seat(s) it would be much appreciated.

    ITINERARY CHANGES: Changes -- deviations from the main flight itinerary are not recommended. Why? We are required to have a certain number of travelers booked before the airlines will grant us the group discounted rate. Any deviations must be requested in writing via
    EMAIL. If you leave early or return individually and not with the group there is a $100 surcharge plus an additional airfare differential for the deviation. Group fares generally do not permit upgrades to first class. But sometimes they will open up for a limited number who wish to use their frequent flier miles. Any passengers wishing to upgrade may arrange their own airfare. An airline credit of $1,000 off the total cost of the trip will be given to those passengers who wish to make their own airline bookings. It is requested that they seek to make the arrangements as close as possible to the itinerary for this trip. Any additional ground travel arrangements and cost to catch up with the rest of the group or to leave early/later will be each traveler's responsibility.
     

  7. NOT INCLUDED:
    Passport fees; phone calls; valet/laundry service; overweight or excess baggage on airplane; and all other items that are strictly personal in nature; flight insurance (highly recommended); any beverage (please note that the custom abroad is to include coffee or tea with breakfast only); it is an extra charge when served mineral water, sodas, wine or liquor; expenses within the USA or Canada; and tips.
       TIPS:  This is an important part of the trip. Tips are a tangible way of saying "thank you." We suggest that you bring $100 in $1 bills for tips throughout the trip. (Also, a minimum $100 tip per traveler for our registered Greek guides, is customary. Our tour guide works very hard before and during the trip to make it a stress-free experience for you. Plus, you will learn much from our tour guide and will feel honored to give him such a tip. View the tip guide below and plan ahead. The tip for our tour guide and the bus driver will be collected at the end of the trip.)
          Tipping Guide:
              Bus Driver: $5.00 per person per day
                Restaurant Wait Staff: $1.50 per person
                  Hotel Porter: 50 cents per bag per person
                    Hotel Room Maid: $1.00 per person per day
                      Any Additional Local Guides: $2.00 per person per day


    PASSENGER RESPONSIBILITY: The Freeman Institute, Joel Freeman, and our tour operator accept no responsibility for expense on any personal purchases made while overseas. Any personal purchases are the full responsibility of each passenger.

    MOBILE PHONE: It is important that we have one mobile phone for every 3-4 travelers. Sometimes we are shopping in a crowded market for a couple of hours, with a designated meeting time and place set up in advance. If someone gets lost or disoriented, it is always good to know that we can call their cell to help guide them back to the rest of the group. Call your cell provider to determine the best way to upgrade your current cell phone for this international trip. Please let us know if you are willing and able to bring your cell. By the way, T-Mobile charges only $0.2/min charge on any call...a serious benefit with no international surcharge (check to make sure it is still their policy).

    SINGLE or DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (Hotel): If you are a person traveling alone on this trip, you need to realize that prices mentioned for this trip are based upon double occupancy hotel rooms. There is an extra charge for one person staying in a room ($795). If you are traveling alone you may want to reach out to friends and family to see if there is someone you know who is willing and able to travel with you on this trip. That way you will be staying in a double occupancy room (covered by the basic cost of the trip) with someone you know.

    ** IMPORTANT: From 1st January 2018 the Hellenic National Tourism Organization has decided to impose the resident city fee. This tax must be paid by the guest directly to the hotel before the end of the stay. Projection is that for the hotels nights, the tax will be Euro 4 per room per night.
     

  8. TRIP INSURANCE OPTIONS:
    IMPORTANT: It's ultimately your choice. But we highly recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance, which should cover emergency evacuation, cancellation, delay, illness, loss of damage to personal belongings and luggage etc. It is relatively inexpensive. Check for yourself. You can purchase trip insurance at any time during the entire process prior to the trip, which will cover all costs (flight, hotels, ground travel, etc.). Here are two credible options for you to consider:
     

     

  9. CONTACT INFORMATION:
    Joel A. Freeman: 410-729-4011 / EMAIL -- The Freeman Institute, Box 305, Gambrills, MD 21054.
     

  10. PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY (requiring a wheelchair):
    HONEST TALK -- This tour includes a lot of up and down walking, especially where there are streets made of uneven pavement or stony paths. Many of the places we visit -- especially in and around Athens, Ephesus, Santorini, Delphi, Mycenae and Corinth -- are not generally considered to be wheel-chair-friendly sites. The day excursion trips during the cruise are not always best for walking, with a lot of up and down terrain in Ephesus, Santorini and some other islands.

    The rule of thumb is that if you need to request a wheelchair at the airport to get to your gate, this tour is probably not for you. However, if you are willing to pay for a care-giver (perhaps a friend who is willing and able to push your wheelchair throughout the tour) to come along to take care of your physical needs, we encourage you to come. On the tour we will alert you in advance when we are approaching a site that is not wheel-chair-friendly. At those times you can stay on the bus...meeting the rest of the group on the other side.

  NOTE: Before every trip...I (Joel) always get calls from nervous travelers who have just seen images of a car/bus bombing or a fiery protest on CNN or Fox. I do not want to downplay any of these images or fears, but there always seem to be situations covered by the press prior to every trip. We will be going on this trip unless the US Department of State officially states that it is not safe for US Citizens to travel to Greece during this period.

Safety and Security are Paramount:

       1. The safety and security of the participants on this tour is our number one concern.
       2. Working closely with our Greek partners, we are constantly monitoring the security situation as
           well as the mood of the situation and react swiftly to it.
       3. We receive real-time information from the police, armed forces and security services.
       4. The group has a mobile phone for contact.
 
 


Joel explaining to a group on the
bus where we are going next

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Blast from the Past ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Blast to the Past ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Patmos Bay (early 1700s)


View of Corinth (1836)

View of Ephesus (1700)

Possible Patmos Cave where John received the Revelation

Santorini (early 1900s)

 


Temple of Zeus -- late 1800s


The Ancient Areopagus, Mars Hill -- late 1800s


Theater near Athens -- late 1800s


Old Corinth -- late 1800s


Hadrian's Arch and Temple of Jupiter -- late 1800s


The Acropolis -- late 1800s


The Acropolis from Philopappos Hill  -- late 1800s


Temple of Jupiter -- late 1800s


Thriasian Plain and Eleusis on the Bay
-- late 1800s
 


 

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"greece and Israel tours"

freeman institute Box 305, Gambrills, Maryland 21054
TEL 410-729-4011   Cell: 410-991-9718    FAX 410-729-0353
EMAIL

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