An epic 3-Continent, 7-day
Mediterranean cruise on the "Celestyal Crystal" ship that
includes Greece, Israel, Turkey & Egypt
4. Cairo >>
6. Cyprus >>
7. Rhodes >>
8. Ephesus >>
Freeman Institute Tours (FIT)
F I T
FIT is also
covering the extra cost for port taxes, beverages on
board and shore excursion at these
Alexandria, Rhodes, and Ephesus.
WAIT...WAIT...THERE'S MORE FIT is adding a
land adventure in Northern/Southern Greece
Philippi, Athens, Corinth, Acropolis, Mar's Hill and much more...
also covering the travel R/T in-Greece air & bus
travel cost between Athens & Thessaloniki
staying in 5-star hotels:
Athens and Thessaloniki
FOR MERRY ADVENTURERS People
who are interested in connecting the history,
archaeology, geography and topography
of Greece, Egypt, Israel and Turkey to their personal
understanding of Biblical times.
smiles? Notice the diversity?
Can you feel the camaraderie, the mischief and the sense of
This is a
Freeman Institute tour.
Our 2018 merry band of adventurers in Ephesus (Turkey)
Ever seen a
tour group with 2 - 6 busloads of dazed people
with headsets on.....hardly even talking with each
No fun at all.
Kind of like herding cats. THAT. IS. NOT. A.
We are limiting the upcoming
all-inclusive 2020 trip to
only 48 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 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.
Are you in? Or
do you know of anyone who might be interested in
going on an 11-day cruise/tour?
please share this website
with the right people.
Watch the two videos below...
the itinerary below: Alexandria, Cairo, Jerusalem, Athens, Corinth,
Thessaloniki, Philippi, Berea, Ephesus, Cyprus,
Rhodes and much more...
Please forward this website
to the right people.
and what is included in the trip will be listed below. Plus, we will email you
a document responding to FAQs.
POTENTIAL FUTURE TRIPS
for info...and to be put on the list of
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,
We are planning some new experiences this year. Going to these countries with The
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...
Myron Golden VIDEO (1:42) -- "People
wonder whether or not it is safe..."
T H E T E A M
(tour guides, hotels, transportation, et al) THE TEAM: Joel and Shirley
T O U R L E A D E R Joel A. Freeman,
English-speaking. Officially trained
and registered 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,
and topographical information, along with spiritual
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 we will explore the
fascinating monuments made by man and nature over
A trip to Greece, Egypt, Israel and Turkey is safe, affordable, and
transforming. These are mentioned in the Biblical
story and will
connect you with the roots of your faith in a way
that is truly life-changing. You’ll
never be the same.
Pastor's Appreciation Month -- Give the gift of a
trip to your pastor and spouse. I
like to tell people that tour -- following
the steps of Paul, Timothy, Luke, John and Jesus -- is
almost like two semesters of intensive Bible School
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.
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...
We believe that people who travel to this part of
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.
that groups (large or small)
that travel together:
Gain spiritual enrichment in learning together
“on site” as they follow in
the steps of Paul, John, Timothy, Luke and Jesus.
Build community by strengthening bonds among
members, bringing together generations, and reaching
out to non-members.
Part of our
2016 merry band of adventures at the ancient ruins of Ephesus
W A T C H V I D E O S
Janice Holsonbake VIDEO (1:24) -- "I
generally do not like taking tours..."
Theater of Ephesus (video 1:20)
where Paul preached -- Acts 19: 23-41
"This is something everybody should experience."
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 of adventurers on Mars Hill in Athens (2016)
"This was my first group trip and it was a great
experience." -- Angie
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
"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."
Light in a shell on a table in a restaurant on the
"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."
"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
Cruise ship tied up at the dock
"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
What Motivates Us to Lead All-Inclusive Educational
It takes an inordinate amount of time, energy &
“brain-damage” to put together a group trips and
cruises to Greece, Egypt, Israel, Turkey
and the surrounding regions.
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 educational tours/cruises? 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
- 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, Egypt, Israel and Turkey will now not only “read” the
Bible, but they will be “seeing” what they are
- 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
What's so Different About this Trip?
There are many
options when it comes to traveling to Greece,
Egypt, Israel and Turkey.
Our tours are different.
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.
We are very
experienced. Each 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.
We plan surprises every
We have a lot of fun!
Each group develops its own personality. When
people travel together excellent
friendships, camaraderie and fond memories
If we happen to have
extra time, we even throw in an extra
previously unplanned site, if our group is
willing and able.
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."
Following the Footsteps of Paul, Timothy, Luke, John
Here is an overview of the itinerary for this
upcoming memorable 2020 trip to Greece, Israel,
Egypt, and Turkey:
I T I N E R A R Y:
Day 1 (Nov
3): Fly from JFK Airport to Athens
Day 2 (Nov
4): Fly from Athens to Thessaloniki
where we meet Yiannis
(our incredible tour
operator) and Angeliki
(our wonderful Greek
tour guide). Thessalonica -- The
trip will start with your arrival in Thessaloniki
airport where we will meet and transfer you to your
hotel. Day of leisure, dinner and overnight
Thessaloniki / Philippi / Kavala /
Thessaloniki -- Breakfast and trip to
the town where Paul delivered his first sermon in
Europe, sowing the seeds of Christianity. “And from
there (He went) to Philippi, which is the leading
city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman
Colony. We remained in this city some days…” (Acts
16:11-12). Paul arrived here with Silas and Luke on
the winter of AD 49 to AD50. There the first
Christian baptism was performed, of a woman named
Lydia. Although they were prosecuted and arrested,
they received God’s help to escape from prison (Acts
16: 25-26) where there was the conversion of the
(Acts 16: 31). We will visit the
site of the prison where Paul and Silas were
arrested. We will continue towards the city of
ancient city of Neapolis
(Acts 16:11) where Paul landed with his disciples,
Timothy and Silas. It was later renamed
Christoupolis, meaning city of Christ, because it
was the first European city to accept Christianity.
We will visit the Roman Aqueduct and the ruins of
Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki city tour / Veria (Berea) / Vergina /
After breakfast the
trip continues with exploring the city of
Paul preached the gospel in the second and third
missionary journey. For the early Christians of this
city he wrote epistles “To the Thessalonians.”. We
will visit the Cathedral of St. Demetrius,
the Protector Saint of the city, the Agora,
the Church of Saint Sofia,
the White Tower and the Byzantine fortress of the
city, the triumphal Arch of Galerius starting at the
Via Egnatia, once a strategic artery of the Roman
Empire. Next stop will be Veria (Berea),
another town evangelized by Paul (Acts 17: 10-14).
When Saint Paul visited this town in AD50, he came
across a more “noble” Jewish community where he
preached and created an important Church. This is
where Paul met Sopatros (or Sosipatros), who would
later become a valuable comrade who followed him on
his return journey to Asia. We will visit the
ancient synagogue where we will see the Byzantine
mosaic in the monument commemorating his preaching.
Then we will head to Vergina, the legendary burial
site of the Macedonian kings. This place is
considered as a World Heritage Site, also known as
the Royal Tombs and houses the tomb of King
Philip II, father of
Alexander the Great. Depart for Athens
for dinner and overnight.
Athens / Corinth / Embarkation --
After breakfast we will go on a city
tour to explore the city of Athens, including the
(Acts 17:16-34). Athens is one of the most glorious
cities in the world and the cradle of western
civilization as we know it today. We will visit the
main points of interest in the city: The Acropolis,
where Paul preached the truth to the Gentile Nation.
After that, 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
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. Return to
for embarkation on the Cruise Ship.
Our 2016 merry band of adventurers in Corinth
(2/3 of our group)
Near the Bema Seat in Corinth
(Nov 8): At Sea -- Dinner
and overnight on board.
Alexandria (Egypt) / Port Said Egypt
Disembark in Alexandria, join your
included tour and cross the desert to Cairo to
admire the only remaining intact Wonder of the
Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza. Continue
down the valley to gaze at the guardian of this
mortuary complex, the mighty Sphinx. After
lunch, visit the National Archaeological Museum
and acquaint yourself with the treasures of ancient
Egypt, spanning a period of over 50 centuries,
before re-joining the ship in Port Said.
Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.
Ashdod (Israel) --
Ashdod is the jumping off point for some of Israel’s
most iconic sites. Full day tour from the port of
Ashdod will take you to the holy city of
Jerusalem where you will visit the Mount of
Olives, the Church of Gethsemane and in
the old city, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
and the Wailing Wall.
Return to the ship for dinner and
The busy beach front town of Limassol is the
gateway to the once-thriving city-state of Curium,
dating to the 2nd century BC, an exquisite Greco-Roman
amphitheater at its heart. Alternatively, the UNESCO-
protected archeological site of Paphos, famous for
its Roman mosaics, is an easy day trip, as are the forested
Troodos mountains. Take an optional tour and
visit Curium which was an important city-kingdom founded by
the Greeks in the 14th century BC. Discover the beautifully
preserved Greco-Roman theatre, with spectacular views over
the sea and the House of Efstolios, with intricate
mosaic floors from the 5th century AD. Next, it’s into the
hills to the wine-growing village of Omodos to visit
the Monastery of the Holy Cross in the village
square, see a medieval wine press and enjoy a tasting at a
local winery in Limassol.
the ship for dinner and overnight.
Map Of Greece and Surrounding Region
included tour begins with the Acropolis of
Lindos, 55 km (40 miles) from the city of
Rhodes, to see the graceful Temple of Athena,
built in 300 B.C. Back in the old city of Rhodes,
you will walk through D’Amboise Gate and
along the perfectly preserved Street of the
Knights to discover the medieval residence of
each order of the Knights of St John, still
bearing the original crests.
Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.
13): Kusadasi (Turkey) (B/L/D)
Visit (included tour) the
archaeological site of ancient Ephesus, one
of the largest open air museums in the world. See
incredible relics of the Hellenistic, Roman and
early Christian eras. Discover the Agora, the
Odeon, the Library of Celsus and the
beautifully preserved marble- paved main Street
Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.
14): Piraeus Port / Athens Airport
-- After breakfast and
according to the schedule of your return flight you
will be taken to the airport of Athens leaving with
great memories from your "Steps of Paul, Timothy,
Luke, John and Jesus" trip.
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 and
Instagram! ------ #FreemanInstituteTours
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
other countries 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 tour!
You will have a great time on this trip if you bring along your great attitude,
a sense of humor and
an adventurous spirit.
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
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.
cost of the Greece cruise/tour is $4,985.
Let's discuss the price. There is no question, we
have put together an epic tour. Airlines do not
provide group flight itineraries until 330 days
prior to the last day of the itinerary. So we will
not know even know the full price on the airfare
until perhaps January 2020.
My promise to you.
If we are able to find a good group fare on airfare,
I will shave as much as I can off the $4,985 cost to
make it easier on your budget.
you receive for your money?
Take a look below at what is included and what's not
included for a full picture.
Athens -- staying at luxurious
Divani Acropolis Hotel --
1 nights Thessaloniki
-- staying at luxurious
Hotel Met --
2 nights Cruise -- Food and lodging on ship
-- 6 nights
Divani Acropolis, Athens
F L I G H T I T I N E R A R Y
We'll know the exact
flight itinerary by January 2020
(November 3-14, 2020):
Departing NONSTOP from
JFK Airport (NY) on
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
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.
PRICE: $4,985 per
should actually be priced at around $6,500. But we have worked hard to keep the price as low as
What's included or not included in the cost...$4,985? (Checks
payable to: Freeman Institute, Box 305, Gambrills,
Non-stop, R/T air travel from JFK to Athens and
tax & fuel surcharges)
2. One way
flight from Athens to Thessaloniki and bus travel in
return with all
taxes included and 1 check in bag (55 pounds)
3. All ground travel (includes cost of driver
and A/C tour bus with WiFi)
4. Five star hotel rooms and food (3
nights in hotel...includes breakfast/dinner)
- Thessaloniki (2
nights) -- Hotel Met
- Athens (1 night)
-- Hotel Divani Acropolis
5. Greek registered, English-speaking tour guides
for entire trip
6. Entrance fees to all parks and museums as per
- Egypt 7. Double occupancy in hotel room (see
single occupancy below)
PLUS: We are paying for all Shore excursions
(except for Cyprus)
- Ephesus (Turkey)
- Jerusalem (Israel)
- Alexandria (Egypt)
- Cairo (Egypt)
1. Cabin accommodation
based on Standard Outside Cabins with
window (double occupancy)
2. Full board (Breakfast – Lunch –Dinner) 3. All inclusive drinks package 4. Shore excursions on sharing basis (Ephesus
& Rhodes & Alexandria) 5. Ancient Ephesus through the Ages –
Hellenistic/ Roman 6. Medieval tour – Acropolis of Lindos and
the Citadel of the Knights 7. Full day Tour in Israel arranged by you as
per your itinerary
8. Classical Cairo (Full day + Lunch)
9. Entertainment on cruise 10. Port charges, security and other services
11. Tipping for every aspect of the cruise (guides,
waiters, cabin cleaning, etc.) 12. Services of Professional, English Speaking
Assistant on the cruise on Private Basis
13. Turkish Visa needed for visiting Ephesus (done
on ship…offshore excursion in Turkey)
1. Every cruise has optional shore
excursion costs. And this cruise is no
different. We have included
all shore excursions for
you, except for Cypress.
The rate quoted for shore excursions is for
when we stop at the various islands.
2. Tips -- For tour guides, bus
drivers, hotel staff, or our assistant on cruise.
3. The cost of obtaining a US Passport, meals or beverages
other than specified, travel insurance,
items of personal nature (laundry,
telephone calls, any extra extra tips you want to
5. Supplement for single occupancy hotel
room and cruise cabin($900 extra)
6. Anything not stated in the "Included" section above.
Make checks out to: Freeman Institute, Box 305, Gambrills, MD 21054.
PAYMENT, GROUP SIZE &
$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
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. Think
about the wind while cruising on the Mediterranean
It will be chilly in the morning on land 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
The evening dinners will be in very nice open
seating dining rooms, with an incredible choice of
food to fill your own plate. This is not a fashion
competition. Casual wear (jeans, khakis) is
appropriate at all times. You may want to pack a swimming suit for
the hotel/cruise ship swimming pools. 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.
PASSPORT: Photo copies of valid United
States passports for all passengers must be received
by May 28th, 2020 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 May 28th, 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.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE (You
can make payments any time you want...but this is a
-- 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
Deposit of $1,000 is preferred ($500 is
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.
-- August 10th, 2020 (100 days prior to trip): You must
have the final amount per person.
Total: $4,985.00 per person
NOTE: I have to submit a final list of
passengers to the airline by August 10th, 2020.
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.
Six 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
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
* 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
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
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.
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
the bus driver will be collected at the end of the
Tipping Guide: Bus Driver: $5.00
per person per day Restaurant Wait Staff:
$1.50 per person Hotel Porter: 50
per bag per person Hotel Room Maid:
$1.00 per person per day
Any Additional Local Guides: $2.00 per person per day
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
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 ($895). 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
** 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
TRIP INSURANCE OPTIONS:
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:
CONTACT INFORMATION: Joel A. Freeman:
-- The Freeman Institute, Box 305, Gambrills, MD
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, Jerusalem, Cairo, 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,
Cyprus, Rhodes 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
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
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
states that it is not safe for US Citizens to travel to
the scheduled destinations
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, Israeli,
Turkish and Egyptian partners, we are constantly
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
Joel explaining to a group on the
bus where we are going next