2023 Holy Land Mediterranean Cruise with Anthony Sweat with Rome

Dates May 2-18, 2023
Destination United States Rome, Italy; At Sea; Limassol, Cyprus Jerusalem; Haifa; Day at Sea Ephesus, Turkey; Athens, Greece; Naples, Italy;
Duration 17 days 16 nights
Price From 3,365

Religious Focus:

Sightseeing:

Activity Level:


Come cruise with BYU Professor and artist/author, Antony Sweat next Spring for a life-changing. the once-in-a-lifetime Mediterranean cruise to visit not only the Holy Lands with 3 days in Israel but to learn of the missionary travels and teachings of Paul in Greece and Turkey! 

This popular 2-week cruise starts in Rome with INCLUDED 3-night pre-cruise package in Rome that will include a visit to the LDS Rome Temple and all the many not to be missed highlights of this historic city. 

Some of the cruise highlights will visit the Island of Cyprus, and spend 3 days in Israel visiting Jerusalem & the Galilee.  The cruise then heads north to see Ephesus & Athens highlighting Biblical sites of the Apostle Paul ending with a final stop in Naples, Italy. 

While onboard our group will have special seminars teaching & preparing you for these places you'll visit and enjoy time with your group. We will enjoy private faith-based excursions in Israel with overnight stays, and Athens and turkey.  You don't want to let this special experience slip away.  Reserve your cabin now!

*While the physical activity on this tour (walking distances) is not great, the days are full with touring from breakfast to dinner time with "down-time" only in the evening.

Highlights of the Tour:

  • Morris Murdock LDS tour Director for the whole trip along with local guides
  • The package includes the 3-night Rome Pre-tour with a Visit to the LDS Rome Temple
  • Licensed,  insured, and bonded travel agency with 60 years of experience!!  IT MATTERS!

Tour ID # 9223E02

A CASH DISCOUNT of $75.00 applies for all payments made by check or ACH AFTER deposit

To Book This Tour, Contact your favorite Morris Columbus Travel advisor or the Group Tour Manager listed below:

Dani Edmunds, Tour Manager
Tel: (801) 483-6114

Email - dedmunds@morrismurdock.com

Day 1 and 2, Tuesday & Wednesday, May 2-3, 2023

US Flights to Rome

Today depart your home cities and travel overnight to Rome.

Upon our afternoon arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to rest from your travels.  We gather this evening for our welcome dinner.

Meals : Dinner, In-flight
Day 3: Thursday, May 4, 2023

Rome, Italy

This morning tour the Vatican, the world's smallest, yet wealthiest independent state. Your guide will start with an overview of the history of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. See the Hall of Tapestries and the Maps Gallery. The highlight of the tour will be the Sistine Chapel, where the ceiling is covered with Michelangelo's famous paintings of the 'Creation' and 'Last Judgement'. Then we explore St. Peter's Square, with Bernini's 284 columns, before entering St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church in Christendom. See the many treasures including the golden mosaics of the apse, Bernini's bronze baldachin and the famed 'Pieta' by Michelangelo. Afternoon walking tour of the old town, the Spanish steps, one of Rome's most recognized landmarks, immortalized in countless postcards and films. Walk up these famous steps to enjoy a lovely view from the top, and then continue along Rome's winding cobblestone alleys to the Trevi Fountain. We will make our way to the Pantheon, a stately temple known for its concrete dome and open oculus. Dinner on own and overnight.  

Meals : Breakfast
Day 4, Friday, May 5, 2023

Rome, Italy

This morning we travel outside the "old city" of Rome to visit the LDS Rome Temple. This afternoon we exploration of the Eternal City. During this tour, you will visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum to see its ancient ruins like the Temple of Julius Caesar.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 5: Saturday, May 6, 2023

Rome, Italy to cruise

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before you board your coach to the cruise port city of Civitavecchia to board your awaiting ship.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Sunday, May 7, 2023

Day at Sea

Enjoy your day at sea exploring the ship and all the fun areas to enjoy.

Today we will enjoy onboard group activity and faith-based devotional for those who'd like to join us.  

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Monday, May 8, 2023

At Sea Day

Today we will enjoy a lecture with our own religious teacher Anthony Sweat, who will prepare us for our upcoming days in Israel.  If you are joining our 3-day Holy Land Shore Excursion Package, he will prepare you for all you will see and do.  For those who choose to explore Israel on their own, Anthony will be happy to help you also prepare for your journey as well.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Limassol, Cyprus

Limassol is a picturesque Mediterranean town on the coast of idyllic Cyprus. It's a favorite destination for Europeans, and many cruise itineraries let you see this Mediterranean treasure for yourself. The region holds a ton of historical significance as it was the alleged birthplace of Aphrodite, and a significant part of the Crusades. Limassol's landscape is a mixture of striking cliffs and beautiful beaches mixed with developed resort towns full of fantastic entertainment, shopping and dining options. 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Jerusalem, Israel

After you arrive at the port at Ashdod, it's a one-hour drive to Jerusalem, the city sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Enter the Old City through one of the eight gates, built in the early 16th century by the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent — see the ferocious-looking animal carvings of the Lion's Gate or the flower rosettes carved above Herod's Gate. Cruise to Jerusalem and take in the smell of Arabian coffee, incense and spices at one of the markets of the Old City as you venture to the historic Wailing Wall. Enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and see its ornate shrines and austere icons. Then, head to the nearby Dome of the Rock, with its distinctive gold dome and traditional Islamic geometric designs.

Optional 3-day Group Holy Land Excursion:  See the Tour Includes tab for full details

Today we depart the ship and travel to Jerusalem! In the next day and a half, we will visit the sites of Christ's birth, many miracles, and his ultimate suffering in Gethsemane followed by his death and resurrection at the Garden Tomb.  There is so much to see. We will stay in a hotel in the city tonight to maximize our time and enhance the visit. After dinner, for those interested, we will make a special trip to the Olivewood stores for shopping for that special souvenir. 

On day 2 we leave the Holy City and travel by way of the Dead Sea towards Galilee, taking in as many sites as time allows.  Our night tonight will be spent on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  We will have a special “fireside” musical devotional by Gentri.  On day 3, our last day we will visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the ruins of Capernaum, among other biblical sites before making our way this afternoon to the port city of Haifa.  We will visit the Bahia Gardens before rejoining our cruise ship to continue our journey. (Breakfasts and dinners included in tour cost.)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Thursday, May 11, 2023

Jerusalem, Israel

Some things to do in Jerusalem: Head to the Temple Mount, an large public space sacred to all three monotheist religions. Visit the iconic gold-plated Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, built in 705 AD. The plaza is surrounded by walls, including the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site. Tourists and pilgrims alike write prayers on pieces of paper and crumple them into the crevices of the wall.

Join the pilgrims to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of Christianity's most sacred sites. It is believed by many Christians that the church that stands today was built on the spot where Jesus' resurrection occurred. It was built in 335, destroyed in 1009 and gradually rebuilt. When you enter the sanctuary, take in the smell of frankincense and the contemplative candlelight.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Friday, May 12, 2023

Haifa, Israel

Set on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Haifa is Israel's Mediterranean oasis. Stroll around the smart German Colony, with its restored streets settled in the 1860s lined with restaurants, cafes and art galleries. Continue toward the tropical Bah'ai Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a meditative walk around the 19 different terraced gardens. Cruise to Haifa, Israel and visit the Shrine of the Bab, with its striking golden dome composed of 12,000 tiles. For even better views, climb up to the Viewing Balcony to look down on the shrine and out toward the Mediterranean Sea. Perhaps it's time to relax on the beach now? Pop down to Bat Galim for windsurfing or a stroll along the boardwalk.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12: Saturday, May 13, 2023

Cruising

Today there will be an included seminar with your Anything Sweat and lots of free time to enjoy the ship.  Are you an adventure seeker?

While there are traditional cruise ship activities onboard, such as bingo, trivia, and demonstrations, there are also lots of whiz-bang things to do as well:

  • FlowRider surf simulator
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Ripcord by iFly skydiving simulator
  • NorthStar observational pod
  • Sky Pad virtual reality bungee experience
  • Zone Zero fully immersive virtual reality experience
  • SeaPlex activity center
  • Bumper cars
  • Music Hall
  • Splashaway Bay aqua park for kids
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13: Sunday, May 14, 2023

Ephesus, Turkey

The UNESCO World Heritage ruins of Ephesus impress even those familiar with the world's other ancient cities. Though excavations have been underway for 150 years, only 20 percent of the city has been uncovered. Check out the the Celsus Library — built in 117 A.D., the site is made up of towering columns highlighted by the statue of the goddess of wisdom. Cruises to Ephesus will give you a taste of Turkish life by strolling the seafront promenade and the bustling city center. Walk Marble Street, paved with actual marble slabs, which takes you from downtown to the Temple of Artemis — you can still see one lone remaining column from this wonder of the ancient world.

Optional Excursion 2 pack for Ephesus and Athens

In Ephesus, we will depart the port of Kusadasi and drive to “Mary’s House” one of the believed sites of where Mother Mary, the virgin, may have lived and died after her son's crucifixion.  From here we travel to the ancient site of Ephesus where Paul preached and converted many.  It is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman sites with much to see and explore.  After an optional lunch stop, we will visit the Basilica of John before driving back to our awaiting ship.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14: Monday, May 15, 2023

Athens, Greece

Athens offers a looking glass back in time into Greece's powerful ancient civilization. Art lovers, epicureans and history buffs will be delighted by the ancient ruins, museums and tavernas of this picturesque town. Just 10 minutes from the port, you'll find the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, filled with sculptures from the Bronze Age to the Romans. Walk to the Zea Harbour to discover how the Hellenic Maritime Museum will bring to life the grandeur of ancient Greece's naval capacities. Jump onboard an Athens cruise and relax at the small harbor of Mikrolimano, enjoying a meal of grilled octopus and chilled white wine at a small restaurant overlooking the sea.

Optional Excursion 2 pack for Ephesus and Athens

In Athens, it is all about Paul and Acts 17.  Our private guide will give us a wonderful tour of the city including Syntagma Square and the Olympic stadium, but it will be when we head to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon and Mars Hill your heart will start to race.  We’ll hear Paul's sermon about the unknown Gods and climb to the top of the Parthenon and walk around the monumental ruins of the UNESCO-listed site. This afternoon after a lunch stop we’ll visit the ancient site of Corinth.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 15: Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Cruising

Today we will join together for our last time as a group with Anthony Sweat.  We will enjoy his closing remarks and special insights into the places we have experienced on our cruise. 

If you haven't yet made time for the pools - now is your chance! The Odyssey of the Seas has a resort-style pool deck that is not otherwise available on other Quantum Class ships, and it is a great layout.

  • There are two main pools for all guests on Odyssey of the Seas, along with the adults-only Solarium.
  • The two pools are separated by a structure in the middle, but it helps break up crowding.  You will find in-pool loungers, and lots of seating all around the pool deck. 
  • Royal Caribbean integrated the entire pool deck with the Lime and Coconut, which is a multilevel bar venue that evokes a certain level of fun with your pool day. 
  • On the second pool deck, you will find casitas that you can rent for an additional fee, along with hot tubs that overlook the lower pool deck. There are hot tubs on the lower pool deck too.
  • Pools will be closed occasionally when they need to be cleaned as well if weather or sea conditions make the pools unsafe for swimming. Otherwise, there is usually a pool and hot tub open for use.
  • The adults-only (age 16 and over) Solarium is a beautiful space, and it is enclosed which means the temperature is far more manageable on hot summer days.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 16: Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Naples, Italy

With a skyline defined by towering Mount Vesuvis, Naples is a bustling Italian city brimming with beauty. Experience its rich neoclassical architecture at sites like Gesu Nuovo Church, with its lavish interior adorned with detailed frescoes, statues and gold inlay. Go even deeper into history at the San Gennaro catacombs, where Naples' first bishops were buried in the second century A.D. Walk along the Miglio Sacro ("Holy Mile") and people-watch your way through the cafes and shops of the Sanita district with a zuccherato (sweetened espresso) in hand. Jump onboard a Naples cruise and take the short bus ride to the base of Mount Vesuvius — it's an easy 20- to 30-minute hike will take you to the summit — and tour the ruins of Pompeii afterward.

Optional Excursion in Pompeii (Naples)

Today our private group will be met at the port by our host to start our tour at the amazing town of Pompeii and discover this city hidden for hundreds of years under the ash of Mt Vesuvius. This city tells many stories of the ancient Romans and their lifestyle and will surely be a tour highlight for all. After an included lunch stop we will travel back to the coast and discover why the Amalfi Coast captures many with its pastel-colored towns and thriving fishing port framed by the turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 17: Thursday, May 18, 2023

Rome, Italy

Today we return to Rome with a heart full of the many spiritual and historical sites we've experienced that are forever now part of us, with memories to last a lifetime.

Meals : Breakfast

Included:

  • 3 Night Pre-tour in Rome including touring, free time, and an optional visit to LDS Temple
  • 12-day cruise onboard the Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas
  • Round Trip transfers with group flight times
  • All meals and other public entertainment onboard
  • Cruise Port Charges
  • Multiple private faith-based lectures on board the ship
  • Private group only Shore Excursion options* See details and pricing below
  • Tour book & travel document package

Not Included:

  • Government fees and land taxes of $158.15
  • Optional faith-based private shore excursions as listed below
  • International Flights
  • Trip cancellation & trip interruption insurance - Several options available - Ask for details
  • Optional Cruise Prepaid Gratuities $174.00

Cruise Pricing: 

  • Inside Cabin - $3365.00 per person/double - Category 4V
  • Inside Cabin - $3410.00 per person/double - Category 2V
  • Outside Cabins - $3829.00 per person/double - Category 2N
  • Balcony Cabins - $3959.00 per person/double - Category 4D
  • Other cabin categories available - best cabins and price will be confirmed at the time of booking
  • Note: Single/triple/quad cabins are based on availability and are subject to change.  Rates will be quoted based on availability.

Cruise Tour Add-On Options - See below for full details

  • A. Optional 3 Day, 2 Night Shore Excursion Package in Israel: (See details below) $599.00 per person based on 2 sharing a room
  • B. Optional 2 Port Faith-Based Excursion packages for Ephesus & Athens: (See details below) $199 per person - 2 full-day excursions
  • C. Optional Excursion In Naples to Pompeii - (See details below) $149.00 per person including lunch

Payment Terms:

  • $500 deposit due at the time of booking 
  • Final Payment due January 31, 2023
  • Cash discount - $75 off per person for payments made by check
  • ** This tour is based on a minimum of 200 passengers 
  • Read our Terms & Conditions

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  • PACKAGE A - Israel Shore Excursion – 3-day package 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 / Jerusalem, Israel

Today we start our exploration of Israel as we make our way to Jerusalem! We start at the Western Wall, the most important site in all Jewish civilization because these rough massive stones are all that is left of the great Second Temple. Revered and honored, the Jews wait and hope for the day they will rebuild their third and final temple upon these sacred remnants. Above the wall is Mount Moriah where the Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is located. Entering the oldest quarter of Jerusalem, follow the winding alleys and crowded streets to the Pools of Bethesda and learn about their importance. We will discover the ancient city beneath the modern streets where the old paving stones are carved with Roman games at Antonia Fortress. Tonight, after dinner, we will make a special trip to the Olive wood stores for shopping for that special souvenir.

Thursday, May 11, 2023 / Jerusalem Israel

Today we start at the Mount of Olives and walk to the site of Christ's ultimate suffering in Gethsemane. We remember his death when we visit the Garden Tomb and ultimately celebrate his resurrection. As we bid farewell to Jerusalem, we travel east to the Dead Sea and finish our day at our hotel by the Sea of Galilee.

Friday, May 12, 2023 / Galilee / Haifa, Israel

This morning we will explore the Galilee region and see where Christ started his ministry, called his apostles, and performed many miracles. From the Mount of Beatitudes to the shores of the Sea of Galilee and banks of the river Jordan, you will see the Bible come alive before your eyes.  Today we will also enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and a St. Peter’s fish lunch.  As we travel west to Haifa, we pass through Nazareth, the city of Jesus' childhood. Late afternoon we rejoin our ship and continue our journey. 

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  • PACKAGE B - Optional Excursion 2 pack for Ephesus and Athens- $199.00 Each

In Ephesus, we will depart the port of Kusadasi and drive to “Mary’s House” one of the believed sites where Mother Mary, the virgin, may have lived and died after her son's crucifixion.  From here we travel to the ancient site of Ephesus where Paul preached and converted many.  It is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman sites with much to see and explore.  After an optional lunch stop, we will visit the Basilica of John before driving back to our awaiting ship.

In Athens, it is all about Paul and Acts 17.  Our private guide will give us a wonderful tour of the city including Syntagma Square and the Olympic stadium but it will be when we head to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon and Mars Hill your heart will start to race.  We’ll hear Paul's sermon about the unknown Gods and climb to the top of the Parthenon and walk around the monumental ruins of the UNESCO-listed site. This afternoon after a lunch stop we’ll visit the ancient site of Corinth.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • PACKAGE C - Optional Excursion in Pompeii (Naples)- $149.00 Each 

Today our private group will be met at the port by our host to start our tour at the amazing town of Pompeii and discover this city hidden for hundreds of years under the ash of Mt Vesuvius. This city tells many stories of the ancient Romans and their lifestyle and will surely be a tour highlight for all. After an included lunch stop we will travel back to the coast and discover why the Amalfi Coast captures many with its pastel-colored towns and thriving fishing port framed by the turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.