Bible Odyssey Cruise

Bible Odyssey Cruise

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12 days in Greece, Italy, and Turkey

Experience the breadth and depth of biblical traditions. Two distinguished biblical scholars, Carol Newsom and Brent Strawn, will frame visits to New Testament cities in the wider context of the Bible and religion in the Mediterranean world. Carol and Brent, two scholars of the Old Testament and Hebrew Bible, will place these sites in a longer and larger story, enriching your experience and broadening your understanding. An extraordinary opportunity to see and hear the text and its heritage come to life.

Prices start at $4,198* departing from New York, June 4–15, 2020.

What's included?
  • All Inclusive Pricing
  • Cruise
  • Fuel Surcharges and Gov't Taxes

  • International Airfare from NY
  • Meals on Ship
  • Port Charges
  • Select Shore Excursions

Guest Speakers


carol newsom

Carol Newsom

Carol Newsom is the C. H. Candler Distinguished Professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and the Graduate Division of Religion, where she has taught Hebrew Bible since 1980. The first woman on the international team that translated the Dead Sea Scrolls, Carol has also focused on the ways in which women are portrayed in the Bible, and she coedited the Women’s Bible Commentary, which has sold over 100,000 copies. Carol was president of the Society of Biblical Literature and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Bible Odyssey articles by Newsom:

ANE Context of Proverbs
Woman Wisdom and Woman Folly in Proverbs 9

brent strawn

Brent A. Strawn

Brent A. Strawn is Professor of Old Testament at Duke University. Before joining the Duke faculty, he taught for eighteen years at Emory University, where he was William Ragsdale Cannon Distinguished Professor of Old Testament in the Candler School of Theology and the Graduate Division of Religion. Brent won the On Eagles’ Wings Excellence in Teaching Award at Candler twice and is a Senior Fellow in Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. He is also an ordained elder in the North Georgia conference of The United Methodist Church. In addition to speaking frequently at churches, he has appeared twenty times on CNN on topics from the Pope to gun violence. Brent’s most recent books are The Old Testament: A Concise Introduction (2019) and The Old Testament Is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment (2017).

Bible Odyssey articles by Strawn:

The Lord is My Shepherd (Ps 23)
The Ten Commandments
Was There a Lions’ Den?

Daily Itinerary*

Two Units of CEU Credits Available

Day 1/ June 4: Depart USA

Your trip begins as you depart the USA on your international overnight flight.

Day 2/ June 5: Arrive in Rome

You will arrive in Rome, Italy, where you will be met by our representative and transferred to the Port of Civitavecchia to board the Explorer of the Seas. (D)

Day 3/ June 6: At Sea


Day 4/ June 7: Chania (Souda), Crete

Explore Crete on your own today or delve into a Cretan cultural experience by visiting Lake Kournas, the Arkadi Monastery or the bustling town of Rethymnon on an optional excursion. (B, L, D) Shore excursions are booked through Royal Caribbean.

Day 5/ June 8: Mykonos

Arrive today at the world-famous Greek Island of Mykonos, where gleaming whitewashed buildings seem to climb atop each other to reach the azure sky. Admire its many hills dotted with iconic windmills. Explore the island on your own or join one of the optional excursions available for purchase onboard. (B, L, D) Shore excursions are booked through Royal Caribbean.

Day 6/ June 9: Ephesus

Ephesus, the audience for one of Paul’s epistles and one of the seven churches of Revelation, was once a bustling port town graced with wide, colonnade-bordered streets and a population of 250,000. Although spectacular excavations have revealed much of the glory of ancient Ephesus, including the huge Agora and Library, much has been lost. The ancient world once declared the Temple of Artemis to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but today only a single column remains to mark its site. View the terrace houses, also known as “the houses of the rich,” which give a true impression of ancient lifestyle. Explore the Museum of Ephesus for an up-close look at ancient artifacts. You will have time to explore on your own and recreate some of the footsteps of Paul. (B, L, D)

Day 7/ June 10: Athens and Corinth

Discover the rich architectural splendor of the ancient city of Athens as your guide introduces you to the world-renowned Acropolis, the Propylaea, the Parthenon and the Erectheum. Stand on Mars Hill and stroll the Agora (the ancient marketplace and center of Athenian public life), where the apostle Paul preached to and addressed the skeptical Athenians. Also see the House of Parliament, the Presidential Palace, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Tour the city of Corinth, where the apostle Paul met fellow tentmakers Aquila and Priscilla and established the church at Corinth to whom Paul later wrote his two epistles. Discover the Archaeological Museum, marketplace, and temples. As you walk among the ruins, stand on the Bema, where the apostle Paul stood before Gallio to face charges brought against him. (B, L, D)

Day 8/ June 11: Santorini

Dock in Santorini today, one of the most beautiful of the Greek islands where picturesque whitewashed villages topped with brilliant blue domes stand in stark contrast to the sheer drop cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea. The island itself perches on the edges of a volcano whose eruption 3,500 years ago is thought to have led to the collapse of the Minoan civilization. Explore the island on your own or join one of the optional excursions available for purchase onboard. (B, L, D) Shore excursions are booked through Royal Caribbean.

Day 9/ June 12: At Sea


Day 10/ June 13: Pompeii

Journey inland to ancient Pompeii, dating almost to the time of Paul, where you can see the spectacular ruins that were covered by ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. (B, L, D)

Day 11/ June 14: Rome

Disembark this morning in Rome. History is woven through the streets and neighborhoods of Rome as in no other city. Today you’ll explore the many wonders of ancient Rome when you visit the magnificent Colosseum and the Pantheon. From the most sacred hill of ancient Rome, Campidoglio, you’ll view the Forum. You’ll also view the Circus Maximus, the Arch of Titus, the famous Baths of Caracalla and the Arch of Constantine. You’ll see the Victor Emanuel Monument and the Monti Region, Rome’s most ancient neighborhood which spreads over three of her seven hills. Your last stop of the day is the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, housing the Tomb of St. Paul the Apostle, affectionately known as the Apostle of the Gentiles. In the afternoon, you’ll discover why Rome is also known as the “City of Love.” You’ll explore the romance of Rome as you climb the graceful Spanish Steps and stop at the famous Trevi Fountain. Legend says those who toss a coin into the fountain will one day return to Rome to toss another into the waters of Trevi. Check-in to your hotel in Rome for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 12 / June 15: Return to USA

Return home with a new understanding of the apostle Paul’s life and ministry.

Optional Day 13: Enhance Your Journey Post Tour

June 15 - Vatican City Tour - $389.00* *
Christianity came late in Rome’s long history, conquering and changing the city in a way few other invades have. Experience the glory of Christian Rome today as you visit the Vatican, home to one of the greatest museums in the world. And, of course, tour St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s frescoes, now restored to their full, color glory. Tour the Catacombs of St. Sebastino. The catacombs contain some of the only surviving examples of early Christian art. In the 1840s, Pope Gregory XVI took steps to preserve the catacombs and their treasures. (B, D) 

June 16 - Return to USA
Return home with a new understanding of the apostle Paul’s life and ministry.

* itinerary subject to change

**All prices reflect a 4% cash discount • Guests taking an extension may be on a different flight  than their group and/or traveling companion.

Send questions to Heather McMurray (

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Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.