THE JOURNEYS OF PAUL AND THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA 2020

Date: August 17, 2020 - August 31, 2020
Base Price for:
Land Only: $1,990.00

Join This Tour


We're proud to present this incredible 14 days/13 nights on land tour of Turkey. You'll enjoy great 4-Star Hotels throughout.

This is an exceptional price and only requires a group minimum of 8 or more passengers.

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Day 1 - Monday - August 17th, 2020 - (D)

Depart on Turkish Airlines, at your leisure, from your main hub.

Day 2 - Tuesday - August 18th, 2020 - (B/)

Arrive anytime to Istanbul Airport. Our representative will meet you after passport control and transfer you to your hotel. You will be given your room key and the rest of the day is yours to explore Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.

Optional Evening Event: Bosphorus Dinner Cruise or a relaxing Turkish Bath tour. (Please see your Add-ons Options in your My Account area)

Day 3 - Wednesday - August 19th, 2020 - (B/D)

Our journey begins in Istanbul, the only city in the world situated on two continents. Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul - its three names span more than 2600 years, nearly 1600 of them as the capital of two of the greatest empires the world has known, Byzantine and Ottoman. We visit the Topkapi Palace including treasury section, The Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place and free time in Grand bazaar with its 3.500 shops. Grand Spice Bazaar is a unique atmosphere with reasonable prices for your shopping on many Exotic Spices and Herbs, Turkish Baklava, Turkish Delights, Turkish Coffee, nuts and fruits, small souvenirs such as Ceramic Handicrafts, Evil Eyes totems, all naturel olive oil, soaps and many other goods in Souvenir Shops and stores. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 4 - Thursday - August 20th, 2020 - (B/D)

Early morning flight to Adana, the countrys fourth largest city. Adana is situated some thirty miles east of Tarsus, birthplace of the Apostle Paul. Enjoy breakfast in your hotel, then drive to Tarsus and visit the Apostle Paul’s well, the Gate of Cleopatra, and the latest excavations. Then we visit the archaeological remains of Seleucia, the port from which Paul, Barnabas and John Mark departed from Antioch on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:4). Drive to Antioch for overnight Adana

Day 5 - Friday - August 21st, 2020 - (B/D)

It was here at Antioch on the Orontes that believers were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). Visit the cave where they met in secret. Paul and Silas departed from here on the second missionary journey (Acts 15:35 - 36). Discover the impact of leaders such as Ignatius of Antioch and John Chrysostom. In Acts 2:9, pilgrims from Cappadocia were assembled with the thousands in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost when they received the initial baptism of the Holy Spirit and heard the Apostle Peter preach his powerful message. We will travel to Cappadocia scenic Ihlara Valley, where early Christians carved some 3, 500 cave churches from the tufa rock. The beauty and quaintness of these chapels, with numerous wall paintings and Christian symbols, is astonishing. Persecuted Christians - tens of thousands of them - escaping into the earth to flee Arab invaders in the tenth century, tunneled out more than twenty underground cities of refuge here in Cappadocia. Such cities, with carved rooms for kitchens, sleeping quarters, stables, and chapels for worship, descend five to ten stories into the earth. At Kaymakli, one of the best preserved of these cities, you will enjoy your own guided tour into this amazing region. Overnight in a Cappadocia.

Day 6 - Saturday - August 22nd, 2020 - (B/D)

Cappadocia, with its centre in Caesarea (Kayseri), was once the heart of the Hittite Kingdom of the Old Testament. This vast area is one of the most photogenic landscapes in the world. Extraordinary rock formations have become symbolic of this region, where you will enjoy the Valley of the Fairy Chimneys and Goreme’s breathtaking Open Air Museum. Watch the potters at their craft, in the famous pottery producing town of Avanos. Finally, savour the natural wonders of the Citadel of Uchisar and Zelve Valley. Overnight in a Cappadocia.

Day 7 - Sunday - August 23rd, 2020 - (B/D)

Drive to the Sultanhani Caravansary for a fascinating look at one of the rest stops for ancient camel caravans. Along the trade routes, such caravansaries appeared at intervals of some twenty - five miles, the average distance that camels could travel in a day. Continue on to Lystra, where a mob stoned Paul during his first journey (Acts 14:6 - 19), and where Timothy joined him during the second journey (Acts 16:1 - 3). Depart for Iconium, where Paul preached and encouraged believers during his first missionary journey (Acts 14:1 - 6). Iconium was once the home of the sect of mystical Muslims called Whirling Dervishes. Overnight in a Konya.

Day 8 - Monday - August 24th, 2020 - (B/D)

Drive to Antioch of Pisidia, where nearly the whole city came to hear Paul preach during his first missionary journey (Acts 13:14 - 52). The marvelous excavations include the ancient church and the great first - century Temple of Augustus. Today, you will travel the Royal Road that once connected Ephesus with distant Babylon. Visit the unexcavated site of ancient Colossae by the village of Honaz. The Apostle Paul wrote one of his prison epistles to the church at Colossae, a city situated on the Lycus River. At Hierapolis (Pamukkale), enjoy the “Cotton Castles” of brilliant white calcium rock formations and hot - water travertines, where hot mineral waters emerge from the earth and cascade over cliffs. As the water cools, the calcium precipitates and clings to the cliffs, forming snowy white travertines (waterfalls of white stone), which give credence to the name Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle”. This enchanting place is one of the natural wonders of Asia Minor. The churches here in Hierapolis, Colossae, and Laodicea once flourished under the ministry of Epaphras (Colossians 4:12 - 13). Overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 9 - Tuesday - August 25th, 2020 - (B/D)

Explore incredible excavations at Hierapolis, including a Byzantine church, the Great Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Plutonium, which pagan cults once called “the entrance to hell.” Examine the intriguing sites of the Churches of Revelation. Laodicea (Rev. 3:14 - 22) will take you back to the first century. At Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7 - 12), your Bible will come alive as you read it in light of firsthand study. This city was located along the important trade route that linked Pergamum in the north with Laodicea to the south. In A.D. 17, an earthquake devastated twelve Asian cities, including Philadelphia, and for a time the people lived in fear of aftershocks. Philadelphia was rebuilt with help from Emperor Tiberius. At Sardis (Rev. 3:1 - 5), your thoughts will turn to the Old Testament period following the 586 B.C. destruction of Jerusalem. That was the time when the phrase “rich as Croesus” originated. Croesus (560 - 546 B.C..) was the king of Lydia, and Sardis was his capital. Gold was discovered in the Pactolus River at Sardis and it was here that coinage began, as we know it. Cyrus and the Persians defeated and captured Croesus for all his wealth and made Sardis the administrative centre for the western part of their empire. The fabled Royal Road connected Sardis with the Persian cities to the east. Sardis was the hardest hit of the twelve cities destroyed in the earthquake of A.D. 17. Emperor Tiberius, according to the Annals of the historian Tacitus, gave much relief towards its rebuilding. Your visit to Sardis will include the imperial court and the ancient Jewish synagogue. You will rest in the shade of the Temple of Artemis, while studying in the light of prophetic Scripture. Finally, enjoy dinner at one of Smyrna’s famous kebab or seafood restaurants. Overnight in Kusadasi

Day 10 - Wednesday - August 26th, 2020 - (B/D)

Drive to Miletus, home of ancient philosopher Thales (640 - 546 B.C.), one of the fathers of Greek geometry, astronomy, and philosophy. It was here, in the first Christian century, that the Apostle Paul, on his third missionary journey, called for the Ephesians elders and preached a powerful message to them (Acts 20:15 - 38). It was also here that Paul left his friend Trophimus, who was too ill to continue (II Timothy 4:20). As a port at the mouth of the Meander River, Miletus was a natural outlet for Phrygian trade. Like the one at Ephesus, however, Miletus’s sea harbour eventually filled with silt, and commerce dwindled. The city’s remote quietness makes it special to devout students of Scripture. Its ancient ruins include the marvelous 15, 000 - seat theatre. Nearby, at Didyma, visit the massive Temple to Apollo, one of the most impressive sites in Anatolia. Ordinary people did not reside in ancient Didyma. This was home only to a priestly family whose oracle came from Delphi and who lived in luxury, as they guarded their temple treasuries supplied by the people they deceived. Continue to Kusadasi for overnight.

Day 11 - Thursday - August 27th, 2020 - (B/D)

Ephesus (Rev. 2:1 - 7), major port city on the Aegean, was the commercial, political, and religious centre of all of Asia Minor. After a lunatic completely burned the Temple of Diana (Artemis) on the night that Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C.., the Ephesians worked for 120 years to complete a magnificent reconstructed temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The city became part of the Roman Empire in the second century B.C. As a Roman capital of Asia Minor, Ephesus boasted a population approaching 250, 000 people. The Apostle Paul’s first visit to Ephesus was brief—during his second missionary tour (Acts 18:19 - 21). His second visit lasted about three years—during his third missionary tour (Acts 19:1 to 20:31). Luke’s account of the worship of Diana appears in Acts 19:34 - 35. The Great Theatre (stadium) mentioned in Acts 19:29 - 31 could seat 25, 000 people. Walk the marble - paved street with grooves made by chariot wheels. See the Fountain of Trojan, the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. Visit the Chapel of the Virgin Mary (Double Church), where the Third Ancient Council convened. Enjoy St. Johns Basilica (built on the site of the Apostle John’s tomb) and ponder the remains of the Temple of Diana. Overnight in Kusadasi.

Day 12 - Friday - August 28th, 2020 - (B/D)

Today, we will visit our final two of the Seven Churches of Revelation. At Thyatira (Rev. 2: 18 - 28), you will see the ruins of an ancient commercial centre, located in the fertile valley where the trade route passed. One of the towns cloth and dye merchants was a woman named Lydia, who conducted business as far away as Philippi, where she became the first European convert to Christianity, during Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16:11 - 15). A most memorable experience will be Pergamum, with its acropolis and Great Theatre, the steepest of the ancient world. Revelation 2:12 - 16 describes the city as “where Satan’s seat is, ” a reference to the altar of Zeus, where we pause for reflection on the fulfillment of Scripture. Nearby, visit the Red Basilica; once a pagan temple, it later converted into a Christian church. Finally, walk thru the Pergamum Asclepion, the famous medical centre of antiquity. Overnight in Kusadasi

Day 13 - Saturday - August 29th, 2020 - (B/D)

Enjoy a fascinating visit to recent excavations of ancient Troy, made legendary by Homer’s story of Helen and the Trojans’ wooden horse. Then drive to Troas, founded about 300 B.C. by one of the generals of Alexandria the Great. During the Apostle Paul’s second missionary journey, it was from Troas that he received the “Macedonian call” to Europe. This is where Luke’s account changes from “they” to “we” (Acts 16:6 - 12), indicating that he joined Paul’s team at Troas. Returning from Macedonia during his third journey, Paul was in Troas for a week, when the young man Eutychus fell from the third loft as Paul preached. Paul soon walked some thirty miles to Assos, where we will follow the apostle’s footsteps to the old city walls (Acts 20:5 - 14). You will walk the old marketplace of Assos and see the council chamber and Temple to Athena. Overnight in Canakkale.

Day 14 - Sunday - August 30th, 2020 - (B/)

Drive to Nicea through Bursa. At Nicea, you will see remains of Constantine’s palace, now covered by the water at the shore of Lake Iznik. It was here in this palace chapel that the First Ancient Church Council convened in A.D. 325 to produce the Nicene Creed. Enjoy Nicea’s St. Sophia Church, where the Seventh Church Council convened in 787. Continue to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul

 

Day 15 - Monday - August 31st, 2020 - (B/D)

After breakfast you will have free time in Istanbul before transferring to your flight back home.

Currently, all members are procuring their own flights. If you require assistance with airfare, please contact us. We charge only a flat $50 fee above the cost of your ticket.

Please see our helpful FAQ section and stay tuned for group updates via email.

 

Deadlines

Milestones & Deadlines

Due Date

Airfares should be purchased by:

March 1, 2020

Final Payments are due

 April 14, 2020

Late Registration Fee of $200 Goes into effect

 April 15 2020

All Final Passenger Info is Due (Passports, Roommates, etc.)

 June 15 2020

Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer from Istanbul airport
  • Airport transfer from Adana airport
  • Domestic flight from Istanbul to Adana
  • 4-star hotels throughout
    • 3 nights hotel in Istanbul
    • 1 night hotel in Tarsus / Adana
    • 2 nights hotel in Cappadocia
    • 1 night hotel in Konya
    • 1 night hotel in Pamukkale
    • 4 nights hotel in Kusadasi
    • 1 night hotel in Canakkale
  • 13 open buffet breakfasts
  • 9 dinners
  • Professional English - speaking tour guides throughout
    • Guided Istanbul city tour
    • Guided Tarsus Antioch tour
    • Guided Cappadocia tour
    • Guided Lystra Lconium and Mevlana tour
    • Guided Pisidian Antioch Laodicea and Hierapolis Pamukkale tour
    • Guided Philadelphia, Sardes - Smyrna tour
    • Guided Ephesus tour
    • Guided Miletus - Didyma tour
    • Guided Thyatira Pergamum tour
    • Guided Assos - Nicea Tour
    • Guided Troy - Alexandra Troas tour
  • All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
  • Transportation in a fully air - conditioned, non - smoking coach
  • Return airport transfer

Exclusions

  • Round-trip airfare. Book your own, or we’ll book it for you at $50 + cost.
  • Turkey entry visa
  • Cash Gratuities for tour hosts/guides/drivers - $200.00 per person collected upon arrival and dispersed throughout)
  • Lunches on most days, some dinners and Special Drinks, where not mentioned
  • Personal expenses such as telephone calls from room, mini bar, room service, etc.
  • Optional Traveler’s Insurance through World Nomads.
  • All other Add-ons, additional overnights, special private transfers: For example:
    • Pre-Arrival and Post-Departure Hotels
    • Special Transfers
  • Final Itinerary & Hotels: The itinerary may be updated from time to time at the discretion of Samson Tours, its guide and its tour leader. Final Hotel Arrangements will be posted no later than 100 days before departure. In the event of a hotel change, Samson Tours will guarantee a replacement at the same quality or provide an upgrade to a higher class of accommodations at no extra charge.
  • Group Minimum: A minimum of 8paying participants are required for this tour program. If the group minimum is not reached by 4 months before departure, Samson Tours or its tour leader will have the right to either a.) request that all tour members pay a supplement for the increase in costs of no greater than $500.00 per person and operate the group at the same quality; b.) lower the hotel class by at least 1 star to offset the increased costs; or c.) postpone the dates until a minimum number of participants are achieved.
  • Group Maximum: A maximum 40 paying participants will be allowed to join this unique tour program.
  • Airfare: You are responsible to book your own airfare. If you wish us to book your airfare for you, please add the $50 fee from the Add-On menu and email us for a short consultation to book your flight. Be sure that your online account has your passport information and phone us or fax us your credit card details so that we can have the airline bill you directly.
  • Flight Diversions: If you elect to be on the group flight and wish to depart from a different city of origin, you can a.) Book your own domestic airfare connection or b.) Select the Add-On in your My Account for a $50.00 Domestic Flight Booking Fee. Any costs or savings for the additional flight will be added or deducted from your tour balance. Please contact us with your specific departure city request.
  • Deposit & Payments for Land: To ensure your spot on the tour, we request a $500.00 deposit be paid upon signup.  The deposit (less a $200.00 non-refundable fee per person) and any other payments made are refundable up to 190 days before departure. After that, the remaining deposit amount is non-refundable, due to the Cruise policy. The deposit can be paid by cash, check, money order, bank transfer, debit or credit card. If the tour is canceled by Samson Tours, then you will be entitled to a full refund without any cancellation fee. This refund of cancellation fee does not apply to tour leader cancellations or postponements due to group minimums not being reached. For cases of political instability or cancellations or postponements due to force majeure, please see the Force Majeure section below.
  • Final Payments: The final payment will be made120 days before departure. Payments made by check or cash will be made in US$ to Samson Tours, Inc. Payments made by debit or credit card to Samson Tours, Inc. will be charged the full balance. If there are any unpaid fuel surcharges for the group flight, they will be billed to you at cost per the group airline contract either before or after the tour. There is a Late Payment Fee of $200.00 if the balance is paid after the final payment date.
  • Late Registrations & Payments: Theoretically, you can join a tour anytime up to the time of the departure date (Land Only and subject to Hotel Availability). There will be a Late Payment Fee of $200.00 and an additional $50.00 fee if you require airfare assistance. If a hotel or other service listed in the itinerary is unavailable, we will find an alternative hotel for you, however you will be responsible for any transportation costs to/from joining the main group.
  • Land Diversions: If you arrive either before or after the recommended group departure/arrival time, or if your flight is delayed beyond a reasonable waiting period, or if you elect to divert or add-on additional days to the trip, then it is understood that you will arrive at the hotel or to the airport at your own expense. We will more than happy to assist you with these arrangements
  • Refunds (Land): The following refunds for the land portion of the price will apply for non-insured travelers only: Your balance less a non-refundable fee of $200.00 per person, which is transferable or can be applied to future tours if cancelled 190+ calendar days before departure. 75% refund of balance less a non-refundable fee of $200.00 per person if cancelled 119-60 days before departure. 50% of balance less a non-refundable fee of $200.00 per person refund if cancelled 59-30 days before departure. 0% refund if cancelled 29 or less days before departure.
  • Force Majeure: If Samson Tours decides to postpone the tour do to political unrest or for any reason beyond our company’s control that could compromise your security, then your balance will carry over to the new tour dates. Depending on the new dates, there may be an increase in costs for tours that are rescheduled within 1 year. If you are unable to join the new tour dates, then you will be entitled to a refund, less the cancellation fee (see Deposits) and any other non-refundable deposits that may be imposed on us by suppliers such as airlines and hotels. The deposit and/or balances amount can also be applied to any future tour or may be transferable to a third party.
  • Travel Insurance – Samson Tours does not require travel insurance. It is, however, strongly advised that all travelers equip themselves with a comprehensive travel insurance plan through World Nomads. You can obtain an individual travel insurance quote, by visiting our Insurance page and clicking on any of the ‘Get a Quote’ links that refer you to the World Nomads website. Travel Insurance coverage begins ONLY from the time you have purchased travel insurance. It is advisable only to purchase travel insurance when you have made non-refundable payments that exceed the amount of travel insurance purchased.
  • Add-ons once you have registered for a tour you can select from a variety of add-ons in your My Account area you may select or deselect any of these add-ons (extension tour, hotels, late fees, etc.) until 30 days before your tour.
  • Your Health:All participants should be in good health and walking condition. This program is active and involves a lot of walking over uneven surfaces and climbing stairs. All locations may not be accessible for the disabled. Having a disability does not disqualify you from joining any tour. However, be advised that you may have to forgo portions of the said itinerary by waiting on the bus or in a safe location until the main group has returned. If you require special accommodation, please report this at the time of your reservation so that we can better serve you.
  • Single Supplement: For single travelers, a single supplement fee for the hotels is required. This usually amounts to around 85%-90% of the Double Room cost. If a person has ordered a double room and his or her roommate cancels his or her tour, then the individual holding a double room must find a new roommate or pay the single supplement.
  • Exchange Rate: Samson Tours, Inc. reserves the right to charge a supplement to the price if the dollar falls below the 3.5 threshold. To date, we have never yet had to charge an exchange rate surcharge.
  • Government Imposed VAT or taxes: Currently there are no VAT taxes for foreign on tour land packages to Israel. Should such a tax be imposed before the start of the tour, even after ‘final payment’ has been made, Samson Tours will notify all of its participants in writing. In order to participate in the tour, you will be required to pay all such taxes before the start of the tour. If you are an Israeli Citizen you will be asked to pay VAT at the time of you final payment.
  • Responsibility - Samson Tours, Inc., its agents, suppliers, guides, leaders and representatives shall be, in no way, liable or responsible for any personal or property loss, damage or injury howsoever caused. The company shall also not be responsible for penalties for privately-booked flight tickets if purchased before the minimum is reached.  
  • Update – These policies may be updated from time to time. Upon update, you will be notified by Samson Tours, Inc. or its group leader.

Land Rates

Prices are in US$, per person, for 8-15 paying passengers.

Per Person in a king or twin-bed room

$1990.00

Airfare from US on Turkish Airlines

$1100.00 (approximately).

Single Room (add this to the Base price)

+$550.00

Extra Night on BB in Shared Room (includes transfer to hotel/airport). Price is per person, per night.

$150.00

 

Deadlines

Milestones & Deadlines

Due Date

Airfares should be purchased by:

March 1, 2020

Final Payments are due

 April 14, 2020

Late Registration Fee of $200 Goes into effect

 April 15 2020

All Final Passenger Info is Due (Passports, Roommates, etc.)

 June 15 2020

We recommend that you acquire optional Traveler’s Insurance through World Nomads.





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