By popular demand, we’re offering this once-in-a-lifetime journey to the old world. Starting at only $740* per person, this all-inclusive 10-night voyage begins in Istanbul, Turkey and takes us to Haifa & Jerusalem, Israel, and Athens, Greece . We’ll also experience the wondrous ruins of Ephesus, Turkey on our return. This expedition is organized by skeptics for skeptics. Dining will be round-robin style, allowing you to have different dinner guests each evening.
By special arrangement, private, custom tours will be available in port at prices far below what the cruise line can offer.
PDF Tour Guides are available for each port:
Friday, October 7, 2011: Overnight on board in Istanbul, Turkey
Saturday, October 8, 2011: Depart from Istanbul, Turkey 2:00PM (be on board by 2:00)
Sunday, October 9, 2011: At Sea – Group Activities
Monday, October 10, 2011: Haifa, Israel 9:00AM – 11:59PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2011: Overnight on board in Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel 7:00AM
Wednesday, October 12, 2011: Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel Sailing at 7:00PM
Thursday, October 13, 2011: At Sea – Group Activities
Friday, October 14, 2011: Piraeus (Athens), Greece
7:00AM – 6:00PM
Saturday, October 15, 2011: Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey 9:00AM – 7:00PM
Sunday, October 16, 2011: At Sea – Group Activities
Monday, October 17, 2011: Istanbul, Turkey 5:00AM
Vision of the Seas is was designed to bring ocean views in to every aspect of cruising. With literally acres of glass, you’re never far from a dazzling vista of the passing scenery. Vision features a conference center with full audio/visual capability. A lavish theater provides Vegas-style entertainment in the evenings, a funnel-side rock-climbing wall and a solarium with sliding glass roof, indoor pool, whirlpool and cafe bar as well as a video game arcade and champagne bar will keep you busy at sea. (We will designate a “gather place” on board for evening chit chats.)
Dining will be available as a group in the opulent main dining room, and other meals can be taken here or in several other locations on the ship.
In addition to the evening shows in the main theater, there is a full casino, games room, and even a generous library for the bookworms among us. Several hot tubs and pools as well as a lavish spa allow you to relax in style. Internet kiosks are available throughout the ship giving you the chance to upload a few choice photos or send your report on the day’s adventure.
We’ll start our journey in Istanbul, where you’ll have two days to explore Ottoman and Byzantine architecture or get dizzy with the whirling dervishes and maybe a hookah. Istanbul is renowned for it’s diverse culture and friendly atmosphere, and is a favorite of world travelers.
From there, it’s on to Haifa, Israel where the many museums and historic Mount Carmel await your exploration.
The following day, wake up in Ashdod, Israel, one of the oldest cities in the world (1800 BCE). Rather than follow the throng, we’ll join a local expert of our acquaintance for an exclusive skeptic’s-eye tour of Jerusalem. Learn why this region continues to be a hotbed of religious strife.
From there it’s on to Athens, Greece – birthplace of reason. Tour the Acropolis, visit Panathinion Stadium or the Temple of Zeus and walk on the same steps as Socrates.
After a refreshing day at sea, you’ll arrive at Kusadasi, Turkey home of the incredible Ephesus. Greek and Roman ruins will delight you as you imagine living in a time where an afternoon’s entertainment featured gladiators fighting to the death.
Your home for this expedition is Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas, an intimate vessel with modern conference space which will host our on-board activities. And continuing with our tradition of letting guests address the assembly, there will be opportunities for you to give a presentation or talk if you so desire. Contact Jeff@Skeptours.com for details.
We have reserved three types of cabin. All cabins have beds that can be converted to twin beds, bathroom with shower, flat screen television, telephone, individual temperature control, chair, desk, hair dryer and 110v outlets.
Outside cabins also have a large window giving you a view of the ocean and islands throughout our journey. A window is helpful in determining the day’s weather, and it’s fun to look out and see the port each morning.
Balcony cabins have a glass door the opens to a generous balcony with chairs and a table so you can have your own private vista. This is a nice option for those who like quiet time in their cabin or are traveling with someone and would like a pleasant place to wait while their partner gets ready.
Does not include:
*Most cruises hide these compulsory fees, which total nearly $300 for this voyage. At SkepTours, we believe in displaying the actual cost.
If you’d like assistance with arranging air travel to Istanbul, we can offer suggestions on how to get the lowest fare. (Turkish Air has a non-stop flight from Chicago’s O’Hare that seems to be among the best deals at present.)
If you’d like to extend your trip, Royal Caribbean offers “cruise tour” packages that we can arrange for you. Call for details.
If you are a single traveler and would like to find a roommate, we might be able to help. Send e-mail to email@example.com and he’ll try to match you with another compatible traveler.
A passport is required for this voyage, and Non-US travelers may need to apply for a visa ahead of time.
Ports subject to change (Yeah, no kidding).