Jordan is rich in biblical history, breathtaking natural beauty, and a vibrant culture that has a long tradition of welcoming others with open arms. Begin your journey with this discovery-packed extension and experience firsthand what others have only dreamed of. Visit the legendary sites of Bethany, where Lazarus was raised from the dead, and Mount Nebo, from where Moses first laid eyes on the Holy Land. Explore the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, legendary outpost of the Empire. Float on the Dead Sea’s famously buoyant waters and meet a local artisan to learn about the region’s renowned mosaics. And with extra time, you can even see more of the remarkable “White City” of Amman, a fascinating blend of Roman-era monuments, busy souks, and urban sophistication.
Fly to Amman
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Amman, Jordan.
Arrive in Amman
Enjoy an evening at leisure to acclimate before beginning your discoveries on Day 3. Dinner is in the hotel tonight.
Jerash’s legacies of ancient Rome
Enjoy a morning briefing before an excursion to the ancient Roman city of Jerash, arriving in time for lunch at a local restaurant. Then, visit this astonishing site with a guide. Stroll its dramatic colonnaded street, see the expansive Oval Forum, and more before continuing to the Dead Sea, the Earth’s lowest land elevation. Here, you will check in to your luxurious resort and spa.
Floating on the Dead Sea
Visit Bethany today, the home of siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in the New Testament. The Tomb of Lazarus here commemorates the miracle in which Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. You will also see the location where Jesus is said to have been baptized by John the Baptist. Return to your resort in time for a delicious lunch on your own.
Mount Nebo & the Mosaic of Madaba
During your drive to Amman to join Day 2 of the base tour, take in more of Jordan’s inspiring beauty and rich culture. Ascend to the summit of Mount Nebo, from where Moses is said to have first laid eyes on the expanse of the Promised Land. Then, stop in Madaba to view the spectacular Mosaic Map in the Greek Orthodox Basilica of St. George. Some two million colorful tiles were laid out here in the 6th century to represent the Holy Land as it was then. Cultural Discovery: During your visit, you will learn how mosaics are made alongside a local craftsperson.
Immerse yourself in the exoticism, fascinating history, and resplendent architecture of Istanbul, where Europe meets Asia along the bustling Bosphorus Strait. You’ll step into the world of Ottoman sultans at the Topkapi Palace, marvel at the towering domes and minarets of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, and roam the endless passageways of the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market, teeming with colorful carpets, leather goods, jewelry, and lanterns. Your three nights in this intoxicating cultural capital are the perfect way to round out your ocean expedition.
Fly to Istanbul
Transfer to the Athens airport to board your flight to Istanbul, Turkey’s exotic capital straddling Europe and Asia. You’ll arrive in time for an orientation walk around your hotel before a festive dinner. Cultural Discovery: Tonight's Turkish dinner is sure to be both delicious and unforgettable! Head to a local Turkish restaurant and enjoy a unique folkloric performance that will welcome you to this fascinating city where East meets West.
Royal and cultural splendors of Istanbul
After breakfast, head to the Fatih district, home to the Historic Areas of Istanbul, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin your explorations at the Topkapi Palace, once home to Ottoman sultans and today a magnificent museum. Your guided tour leads you into some of its many chambers, including the Harem Apartments. After lunch in the Topkapi Palace, continue to the spectacular Blue Mosque, named for the countless blue Iznik tiles that adorn its vast interior.
Cultural Discovery: Conclude the day among the teeming stalls and passageways of the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul’s historic marketplace.
Spectacular Sultanahmet on foot
Stretch your legs this morning during a walking tour of the Sultanahmet district. You’ll stop at the 6th-century Hagia Sophia, built as a church and later converted into a mosque that has been a magnificent museum since 1935.
Cultural Discovery: After, follow your nose to the Spice Bazaar, where mounds of colorful turmeric, saffron, and countless other spices vie for your olfactory attentions. Be sure to sample some Turkish Delight, the nation’s favorite sweet, while you’re here!
This evening, gather for a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers.
Head to the Istanbul airport for you flight back to the U.S.