Choose to manage the Sidon family or the Tyre family. You and the other family each have a headquarters in the eastern Mediterranean homeland but will be colonizing all over that sea, right out to the Strait of Gibraltar, with particular interest in Carthage.
1000000 coins are required for the title Merchant Prince in this episode. The game scenario has bonus points for the population of towns created outside Phoenicia and suggests Carthage as the region for your first colony. As you need different resources later in the game; Western Sicily and the Straits of Gibraltar should also have a settlement. Don't create too many settlements; meeting the demands of three markets will be hard enough. Over extending in TE spreads your maximum of thirty merchants per episode too thin. For this reason there is also no point in establishing a large market in your headquarters of Phoenicia.
However, trade in Cedar across both Phoenicia and The Kingdom of Israel will generate the coins needed for expansion. As Cedar requires no upgrades to the Timber Camps the entire game, its an ideal continual game long set routes and forget; coin generator. There are usually three shipyards along the Jordan River in Israel and another three on the Phoenician regional map. The opposing AI merchant family leaves this trade to the human player, so take advantage of it. Avoid the temptation to ship Cedar around the whole Mediterranean, it takes too long. Short, logical, effective routes will be your highest coin generating merchants.
A good strategy in this episode is letting the opposing AI family buy many of the upgrades or wait till they became available for free; like the expensive wheeled dray and ship upgrades.
This games hardest point is when linen cloth/wool cloth/ceramic pots all change simultaneously to dyed cloth/dyed wool/dyed pots. The Bazaar and Emporium upgrades will help you locate markets that include combinations of cloth/wool/clay with dye.