Cultural Experiences of the Holy Land
We arrive in Israel, where our Israel representative will assist us through customs. We will meet our tour guide and get acquainted during our drive to Jerusalem. We will enjoy a special Jerusalem Welcome Blessing at Mount Scopus, overlooking Jerusalem. We then make our way to Bethlehem, in time for dinner and overnight at the new Ambassador City Hotel, Bethlehem. We begin our day with a visit to view the Shepherd’s Field and then a short drive in Bethlehem which includes a visit to the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square. We’ll stop for a light lunch (not included), before leaving Bethlehem for the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the city of Jerusalem. Then we will walk down the Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane, stopping at Dominus Flavit, the Church of the Tears. After visiting the Church of All Nations, we will go to the northern garden for a devotional service. Next, we take our bus to the Dung Gate, where we will enter the Old City. We will visit the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest site in the entire Jewish world. From here we have a short walk to visit one of the most incredible archeological finds, the City of David. Here we explore and view King David’s Palace, and, if time permits, we will walk down and see Hezekiah’s Tunnel (Warren’s Shaft). Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes to walk through the tunnel. Anyone wanting to stay dry can walk through Hezekiah’s shaft. We then make our way back to Bethlehem for dinner and overnight at the Ambassador City Hotel.
Ride on the Sea of Galilee
After breakfast, we check out of our hotel in Bethlehem, making our way to the Galilee. Our first stop will be a visit to Mt. Carmel, the site where Elijah battled the prophets of Baal. There we will once again view the beautiful Valley of Jezreel. A short drive takes us to Megiddo to see the site of 21 superimposed cites, dating back to before the days of Solomon. There we will see the Valley of Jezreel, also known as the Valley of Armageddon. From here we make our way for another incredible view as we visit Mt. Precipice. Afterwards, we visit Nazareth, where Jesus spent the silent years of his life. We’ll visit one of the cities’ many churches and drink from Mary’s Well. We continue our sightseeing with a short drive to Cana, the site of Jesus’ first miracle, where he turned the water into wine. We will conduct a brief marriage ceremony for any couples that would like to renew their vows. From a distance we will pass and view Mt. Tabor, where Deborah and Barak defeated Sisera and the army of Jabin the king of Hazor. We end our day arriving at our hotel in the Galilee in time for dinner and overnight at the Kibbutz Nof Ginosar in Tiberias. Arise early to view the sunrise on the Sea of Galilee! It’s a breathtaking experience. After breakfast, we’ll leave early to enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee in a replica wooden “Jesus Boat”. We’ll have a time of worship, Scripture reading, and prayer upon these beautiful waters at the Mount of Beatitudes. Near this site, Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, taught on frequent occasions, and performed many miracles. We will spend some time on the mountainside to pray, sing, and meditate on God’s Word. Next, we drive to Capernaum, the city where Jesus lived during most of His ministry. Here were the homes of Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Next, we visit the Church of Primacy St. Peter. From here we will stop at kibbutz Nof Ginnosar to see a 2,000-year-old Ancient Jesus Boat. Then we have a special visit to the River Jordan – Yardenit (An Optional Baptism Service will be made available). We leave the Galilee and, before we conclude our sightseeing, we will have a special visit to Tel Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved and excavated sights in the world. We return to Jerusalem and check into the Ambassador Boutique Hotel in Jerusalem in time for a late dinner and overnight.
Visit the Rabbinical Tunnel
Today we travel to the Dead Sea region, the lowest place on earth. Our first stop will be Qumran, the home of the Essenes, where many of the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. From here we continue to the Oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. After stopping for a light lunch (not included), we drive south for Masada, where we will ascend Masada by cable car. It was here that 960 Jewish defenders took their own lives, rather than becoming slaves to the Romans. Our guide will take us on a fascinating tour of this mountaintop fortress. We will descend Masada and drive to the Dead Sea, where we will have an opportunity to “float” in the salty Dead Sea water. We then return to the Ambassador Boutique Hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. After breakfast at our hotel, we will visit the Rabbinical Tunnel which takes us underground to the base of the Temple Mount. This tunnel is believed to be the actual streets that Jesus and his disciples walked upon. We will continue with a walking tour of the Old City that includes: visiting the Temple Mount (time permitting), walking along the Via Dolorosa, viewing the Pools of Bethesda, and visiting St. Anne’s Chapel, Lithostratos, Ecco Homo Arch, and the Oriental Market. We will exit the Old City through the Jaffa Gate and head toward modern Jerusalem. Time permitting, we’ll visit the Israel Museum & The Shrine of the Book, include a special visit to the newly located Model of Jerusalem to learn about the city during the second temple period (the time of Christ), and stop at Yad Vashem to see the Children’s Holocaust Memorial. Dinner and overnight are at the Ambassador Boutique Hotel in Jerusalem.
We begin our day with a drive through the ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Mea She’arim. Next, we ascend Mt. Zion to visit the Tomb of David and the Upper Room. We will then enter the Old City through the Zion Gate and make our way to the Jewish Quarter. We will visit the Cardo and Hezekiah’s Wall, before making our way to the Western Wall once again. We will explore the Southern Temple Excavations and see the actual temple steps that Jesus and his disciples climbed to make their way to the Temple. Then we will make our way through the Muslim Quarter and exit the Old City through the Damascus Gate. Just a short walk outside of the Old City will bring us to the site of the Garden Tomb, where we will view Gordon’s Calvary, the Garden Tomb, and have a special time of fellowship and communion service. Dinner and overnight are at the Ambassador Boutique Hotel in Jerusalem. Today is without a planned program, with time to collect your thoughts, indulge in your whims, and revisit the places of most interest. The Rockefeller and Hebrew Museum display a wealth of archaeological treasures. Return for a last look within the walls of the Old City, where bargaining is a must. Depending on flight scheduling, we may include a special visit to Caesarea, once a proud Roman port dating back to the time of Pontius Pilate. Here we can view the monumental theater built in the days of Christ, explore the remains of a Crusader fortress, and see the spectacular Roman aqueduct. We will have a Special Farewell dinner in Jaffa, Biblical Joppa (Acts 9-11), the oldest port city in the world. Then we proceed to the airport for our flight homeward.