Enjoy a Therapeutic Swim in the Dead Sea
Tour members depart the U.S.A. on our flight for modern-day Israel. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the on-board in-flight service. Meals will be served according to the airline flight schedule. We arrive in Israel in the morning, meet our Israeli tour guide, and board our air-conditioned coach to begin our stay in God’s Holy Land. Along the way, we will enjoy a stop in the ancient port city of Jaffa and see the house of Simon the Tanner and the Archeological open-air museum. Then, we drive to our hotel – where we have the option to enjoy a therapeutic swim in the Dead Sea before we enjoy dinner and overnight at Herod’s Hotel by the Dead Sea. After breakfast, we begin our drive to the National Park Ein Gedi, where David hid from King Saul. Then we proceed to Masada. It was here in A.D. 70 that 960 Jewish zealots made their last stand against Rome and took their own lives, rather than becoming slaves to the Romans. We will ascend this mountain fortress via cable car, and our guide will take us on a fascinating tour of the site. Then, we drive through the Judean Wilderness and enjoy a camel ride at Kfar Hanokdim. We then head to the City of Arad which holds the only ever discovered “House of Yahweh” in the land of Israel. We travel back to our Dead Sea hotel in time for a swim in the therapeutic waters. Dinner and overnight are again at Herod’s Hotel by the Dead Sea. After breakfast we will check out from our hotel, and make our way to Qumran, the home of the Essenes, where many of the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. Then we drive via the Jordan Valley to Beit Shean, where King Saul ‘s body was hung after he was killed. We study the expansive archaeological ruins of an ancient city inhabited for 5000 years and one of the Roman cities through which Jesus passed through during his travels from Galilee to Jerusalem. We will gather in the Theatre for a short teaching. After a special overlook at Ophir, we will finish our day with a drive to Magdala to see the recent excavations. We then drive to our hotel at the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight.
Visit the Mount of Beatitudes
There is nothing quite like sunrise on the Sea of Galilee. After an early breakfast, we will head north into the Golan Heights for an inspirational time in Caesarea Philippi, where Peter gave his famous testimony in Matthew 16. After a short journey to Tel Dan, we will view the ancient Gate of Dan, which dates back to Abraham. Also, we will view the altar of Jeroboam – the birthplace of Israel’s idolatry. For lunch, we will stop at a local restaurant. Then, we head back to Galilee to visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. Next, we will drive to the Jordan River where you will have the option to be baptized. Finally, we will enjoy an inspiring private boat ride. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel at the Sea of Galilee. After our fabulous buffet breakfast, we will head to the Primacy of Peter, then to Capernaum, Jesus’ ministry center and the home of Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Here, we will see the synagogue built over the place where Jesus did several miracles. Next, we head along the Nazareth ridge for a magnificent view of the Jezreel Valley – the Valley of Armageddon. We then continue to Tel Megiddo, a fortress city of King Solomon along with 20 other layers of civilization. Before we visit Mount Carmel (time permitting), we will have lunch at a local restaurant. On the highest point of the Carmel in the place where (according to tradition) the prophet Elijah competed with the 450 pagan prophets (1 Kings 18), an impressive Carmelite Monastery was built. From the balcony, an amazing 360-degree panorama can be seen: in the east, the valleys; in the north, the Galilee; in the west, the sea; and in the south, Samaria. Next, we drive to Caesarea by the Sea where Peter proclaimed the good news to the Roman centurion, Cornelius. This was the Roman capital of Israel at the time of Jesus and dates to the time of Pontius Pilate. We will sit in the ancient amphitheater, explore the remains of a Crusader fortress, and see the spectacular Roman aqueduct. We then drive via the coastal road and the Judean Hills toward Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Attend a Private Communion Service at the Garden Tomb
After breakfast, we will head to the City of David, where we wade through Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting) and visit the Pool of Siloam. We will then visit the Western (Wailing) Wall. After lunch, we will sit on the Southern Steps – the actual steps that Jesus used when he visited the Temple. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem. Our day begins with a visit to the Israel Museum, and the model of Jerusalem (1:50 scale model of 1st century Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time). Then, we continue to The Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. After lunch, we have a memorable visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, where we will visit the Children’s Memorial. Following dinner, we will walk the Rabbi’s Tunnel, a section of the ancient retaining wall of Solomon’s Temple. Overnight is at our hotel in Jerusalem. Our day begins at the Mount of Olives. From there, our pilgrimage descends to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove. We will visit the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed the night he was betrayed. Then we make our way to St. Stephen’s Gate, St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda. We will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. We then visit the Sisters of Zion Convent (to see the Pavement where Jesus stood as he was being tried by Pilate), Ecce Homo Arch, and then continue along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We end our day at the Garden Tomb with a private communion service. Then, we have some time to refresh back at the hotel before our Farewell Dinner in Jerusalem. Finally, we transfer to Ben Gurion airport for our departure flight back home. We arrive back in the U.S.A. At the close of an unforgettable tour, we take home wonderful memories of the Old and New Testament, a renewal of our faith, and a greater understanding of the life of our Lord.