The Journey Has Begun
Tour members meet for our flight to Israel. After dinner is served, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the on-board entertainment to prepare for this exciting adventure of a lifetime. In Tel Aviv, we proceed through customs and security and meet our agent who assists us to our motor coach. We have a short drive to our hotel in Netanya for dinner and overnight. This morning, we visit Biblical sites at Caesarea Maritima, where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion (Acts 10), and Mt. Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). For lunch (not included), we will stop at a family-owned falafel restaurant. Then, we continue through Nain for a visit to Megiddo. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias at the Sea of Galilee This morning, we depart for Galilee. We board a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” to set sail on the Sea of Galilee. Afterwards, we visit the Ancient Boat Museum to see a boat from the time of Jesus, before visiting Magdala and spend time reflecting and worshiping at the Mt. of Beatitudes. Then, we continue to Capernaum, Jesus’ base for His early ministry. We will also visit Tabgha (the traditional site of the feeding of the 5000) and the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. Then, we head to Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16). We then arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight near the Sea of Galilee.
Nothing compares to watching the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee! After breakfast, we travel to Nazareth (Jesus’ childhood home) and Cana (location of Jesus’ first miracle – John 2). Then, we visit Kursi (Gadara), where Jesus sent “Legion, for we are many” into the herd of pigs as they rushed down the mountain side and into the Sea. Our last stop for today is at the Jordan River where those who wish can participate in baptism. Our dinner and overnight are back in Tiberias. We depart the Galilee for Gideon’s Spring before making our way to Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. This is where King Saul and his sons’ bodies were hung from the city walls after being defeated by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10-12). Then, we drive to Qumran, the settlement of the Essenes. They were the first century sect who authored the Dead Sea Scrolls. From here, we ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem to visit the Mt. of Olives followed by taking the traditional Palm Sunday route where we walk downhill to Gethsemane. Then we arrive at the hotel in Jerusalem in time for dinner and overnight. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:1-2 NASB). After breakfast, we drive to the City of David. Then, we visit the original steps that Jesus climbed as he entered the Temple area. Afterwards, we visit Bethlehem before visit the Shrine of the Book Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the fascinating 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time. Dinner and overnight are back at our hotel in Jerusalem. Today, we head to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. We then travel south along the western shore of the Dead Sea toward Masada where we ascend by cable car up to King Herod’s astonishing fortress. Afterwards, we make a special stop at the Dead Sea (the lowest spot on earth) for a short swim or float. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Worshiping at the Garden Tomb
Today, we visit the Old City of Jerusalem by entering through the Damascus Gate. Then, we walk the Via Dolorosa, including the Pools of Bethesda and St. Anne’s Crusader Church. Afterwards, we proceed to the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest site in Judaism. Beyond the wall lies the 35- acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Samuel 24:18- 25), which is called the Temple Mount. This area is the third holiest shrine in Islam, housing both the El-Aqsa Mosque and the magnificent Dome of the Rock. We will go for a tour through the Western Wall Tunnels. Afterwards, we will visit the Upper Room before ending our day in worship at the Garden Tomb. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem. Today is at leisure to relax and explore. In the evening, we have a Farewell Dinner together and last overnight at our hotel in Jerusalem. This morning, we transfer to the Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back to the U.S.A We arrive home the same day. 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. For those travelling on the extension, we begin our day driving south to the Jordan Valley.
Optional Jordan Extension
We begin the day by driving south to the Jordan Valley then proceed to the Allenby Bridge. Here, we make the crossing from Israel to Jordan. After border formalities, we meet our Jordanian guide and bus and drive to Mt. Nebo to stand where Moses stood and viewed the Holy Land (Deut. 34). Here, we can take in a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. We continue to Macherus, one of Herod’s palace-fortresses. It was here where John the Baptist was beheaded (Mark 6). In the late afternoon, we drive south down the Desert Highway to Petra, where we spend the night. We arrive at our hotel and enjoy a late dinner together. We arrive this morning at the entrance of Petra and spend the entire day within this red-rose ancient city. We are in the heart of the Seir Mountains, Land of Edomites, mentioned in the Bible in Genesis. These mountains house the Aaron Peak, the highest in Petra and the burial place of Moses’ brother Aaron. A walk through the Siq, the main entrance to Petra, brings us to the first monument “The Treasury” “Al-Khazneh” a dramatic site. This well-preserved monumental tomb appears in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” A walk further down through the outer siq with all its tombs and burial chamber brings us to one of the largest theaters in Jordan. A 3000-seat theater from the early first century is carved in the sandstone mountains at the bottom of the High Place of Sacrifice Mountain. Apparently, some sacrificial rituals had taken place here. From here, we walk uphill to the Royal Tombs for a great view of the lower part of Petra with all its Roman remains. There will be the option to walk to the “Monastery” of Petra and/or the High Place. Today we leave Petra and drive south to Wadi Rum. Here, we enjoy an amazing jeep ride in the desert. We then stay in Wadi Rum at Captain’s, a Bedouin Village. We enjoy dinner together and a devotional time under the stars. It will be a unique experience! We have a late morning start and leave the Wadi Rum for Amman. In Amman, we check into our hotel and have a farewell dinner and last overnight. We have an early morning transfer to Alia Airport for our return flight back to the U.S.A. We arrive home 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.