12 Day Tour of Israel

Tour #180424
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Departs Apr 24, 2018 from Atlanta

Hosted By: Dr. Crawford Loritts
Destination: Israel
Tour Type:
Highlights: Capernaum, Church of the Nativity, Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem, Sea of Galilee
A Spiritual and Educational Tour of the Holy Land
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Hosted by Dr. Crawford Loritts

For many years, I wanted to visit Israel, the land of our Savior and the focal point of Biblical history. A few years ago, Karen and I were finally able to make that dream a reality. I’ve now joined Bob Roland and several others from Fellowship on three occasions, for a study tour through the Holy Land. Seeing, experiencing and touching the places where our Savior lived, ministered, died and rose again was life-changing. The lens through which I read and teach scripture was forever changed.

I want this to be your experience too! That’s why I’m writing to let you know of an opportunity to join me on a pilgrimage through Israel April 24-May 5th of 2018. It will be a twelve day tour, three days longer than the average tour.  We will boat across the Sea of Galilee twice, one of those in concert with artist Daniel Carmel, visit towns where Jesus ministered along the way, and view the whole Sea of Gaililee area from the height of Mount Arbel. Among other locations, we’ll visit Nazareth, Caesarea, Bethlehem, the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem – the city bursting with biblical history. To maximize the impact of this trip, special classes here at FBC will be offered. Through the classes, you will gain an enhanced understanding of the geography and history of Israel, with emphasis on the layout of Jerusalem.

I simply need to know if you are interested – and quickly.  Since a limited amount of space is available (we only take one bus), I ask that you notify me of your interest at your earliest convenience. You may contact my assistant, Jim Jenks – jim.jenks@fellowshiproswell.org. Let him know of any questions you may have. If you are a “definite” yes, please have him add you to the trip roster.

The opportunity to learn together and to fellowship with each other while in Israel promises to be an experience of a lifetime! Please prayerfully consider joining us.

Dr. Crawford W. Loritts

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12 Day Tour of Israel

Day 01 – TUE. APR. 24 – DEPARTURE

Today we depart Atlanta for our flight to Tel Aviv, Israel.

Day 02 – WED. APR. 25 – TEL AVIV / NETANYA

After passport control and baggage claim where you will meet your representative who will direct to your guide. Board your bus and if time permits take a scenic drive through Jaffa, the oldest port in the world. Jonah set sail for Tarshish from Jaffa but was swallowed by a whale. Jaffa was also the home of Tabitha, who was raised from the dead by Peter. Peter had his vision here while lodging in the home of Simon the Tanner. It is also where King Solomon imported the cedars of Lebanon to build the Temple in Jerusalem. We walk through the Old City of Jaffa through the artist quarter. After the short tour you will drive through the modern city of Tel Aviv heading north to Netanya where you will check into your hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea for dinner and overnight

Day 03 – THU. APR. 26 –NETANYA / THE VIA MARIS / THE JEZREEL AND LOWER GALILEE

“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.  About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”  And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter”. (Acts 10:1-6)

Today we begin where the baptism of Gentiles began: at Caesarea Maritima (Focus on Acts 10). You will see the sunken harbor, the hippodrome, the theatre and the Roman aqueduct. Then drive to Muhraka (“burnt offering”) on Mt. Carmel and have a short hike to Muhraka Church and go up to its roof to have a magnificent panorama of the Plain of Jezreel (Esdraelon). (Focus on I Kings 18, the confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.) After surveying the Plain of Jezreel  we drive inland heading north east to the Jezreel Valley (Esdraelon). Stop at Megiddo – har megiddo in Hebrew, which gave its name to Armageddon. It is King Solomon’s regional capital (1 Kings 9:15), Megiddo’s fortifications, water system, palaces, stables and dwellings spanning thousands of years and its great biblical significance have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The excavations that inspired James Michener’s book “The Source” you will proceed to Nazareth. Drive down to Nazareth and your first stop will be at Nazareth Village, a first-century farm and village presenting the life, times and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth for all the world.. You will then spend some time getting acquainted with Jesus’ home town, visiting its spring, where Mary would have done her family’s laundry, in the ancient village, to the Church of the Annunciation. Ascend Mount of the Precipice at the brow of Nazareth to an overlook surveying the Valley of Jezreel with a view of Mt. Tabor, the connection to the Carmel range and the relation to the town of Nazareth down the hill. Continue on to Cana, commemorating Jesus’ transformation of water into wine. Drive down to Tiberias and check into your hotel for dinner and the next two overnights.

Day 04 – FRI. APR. 27 – AROUND THE SEA OF GALILEE

” They got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum…” (John 6). After landing, “When he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside, and sat down” (Matt. 5:1).

First thing in the morning you will take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Drive up to the Mount of Beatitudes (Matthew 5-7) and hike down the hill to the lake and go to Tabgha where Christians have long remembered the first feeding of the multitude (Mark 6) and nearby, the breakfast of John 21. Continue walking to nearby Capernaum where Franciscan archaeologists believe they have uncovered the house of Peter (Mark 1 and 2). Then drive to the northern end of the Sea of Galilee heading east and stop at Beth Saida, which is the fishing village of the Gospels. This village was the home town of Peter, Andrew, and Philip (John 1:44). Here, as well as Capernaum and Chorazin, Jesus performed most of his miracles, healed a blind man, and cursed all three towns for their failure to repent. In Luke’s account, the feeding of the 5000 occurred in the area of Beth Saida. Continue driving around the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee heading south to Ein Gev where you can stop for a St. Peter’s Fish lunch. After lunch drive further south to Kursi in the “Gergesa” of Matthew’s Gospel where the evangelist locates the miracle of the swine. Most likely, that is what early Christians were commemorating. Then drive full circle around the lake and stop at a location where the Jordan River exits south from the Sea of Galilee and heads down the Jordan Valley to the newly discovered and exciting archaeological site of the fishing Village of Magdala where you can see a first century synagogue typical of the various synagogues that dotted the Galilee region and where Christ would have first preached the gospel. Drive or hike up and end the day at the Mount Arbel, which affords a view over the Lake of Galilee and the main sites of Jesus’ ministry.

“After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor”. (Luke 11:1- 5). Drive down back to the city of Tiberias, to your base for dinner and overnight.

Day 05 – SAT. APR. 28 – THE SOURCES OF THE JORDAN

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16).

Ascend the Golan Heights today, the biblical Bashan and ancestral home of the half-tribe of Manassah and in Jesus’ day, part of the territory of Herod Philip. Stop for an overview of Gamla, also known as “Masada of the north” where you’ll hear a heroic story of the few against the many, as the raptors that are protected here soar overhead in these magnificent natural surroundings. Continue along Israel’s border with Syria and stop at the Kuneitra overlook. Visit Tel Dan, one of the most important biblical mounds in the country. Here archaeologists discovered an inscription with the words “House of David,” and you can see a gateway from the time of Abraham, as well as the High Place of Jeroboam and the Israelite gate. Continue to Caesarea Philippi, now known as Banias. Open your Bible among the ruins of pagan temples to consider the words Jesus spoke here: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matt. 16:13). As at Dan, you’ll also enjoy the natural beauty of Banias nestled on the flourishing banks of one the Jordan’s main tributaries. After dinner, you will have a special treat with an evening boat ride concert with Daniel Carmel.

Day 06 – SUN. APR. 29 – THE RIFT VALLEY

” Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east…. (Genesis 13:10-11) 

Today you will drive down into the Jordan Valley and continue driving south to the strategic crossing point between the Jordan Valley and the Jezreel which is located in the city of Beth Shean (aka Scythopolis). Here, you can climb the Tel to view the setting of Saul’s death (I Samuel 28 – II Samuel 1). You can then survey the magnificent Roman and Byzantine ruins: theater, bathhouses, ancient rest rooms, market areas, colonnaded streets. Continue south to Jericho. At Jericho, we visit the Tel of this oldest city and view the traditional mountain of Jesus’ temptation. You will then drive to the traditional Baptismal site at Qasr El Yehud where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. Here you can have the opportunity to renew your baptismal vows at the same spot. Drive further south to the Dead Sea and continue along the western shores of the Dead Sea to Ein Bokek and check into you hotel along the shores of the Dead Sea for some free time. Here we will have an opportunity to enjoy the surreal experience of floating in the salt-rich water, 400m (1,312 ft) below sea level! Don’t miss the chance to have a mud bath in the world’s richest source of natural salts.  Dinner and one overnight at the Dead Sea.

Day 07 – MON. APR. 30 – MASADA / THE JUDEAN WILDERNESS / JERUSALEM

“We are going up to Jerusalem.” (Matthew 20:18).

This morning the first stop will be at Masada. Take the cable-car to the top of Masada, scene of the epic stand by Jewish rebels at the end of the great revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago. The new museum at the visitor’s center reveals the secrets of the daily life of the rebels, the story of the excavations. Descend back to the base by cable car and drive, the Nature Reserve of Ein Gedi. Enter the nature reserve of Ein Gedi, rich in flora and fauna, and hike to a lovely waterfall.  After this drive along the western shores of the Dead Sea north and stop at the ancient settlement of Qumran. Here you’ll have the opportunity to view the many caves where approximately 900 parchment documents of religious significance were discovered – the fabled Dead Sea Scrolls. Connect with the Jerusalem/Jericho highway passing by the Good Samaritan Inn on the way. Ascending the Roman road along Wadi Qilt, stop for a look at the picturesque desert monastery of St. George’s built deep in the gorge of Wadi Kelt. Finally atop Mt. Scopus, we behold majestic Jerusalem. Drive down to the city and check into your hotel for dinner and the next four overnights in Jerusalem.

Day 08 – TUE. MAY 01 – O JERUSALEM!

“If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace” (Luke 19:42)

Today you will start on the Mt. of Olives with the Old City tilted toward us. After an orientation, descend the traditional Palm Sunday road to Dominus Flevit (“The Lord weeps”), remembering Jesus’ entry (Luke 19). Continue down to Gethsemane (Matthew 26) with a visit to the garden and the church where you will have some quiet time. Then drive through the Kidron called the Valley of Jehosafat, where God will judge the nations of the world (Joel 3:12).  Another name for the valley is the Vale of the King; it was once intensely cultivated and the revenues went to the king. Zechariah’s Tomb, named after a First Temple priest, the Tomb of the Sons of Hezir, a Second Temple-era priestly family, and Absalom’s Tomb. The conical-roofed Absalom’s Tomb received its name because the Bible says this rebellious son of David built a monument here so he would be remembered. Absalom was eventually killed by his father’s men; Jerusalemites of old would bring their sons to pelt the tomb with stones and recall the fate of rebellious offspring. Continue driving to the church grounds called Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. Here, the Assumptionist Fathers propose, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus. Driving south to the Bethlehem region passing Rachel’s Tomb on the outskirts of Bethlehem, you will go to Shepherds’ Fields. You will then visit Bethlehem, where you we will walk through its alleys and markets to the Church of the Nativity.

Day 09 – WED. MAY 02 – THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF JERUSALEM

When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to make war on Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him. A large force of men assembled, and they blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” (2 Chronicles 32:2-4)

After breakfast you will begin your day with a visit to a modern tunnel that enables us to examine the length of the outer Herodian Temple wall, mostly preserved in mint condition, including two stone blocks each weighing about 600 tons. Then you will walk to the Ophel and examine the ruins near the south side of the Temple complex, including steps where you may be certain that Jesus and the disciples walked. You may then descend the slope of the first Jerusalem (“City of David”) to the Gihon spring and proceed through Hezekiah’s tunnel, which led the water to a pool where city dwellers of old were safe from the Assyrian arrows.  At the Pool of Siloam, John 9 records the healing of the blind man by putting mud on his eyes and asking him to wash them away. You will then drive to the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Israel Museum, including the outdoor model of Jerusalem as the city may have looked in 66 AD. You will end your day with a solemn visit to Yad VaShem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, dedicated to the six million Jews who lost their lives before and during the World War II.  Also, memorials have been placed to the many Gentiles who helped the Jews during this period, risking their lives to do so. Then it’s back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 10 – THU. MAY 03 – THE MOSLEM AND THE JEWISH QUARTERS

” Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” (Psalm 48:12-14)
First thing this morning, you will transfer to Jaffa Gate. Just inside the gate, you can visit the Museum at the David Citadel and the nearby newly discovered excavations at Kishle. It is thought that the remains are those of Herod’s palace. You will then take the ramparts walk on the Old City Walls from Jaffa Gate to the Western Wall. Descend from the Old City Wall and walk up to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. Walk up to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of Islam, located on the traditional site of the ancient Temple Mount. Spend some time walking around the Jewish Quarter. Walk along the Cardo, the ancient Roman road; View the Broad Wall. While in the Jewish Quarter take the opportunity to visit the Temple Institute, the Herodion Mansion. Return back to your hotel for the dinner and overnight. 

Day 11 – FRI. MAY 04 – DAY IN AND AROUND THE OLD CITY

“He has risen!” (Mark 16:6)
Early this morning we’ll visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, then return to the hotel for breakfast.  Afterwards we transfer to St. Stephen’s Gate where we first encountered Saul as a persecutor of the first believers. Just inside the gate, you will find the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church, which has remarkable acoustics and which has been perfectly preserved from the Crusader period. Then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa).  From there you will walk through the Arab Souks, past the Armenian Quarter and exit the Old City through the Mt Zion Gate to visit the Upper Room and King David’s Tomb on the grounds of Mt. Zion. From there, take the bus to the Garden Tomb where you will end your tour with a special visit and the possibility of having a private communion on its grounds. The balance of the day is free. This evening we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner before we drive back down to the airport for our late evening check in for our flight home

Day 12 – SAT. MAY 05 – U.S.A

Today we arrive back in the USA on our flight from Tel Aviv.

Accommodations: Tour prices are per person, based on two persons sharing double or twin-bedded rooms with private bathroom with tub or shower.  Single rooms subject to availability and an additional cost of $1542.00 (tour participants without a roommate will have to pay the single room surcharge).  Hotels used are superior first class & deluxe  category.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner daily.  Coffee or tea included with breakfast only; all other beverages are extra.

Baggage: Subject to change, free baggage allowance is governed by the airline on which you are flying.  Baggage allowance guidelines will be included in your final documents.  Excess baggage will be charged at the established rates. Due to limited motor coach capacity we urge our tour members to carry only one bag per person.  Porterage for one checked bag is included in the tour price. Excess baggage charges from the airlines and motor coaches are the passenger’s responsibility and will be collected at time of handling.

Service Charges and Taxes: Those normally levied by hotels and restaurants are included and all departure taxes and tipping.

Not Included: Passport costs, and health documentation costs (when required); food and beverages (including coffee and tea) not usually included with regular table d’hote meals; optional sightseeing tours and excursions; accident, baggage and trip cancellation insurance; transporting and handling excess luggage; tips to persons rendering special services not specifically mentioned as included; items of a purely personal nature such as laundry, telephone and cable expenses, internet access, room service orders, etc.; transportation between hometown city and gateway city.

Insurance: Acting only as agents for suppliers, Wilcox World Travel and Tours, Div. of Wilcox Travel Agency, Inc., is not responsible for damage, loss, or theft of luggage and/or personal belongings, or for personal injury, accident and/or illness. For protection, it is important that you have adequate insurance to cover these possibilities. We recommend Allianz Travel Insurance.  Travel protection is available to all residents of the U.S. and Canada, and includes coverage for lost luggage, medical emergencies and more.  Guests booking this tour have the option of purchasing cancellation protection in the event they need to cancel their trip after making their reservations.  This optional Guest Protection may be requested at time of booking and fee included with initial payment. Details will be provided with written confirmation of your tour reservation.

Important Passport Information: A valid passport is required and must be obtained in person by each tour member at a local passport office. Passports must have an expiration date beyond Nov. 06, 2018 in order to travel with this tour. If your expiration date is inside this date, you must renew your passport in order to participate.

VISA: A visa is not required for US citizens traveling to Israel.

Deposits and Payments: A deposit of $300.00 per person is required immediately.  Installment payments are accepted and updated statements will be forwarded with each payment sent.  The balance is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Please check your statement for specific due dates. Tour conditions and airfares are subject to Governmental, ARC/IATAN, and airline regulation requirements in effect on the date of and during the tour.  All airfares and land rates are quoted in US Dollars and are based on tariffs and cost in effect May 2017 and are subject to change without notice.  Land costs are based on group rates and final tour cost may be dependent on number of tour participants.

Guests with Disabilities: Please be aware that certain land tours may not be fully accessible to persons with disabilities. Wilcox World Travel and Tours must be notified of any special medical, physical or other requirements of passengers at the time of booking.  Should a passenger require the assistance of another to make this tour, it is the responsibility of that passenger to arrange for a companion to provide the assistance at all times and for the entire duration of the tour.

Participating Air Carriers: The services of any ARC/IATAN air carrier may be used by Wilcox World Travel and Tours, Div. of Wilcox Travel Agency, Inc. for the air portion of these tours.

Responsibility: Your tour operator, Wilcox World Travel and Tours, Div. of Wilcox Travel Agency, Inc., an ARC/IATAN appointed agent, acts as agent for you in the making and securing of all arrangements for transportation, sightseeing, or for hotel accommodations for the tour.  Wilcox World Travel and Tours does not own, manage, control or operate any transportation vehicle, any hotel or restaurant, or any other supplier of services.  All coupons, receipts and tickets are issued subject to the terms and conditions specified by the suppliers.  Thus, by accepting the coupons and tickets and utilizing the services, you agree that neither Wilcox World Travel and Tours nor any of its Tour Hosts or Representatives shall be liable for any loss, injury or damage to you or your belongings or otherwise in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services, or resulting directly or indirectly from any occurrences beyond its control including breakdown in equipment, strikes, theft, delay or cancellation of or changes in itinerary, or schedules, etc.  Also, remember that travel documents are your responsibility as well as compliance with custom regulations.  No employee of Wilcox World Travel and Tours can change the terms under which you agree to take this tour.  Airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time you are not onboard the aircraft.  The passage contract in use by the airline, when issued, constitutes the sole agreement between it and you.

Cancellations and Refunds: If a passenger cancels his/her tour membership up to 61 days prior to departure, there will be a cancellation fee of $250.00 to cover administration and communication costs. For cancellations within 60-46 days of departure date you will be subject to a 50% penalty or $250.00 whichever is greater. Cancellations within 45 days are subject to a penalty of 100% of tour price. All cancellation requests must be addressed to Wilcox Travel in writing. Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.

NOTE:  Wilcox World Travel and Tours reserves the right to cancel, withdraw, or change the tour, in part or whole, at any time.  In the event of a change deemed necessary by Wilcox World Travel and Tours, the sole and exclusive obligation of Wilcox World Travel and Tours, Div. of Wilcox Travel Agency, Inc. is to refund monies recovered.

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

Current round trip economy air fare from Atlanta to Tel Aviv via Delta Air Lines.

Current airport departure taxes, fuel surcharges, customs & security fees.

Superior first-class and deluxe (4 & 5 star) hotel accommodations throughout (9 nights);

 

Netanya     1 night              West Lagoon Hotel

Tiberias      2 nights             Scots Hotel

Tiberias      1 nights             Leonardo Plaza

Dead Sea    1 night              Herod’s Dead Sea

Jerusalem   4 nights            Inbal Hotel

 

Breakfast and dinner daily, including one St. Peter’s fish lunch and a farewell dinner.

Comprehensive daily sightseeing per itinerary by private deluxe motor coach with qualified driver and English-speaking, licensed guide/escort, who meets you upon arrival after clearing Israeli customs (as per itinerary) and stays with the group throughout until returning you to the airport for your flight to U.S.A.

Entrance fees to all sightseeing, including the Sea of Galilee boat ride, Masada and The Western Wall Tunnel.

All transfers and porterage (one suitcase per person).

All tipping to hotel and restaurant personnel, porters, drivers, and guides.

Wilcox World Travel and Tours flight bag.

96-Page Pilgrim’s Guide to the Holy Land Holy Land book

Free soft drinks and water on the motorcoach.

Whispers Headsets throughout land tour in Israel.

 

NOT INCLUDED:

Single room supplement $ 1,542.00.

Insurance: Travel, baggage, trip cancellation, etc. – $348

Beverages with meals, or meals not specifically mentioned on itinerary (lunches).

Passports

Personal Items and Immunizations

 

 

*** Prices based on costs in effect as of April 2017 and are subject to change once final services confirmed approx. Jun. 5th , 2018  ***

Option
Price (per passenger)
BASE PRICE
$5,349.00
SINGLE ROOM
+$1,542.00
TRIP INSURANCE
+$348.00