DAY 01 Thu . Mar . 10
Today we depart for our overnight flight to Tel Aviv, Israel, with a connection in Toronto.
DAY 02 Fri . Mar . 11
ARRIVE TEL AVIV / CAESAREA MARITIMA / MOUNT CARMEL / NAZARETH / SEA OF GALILEE
Arrive in Tel Aviv and board our motor coach where our guide will greet us and give us an orientation of the land as we travel to Caesarea Maritima, where we will visit the magnificent city with Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader ruins. We will then continue to Mount Carmel and consider the contest between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal (I Kings 18). After a lunch break, we travel to Nazareth where we will climb the Mount of Precipice, the brow of the hill on which the city was built (Luke 4). We check into our hotel in the area of the Sea of Galilee for the next four nights and enjoy dinner together.
DAY 03 Sat . Mar . 12
TEL HAZOR / TEL DAN / CAESAREA PHILIPPI
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with traveling to the northern boundary of Israel and begin with visiting Tel Dan, the northern extremity of Biblical Israel. Our First stop will be Tel Hazer. We will visit the location of the altar where the golden calf was placed by King Jeroboam. We will move on to the Dan Stream, the largest tributary of the Jordan River and possibly the place where Psalm 42 was written (“As the deer pants for the water brook, so my soul pants for Thee...”). We will then continue to Caesarea Philippi, where we will visit the ruins of the pagan altars and consider the confession of Peter in Matthew 16 (“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”) You will be invited to a self-hosted lunch where you will have the option to try falafel, a typical Middle Eastern meal. We then spend the evening in our hotel on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner included. (If time allows we will have a brief stop at Banias Falls on the way to Caesarea Phillippi.)
DAY 04 Sun . Mar . 13
AROUND THE SEA OF GALILEE
After a buffet breakfast, we proceed to the Mount of Beatitudes and discuss the Sermon on the Mount. We then drive down the hill to the Church of Peter’s Primacy, the location many believe was where the encounter at breakfast between Jesus and Peter occurred after Jesus Resurrection. We will then visit Capernaum, Jesus’ Galilean ministry base. There we will see the house of Peter’s mother-in-law, in addition to other ruins of the village. We will stand in the ruins of the ancient synagogue where Jesus was confronted by the demoniac. During our lunch break you will have the opportunity to try St. Peter’s fish, commonly eaten by people in Jesus’ day. We end our day with a visit to the ancient boat museum, containing a recently-discovered 2000-year old fishing boat. We will then sail on the Sea of Galilee on a replica of that boat. We return to our hotel. Dinner included.
DAY 05 Mon . Mar . 14
ROAD TO DAMASCUS / PEACE VISTA / BETHSAIDA / KHORAZIM
We leave this morning to drive to the border with Syria where we will consider the dramatic conversion and life-transformation of Saul of Tarsus: The Apostle Paul, on the road to Damascus. From there we will go to an overlook known as the Peace Vista that gives you a view of the whole Sea of Galilee. We then travel to Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, this is one of three cities that make up the Gospel Triangle. Then on to Khorazim, the third city in that triangle that was blessed to see all that Jesus did in the area and yet did not believe. We then spend the evening in our hotel on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner included.
DAY 06 Tue . Mar . 15
JERUSALEM / BETHLEHEM / JERUSALEM
After a buffet breakfast, we leave the area of Galilee, following the Jordan Valley Road to Beth Shean, the capital of the Decapolis. There we will see the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine cities. We will then continue traveling south to the actual location where John the Baptist was baptizing on the Jordan River. We will have a baptism there. Jericho will be our next stop, where we will have lunch and then visit the Tel of Jericho with its ancient ruins. From there we begin our journey up to Jerusalem. On the way we will stop by the Wadi Qelt. We then get ready to enter the City of Jerusalem. Beginning with an orientation of the city and “a Genesis Welcome” from Mount Scopus, the overlook of the city. We then check into our hotel, where we will stay for the remainder of our time in Jerusalem. Dinner included.
DAY 07 Wed . Mar . 16
TEMPLE MT. / ST. ANNE AND POOL OF BETHESDA / ISRAEL MUSEUM / WESTERN WALL TUNNELS
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day entering the Old City and a visit to the Western Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, and Judaism’s holiest site. We will ascend the Temple Mount, discussing its connection to both the Old and New Testaments. Leaving the Temple Mount, we will visit the Church of St. Anne’s, a perfectly intact Crusader church. . There, we will also visit the pools of Bethesda where the healing at the pool took place (John 5). We will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jesus’ tomb. After a self-hosted lunch in the Old City, we travel to the Israel Museum where we will visit the Second Temple Period Model of Jerusalem, a 1:50 scaled model of the city from the year 66 AD. We will also visit the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on exhibit, in addition to the archeological section where many artifacts are displayed we will play special attention to those items that relate to Bible history. This evening we have a special treat, walking through underground tunnels to see the remnants of the Temple Mount of Jesus’ day including hewn stones weighing over 400 tons! Overnight in Jerusalem until the end of the trip.
DAY 8 Thu . Mar . 17
MASADA / EIN GEDI / QURAN / JERUSALEM
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day visiting Masada, the fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD with the standoff against the Romans. We visit the fortress and see the ruins that are considered a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. We then continue to Ein Geri, the oasis in the desert where the meeting between David and King Saul took place (I Samuel 24). After a self-hosted lunch, we visit Qumran, the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by a Bedouin boy back in 1947. There we will see the caves and other buildings that the Essenes, the group of Jews who wrote the scrolls lived. Time will then be given for you to float in the Dead Sea. We return to our hotel, dinner included.
DAY 9 Fri . Mar . 18
MT. OF OLIVES / GETHSEMANE / SOUTHERN WALL EXCAVATIONS / BETHLEHEM
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with an orientation over the holy city from the Mount of Olives. We will then travel down the Mt of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus encourages His disciples to pray on the night before He died. We will then visit the Southern Wall excavations where ruins of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount are still visible. We will then gather at the teaching steps, the main entrance to the Temple where Rabbis met and taught their disciples. After a self -hosted lunch we then travel to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. We begin with a visit to the Shepherds fields where the angels appeared to the shepherds and announced the birth of Our Lord. We will then travel to the Church of the Nativity and view the actual place where Our Lord was born. Time will then be given to shop for olive wood and other items. We return to our hotel. Dinner included.
DAY 10 Sat . Mar . 19
UPPER ROOM / CAIAPHAS HOUSE / ANTONIA FORTRESS / GARDEN TOMB / DEPARTURE
After a buffet breakfast, we will visit the Upper Room where Jesus had His Last Supper. We will then visit the home of the High Priest, Caiaphas where Jesus was taken after being arrested at the Garden of Gethsemane. We will then walk the Via Dolorosa (The Way of Suffering), the actual path that Jesus walked from the Antonia Fortress to the crucifixion site. We end our day with a visit to the Garden Tomb, where we will worship together and celebrate communion. We return to our hotel for a special farewell dinner. We then transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our late evening flight back to the U.S.A.
DAY 11 Sun . Mar . 20
Arrive in the USA this morning with unforgettable memories, amazing new friends and a life-changing understanding of the Bible.