DAY 01 Wed . Oct . 06
DEPART USA TO TEL AVIV
Our journey of a lifetime begins with departure on a wide body jet. After take-off, we will be served dinner and breakfast en route.
DAY 02 Thu . Oct . 07
ARRIVE TEL AVIV / CAESAREA BY THE SEA
Upon arrival in Israel, we transfer by private motor coach to Caesarea by the Sea, the ancient seaport, built in honor of Caesar Augustus by Herod the Great and the Roman capital in the Holy Land for nearly 500 years. We view the Aqueduct and the majestic ruins of the city before we turn toward the Carlton Beach hotel in Tel Aviv on the shores of the Mediterranean for dinner and overnight.
DAY 03 Fri . Oct . 08
TEL AVIV / MEGIDDO / NAZARETH / SEPPHORIS TIBERIAS
Each mile tells a story in our trip! We move on through the Carmel mountain range, where Elijah fought the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18:1–40) to the ruins of Megiddo, where the layers of 26 civilizations have been uncovered. We look down on the Valley of Armaggeddon, when this period of world history concludes with the final battle (Revelation 16:16). Before lunch we head to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, the Church of the Annunciation. After lunch we stop at Sepphoris, one of the capital cities of Galilee, probably visited by Jesus. We turn east toward the Sea of Galilee and arrive at the U Boutique Hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
DAY 04 Sat . Oct . 09
BOAT RIDE ON THE SEA OF GALILEE CAPERNAUM / MT. OF BEATITUDES / GAN HASHLOSHA / BEIT SHAN
Our day begins with a memorable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Today we follow some of the stories in Mark 4–6 about the ministry of Jesus. We move on to Capernaum, our Lord’s hometown for two years (Matt.4:13). We recall that eleven of the twelve apostles came from this region. A view of the Sea of Galilee from the Mt. of Beatitudes is breathtaking. After lunch, we head to Gan Hashlosha, near Gideon’s spring for our baptism. Then we make a brief visit to Beit Shean and its 18 layers of civilization where Saul and his sons were nailed to the city wall (1 Sam. 31:10). Afterward we return to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight
DAY 05 Sun . Oct . 10
TEL DAN / CAESAREA PHILIPPI / MT. HERMON / KUNEITRA / KURSI / CHORAZIN / MAGDALA
After breakfast we climb through the Golan Heights where we arrive at the base of Mt. Hermon. We include a brief visit to tel Dan located near one of the three main sources for the Jordan River to see the ancient Canaanite gate and other ruins. Then we head to Caesarea Phillippi, where Peter made his great declaration about Jesus (Mk. 8:27ff). When we approach Kuneitra, we are only 36 miles from Damascus, on the same road Saul of Tarsus used during his encounter with Christ (Acts 9:1–19). Later we stop at Kursi in the land of the Gadarenes, where Jesus is believed to have cast demons into a herd of swine (Mark 5:1-20). Our day concludes with visits to Chorazin, one of the three cities of the “Evangelical Triangle” and Magdala, with ruins of the first century fishing village, before we head to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
DAY 06 Mon . Oct . 11
MT. ARBEL / MT. GERAZIM / NABLUS / JACOB’S WELL / SYCHAR
An early walk along the shore provides a spectacular memory of sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. We say good-bye to the Sea of Galilee with an incredible view from Mt. Arbel, where Jews hid in caves following the conquest of Jerusalem in AD 70. From there we head South into the land of the Samaritans and ascend the winding road to Mount Gerizim, the Hill of Blessing (Deuteronomy 27) for a breathtaking view of Mount Ebal, the hill of curses. We stop for lunch on our way to Nablus where we visit Jacob’s Well at Sychar, the site for the conversation of Jesus with the Samaritan woman (John 4). We enjoy dinner and overnight at the DAVID CITADEL HOTEL in Jerusalem.
DAY 07 Tue . Oct . 12
BETHANY / MASADA / EIN GEDI / QUMRAN /DEAD SEA
We begin today at Bethany where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:17-44). We move on to Masada and climb into the cable car which takes us high above the wilderness mountain to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. After lunch we head back to Ein Gedi where David hid in a cave from King Saul (I Sam. 24:1). Later we stop at Qumran to understand the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls before we conclude the day with a float in the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight at our Jerusalem hotel.
DAY 8 Wed . Oct . 13
TEMPLE MOUNT / POOLS OF BETHESDA / WESTERN WALL / CITY OF DAVID / PILGRIM’S PATH / ROCKEFELLER MUSEUM / TEMPLE TREASURES INSTITUTE
Today our focus is on the Jewish history of the City of Jerusalem. Early in the morning, we enter the Old City through the Dung Gate and walk toward the Mughrabi Gate to the Temple Mount. The 35-acre Temple Mount is home to two of Islam’s holiest sites—the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque. The history of this area includes the sacrifice of Isaac (Gen. 22) and Jewish Temples built by Solomon and Herod. We exit the Temple Mount to visit the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the lame man (John 5) and the Church of St. Anne. We explore the City of David and walk the Pilgrim’s Path on pavement that dates to the time of Christ. The Rockefeller Museum features excavations from this area and a visit to the Southern Steps. After lunch, we visit the Temple Treasures Institute, the home to vessels which can be used in a rebuilt Temple, then head to the Western Wall, the holiest place on earth to modern Jews. Our day concludes with a walk through the Rabbinical Tunnel next to the Temple Mount where we wonder at the massive stones used for building the foundation for the Temple. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9 Thu . Oct . 14
BETHLEHEM, CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY / SHEPHERDS’ FIELDS / HERODIAN / YAD VASHEM / ISRAEL MUSEUM / MODEL OF THE CITY / KNESSET / EIN KAREM
Today we begin in Bethlehem to see the Church of Nativity, the oldest church in the Holy Land and built above caves believed to be where Jesus was born. We move on to the Shepherd’s Fields to enjoy moments of worship remembering the 1st Christmas, before we drive up the Herodian and marvel at the opulence enjoyed by Herod the Great. After lunch, we visit Yad Vashem (The Holocaust Museum) to be reminded of the recent tragedies of Jewish people and the rebirth of the modern State of Israel. We move on to the Israel Museum where replicas of the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed, as well as an outdoor scale model of Jerusalem as it looked in Jesus’ time. We conclude the day with a visit to Ein Karem, the traditional birthplace for John the Baptist and, time-permitting, a drive to the Valley of Elah, where David fought Goliath. Dinner and overnight at our Jerusalem hotel.
DAY 10 Fri . Oct . 15
GORDON’S CALVARY / GARDEN TOMB / MT OF OLIVES / MT. OF ASCENSION / GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE / VIA DOLOROSA / CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER / OLD CITY / FAREWELL DINNER / DEPARTURE
After breakfast we proceed to Gordon’s Calvary and the Garden Tomb for communion and worship. We climb the Mt. of Olives a final time to the spot where Jesus ascended into heaven. We walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane & ponder the agony of the Lord before His crucifixion. We walk the Via Dolorosa, the “Way of Sorrows,” before we come to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site for the burial and resurrection of the Lord. We can choose several optional experiences during our final afternoon in the Old City before we enjoy a private Middle Eastern dinner at the Ambassador Hotel in preparation for an evening departure for the airport.
DAY 11 Sat . Oct . 16
We arrive back in the U.S. and make our connecting flights full of memories of the Holy Land that will last a lifetime.