Day 1: Depart U.S.
Our spiritual pilgrimage begins as we depart the USA on an overnight flight to Tel Aviv. Tomorrow, we will be walking where Jesus walked! (Meals served in-flight)
Day 2: Arrive Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Tiberias
Welcome to Israel! After we de-plane and clear passport control, we will be welcomed to the Holy Land by a representative who will assist us with our luggage, introduce us to our guide and direct us to our bus. As we travel north on our way to our hotel in Tiberias, we will stop along the Mediterranean Sea to visit Caesarea, the capital of the Roman Province. We'll see the Crusader's Castle, Roman Theatre and the world famous aqueduct as well as view the harbor from where Paul was taken to Rome. Then we will board our bus for Megiddo, one of Solomon's chariot cities and place of the final battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:16). Finally, we will be in awe of the breathtaking view of the Valley of Armageddon when we visit Mt. Carmel (1Kings 18:20-38) where Elijah called down the pillar of fire, which consumed the bullock upon the altar in front of Baal's prophets. Next we will check into our hotel which is located on the Sea of Galilee. Relax, walk along the boardwalk and behold the beauty of the lake where Jesus performed miracles. Later, we will enjoy our first Israeli dinner together. (D)
Day 3: Capernaum, Mt. of Beattitudes, Caesarea Philippi, Sea of Galilee, Baptism
Begin this day, and each day with a wonderful Israeli breakfast buffet. After breakfast, we will board the motor coach and start our day with a visit at Capernaum and see ruins of the ancient synagogue, perhaps one where Jesus himself taught (Mark1:21). See ruins of the first church of St. Peter. Then we will enjoy the serenity of the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus ministered and preached the famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5,6,7,8). A short drive north will allow us to explore Caesarea Philippi at the base of Mount Herman. Here is where Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:13-20). Our next stop is for lunch at a Kibbutz at Ein Gev. Here you will reflect on the mornings activities and enjoy "St. Peter's fish". After lunch we will experience a magnificent boat ride on the beautiful Sea of Galilee. Experience first hand the same landscape that Jesus must have seen with His own eyes. Imagine Him walking on the water (John 6:18-20, Matthew 14:25-32) or talking with fishermen at the water's edge (Matthew 4:18-20). We will end our day with a thrilling opportunity to experience baptism in the Jordan River, following the example of Jesus (Matthew 3:12-13). (B,D)
Day 4: Tree Planting, Cana, Nazareth,
After breakfast and after you have watched the breath taking sun rise over the Sea of Galilee from your hotel balcony, we will visit the Lavi Forest in the north where you will plant a tree. A tree that perhaps will shade our Lord upon His return. Next we will pass the Mt. of Transfiguration as we travel to Cana. Jesus performed His first miracle in Cana and turned the water into wine at a wedding. (John 2:1-11) Married couples will have the opportunity to have their wedding vows renewed here. Next we will travel to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus (Matthew 2:23, Luke 4:16) and stop at Nazareth Village. Here we will step back in time and experience what life was like during the time of Jesus. Nazareth Village is a recreation of a first-century village based on solid biblical, historical, and archeological research. Before leaving Nazareth we'll stop to see the Church of the Annunciation. (B,D)
Day 5: Beit She'an, Mt. of Olives, Jerusalem
Following breakfast, we will board our bus and drive along the Jordan Valley to the largest archeological site in Israel; the ancient ruins of Beit She'an. Here are the ruins of the ancient city where Saul's body was nailed to the city walls (1 Samuel 31:10-12). We will explore on foot many areas of this remarkable city. Then excitedly we will board the bus and drive to Jerusalem and experience a triumphant entry into the Holy City! Before checking into our hotel we will make our way to stand atop the Mount of Olives (Mark 13:3, Luke 22:39, Acts 1:9-12), just as Jesus did, and enjoy the breath taking panoramic view of the old and new city of Jerusalem. We will walk past Dominus-Flevit on our Palm Sunday route to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, where Jesus asked his disciples to watch with him one hour and pray (Matthew 26:35-37). Here at the Church of All Nations, is the Rock of Agony (Luke 22:43-45). After checking into the hotel, we will enjoy our first dinner together in Jerusalem! (B,D)
Day 6: Jerusalem, Bethlehem
This morning you will begin your day with a trip to Mount Scopus for an overlook of the Old City and a fun group picture. Then we will travel to Mt. Zion where we will enter the Upper Room; revered as the place where Jesus celebrated His Last Supper (Mark 14:13, Luke 22:10, Acts 1:13) and the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:13, Acts 2:1). Afterward we will enter Caiaphas' house and reflect on Jesus' last night on earth. We will end the day in Bethlehem, the birth place of Christ, with a visit to the Church of the Nativity and a view of Shepherds Field (Luke 2). After dinner tonight we will have the option to experience the Western Wall after dark. (B,D)
Day 7: Jerusalem
Following breakfast, we will take a walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem beginning at the newly discovered City of David and walking 'the Pilgrims Path" toward the Temple Mount area. After a visit to the Pools of Bethesda (John 5:2-13) we will walk down the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross); pausing to reflect at several Stations of the Cross along the way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will walk through the Jewish Quarter and the Jewish Cardo on our way to the holiest Jewish site in the world; the Western Wall. It will be a prayerful stop as we will have an opportunity to place a prayer note into a crack along the wall; a famous custom believing in its priority to be answered. (B,D)
Day 8: Free Day
Today is a free day for us to explore Israel on our own or we can choose to purchase an optional tour to Masada, the Dead Sea and the Qumran Caves. This tour is $75USD and is a must for first timers! If you choose the optional tour, you will ascend by cable car to the mountain fortress built by Herod, where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans. Then visit the lowest place on earth; the Dead Sea where you will have an opportunity to float in the unsinkable sea. On our way back to the hotel, we will see the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Whatever you choose today, we know you will be blessed! (B,D)
Day 9: Yad Vashem, Garden Tomb, Golgotha
After breakfast we will travel to Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum), the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book Museum where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept. our last day of touring ends as we visit the Garden Tomb and Golgotha. This will be an unforgettable experience as we see the tomb empty and celebrate Holy Communion together! Say good-bye to all the new friends you have made at the special farewell dinner tonight; then with a heavy heart we will leave Jerusalem and be transferred to the airport to board our return flight back to the states which departs just after midnight. If you've chosen to join us for the Southern Extension you will board your bus and make your way to your hotel in the Dead Sea. (B,D)
Day 10: Depart Israel, Arrive Home
Shalom Israel! We are returning home with special memories that will never be forgotten.
*Itinerary subject to change.