Day 1: Depart USA
We depart the US for our overnight transatlantic flight to Israel. Meals and movies on board.

Day 2: Arrive in Tel Aviv
We arrive at the new and magnificent Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. We are greeted by our guide and driver. We transfer to our Tel Aviv hotel and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon free to relax before we meet for our welcome dinner.

Day 3: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Kayak
We begin our sightseeing with a walking tour of ancient Jaffa. In Tel Aviv we will visit Independence Hall where we will see where David Ben Gurion gave his famous Declaration of the State. We next visit the new Palmach Museum, where the period before statehood stirringly comes alive. It was the time of heroes and the stories of legends. Next is a visit to the memorial center and the battle field of the brave residents of Kibbutz Nitzanim and the soldiers of the battalion 53, of the Givati Brigade in the War of Independence. We will drive north along the Plain of Sharon, the Mediterranean and the old coastal road - the Via Maris which linked Egypt and Babylon to Caesarea and the ancient Roman theatre, built by Herod. We will also visit Shuni. Mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud as the location of a Jewish village named Shuni, in modern times it served as the staging area for the activities of the Irgun, a paramilitary organization that broke away from the Haganah to pursue its own course toward statehood. Next we visit Caesarea with ample time to view the Amphitheater and Water Aqueduct. In ancient days, this water aqueduct took the spring water to Caesarea where the residents of Caesarea and the vicinity used to gather for the ‘water celebrations.' We continue on to Tiberias where we will check into our hotel located on the Sea of Galilee.

Day 4: Nazareth Village, Mt. of Beatitudes
We drive through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village - a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. We will enjoy a panoramic view atop the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee before viewing the ancient Fisherman Boat at an operating Kibbutz. We will enjoy our dinner and overnight at our hotel this evening.

Day 5: Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Beth Shean & Jerusalem
A relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee with easy viewing of the nearby Golan Heights brings to life the experiences of the fishermen disciples. From here we travel southward to visit the Jordan River Baptismal site, and then to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hung their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. (1 Sam 31:10-12) During the intertestamental period, the city was renamed the "Scythopolis". Archaeologists have uncovered a huge number of ruins of the Roman/Byzantine Scythopolis. As we travel along we will view the oldest city in the world - Jericho, before coming to Jerusalem. We will take time to view Jerusalem beginning with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives. We’ll conclude our day with a visit to the Garden of Gethsemane before we check into our Jerusalem hotel which will be our home for the next 4 nights.

Day 6: New Jerusalem & Judea & Bethlehem
Our day begins in Jerusalem as we enjoy a drive around the New City of Jerusalem and its surroundings. Our first stop will be Yad Vashem, Memorial for the Holocaust. We will also visit the Valley of the Communities and the Children's Pavillion. We continue to Har Herzl, where Israel's bravest are laid to rest with time to reflect and pay our respects. We continue on to Ammunition Hill, sight of one of the fiercest battles for Jerusalem, which took place during the Six Day War. To conclude our day, we will take a walking tour of 19th century Jerusalem. It will include Nachlat Shiva, the Russian Compound, Safra Square and City Hall. This afternoon is free for those who would like to go to the city marketplace for shopping, while others may choose to spend the remainder of the day surrounding the birth of Christ, with a visit to Bethlehem. While in Bethlehem we will visit Manger Square, the focal point of the city and the Church of the Nativity which is the highlight of Bethlehem. The Church of the Nativity is a veritable citadel built fortress-like on top of the cave where Jesus was allegedly born to Mary. Time permitting we may visit the Shepherds Fields before taking some time to shop for some Bethlehem souvenirs in a local store.

Day 7: Old City & Christian Jerusalem
We begin the day with a panoramic view of the city. Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was scourged. See a pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned. On our way into the city we will visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where Jesus Christ was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Jesus and are reminded of Jesus’ brutal beating and humiliation. We walk along the Via Delorosa before our visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led and the actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. Our last stop of the day is the Garden Tomb with time for reflection.

Day 8: Masada, Dead Sea and Dead Sea
Scrolls Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Next we come to the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Spend time to enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before we continue on to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. We return to Jerusalem this afternoon in time to enjoy a farewell dinner together.

Day 9: Home
We depart Tel Aviv this morning for our return flight to the US. Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.

 

Best of Jordan & Petra 3 Day Post Tour (optional)

March 26: Jerash, Amman
An early departure from our hotel takes us to Sheikh Hussein Border. After completing passport formalities we enter the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. We travel to Jerash, one of the best preserved and most complete provincial Roman cities. Jerash, Gerasa of Roman Times, was one of the cities of the Decapolis, a confederation of 10 Graeco-Roman cities dating from the 1st century BC situated in Jordan, Syria and Israel. Known as the Pompeii of the East for its extraordinary state of preservation, the ruins indicate human occupations at this location for more than 2,500 years. The most well known monuments include the colonnaded street, the Temple of Zeus, the Forum, and Hadrian’s Arch. We overnight in Amman.

March 27: Petra
Onto the King’s Highway we drive through the land of the Moab where to the east we view the hilltop palace/fortress of Machaerus, the place where John the Baptist was beheaded to the amazing city of Petra. Walk through the “Siq,” an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone, to the city of Petra. 2000 years ago the Nabateans carved a city out of the rose red rock and the Treasury, El Khazneh, is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. Beyond El Khazneh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra’s carved and built structures. We overnight in Petra known to be inhabited by the Edomites - the descendents of Esau.

March 28: Mt Nebo, Madaba, Jerusalem
Mt. Nebo, believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, commands a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. The drive continues to the town of Madaba, the biblical Medeba, 30 kilometers south of Amman. Madaba is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics and at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George we may view the earliest surveying original map of the Holyland. As we travel west toward the Allenby Bridge, we view to the north the Plains of Moab, the area where the tribes of Israel camped before crossing the Jordan and picture Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized. Crossing back into Israel, we drive to Jerusalem for free time and one last night.

March 29: Homeward
Early today we depart Tel Aviv Airport for our flight home. .

Important Note: Although the itinerary above obviously emphasizes the spiritual aspect of this marvelous country, our guides are also experts in and passionate about the miracle of the return of the Jews and the restoration of the state of Israel. This fact, along with many modern day topics (military, politics, education, and other cultural aspects), will be woven into the commentary in order to give you well rounded information.

Price Per Person:

Based on double occupancy

$2,399.00  

$475.00 single supplement

Extension Price Per Person:
Based on double occupancy

$679.00  

$195.00 single supplement

Information & Reservations:
Katie Bastien • bastienk@uww.edu • 262.472.1392

Reservation Form
      Pilgrim Policies      Insurance Info
 

 

Price Includes:
Roundtrip air from Chicago with air taxes of $350 estimated
7 nights lodging at first class hotels
Breakfast and dinner daily, 1 lunch
Full time professional English speaking Israel tour guide
Services of long distance deluxe motor coach as appear on itinerary
All guides, entrances and transportation as appear on itinerary

Not Included:
Tips to drivers, guides, and hotel staff: $54.00 currently
7 lunches
Optional travel insurance
Optional credit card payments (additional 3% of total bill)

Extension Price Includes:
3 nights lodging at first class hotels
Breakfast and dinner daily
Full time professional English speaking Israel & Jordan tour guides
Services of long distance deluxe motor coach as appear on itinerary
All guides, entrances and transportation as appear on itinerary
Jordan border taxes and visa of $46 currently

Not Included In Extension:
Tips to drivers, guides, and hotel staff: $27.00 currently
3 lunches
Optional travel insurance
Optional credit card payments (additional 3% of total bill)