Frequently Asked Questions
Pilgrim's Retail Tour Departures
All of our tours since 1990 have returned without a hitch and the souls that went were blessed beyond measure. Everyone has been stirred in their commitment to Christ and not once has anyone felt threatened or in danger.
If you are praying for peace in this area of the world, we do believe that to be Biblical, although we do not expect the situation there to improve until our Lord is on the throne here on Earth. Please, do not make a reservation with us based on the hopes of a calm future. If you are interested in the special blessings only available in the Bible Lands, we will take you there and most probably without a hint of trouble. Our expert drivers and guides will keep you from areas that are known for conflict and treat you to the riches of the Holy Lands as a special guest.
Pilgrim Tours advertises in the Baptist, Evangelical and traditional Bible believing Protestant markets and our devotional leaders present living practical encouragements from this perspective to our passengers.
This depends on the area in which you are travelling. If it is a country that does not allow evangelism, we do not allow it. Remember that you may get out of the country without a problem, but there will be hundreds or even thousands of Pilgrim Tours passengers that will follow at a later date. You have "no right" to draw attention to others because of what you may feel led to do.
Pilgrim Tours encourages you to be a witness by your loving actions and attitude while on tour. If you choose to pursue evangelistic efforts, please do so while on your own and at a different time and place.
Pilgrim does employ many Christian guides, but this is not guaranteed. Our guides are very familiar with our devotional, scriptural, historical and cultural information requirements. This coupled with our choice of devotional leaders provides an atmosphere that is exceptional even for the person who has been to this region on prior occasions. We have consistent testimony that the Pilgrim experience is far superior to other tours.
If your tour is in one country for the entire time, you will normally have the same guide throughout. When you cross to another country, we generally hire a new guide, bus and driver from that country.
There is a very limited amount of free time. Time will be provided for shopping on occasions, but this is not a primary concern. You will also have a couple of hours at the end of the schedule to shop if you wish.
Yes, there will be opportunities to shop while on tour. Our tour guides choose which shops to visit based on location, the size of the group, and how much time is available between site visits. There are many options if you choose to go out on your own in the evening. Pilgrim Tours does not endorse any specific shops and you are never required to purchase anything. Some shop visits are necessary in combination with site-seeing locations.
An average day will be 8:30-5:30. There will be occasional days that you can expect a 8:00-6:00 schedule or longer if the crowds are larger than normal.
Our Retail Tour sightseeing schedules require tour members to walk 1-2 miles at a time using a moderate pace. Total distance walked in one day could exceed 3 miles. Some portions of the tour will require walking and/or hiking on uneven terrain so comfortable, sturdy walking shoes are a must. For this reason, we cannot accept persons who are not able to navigate uneven terrain or need assistance. Our Public Tours do not make provisions for persons with wheelchairs and walkers. We suggest that you prepare yourself by walking 1-3 miles or more per day for the weeks prior to your departure. As per our “Terms & Conditions,” agreed to by each passenger at time of reservation, the Tour Director retains the right to require non-mobile persons to stay behind when deemed necessary, and also terminate the membership of any member displaying disruptive behavior, delaying or endangering fellow members and/or interfering with the operations of the tour.
We suggest that children be 10 years of age or older. Some younger "well behaved" children are allowed if parents accept the responsibility to make sure the children will not be a disruption or hindrance to the tour quality. However, infants/babies/toddlers are restricted from our retail programs.
Pilgrim will accept your reservation as a "single requesting a share." If another person of the same sex is interested in a room-mate, we will allow the two of you to correspond and agree to share a room. Pilgrim will not automatically assign a room-mate. If a room-mate cannot be found, the passenger will be responsible to pay the single supplement charge.
Most tours include buffet breakfast and dinners. There is generally a choice of 3 or 4 meats and a variety of vegetables, salads, starches, breads, deserts and beverages. Some ethnic foods are included, but there will always be options that will be similar to your regular diet.
Some hotels will not object to your taking a fruit or bread and lunch meat snack from the breakfast buffet. Ask your guide if this is acceptable. For those who choose to purchase a more substantial lunch, expect to pay $8-15 each.
Table water is available in Israel, Greece, Turkey and most European countries and this is drinkable. Bottled water should be purchased for Egypt and Jordan.
Bottled water is provided on most busses at a reasonable cost.
Israel and Greece do not require a visa for clients from Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Turkey, Egypt and Jordan require an entry tax for this same group of countries. Recently, Turkey has required that visas be purchased in advance at the following link: Click Here
Egypt & Jordan do not require that a visa be purchased prior to arrival.
Persons traveling from other countries are required to arrange for visas prior to departure.
The motor-coach will normally have 48-52 seats. Rest stops are made every 1-2 hours for your comfort.
The average group size is between 30 and 35 persons. Pilgrim does take as many as 40-45 persons on some occasions. A Private Group Tour passenger count is up to the group leader's discretion.
Due to the size of baggage compartments in touring coaches, each passenger is restricted to ONE suitcase and ONE carry-on bag (in addition to your purse, camera case or video camera). A total dimension of the bag to be checked on the airplane is not to exceed 62 inches (length + width + height) and should not weigh more than 50 lbs. Carry-on luggage should not weigh more than 20 lbs and is not to exceed the following dimensions: 22” length + 14” width + 9” depth. It must fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment. Be sure your luggage is clearly marked on the inside and outside. If you are traveling with a tour group, you must use the luggage tags provided along with your own.
Please Note: Due to recent changes in baggage allowance in the industry, we advise checking with your airlines before you depart to see if there has been a change in their regulations.
Most hotels are 4 star or above according to local government standards. This can be described as a better than average property with good standard of cleanliness and service. Examples of hotel lists will be given out by our customer service agents on request. Hotel Comparison Chart
Hairdryers and irons are available at most hotels.
Casual, comfortable, wash and wear clothing.
It will be possible to send out laundry on the first night of hotel stays with two or more nights, but costs are expensive. We suggest that you reuse items by spot washing and hanging clothes to dry while out on tour.
This is possible at the Jordan River Baptismal Site. Baptisms are only allowed while wearing the special white robes, which can be rented or purchased on site. Swim suits must be worn under the robe. A baptismal kit, which includes the mandatory baptismal robes, a baptismal certificate, a towel and free entrance to the change facility and hot showers, is available for rent or purchase at the gift shop. The cost is $10 to rent or $25 to purchase the baptismal kit.
Bethlehem is part of the Palestinian Territory and often requires that you change busses and guides at the check-point. This does feel a bit uncomfortable for some and optional free time in Jerusalem is available for those who do not wish to go.
Pilgrim will add the minimum amount of Israel gratuities to your final invoice as noted in the "Tour Includes" section of the tour itinerary. This tip money will be distributed by your guide. Gratuities for other countries should be given to the appropriate tour manager/guide on the first sightseeing day in that country.
If you have a cell phone with international capabilities, contact your company for costs and to verify that it will work in the areas you are touring.
Emergency contact information is also included in your travel documents.
Recommended Devotional & Study Materials - Click Here
Group Tour Etiquette - Click Here