Added to the tour itinerary are "extras" (i.e. worship & devotional gatherings, optional walks and hikes for the more adventurous traveler, and evening "interactive" talks - reviewing the day's experiences as well as helping prepare for the following day) as Dr. DeLancey leads you to these experiences not often encounter on regular tours.
Day 1: Depart North America. Tour members depart on our flight to Israel. After take-off enroute to the Holy Land, we will be served dinner.
Day 2: Arrive Tel Aviv. After a brief touchdown in Europe, we arrive in Tel Aviv where we are met by our agent who assists us through customs and security. We are then transferred to our hotel in Tel Aviv or Netanya and right on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
Day 3: Caesarea/Megiddo/Nazareth/Tiberias. Today we depart for Galilee, visiting the following biblical sites: Caesarea (Acts 9 and 25), Mt. Carmel (1 Kgs. 18), Megiddo (Armageddon; 1 Kgs. 9:15; Rev. 16:16), Nazareth (Luke 1 and 2), Cana (John 2) and Tiberias (John 6:23). Optional: Baptism in the River Jordan.
Day 4: Galilee/Upper Jordan/Golan Heights. There is nothing quite like watching a sunrise on the Sea of Galilee from your hotel. We begin our day with an inspiring boat ride on the Sea of Galilee in a wooden replica of the “Jesus Boat.” Today will include many biblical sites along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and in the Upper Jordan Valley: e.g. Capernaum (Matt. 4:13), Mount of Beatitudes (Matt. 5-7), Tabgha (Feeding of 5000; Mark 6), Church of Peter of Primacy (John 21), Magdala (Matt. 15:39; Luke 8:2); Caesarea Philippi (Paneas; Mark 8:27), view Mt. Hermon (Deut. 3:8), Border of Lebanon (Josh. 11:17), and Hazor (Josh. 11:10; 1 Kgs. 9:15). Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
Day 5: Beth Shan/Jericho/Jerusalem. Today we go up to Jerusalem. The highway will take us to many of the following biblical sites: Mt. Tabor (Judges 4); Ein Harod (Judg. 7:1); Beth Shan (1 Sam. 31:10); and Jericho (Josh. 2–6; Mark 10:46; Luke 19:1). The road from Jericho to Jerusalem is an ascent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 6: Mt. of Olives/Temple Mount/Via Dolorosa/Holy Sepulchre/Bethlehem. We begin our explorations with a drive to the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breath-taking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage will proceed to The Church of Ascension, descend to Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and there visit the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed. We will enter Jerusalem through the Dung Gate, and walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Sam. 24:18–25).
On this site now stands the magnificent Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Islam) and the El-Aksa Mosque. From the temple area, we make our way to St. Stephen’s Gate, St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Sister of Zion Convent (to see the Pavement where Jesus stood as he was being tried by Pilate), Ecco Homo Arch, and then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the ancient Cardo. Note: a scheduled walk through the “Western Wall Tunnel” will also be planned.
This afternoon we will pass by Rachel’s tomb on the outskirts of Bethlehem, and visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field. You will be fascinated by your visit to the Israel Museum and the model of Jerusalem (1 to 50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time). Here we will also see the Shrine of the Book where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. A visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum concludes the day.
Day 7: Jericho/Qumran/Ein Gedi/Masada/Dead Sea/Jerusalem. Leaving Jerusalem, we will descend down to the Dead Sea and the wilderness of Judah. Our first stop will be Jericho, the ancient city where the wall came tumbling down. Our second stop will be Qumran and the possible settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Following the road south along the western shore of the Dead Sea, we will stop at Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul, and everyone will have an opportunity to float in the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on the earth.
Continuing south, the next stop is Masada, where we will ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of the cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. An optional walk down the snake path will be offered. We travel back to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: The Temple Mount/Southern Wall Excavations/City of David/Garden Tomb. We begin the day by going up to the Temple Mount, the location of the Dome of the Rock today. We then enjoy a walk through the southern wall excavations where we will stand at the southern entrance to the Herodian Temple. Here, we will see the ancient boulders of the Temple and sit on the steps where Jesus no doubt taught.
In the afternoon, we will also visit the City of David, the ancient part of the city that dates back to the Old Testament. After seeing the excavations, there will be an optional walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel (II Chr. 29–32), a 1,720 foot tunnel that ends at the Pool of Siloam (John 9). Late in the afternoon we will visit the Garden Tomb with an optional communion service.
Day 9: Jerusalem. Day without a planned program. Time to collect your thoughts; indulge your whims. Revisit the places of most interest. Return for a last look within the walls of the Old City where bargaining is a must when you shop. There will be a number of options for you enjoy on this free day!
Day 10: Jerusalem/U.S.A. For those not going on the optional extension, you will be transferred to the Ben Gurion Airport for an early evening flight back to the U.S. The close of an unforgettable tour, we bring with us lasting memories of the Old and New Testament, a renewal of our faith, and a greater understanding of the life and ministry of our Lord.
- Optional Extension in July is to dig for 1 week at an archaeological dig at Ramat Rachel.
- Optional Extension for Oct/Nov. is Mt. Sinai, Red Sea, Jordan, including a full day at Petra.
Base price varies for these 2 tours.
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