Day 1 - Depart USA for Tel Aviv
Your pilgrimage begins as you depart the USA on an overnight flight to Israel. Meals will be served in flight.
Day 2 - Arrive in Tel Aviv. Overnight in Tiberius.
Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv where you will be welcomed to the Holy Land by our airport representative. Transfer to your hotel in the Galilee area for check-in, dinner and a good night's sleep.
Day 3 - Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Peter’s Primacy, Fish Lunch, Boat Ride, Jordan River Baptismal Site
Today you explore the area around the Sea of Galilee. Travel to Capernaum, the center of Jesus' ministry in the Galilee. Visit the synagogue that stands on the site where Jesus taught. Recall His teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 4). Visit the peaceful Mount of Beatitudes that overlooks the Sea of Galilee. On this hill, Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7). Stop at Tabgha, where the feeding of the 5,000 is remembered at the Church of the Loaves and Fish (Luke 9). Also stop at the Chapel of the Primacy, where Peter confessed his devotion to Christ 3 times (John 21). After a fish lunch, you will enjoy a beautiful boat ride across the Sea of Galilee and then stop at the Jordan River for a time of spiritual blessing.
Day 4 - Cana, Nazareth Overlook, Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Caesarea Maritima
Recall Jesus’ first miracle as you pass through Cana (John 2). View the city of Nazareth from the vantage point where tradition states the local populace attempted to throw the Lord off a cliff. Travel the ancient caravan route to Tel Megiddo where 20 different cities lie superimposed upon each other. Mt. Carmel is the site where Elijah prayed down the judgment fire from heaven and destroyed the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). Wander through the Roman aqueduct and theater at Caesarea, a center of early Christianity. Here, Cornelius became the first Gentile convert to the new covenant (Acts 10) and Paul was imprisoned before being taken to Rome for trial (Acts 23).
Day 5 - Beit Shean, Jordan Valley, Jericho, Valley of the Shadow, Mt. of Olives
Start the day in Beit Shean, a city continuously inhabited for over 5,000 years. Here Saul and his sons' bodies were hung from the walls of the city (1 Samuel 31). The uncovered ruins date back to the Greek / Roman city that was part of the Decapolis of Jesus' day. See colonnaded streets with marble sidewalks, Roman public baths, and a theater. Travel through the Jordan River Valley, the route often taken by Jesus and other Galileans as they traveled to and from Jerusalem. In Jericho, visit the ruins of the ancient city that was conquered by Joshua (Josh. 6). From Jericho, you can see the traditional site of the temptation of Jesus (Matt. 4). View the Valley of the Shadow. From here, you can see St. George’s Monastery across the gorge. Stand atop the Mount of Olives as Jesus did and enjoy a remarkable view of the "Golden City" of Jerusalem. Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1). Continue to your hotel in Jerusalem for check-in, dinner and overnight.
Day 6 - Bethlehem, Garden of Gethsemane, Caiaphas’ House, Upper Room
Cross the border into Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus (Luke 2). Enter the Church of the Nativity, the oldest continuously functioning church in the world. See the cave where tradition holds Jesus was born. Look out on Shepherd's Fields, where angels spread the Good News. Back in Jerusalem, enter the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus went to pray after the Last Supper, and was arrested (Matthew 26). Walk through some of the ancient rooms of Caiaphas' the High Priest's house beneath the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. Here, it is believed by many, Jesus was held overnight before His crucifixion (Luke 22). Stand in the Upper Room, revered as the place of the Last Supper (Mark 14).
Day 7 - Western Wall, Southern Steps (Davidson’s Center), Cardo, Pool of Bethesda – Church of St. Anne, Antonia Fortress, Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Touch a part of Herod's Temple as you pray at the Western Wall. Visit the Davidson Center and the Southern Wall Excavations including the Teaching Steps. Continue your journey through the Old City to the Cardo. This ancient marketplace has ruins that date back to the Judean monarchy among modern shops. View the Pool of Bethesda (John 5) where Jesus performed the Sabbath miracle. Visit Herod’s Antonia Fortress where Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate (Luke 23). Walk the Via Dolorosa, "the Way of the Cross," and stand in reverence at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Day 8 - Masada, Qumran, Dead Sea
Enjoy a visit to Masada, the spectacular mountaintop fortress built by Herod and famous as the last stronghold of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans. Ride the cable car to the top to explore the fortress. Peer down upon the remains of the Roman camps and siege ramp below. Visit Qumran, site of the Dead Sea Scroll discovery, to discuss the mysterious community of Essenes who once lived on the shores of the Dead Sea. On the return to Jerusalem, stop at the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth, where those who desire may take a quick dip in the mineral-laden waters.
Day 9 - Ein Karem, Yad Vashem, Garden Tomb, Gordon's Calvary
Continue to Ein Karem, traditionally known as the birthplace of John the Baptist, and where tradition holds that Mary journeyed to share with Elizabeth her good news (Luke 1). Continue to modern Jerusalem and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and be touched by its poignant images. Take time to reflect on the agony of the cross at Gordon’s Calvary and the exhilaration of the resurrection at the Garden Tomb. At the end of your time in the Holy Land, we prepare for our return journey to the USA.
Day 10 - Arrive USA
Arrive in the USA with a lifetime of memories to cherish.