Day 1 - November 25 – USA to the Holy Land
Your pilgrimage begins as you depart the USA on an overnight flight.
Day 2 - November 26 – USA to the Holy Land
Our representative will welcome you at the Tel Aviv airport and transfer you to your hotel to enjoy dinner before retiring for the night.
Day 3 - November 27 - Caesarea, Megiddo, Nazareth & Cana
Today’s first stop is Caesarea, a center of the early Christians where an angel visited Cornelius, the first Gentile believer (Acts 10), and where Paul was imprisoned for two years before appealing to Caesar. Look out over Tel Megiddo (Armageddon) to view one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel. See Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home (Matthew 2:23). Visit the Franciscan Wedding Chapel in Cana, the site of Jesus’ first miracle.
Day 4 - November 28 - Sea of Galilee
Explore the Church of the Loaves and Fish at Tabgha, the traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000 (Luke 9:10). On the Mount of Beatitudes, contemplate the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt. 5-7). Visit Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, and visit the synagogue built on the site where Jesus taught (Matt.4:13, 23). Cross the waters of the Sea of Galilee on a very special boat ride, complete with an onboard worship service. In Magdala, once home to Mary Magdalene, visit a recently discovered first-century synagogue. Recall Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist at the Jordan River.
Day 5 - November 29 - Leisure Day (Masada/Dead Sea Option)
Today, you have free time to explore on your own or you may choose to visit Masada and the Dead Sea (additional charge). Ascend by cable car to Masada, Herod’s legendary mountaintop fortress, which became the last desperate stronghold of the Jewish Zealots against the Romans. You can still look down on the remains of the Roman camps and the siege ramp below. End your day with a dip in the salt and mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea.
Day 6 - November 30 - Jerusalem & Christmas Tree Lighting
Visit Mount Zion and stand in the Upper Room (John 13), near the traditional site of the Last Supper (Mark 14). Walk through some of the ancient rooms of Caiaphas' High Priest's house beneath the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. Here, Jesus was held overnight before His crucifixion (Luke 22). Visit the Temple Mount, once the site of the Temple of Solomon. Take time to pray at the Western Wall. Sit on the Teaching Steps where Jesus once taught. After an early dinner, we join fellow Christians from around the world and the local community in the Holy Land to participate in the annual "Lighting of Christmas Tree" ceremony.
Day 7 - December 1 - Bethlehem, Bethany & Jericho
In Bethlehem, gaze out over Shepherds' Field and visit the Church of the Nativity, where the cave revered as Jesus’ birthplace resides in the world’s oldest functioning church (Matt. 1: 18-25). Visit the Franciscan Church and the tomb of Lazarus in Bethany. Travel to Jericho, the oldest known inhabited city in the world. Visit the ruins of the ancient city, which was conquered by Joshua (Josh. 6: 1,2,20) and see parts of the ancient city walls that have been uncovered. From Jericho, you can see the traditional site of the Temptation of Jesus (Matt.4: 1-11) and the Judean wilderness.
Day 8 - December 2 - Jerusalem
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: 9-12). Pray in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26) among olive trees in the Kidron Valley across from the walls of Jerusalem. View the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus performed the Sabbath miracle (John 5: 1-31). Sing a hymn in the Church of St. Anne, known for its amazing acoustics. Visit Herod’s Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate (Luke 23: 1-11). Walk the Via Dolorosa, “the Way of the Cross,” and stand in reverence at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Your final destination allows time for reflection at the Garden Tomb. Enjoy dinner tonight before transferring to the airport for your return flight.
Day 9 - December 3 - Return to the USA