This wonderful vacation starts in Tel Aviv, Israel. Next, travel via Jaffa to Caesarea, with visits to the Roman amphitheater and the impressive Crusader fortress; the ancient fortified city of Megiddo; and Muhraqa to Tiberias at the Sea of Galilee, where you will stay for two nights. A morning excursion is included to Cana, site of the first miracle where Jesus changed water into wine at a wedding, and Nazareth, where you visit the Church of the Annunciation and St. Joseph’s Church. Afternoon is at leisure. On your way to Jerusalem, cruise on the Sea of Galilee, then visit the Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, and Capernaum, where Jesus recruited his first followers among the fishermen, a baptismal site on the river Jordan, and Bet She’an with its fine Roman and Byzantine relics. During your 5-night stay in Jerusalem, excursions are included to Ein Karem, Bethlehem, and the Garden Tomb, as well as to Masada, the Dead Sea, and a guided walking tour through the Old City. Visit the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Via Dolorosa, the Wailing Wall, and more. A full day at leisure to relax or to join an optional excursion featuring the Israel Museum with the Shrine of the Book and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a visit to the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem. On your final evening in Jerusalem, celebrate with your travel companions at a farewell dinner at your hotel. Next, travel via the Allenby Bridge, Jerash, the best-preserved Greco-Roman city in the Middle East, and Umm Qais to Amman, Jordan. On your way to the “rose-red city” of Petra, stop in Wadi Rum to experience a spectacular 4-wheel drive through the sand dunes and receive a keffieyeh, a local scarf. A full day of guided sightseeing includes a walk down the Siq, the narrow gorge made famous in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Admire the Treasury and sip tea in a Bedouin tent. Then, travel to the Dead Sea via Kerak and Wadi Mujib. Two nights here allow time for an included excursion to Madaba, Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land, and Bethany Beyond the Jordan. </BR>
TEL AVIVWelcome dinnerJAFFAWalking tour of the ancient portCAESAREAVisit the Roman amphitheater and the Crusader fortressMEGIDDOVisit the biblical siteMUHRAQAPanoramic view of the Jezreel ValleyCANAVisit the site of the first miracleNAZARETHVisit the Church of the Annunciation and St. Joseph’s ChurchSEA OF GALILEEEnjoy a cruiseMOUNT OF BEATITUDESVisit the site where Jesus delivered his sermonTABGHAVisit the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes and the Church of St. Peter’s PrimacyCAPERNAUMVisit the site where Jesus recruited his first followersRIVER JORDANVisit a baptismal siteBET SHE’ANAdmire the Roman and Byzantine relicsEIN KAREMVisit the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of VisitationBETHLEHEMVisit the Church of the NativityJERUSALEMVisit the Garden Tomb; panoramic view from the Mount of Olives; guided walking tour, visit the Garden of Gethsemane, follow the Way of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa; visit the Church of the Holy sepulchre, the Wailing Wall, and walk through the Jewish Quarter to Mount Zion, visit the Upper Room, the tomb of King David, and the house of Caiaphas; farewell dinnerMASADARide a cable car and visit the cliff-top fortressDEAD SEAVisit one of the resortsJERASHOrientationUM QUAISStop at the site of the Gadarene swine miracleWADI RUMVisit the largest wadi in Jordan; four-wheel-drive through the sand dunesPETRAGuided sightseeing, including the Siq and the Treasury; sip tea in a Bedouin tentKERAKVisit the Crusader CastleWADI MUJIBVisit the Jordanian Grand CanyonMADABAVisit St. George’s Church and the Archaeological MuseumMOUNT NEBOVisit the mountain where Moses saw the Promised LandBETHANY BEYOND THE JORDANVisit the site of John the Baptist’s settlementHeadsets throughout the tour (except in Jordan for technical reasons)
Full Israeli breakfast; 12 three-course dinners with wine, including a welcome dinner in Tel Aviv and a farewell dinner in Jerusalem; in Jordan, full buffet breakfast
NOTES:March 14 Departure – Palm Sunday in Jerusalem (March 20)March 21 Departure – Good Friday (March 25) and Easter Sunday in Jerusalem (March 27)Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
Motorcoach (or minibus); boat cruise; cable car. Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.