December 28, 2017 Christmas in Israel
Price: $1,895 per person based on double occupancy ($1,975 if paying by credit card)
LDS Tour Directors: John Hilton III
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to travel this Christmas in Israel with John Hilton III, an Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture who is currently living in Jerusalem. This will be an awesome tour for families and couples who would love to discover the beauty, power and spirit of the Holy Lands with John as your tour director. John has great scriptural knowledge and is a dynamic teacher for youth and adults. He is also very personable. You will love traveling with John. Christmas is a great time of year to travel to Israel (the temperature is very moderate for touring). Discounted rates for family groups of 10 people or more.
Tour Price Includes
- 4/5 star Hotels – Renaissance (Tel Aviv), Nazareth Legacy (Nazareth) & Olive Tree (Jerusalem)
- Breakfast & Dinner (Lunches Not Included)
- First Class Coach/Bus
- All entrance Fees
- Local Guides & LDS guides
Not Included In Tour Price
- International Airfare – We can assist you in making the airline reservations at no charge if necessary. We email the group about 4 months prior to the tour the suggested flight schedule.
- Lunches, personal items, phone, internet, etc.
- Tips: Tips are not included – We will collect an additional $100 per person with final payment.
Dec 28 (Thu): Depart United States
Dec 29 (Fri): Arrive in Tel Aviv: Enjoy a relaxing evening, walk on the beach or swim in the Mediterranean as you recover from jet lag and prepare for our wonderful adventure.
Dec 30 (Sat): Tel Aviv – Jaffa – Caesarea – Mt. Carmel
We will begin our vacation with a bus tour of Tel Aviv and then a visit of Old Jaffa (Joppa) and the Artists’ Quarters. Jaffa is where Peter received his vision leading to the expansion of missionary work to the Gentiles and is also the place that Jonah attempted to flee from the Lord’s presence aboard a ship bound for Tarshish. We will discuss the doctrinal implications of the two events and their correlation. From Jaffa, we will travel along the Mediterranean coast to the Roman, New Testament capital, Caesarea. Once in Caesarea, we will see an ancient Roman theatre, hippodrome and study the Biblical events that happened here. We’ll look at the Roman cultural influence on Paul’s teachings. From Caesarea, we will go to Tiberias stopping at Mt. Carmel on the way, where we will discuss the epic battle between Elijah and the wicked priests of Baal as well as Abigail’s intercession between Nabal and David. We will overnight at our hotel in Nazareth.
Dec. 31 (Sun): Cana – Megiddo – Nazareth (Nazareth Village) – Mount Tabor
Today we will visit Megiddo, which is prophesied as the venue for the commencing of Armageddon (derived from the name’s place in Hebrew) or the final battle between good and evil. From Megiddo, we will drive via Cana, the place where Christ turned water into wine at a wedding feast, on our way to Nazareth. Nazareth was the boyhood home of Jesus. Here we will see the Church of Annunciation and a local synagogue church, which would be similar to the synagogue Christ taught in as a youth. We’ll conclude the day with a beautiful view from the tops of Mount Tabor where we discuss the transfiguration of Christ and the bestowal of the temple keys upon his lead apostles. We will then return to our hotel in Nazareth.
Jan 1 (Mon): Sea of Galilee Boat Ride – Capernaum – Mount of Beatitudes – Tel Dan — Caesarea Phillipi – St. Peter’s Fish Lunch
Today will begin with a peaceful boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. While we are on the Sea, we will read through and discuss several of the miracles that took place here. After disembarking, we will travel to the traditional Mount of Beatitudes. Here we will find a quiet place to study the doctrines of that amazing sermon. Then we will visit Capernaum, which was the center of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. In Capernaum, Christ performed many miracles and gave many profound teachings, including the “Bread of Life” sermon. We will see the remains of a synagogue from the time of Christ, which very well may have been the synagogue in which He taught. Lunch today is included as everyone will have the opportunity to try St. Peter’s Fish. We’ll continue our day with a visit to Banias (Caesarea Phillipi) at the foot of Mount Hermon, which is the site of Peter’s testimony of Savior and one of the sources of the Jordan River as it emerges from the foothills of Mount Hermon. Time permitting we will take a nature hike through the ancient site of Dan, where we will discuss the division on the king of Israel from Judah along with return to idol and calf worship there. Return to our hotel in Nazareth.
Jan 2 (Tue): Beth Shean – Jordan Valley – Jericho Overlook (wadi qelt) – Bethabara Jordan River
After checking out this morning, we will begin our drive to the strategic site of Beth Shean. At these impressive ruins we will see the splendor of Roman life and Hellenistic culture. Here Saul’s body was nailed to the city walls when he was captured. We will then drive through the Jordan Valley passing by Jericho. We will stop at the traditional site where Christ was baptized and near where the Israelites crossed into Canaan. As we ascend into Jerualem, we will make a brief stop at the Wadi Qelt overlook. Here we will be able to look up to Jerusalem and down to Jericho. This is on the ancient “road to Jericho”. We will discuss the parable of the Good Samaritan. We will check into our hotel in Jerusalem. Following dinner, we will visit an olive wood shop for those who are interested.
Jan 3 (Wed): Mount of Olives – Gethsemane (private gardens) – Bethlehem – Western Wall (Tunnel Tour) – Gallacantu & Last Supper Room – Church of Holy Sepulchre (optional)
This morning will begin with a visit to the Garden of Gethsemane where we will discuss the miraculous events that took place along this hillside and where you will be given a moment to ponder those events prior to sacrament service. Today, we will begin our tour of Old City in which we will see Mount Zion, visit the St. Anna Church with the Pools of Bethesda, and the Antonia Fortress. We will walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall and descend into the tunnels of the Western Wall. In the afternoon, we’ll have an optional tour by way of the via dolorosa ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Free time in the Old City for those who would prefer.
Jan 4 (Thu): Old City – Garden Tomb – Bethlehem – Golgotha – Jerusalem Center (if open)-
This morning we will head out to Bethlehem, where we will see the church of the Nativity as well as the Shepherd’s fields. Coming back from Bethlehem, we will go to the Garden Tomb, we are able to view the ancient Golgotha. Here we will be discuss and ponder the final moments of Christ’s mortal life and his glorious resurrection.
Jan 5 (Fri): Qumran – Monastery – Massada – Dead Sea
We will begin our day by driving to Massada. Here we will take a cable car to the top of Masada to see the ruins of the palace-fortress built by King Herod. We will discuss the history of the Zealots’ last stand against the Romans. From Masada, we will drive to Qumran to visit the sites in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. For those interested in swimming, we will stop on our way back at a beach on the Dead Sea where those who would like can float in the salty water.
Transfer to airport for late night flight home. Flight should be scheduled for around midnight.
Jan 6 (Sat): Arrive home for those not going onto Jordan
Optional Petra Add-on $650 Extra cost if you’d like to add on a 2 extra nights. Flight or bus transfer to Eilat is included in the price.
Jan 6 (Sat)- Red Sea Snorkeling (optional) and Wadi Rum Jeep Tour
This morning will be free time to enjoy shopping, swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing on the beach. The hotel is right on the beach. Or you can also try out the world class snorkeling in the Red Sea. For about $30 you can grab a shuttle to the reef where snorkel gear is included (paid for at the hotel). In the afternoon, we will take a surreal jeep ride through Wadi Rum.
Jan 7 (Sun): Jordan – Petra – Mount Nebo
Today we’ll visit the amazing site of Petra. Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma’an that is famous for its rock-cu architecture and water conduit system. Petra was established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. It is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction. On our way to the Amman Airport, we will stop by Mount Nebo. We should arrive to the airport by 9:00 PM. Schedule your flight after about midnight.
Jan 8 (Mon): Arrive home – schedule your flight for around 1:00 AM on the morning of January 8th. You’ll arrive home the evening of the 8th.
John Hilton: John Hilton III is an assistant professor of Ancient Scripture. Prior to coming to BYU, John worked with the LDS Seminary and Institute program for eleven years in a variety of capacities. John has a Masters degree from Harvard and a Ph.D from BYU, both in Education. John loves to teach and his research focuses on issues relating to both religious pedagogy and Open Educational Resources (OER). John and his wife Lani have six children. John is passionate about doing humanitarian service and is an amateur magician.
Terms & Conditions Deposit: $250 per person. The deposit is non-refundable; however, it can be transferred to another person on the same trip. Within 75 days of departure, the trip is completely non-refundable. We can help you purchase travel insurance if you’d like to protect your travel investment.
Final Payment: Due October 15, 2017
Passports: Required and must be valid 6 months after tour date
Price does NOT include international airfare and lunch (Everything else, including tips, is included)
To Reserve Call 800-217-7660 or 801-850-1498