Holy Land Christmas Tour

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Holy Land Christmas Tour

10 Day Land Tour

12/28/2022 - 01/06/2023

Eric-Huntsman
Eric Huntsman, Ph.D.
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This is the trip you always dreamed of . . .

The scriptures will come alive for you as you read them and learn about their history in the actual places where they took place.  You will have insights and understanding like never before. You will be traveling with others who share similar beliefs and you will hear from top LDS scholars.  It is the spirit and feelings you get in these sacred sites that you will always remember, and that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Make the most of your tour with our optional Jordan/Petra extension.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Depart Home

December 28, 2022 (Wednesday)
Depart for Israel. Overnight on the trans-Atlantic flight.

Day 2 : Arrive in Tel Aviv

December 29, 2022 (Thursday)
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.

Day 3 : Tel Aviv - Jaffa - Caesarea - Mt. Carmel

December 30, 2022 (Friday)
We will begin our vacation with a bus tour of Tel Aviv and then a visit of Old Jaffa (Joppa) and the Artist’s 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. 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 a couple of the Biblical events that happened here. 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. We will overnight at our hotel in Galilee.

Day 4 : Cana - Church of Annunciation - Nazareth Village - Nazareth Precipice or Mount Tabor

December 31, 2022 (Saturday)
Today we will spend most of the day discovering the early childhood home of Christ. Here we will see the Church of Annunciation and possibly a local synagogue church, which would be similar to the synagogue Christ taught in as a youth. We will visit Nazareth Village, which will demonstrate life in a small, first century village such as Nazareth. We will visit Cana, where the first recorded miracle of Christ took place in the turning of water to wine. We will then return to our hotel in Galilee.

Day 5 : Sea of Galilee - Magdala - Capernaum - Mount of Beatitudes - Caesarea Phillipi (Banias)

January 1, 2023 (Sunday)
Today will begin with a peaceful boat ride across the Sea of Galilee before arriving at traditional site where Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount. On the Sea, we will read through and discuss several of the miracles that took place here. Upon arriving at the Mount of Beatitudes, 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 will continue our day with a visit to Banias (Caesarea Phillipi), which is the site of Peter’s testimony of Savior (Thou art the son of the living God – Matthew 16) and one of the sources of the Jordan River as it emerges from the foothills of Mount Hermon. Time permitting we will visit the site of Magdala, which is believed to be the home town of Mary Magdalene and the site of a first century synagogue. Return to our hotel in Galilee.

Day 6 : Bet She'an - Jordan Valley - Jericho Overlook (Wadi Qelt) - Jordan River (Bethabara) - Dead Sea Swim

January 2, 2023 (Monday)
We will begin the morning with a 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 and review some of the important scriptural events that took place on the road to Jericho from an overlook known as Wadi Qelt. We will stop at the traditional site where Christ was baptized and near where the Israelites crossed into Canaan. Before ascending into Jerusalem, we will float in the Dead Sea (optional). From here we will continue on to Jerusalem. We will check into our hotel in Jerusalem. Following dinner, we will visit an olive wood shop for those who are interested.

Day 7 : Mount of Olives - Gethsemane (private gardens) - Jerusalem Center - Western Wall - Davidson Center Museum - Southern Temple Steps - Church of the Holy Sepulchre/Old City - Herodian Quarter or Gallacantu/House of Caiaphas

January 3, 2023 (Tuesday)
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 at the Jerusalem Center. Today we will tour the Old City in which we will see Mount Zion, visit the St. Anne’s Church with the Pools of Bethesda, and the Antonia Fortress. We will walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall, visit the Herodian Quarter. 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.

Day 8 : Old City - Garden Tomb & Golgotha - Bethlehem

January 4, 2023 (Wednesday)
We will begin the morning in the Old City Jerusalem. In the afternoon, 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, where we are also 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.

Day 9 : Masada - Qumran

January 5, 2023 (Thursday)
We will begin our day by driving to Masada. 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 Zealot’s last stand against the Romans. From Masada, we will drive to Qumran to visit the sites in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Transfer to airport around 7:00 PM for late night flight home. Flight should be scheduled for around midnight. For those continuing to Jordan/Petra, the bus will go south from Masada to the Red Sea. From there we will cross over into Jordan. Transfer to airport around 7:00 PM for late night flight home. Flight should be scheduled for around midnight. For those continuing to Jordan/Petra, the bus will go south from Masada to the Red Sea. From there we will cross over into Jordan. You will arrive home on January 6th.

Day 10 : Arrive Home or Continue to Jordan

January 6, 2023 (Friday)
Arrive home for those not going onto Jordan

Day 10 : Red Sea Snorkeling (optional on own) - Wadi Rum Jeep Tour

January 6, 2023 (Friday)
The morning begins with a pickup ride through the Wadi Rum desert. The scenery is surreal and the site of many movies, ranging from Lawrence of Arabia to the most recent Star Wars moving. After returning from the desert, you will have 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).

Day 11 : Petra

January 7, 2023 (Saturday)
Today we will leave our amazing resort on the Red Sea around 9:00 AM to 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-cut architecture and water conduit system. It was made famous from the Indiana Jones movie. 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. We will have about 4.5 to 5 hours on site in Petra before leaving for the airport in Amman. We will arrive to the airport around 9:30 PM. Schedule your flight to depart after 11:00 PM.

Day 12 : Arrive Home

January 8, 2023 (Sunday)

Information

Space is limited so BOOK NOW!

INCLUDED
4-5 Star Hotels – Herods, Sea of Galilee Hotel, Dan Jerusalem/Olive Tree
Local Guide & LDS Tour Director
Breakfast & Dinner (lunches not included)
First Class Coach/Bus
All entrance fees
Whisper Head Sets

 

NOT INCLUDED
Tips: Additional information in the pricing section below
International Airfare: We email the group about 4 months prior to the tour with the suggested flight schedule. We do not arrange group airfare since usually it is considerably more expensive to do so. We are flexible on flights and we will give you an arrival time for when you should arrive in Tel Aviv. Flights are usually around $1,300-$1,500 out of SLC.
Lunches, Personal Items, Phone, Internet, etc. 

Pricing

Price

  • $2245 per person based on double occupancy for cash or check payments.
  • $2325 per person based on double occupancy for credit card payments.
  • Single Supplement – $150 per night

Optional Petra Add-on

  • $650 per person based on double occupancy

Tips

  • We collect pre-paid tips in advance of $100 per person for the Israeli guide and driver. You will need to tip hotel baggage porters if they take your luggage for you. We are often asked about tipping the LDS tour director. They greatly appreciate tips. We recommend about $4-$5 per day. If you feel they did a good job and would like to thank them, this is an appropriate way to do so. As with any service, tipping is at your discretion. 
  • Tips are not collected in advance for any tour extensions, such as Jordan or Egypt. We recommend $4-$5 per day for the guide and $2-$3 per day for the driver on those tours.

Payment Schedule

  • $250 per person due at time of booking (deposit is non-refundable – it can be transferred to another person on the same tour date. We will attempt to find someone to take your spot if you cancel but we cannot guarantee it).
  • Final Payment: Final payment is due three months before the tour departure date.

Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel: Deposit is non-refundable; however, it is transferable to another guest on a new booking, traveling on the same tour date. After final payment, the full amount is non-refundable. If you cancel and you can find someone to take your spot, we will refund the deposit. If we have a waiting list, we will refund your deposit by placing someone in your spot.
  • If we cancel the tour for any reason: Deposit is non-refundable; however, it can be transferred to any other tour or kept as a future tour credit to be used at any time on one of our advertised tours (cannot be transferred to a cruise). The balance will be refunded or applied to a future tour as a credit.
  • The only way to avoid trip cancellation penalties is to buy trip cancellation insurance. If you are interested in the insurance, we can help you purchase it.

 

Check Your Invoice Names: Please check to see that your names are spelled correctly. Your first and last names must appear as they appear on your passport for International travel and Driver’s License for domestic tours.

COVID: Vaccines are currently required to enter Israel

PASSPORTS ARE REQUIRED and should be valid 6 months after the end of the tour.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the nature of this tour you must be able to climb stairs and walk unassisted at a moderate pace. 

Please note that minor changes to the itinerary may occur due to local conditions and to better accommodate our group.

Headliners

Eric Huntsman, Ph.D.
Waitlist
Eric D. Huntsman is a Professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University, where he also directs the Ancient Near Eastern Studies Program in the Kennedy Center for International Studies. Professor Huntsman and his family lived in the Holy Land from 2011-2012 while he was teaching at the BYU Jerusalem Center. He was a coauthor of Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament in 2006 and has since published three books for Latter-day Saint audiences that seek to bring biblical scholarship to a broader LDS audience: God So Loved the World (Deseret Book, 2011) on the Passion narratives; Good Tidings of Great Joy (Deseret Book, 2011) on the Infancy narratives; and The Miracles of Jesus (Deseret Book, 2014). His latest publications for LDS audiences are Worship: Adding Depth to Your Devotion (Deseret Book, 2016) and Becoming the Beloved Disciple: Coming unto Christ through the Gospel of John (Cedar Fort, 2018). A former bishop, he currently serves as an ordinance worker in the Provo Temple and sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
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Holy Land Christmas Tour - 10 Day Land Tour

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*Reservation will be confirmed once deposit is received and you receive and email confirmation.