Following in the footsteps of Jesus with Fr. James Williams
November 07 - 15, 2023
(Based on double occupancy)
(extra for single supplement)
What is included
Round-trip airfare from Denver, DEN or Newark, EWR to Tel Aviv
All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
Centrally located hotels:
4 nights: Bethlehem: Saint Elias or Saint Gabriel or similar 4*
3 nights: Ramada Olivie o Legacy or Tiberias: Golan or similar 4*
7 lunches (including lunch on arrival day & St. Peter’s Fish at Pilgerhaus)
Transfers as per itinerary
Breakfast and Dinner daily
Wine with dinners
Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
Assistance of a professional local guide(s)
Assistance of tour leader and tour escort
Transfers as per itinerary
Entrance fees as per program: Taxi Tabor – Capernaum – Boat ride with the Museum – Nazareth Museum – Caesarea Maritima – Qumran – Tel Jericho – St. Anne – Pater Noster – Ascension Chapel – Ecce Homo – St. Peter in Gallicantu – Israel Museum
Mass daily & Spiritual activities
Tips to your guide & driver
81 Tours backpack & portfolio of all travel documents
What is not included
• Personal expenses and drinks at meals
• Anything not specified in the included section
• Health and travel insurance
sample of itinerary
Day 1: Depart for Tel Aviv
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Day 2: ARRIVAL IN BEN GURION AIRPORT – CAESAREA – STELLA MARIS – TRANSFER TO GALILEE
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. After passport control and once you exit the airport, our English-speaking representative and Josip Elez will meet and escort you to board your bus. We will set out to explore the magnificent city of Caesarea (entrance included), which was once the capital of the Roman province. Here we will see the impressive archaeological remains of the Roman and Byzantine Empires that once dominated the city. It was at Caesarea that Peter came to understand that the Good News was not for Jews only, but for the whole world. Here he baptized the Roman Centurion, Cornelius (and his family), the first gentile convert to Christianity according to Acts 10. In addition, Saint Paul gave the first Apology “defense” of the Church in Caesarea, admitting he was a “follower of the Way of Jesus” (Acts 24:14). Paul also set sail from Caesarea for Rome, an event that eventually brought Christianity to the western world. We will have a guided tour in Caesarea that includes a visit to the Roman amphitheater theatre, Herod’s Palace, and the aqueducts. After our visit to Caesarea, we will proceed north to the city of Haifa and visit Stella Maris, which is a Carmelite monastery consecrated to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The monastery stands atop the cave where Elijah lived. We will also enjoy the panoramic view of the bay of Acco. Dinner & overnight at our hotel in Galilee.
Day 3: MOUNT TABOR – NAZARETH – CANA
In the morning after breakfast we will depart for Mount Tabor (taxi included), the site of the Transfiguration. Here we will have time to reflect on Christ’s human and divine natures. Afterwards, we will drive to the city of Nazareth, the hometown of Mary where Jesus lived as a child. We will visit the Church of the Annunciation that stands atop the house of Mary where Angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced she was going to be with a child and call him Immanuel. We will celebrate mass in the Church. In Nazareth, we will also visit the Upper Basilica, the nearby archaeological museum (entrance included), and the archaeological remains of Nazareth from the time of Jesus. Our last day's visit in the late afternoon will be to Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed His first miracle changing water into wine at His mother's request [John 2:1-11]. In Cana, we will visit the Franciscan Chapel. Those among us who wish may renew their wedding vows in the Chapel. From Cana, we will then drive to our hotel at the Sea of Galilee. Dinner & overnight.
DAY 4: SEA OF GALILEE – MOUNT OF BEATITUDES – TABGHA – SAINT PETER’S PRIMACY – CAPERNAUM
We will start the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee (included), followed by a visit to the Ancient Boat Museum that houses a 2000-year-old fishing boat found buried in mud on the shores of Galilee (entrance included). The boat provides a good example of how fishing boats looked like during the time of Jesus. Then we will continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, the scene of Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. We will enjoy the view of the enchanting gardens and reflect on Jesus’ sermon. Our next visit will be to Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000. We will also visit the site known as “Peter’s Primacy” where Jesus appeared to His disciples for the third time after His Resurrection and told Peter to “feed my lambs; feed my sheep” (John 21:9). We will then take a short drive to Capernaum (entrance included), biblical village and hometown of Jesus. Capernaum is closely associated with Jesus and His ministry as described in the Synoptic Gospels. There we will see the house of the mother-in-law of Peter and an ancient synagogue that dates back to the time of Jesus and where much of His teaching took place. Return to Hotel in Galilee, dinner & overnight.
DAY 5: JERICHO – JORDAN RIVER “BET ARABAH” – QUMRAN – DEAD SEA – JERUSALEM
Immediately after breakfast and check-out and drive along the Jordan Valley to the ancient city of Jericho, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The Mount of Temptation will also be in sight. We will make a tour of the city of Jericho and visit the Sycamore Tree Site reminding ourselves of the encounter between Jesus and Zacchaeus (entrance to Tel Jericho included). After Jericho, we will drive to the Baptismal Site in Bet Arabah on the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. We will have the chance to renew our baptismal vows. After lunch, we will travel along the shores of the Dead Sea to Qumran (entrance included) and visit the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were accidentally discovered and understand the importance of the discovery. We will also see the buildings that formed the public center of the Essenes. In the late afternoon, you will have some free time to enjoy a dip in the relaxing and healing Dead Sea waters. Later in the day, we will drive to the holy city of Jerusalem. Hotel check-in, dinner & overnight.
DAY 6: MOUNT OF OLIVES – GETHSEMANE – MOUNT ZION –WESTERN WALL
In the early morning, we will drive to the Mount of Olives and take in the panoramic view of the holy city of Jerusalem. Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4) on the Mount of Olives, which is commonly believed to be the spot from where Jesus ascended to heaven. We will walk along the Palm Sunday path and stop at the beautiful little church, Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). We will then carry on along the Jewish cemetery that overlooks the Eastern (Golden) Gate – known as the Thrones of Judgment (Psalm 122). We will recall the Passion of Christ at the Garden of Gethsemane, where amid the 2000-year-old olive trees we will visit the Church of All Nations and see the Rock of Agony on which Jesus prayed. We will also visit the nearby Gethsemane cave where Jesus often spent the nights and where He was arrested at the hands of the High Priest guards. We will then proceed along Kidron Valley to Mount Zion for a visit to the House of Caiaphas and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (entrance included), where we will see parts of the streets where our Lord was hauled by His captors. This will be followed by a visit to the Dormition Abbey, the place where Our Lady fell to eternal sleep. Afterward, we will head to the Cenacle that commemorates the Upper Room in which Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples. In the afternoon, we will go into the Old City of Jerusalem, pass the Armenian Quarter into the Jewish Quarter, where we will see the Roman Cardo, King Hezekiah broad wall that leads to the Western Wall, also called the Wailing Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount and Judaism holiest site.
Return to hotel in Jerusalem, dinner & overnight.
DAY 7: ISRAEL MUSEUM – EIN KAREM – BETHLEHEM
Early in the morning, we will drive from the hotel to the Israel Museum (entrance included) where we will see a model of the city of Jerusalem and the Second Temple as it looked in the 1st century AD during the time of Jesus. We will also see on display the Shrine of the Book housing some of the Dead Sea scrolls found in Qumran. A short drive will take us to the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist. We will visit the Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Church of the Visitation. In the afternoon, we will begin our tour in Bethlehem at Manger Square, which stands in front of one of the oldest Christian churches, the Church of the Nativity. We will enter the Church and go down to the Grotto of the Nativity, which marks the spot where Jesus was born. Beneath the Altar, there is a silver star with the Latin inscription: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary). In the late afternoon, we will depart for the cave at the Shepherds’ Field where the angels appeared to the shepherds and announced the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The cave has soot marks from the fires that the shepherds lit to keep warm while watching over their flocks. The field is also the setting of the Book of Ruth. Return to hotel, dinner & overnight.
DAY 8: VIA DOLOROSA – HOLY SEPULCHER – SAINT ANNE’S CHURCH – POOLS OF BETHESDA
On this day we will walk along Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) in the old city of Jerusalem, starting from Antonia Fortress (entrance included) where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. Jesus was taken from the fortress shouldering the cross through the streets of the city to be crucified. We will pass by and see the Stations of the Cross, and walk through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, known by the locals as the Church of Resurrection. Here is the site of Calvary and the empty Tomb of Christ. We will have mass in the Church. Afterward, we will visit the Pools of Bethesda (entrance included), where the healing of the paralyzed took place (John 5). We will also have the opportunity to praise the Lord with hymns in the nearby perfectly intact Crusader Church of Saint Anne.
In the afternoon, we will have time to revisit the old city of Jerusalem. Return to hotel, dinner & overnight.
DAY 9: DEPARTURE FROM TEL AVIV AIRPORT
Breakfast, hotel check-out, and transfer to the airport for a flight home.
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