† Round-trip airfare from St. Louis, STL † Fuel surcharges & fuel surcharges † Accommodations at centrally located first class hotels: (or similar) ~ 3 nights: Feb 16 – 19: Leonardo Plaza, Tiberias ~ 5 nights: Feb 19 – 24: Olive Tree, Jerusalem † Optional Post Tour to Jordan: ~ 1 night: Feb 24 – Feb 25: Cham Palace, Amman, Jordan ~ 1 night: Feb 25 – Feb 26: Petra Moon, Petra, Jordan ~ 1 night: Feb 26 – Feb 27: Cham Palace, Amman, Jordan † Transfers as per itinerary † Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner daily † Glass of wine with dinner † Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach † Wi-Fi on motor coach in Holy Land † Wireless headsets where needed † Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s) † Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary † Tips to Hotel Staff and Restaurants † Mass daily & Spiritual activities †Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents *Renew Wedding Vows in Cana -couples will have a special opportunity to renew wedding vows on Day 8 during Mass
Day 1, Thu, Feb 15: Depart for the Holy Land
Make your way to St Louis airport where you will board your overnight flight. Your meals are served on board.
Day 2, Fri, Feb 16: Arrive in Tel Aviv - Tiberias
Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, you will collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the Arrival’s Hall where you will be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver. Your group will transfer to your hotel in Tiberias in time to check-in. Enjoy dinner at the hotel before retiring for the evening.
Day 3, Sat, Feb 17: Caesarea - Stella Maris - Nazareth - Tiberias Theme: The Annunciation
Following breakfast at your hotel, your group will head to Caesarea, the former capital of Judea. You will have the opportunity to visit the archaeological remains of this ancient port, which aided as base for the Herodian navy. Shortly after the time of Jesus Christ, it was revealed to Peter, in Caesarea, that the Good News (to repent) is not only intended for Jewish people but also, the entire world. This is also the place which officially ended the tradition of adhering to the Jewish ceremonial laws. As a result, Peter baptized a group of gentiles, the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, and his family. Your tour continues as you travel North to Haifa. In Haifa, you will find Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery. The monastery is located above the cave where Elijah, the prophet, once lived. A colorful painting of this “wonder-worker” can be found on the ceiling of the Church. Following this visit, your group will depart Stella Maris and enjoy the scenic drive (with view of the bay of Acco) to Nazareth. In Nazareth, you will experience the town where Mary once lived and where Jesus lived as a child (Matthew 2:23). During the visit to Nazareth, your group will visit the Byzantine Church of St. Joseph, to which tradition identifies as the workshop and home of the Holy Family. Also, your group will visit Mary’s Well where the angel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she will bear the Son of God (Luke 1:30-34). Return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Day 4, Sun, Feb 18: Tiberias: Sea of Galilee Theme: The Ministry of Christ in the Galilee
Your group will begin this day with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a boat ride on the beautiful and scenic, Sea of Galilee (Luke 5:1). During this ride, your group will also view the remains of a boat that dates back to the time of Jesus. Following the Sea of Galilee, your group will continue on to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus proclaimed His great Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20-49). Near the mount is Tabgha, one of Jesus’ miracle sites. At Tabgha, Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 people from five loaves of bread, and two fish (Luke 9:10-17). Also, in Tabgha is St. Peter’s Primacy where Jesus bestowed church leadership upon Peter (John 21:9).Your tour continues as you visit the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, in Magdala. During the time of Jesus, this village was a prosperous fishing village that exported fish and garum (a fish sauce reduction; popular in Roman cooking). Your day concludes at Capernaum, the launching place of Jesus’ ministry. In Capernaum, your group will have the opportunity to see the Synagogue of where Jesus taught (Mark 1:21-29), and gave His sermon on the Bread of Life. Your group will enjoy dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 5, Mon, Feb 19: Mt. Tabor – Jericho – Jordan River - Jerusalem Theme: The Transfiguration
Following breakfast, your group will drive to the site of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor (Matthew 17:1-50). At this site, you will have some time to reflect on Christ’s Humanity and Divinity. Your group will also have the opportunity to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Transfiguration. The tour continues as your group heads South on the Jordan Valley, to the oldest inhabited city in the world, Jericho (Joshua 6:12-25). In Jericho, you will have the opportunity to view the exact location, the Mount of Temptation, of where the Devil tempted Jesus during his forty-day fast (Luke 4:1). Following the visit to this mountain, your group will continue to Jesus’ baptismal site on the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17). After some time at the Jordan River, your group will end their day with a transfer to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, your group will check-in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6, Tue, Feb 20: Jerusalem: Temple Model - Ein Karem - Bethlehem Theme: The Visitation and Nativity
This morning, you will have breakfast and then depart for a day in Jerusalem, which houses the temple to which Jesus was Presented (Luke 2:22). Your group will visit a model of the Second Temple, as it was in the time of Jesus. Following this visit, your group will take a short drive to the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist. It is known that there are two churches in Ein Karem, both representing the two homes of Zechariah and Elizabeth. The first is in a valley where the birth of St. John the Baptist is commemorated (Luke 1:39-80) in the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. The second is on a hill where Elizabeth spent five months in seclusion (Luke 1:24) at the Church of the Visitation. Your group will visit both of these churches and have the opportunity to pray the Mystery of the Rosary as you walk up the hill to the Church of the Visitation. In the afternoon, your group will transfer to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. In Bethlehem, you will have the opportunity to view the Shepherd’s Fields (Luke 2:8). In the caves of these fields, you are still able to see the soot marks of fires that shepherds lit to keep warm. The tour concludes at the Manger Square, which stands in front of the Church of the Nativity. As you enter the Church, you will proceed down to the Grotto of the Nativity, which marks the spot of Our Savior’s birth (Matthew 2:1-18). Beneath the Altar, there is a silver star and a Latin inscription that states: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary). Following Mass in this Sacred space, your group will return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7, Wed, Feb 21: Bethany - Dead Sea Theme: Early Years in Jerusalem & the Wilderness
Following breakfast at your hotel, your group will travel down the Jordan Valley to Qumran. Qumran is made up of 2,000 year old ruins from the days of the Second Temple, and also the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written and discovered (Ezekial 47:8-10). These writings have helped further the understanding of Jewish background in Christianity. Time and weather permitting, your group will have the opportunity to take a float in the Dead Sea, the lowest and saltiest spot on Earth. Your tour will continue as you travel through the Judean Wilderness, the site where Jesus spent His 40 days of fasting. The day of touring culminates with a transfer to Bethany. Bethany is the site where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, which foreshadows His own Resurrection (John 11:38-44). Your group will celebrate Mass and return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Thu, Feb 22: Jerusalem: Mt. Of Olives - Gethsemane - Mt. Zion - Western Wall Theme: Palm Sunday and the Agony in the Garden
After breakfast, we will make our way to the Mount of Olives, where you will be able to take in the beautiful, panoramic view of Jerusalem. Historically, the Mount of Olives was a mandatory transit point for Jesus during many iconic moments. Your group will visit the Pater Noster Shrine, where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster) (Luke 11:1-4). You will have the opportunity to stop at Dominus Flevit, which is a Church that commemorates where Jesus wept for Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). The tour continues on to Gethsemane, a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Jesus brought His disciples here to pray the night before He was crucified (Luke 22:29-53). The Garden still contains trees with roots that date back to the time of Jesus. Beside the Garden is your next stop, the Church of All Nations, built over the “Rock of Agony”. This is where Jesus prayed alone on the night of His arrest. Throughout this time, you are invited to remain in prayer and to reflect on Christ’s agony that he experienced. Your group will have the opportunity to visit the Western Wall, which is the last remnant of the Jewish Temple after it was destroyed in 70 C.E. The tour continues as you will visit the house of the High Priest Caiaphas (Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu). This Church commemorates where Jesus was examined and eventually imprisoned before the Council in Jerusalem. It also commemorates Peter’s Denial of Christ (John 18:15-18), Peters’ repentance, and Jesus’ forgiveness of Peter. You will also visit the Upper Room on Mt. Zion. The Upper Room is where Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-30) and, where Jesus appeared to His disciples after His Death and Resurrection (Mark 16:14). In addition, your group will visit the nearby Benedictine Church of the Dormition. Tradition tells us that this Church is where Mary, the Mother of Jesus, “fell asleep.” At the end of this prayerful day, your group will return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 9, Fri, Feb 23: Jerusalem: Via Dolorosa - Holy Sepulchre Theme: The Way of the Cross, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection
Your group will have a very early morning wake-up, which will begin the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) at the Antonia Fortress. This is the spot where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate (John 18:28-19:16). Following His condemnation, He was taken (on the Road to Calvary) to His place of Crucifixion. Your group will reflect upon the Stations of the Cross as you travel through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Luke 23:26-33). This Sacred destination is the site of Calvary (Jesus’ crucifixion place) and, His tomb (Luke 23: 50-55). Your group will celebrate Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Following Mass, your group will return to the Hotel to enjoy breakfast. We will continue our day with a visit to the Church of St. Anne’s, the home of Jesus’ maternal grandparents (Anne and Joachim); and the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the crippled man (John 5:1-9). This afternoon, your group will enjoy a revisit to the Old City. Following this visit, your group will enjoy dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 10, Sat, Feb 24: Tel Aviv - USA
Following breakfast and check out we will transfer to the Airport for our return flights home.
Options: *Available to you after you press the button above. † Upgrade to a Single / Private Room: $799 †Post Tour to Jordan: $849 †Post Tour to Jordan: Single Supplement / Private Room: $199 † Upgrade to Business Class: One-way: $1,850 or Round-Trip: $3,700
First Class: available upon request † Children Discount (under 12): available upon request
Optional Post Tour to Jordan
Day 10, Sat, Feb 24: Jerusalem – Jerash - Amman
After breakfast, we depart Jerusalem and cross the Sheikh Hussein Northern Border into Jordan. We drive to Jerash, nestled in a quiet valley among the mountains of Gilead, is the grandeur of Imperial Rome being one of the largest and most well preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. To this day, its paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theaters, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates remain in exceptional condition. We continue on to our hotel in Amman. We enjoy a delicious buffet dinner at our hotel before retiring for the evening.
Day 11, Sun, Feb 25: Petra
After breakfast, we depart for Petra. Upon arrival we enjoy a walking tour that begins with a visit to the Siq to the Treasury. Continue through the main street with magnificent structures on each side carved into the mountains, to the colonnaded street, ending at the Petra Museum. Lose yourself in the history of the Nabateans who meticulously carved Massive structures out of the rose colored sandstone. See the influence of the people that followed, including the architecture of the mighty Romans and a beautiful Byzantine chapel decorated with ancient, stunning mosaics that have been carefully preserved. Dinner and overnight in Petra.
Day 12, Mon, Feb 26: Petra - Kerak - Madeba - Mt. Nebo - Amman
After breakfast, we depart for the "King's Highway." We will first visit Kerak including the Castle of Kerak, the largest of mountain-top crusader castles. Next we are off to Madeba, "The City of Mosaics," to visit St. George Church where there is a clear map of the Holy Land (including Israel, Palestine & Lower Egypt). We will visit Mt. Nebo, where Moses was laid to rest, and where the late Pope John Paul II tread on his first pilgrimage of the millennium. Visit the Sanctuary at Nebo: the memorial of Moses, the presumed site of his death and burial place, and a center for pilgrimages since early Christian times. You will be inspired by the biblical feel from start to finish as you experience this divine tour. Mount Nebo is one of the most revered holy sites of Jordan, for this is where Moses was buried. The site's association with the last days of Moses is described in moving words in Deuteromony. The episode of Balak and Balam (2:13-26) also took place here. The site's other name is Pisgah: "And Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah which is opposite Jericho." Dinner and overnight in Amman. Day 13, Tue, Feb 27: Depart Amman
Today we depart to Queen Alia Airport for our departure flight back home and memories of the lifetime.
About The Holy Land - In the footsteps of Jesus:
If you desire to draw closer to Jesus of Nazareth, come, as we follow in His footsteps. Each day of your pilgrimage you will have time to renew and affirm your faith; to pray and reflect. The Scriptures will come alive as you visit Our Lord's homeland. You will be inspired by the natural beauty of the landscape, in addition to its rich historical heritage It is an encounter that has changed the lives of many pilgrims, an act of faith and prayer. Pilgrims have been traveling to the Holy Land for hundreds of years, and as part of your pilgrimage, we include many of the rich traditions that have evolved over time. The maxim at the entrance to the Church of the Nativity says: “We are hoping that: If you enter here as a tourist, you would exit as a pilgrim. If you enter here as a pilgrim, you would exit as a holier one.” We pray that same will occur when you join 206 Tours pilgrimage.