Day 1 – Nov. 15
Afternoon departure from Toronto to Cairo.
Day 2 – Nov. 16
Late afternoon arrival in Cairo. Transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Nov. 17
Full day of sightseeing tour of Cairo visiting the Giza Pyramids, the Great Sphinx and the Egyptian Museum housing the treasures of King Tutankhamun. Dinner and overnight in Cairo.
Day 4 – Nov. 18
In the morning we visit the ancient Cairo, with the famous Coptic Hanging Church of St. Mary (Sitt Mariam) from the 7th century and St. Sergius church. Later continue by bus over Suez Canal and Sinai Peninsula to St. Catherine for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Nov. 19
For those who are interested, early morning (1-2 am) wake up to climb Mt. Sinai (2285 m) where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Return to hotel for breakfast and a visit to the monastery of St. Catherine constructed by order of the Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565, the oldest Christian church in the world continuously in service. We shall have the opportunity to see the “Burning Bush” mentioned in the Book of Exodus, set on fire, but was not consumed by the flames. Afternoon we travel to Jericho for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 – Nov. 20
This morning we visit the ancient city of Jericho and then leave for an excursion to the Dead Sea and Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. Time for floating in the Dead Sea before visiting Qasr El Yehud, the place where Jesus was baptized. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7 – Nov. 21
After breakfast we depart to Galilee. We travel by boat on the Sea of Galilee, visit Capernaum, home of St. Peter and the site of Jesus’ preaching, on to Tabgha to see the Church of the Multiplication with its beautiful 5th century fish mosaic. We also visit the Church of the Primacy and celebrate Mass on the Mount of the Beatitudes. On our way to the hotel we visit Magdala, the town of Maria Magdalena. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8 – Nov. 22
This morning we start our tour in Cana – the site of Jesus’ first miracle. Here we celebrate a marriage renewal ceremony. We move on to Nazareth where we celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation and we visit Mary’s Well and St. Joseph’s Carpentry Shop. In the afternoon we ascend Mount Tabor – the Mount of the Transfiguration. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 – Nov. 23
This morning we depart Galilee for Judea. En route we visit Haifa and Mt. Carmel, the “burning place” where Elijah called fire down to confound the prophets of Baal. Here we celebrate Mass and stop at Cesarea by the Sea, site of Jesus preaching. After short panoramic tour of Jaffa we continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – Nov. 24
In the morning we depart to Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and visit Garden of Gethsamene, Church of All Nations, Pater Noster and Dominus Flevit churches. Continue to Mount Zion with the Upper Room (Room of the Last Supper) and the Church of St. Peter’s in Gallicantu. We also visit the tomb of Lazarus in Bethany (time permitting). In the afternoon we visit Bethlehem – where Jesus was born, celebrating Christmas Mass in Milk Grotto. We visit the Manger, the Crusaders’ Cloister and the Grotto of St. Jerome – Shepherd’s field. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11 – Nov. 25
Full day in the ancient city of Jerusalem. We visit St. Ann’s Church, Pool of Bethesda, Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of the Flagellation (where we celebrate Mass) and the Arch of Ecce Homo, the convent of the sisters of Zion. We continue with the Stations of the Cross – Via Dolorosa to the Holy Sepulchre. In the afternoon we visit the Western Wall, also called the “Wailing Wall”. We see the place of the Mosque of Omar and El Aksar before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 12 – Nov. 26
Early morning we are transferred to the airport in Tel Aviv for a flight via Toronto.