8:15am Meet in the departure hall at Winnipeg airport to check in for the Air Canada 10:45am flight to Toronto arriving at 2:15pm. Leave Toronto at 4:10pm on the Air Canada overnight nonstop flight, destination Israel, meals served on board.
WELCOME TO ISRAEL
Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel at 9:15am. Meet your guide, drive north through the Plain of Sharon, along the Mediterranean shore on the old coastal route which linked Egypt and Babylon. Stop at Caesarea the Roman capital boasting the largest port in the Mediterranean built by King Herod the Great. Here Pontius Pilate had his seat; Cornelius lived and was baptized (Acts 10); Paul embarked to Tarsus (Acts 9:30) and Philip preached (Acts 8:40). Visit the Roman Theatre, the Hippodrome, and the Aqueduct. Travel to the summit of Mount Carmel at Muhraka the “burning place” for a breathtaking view of the Jezreel Valley, where Elijah confronted the 450 prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:30). Continue to the Sea of Galilee to get a good night’s rest. 1 night: Bayview hotel ~ Haifa (Dinner)
Drive along the Jezreel Valley to Tel Megiddo, one of King Solomon’s fortified city kingdoms (1 Kings 9:15; 10:26), with 21 impressive layers of civilisation, where the book of revelations will come to life at the site of the epic Armageddon. Travel across the Jezreel Valley to Nazareth, the boyhood village of Jesus. View the Church of Annunciation, visit Nazareth Village to relive life from the time of Jesus. Visit Ancient Zippori (Sepphoris) an impressive site, first mentioned by Josephus Flavius as the most important city in the Galilee, also known as the “glory of the entire Galilee.” Only a few miles from Nazareth, this was the largest construction project in the Galilee during Jesus’ time in Nazareth. Travel to the hotel on the Sea of Galilee. 3 nights: Sofia hotel ~Sea of Galilee (Breakfast & dinner)
Travel to Mt. Arbel (Arbala) an imposing cliff to enjoy an unparalleled view of the Sea of Galilee and the routes that Jesus and the Galileans took from Nazareth to Migdal (Magdala) on the Sea of Galilee. Stop to visit the new excavations at Migdal (Magdala), on the Sea of Galilee. Then visit sites central to Jesus’ Ministry – starting at the Mt Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the famous “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt.5). Then the Church of the Primacy of Peter (Tabgha) and the adjacent Church of the Feeding of the Multitude. Proceed to Kfar Nahum Capernaum centre of Jesus’ Ministry in the Galilee and site of many of his miracles (Mark 2:4; Matt. 8:5; 14-7; 9; 1-7; 17: 18). See the remains of St Peter’s mother in law’s home and the ancient synagogue where Jesus taught and worshipped (Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31). (Breakfast & dinner)
Travel up the lush Jordan Valley into the “Finger of the Galilee.” Stop at Tel Dan to visit the unique, ancient Biblical site including: a mud brick gate from the time of Abraham (Genesis 14: 14), an iron Age stone gate and alter. Continue to Banias to visit Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus asked “Who do men say I am?” Travel onto the Golan Heights, stop to learn about a major tank battle in the Valley of Tears. Continue south, down the Golan Heights to the Sea of Galilee, en route stop at Beth Saida, a village which Jesus prophesied would be destroyed for its unbelief. View the famous ancient boat from the time of Jesus. Following the tradition of the “fishermen” disciples, sail on the Sea of Galilee with time for meditation and prayer. Time permitting visit Kursi, an ancient Byzantine Monastery – near the miracle of the Demonic man and swine. (Breakfast & dinner)
FROM THE GALILEE TO JERUSALEM
Get an early start and travel south along the Jordan Valley to visit Beit Shean, where the body of King Saul and his sons were placed on the walls by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10). Later known, in Jesus’ day, as Scythopolis, capital of Decapolis. View the extensive excavated ruins of the Roman / Byzantine / Omayyad cities. Follow the pilgrimage route that Jesus & the Galileans took through the homeland of Prophet Elisha, down the Jordan Valley, where the desert now blooms with flowers and vegetation of every description (Isaiah 35:1-2). Stop at Qasr El Yahud, on the Jordan River where John baptised Jesus (Matt. 3:13-17). Descend to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth (417 meters below sea level). Stop at Qumran – home of the Cult of the Judean Desert, where a shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls (1947) in a nearby cave. Continue south, visit the Oasis at Ein Gedi of David fleeing the Wrath of King Saul fame then proceed to the hotel on the Dead Sea. 1 night: David spa Hotel ~ Dead Sea (Breakfast & dinner)
DEAD SEA TO JERUSALEM
Spend a leisurely morning at the Dead Sea spa hotel with time for a unique experience- “float” in the Dead Sea. Late morning, travel north along the Dead Sea to Masada to visit the ruins of King Herod’s imposing mountaintop fortress, later the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Rome (73 ACE) – Ascend and Descend by cable car. Then drive through the Judean Desert, stop for a unique view of St George Monastery in the Judean desert at Wadi Qelt. Continue to Jerusalem, stop on Mt. Scopus to recite a Psalm of ascent with your first view of the Holy city and learn of second Temple burial at an adjacent cave. 4 nights: Caesar Hotel ~ Jerusalem (Breakfast & dinner)
Visit the Israel Museum including the model of Jerusalem from the time of Jesus. Then pay respect to the victims of the Shoah at Yad Vashem – National Memorial & Museum of the Holocaust, including: the unique Museum, the Valley of Communities & the Children’s Memorial. Explore King David’s City including, Warren’s Shaft, the Canaanite tunnel and the Pools of Siloam. Continue to the Southern Wall Archaeological Park including a stop on the very same ancient steps that Jesus & the Galilean pilgrims might have used to enter and exit the Holy Temple. Proceed to Mt Zion to visit the Church of the Last Supper (the upper chamber). Walk down the mountain to the church of St Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus for the 3rd time and the cock crowed. Pay tribute to Oskar Schindlar at his grave on Mt Zion. (Breakfast & dinner)
View the Holy Temple from the Mt. of Olives. Then follow in the footsteps of Jesus and the Galileans on the route of Palm Sunday – walk down the Mt. via Dominus Flevitt to visit Gethsemane – the Church of All Nations and the Grotto of Gethsemane with time for reflection and prayer in the Olive orchard. Enter the Old City at the Dung Gate and visit the Western Wall (Kotel). Walk back in time through the Western Wall Tunnels (Excavations), under the city. Continue to the pools of Bethsaida where Jesus healed the paralytic man and enjoy the exceptional acoustics at St Anne’s church. Walk through the “Suk” (the colourful Arab market) and via the Jewish Quarter stopping at the many archaeological windows into the Biblical past. Visit the Garden Tomb, remember the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ, with time for reflection and communion. An option is provided to travel to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, birthplace of Jesus (dependant on the line up and state of the ongoing renovations), shepherds Field and shop at an Olive Wood factory. (Breakfast & dinner)
Spend a day of leisure in this fascinating city. Revisit places of interest and do some shopping in the colourful “Suk” (Market Place) in the Old City. Options to consider (on your own) – Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, site of exciting new discoveries and renovations to the Edicule containing the Tomb of the Resurrection. Spend time doing archaeological sifting at Emmek Zurrim where you can see some recently discovered floor tiles from Herod’s Temple; Or visit the Citadel museum or The Friends of Zion Museum of Christian Zionism. A modest entrance fee is required at some of the listed sites. Enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel. (Breakfast & dinner)
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Canada. Leave Tel Aviv at 10:55am on the direct non-stop Air Canada flight to Toronto, meals served on board. Arrive in Toronto at 5pm. Continue on the Air Canada flight to Winnipeg at 7:20pm arriving at 9:10pm.
Join Pastor Lorne Meisner
What is the deadline for registration?
There is no deadline. We accept registration on a “first-come-first serve” basis. There is always a limited number of spaces available and as soon as we sell them – the group is completed. To avoid disappointment please register as soon as you decide.
When is the final payment?
Usually it is 60 days before departure, but there are some exceptions for non-standard tours. Your invoice will indicate clearly when your payments are due.
What happens with my deposit when you cancel a group?
In a very unlike situation when we have to cancel a group for reasons out of our control, your deposit is protected and fully refundable. When you cancel on your own please make sure that your non-refundable deposit is protected by your own insurance.
Can I request a specific seat on a flight?
For the group reservations the airlines don't give us an option of selecting specific seats. When your ticket is issued your seat is guaranteed, but usually not printed on the e-ticket. However, you can always check-in online 24 hours before departure and change your seat based on availability.
Tell me which hotels we will be staying?
We always book best, first-class hotels. We frequently check them for best quality. Hotels are confirmed about two months before departure and we will give you all details in the final itinerary
I'm traveling alone & don't have a roommate. What should I do?
Please register ASAP. We will take a note of your request and will try to match you with another passenger willing to share. Other options are single room (with a supplement) or forming a triple room if you know another two people willing to share.
I have several food allergies. Can I request a special menu?
Please let us know about your food restrictions. We will order special meals for your flights, if available. All breakfasts and some dinners at the destinations are buffets, so you can select food by yourself. The restaurants at the destinations will do their best to offer you individual alternate to standard set menus for the group. You will need to communicate your needs through tour leaders.
What is eTA? Does it apply to me?
If you are Canadian or US citizen – no need to worry. It applies to citizens of other countries. They will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Be prepared: Apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. Most applicants get approved within minutes. However, some applications can take several days to process so don’t wait until the last minute. Apply and get help at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start-int.asp