Day 1: Depart U.S.A.
Our pilgrimage begins today as we depart on our flight to Israel. Meals and drinks served aloft.
Day 2: Arrive Tel Aviv / Jerusalem
After arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv we will be met by our local guide who will accompany us through our pilgrimage and make the scripture come alive as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Drive to our hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 3: Jerusalem
This morning we will drive to Bethlehem where we will visit and celebrate Mass at the Nativity Church which was built by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century above the traditional Grotto of Jesus’ birth. Also tour the Manger, the Grotto of St. Jerome, the Church of St. Catherine, the Milk Grotto and the Shepherd’s Fields. We will then proceed to the Israel Museum in the New City of Jerusalem where we will see a scale model of Jerusalem as it appeared 2,000 years ago. Then continue on to Ein Karem to see the Visitation Church where Mary proclaimed her famous “Magnificat” and the Church of St. John the Baptist where St. John the Baptist was born.
Day 4: Jerusalem
This morning we will drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives for a spectacular view of Jerusalem. Visit the Church of Pater Noster where Jesus taught the Lord’s prayer to his Disciples and the Chapel of Ascension where Jesus ascended into Heaven forty days after his resurrection. Then walk along the “Palm Sunday Road” to Dominus Flevit where Our Lord wept over Jerusalem. Continue to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations for Mass on the Rock of Agony. This afternoon, enter the Old City of Jerusalem through St. Stephen’s Gate. Visit the Church of St. Anne where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born, the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic man, the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostrotos, and Arch of the “Ecce Homo”. Then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to visit Golgotha and the Tomb of the Risen Savior.
Day 5: Jerusalem
This morning we will view the Temple Area of the Old City of Jerusalem featuring the Dome of the Rock, el Aqsa Mosque and the Wailing Wall. We will then enter the restored Jewish Quarter and walk along the excavated Cardo, once a main street of ancient Jerusalem. Enjoy touring the Herodian Mansions, a complex of villas from 2,000 years ago. This afternoon, drive to Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper, Dormition Abbey where Mary fell into eternal sleep, and St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus three times.
Day 6: Jerusalem
After an early Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre we will return to our hotel for breakfast. Following breakfast, proceed to Bethany to visit the site of the home of Mary, Martha & Lazarus and the Tomb of Lazarus. Continue through the Judean Wilderness to Jericho, the oldest known city in the Western world. From the top of the ancient “tel”, we’ll have an excellent view of Elisha’s Fountain, the Qarantal and the Mount of Temptation. Then proceed to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Afterwards we will have an opportunity to take a dip in the salty, mineral laden waters of the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem. This evening a special “Farewell Jerusalem” dinner will be arranged in our honor at a typical Middle Eastern restaurant.
Day 7: Jerusalem / Tiberias
Depart Jerusalem and drive north through the Jordan River Valley to Bet Shean where we’ll explore the extraordinary excavations of an ancient Roman city. Continue on to the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River where we will have an opportunity to renew our baptismal vows. Then drive on to Tiberias for check-in at our hotel located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Day 8: Tiberias
This morning we will enjoy a scenic boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, home of Our Lord during his ministry. After visiting the synagogue where He taught, proceed to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, and to the nearby Church of the Primacy of Peter. Then drive up to the Mt. of the Beatitudes for Mass at the site of the Sermon on the Mount. This afternoon, ascending the Golan Heights we’ll stop at the Banias Spring that rises from under a cave and is one of the sources of the Jordan River. It was here near Banias at ancient Caesarea Philipi where Peter made his confession of faith in Jesus.
Day 9: Tiberias
Following breakfast, we will drive to Cana of Galilee, where Our Lord performed the first miracle – changing water into wine at the wedding feast. Here, we’ll invite couples to renew their wedding vows. We will then proceed to Our Lord’s boyhood town, Nazareth. Here we will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation, visit Joseph’s Workshop and Mary’s Well. Then take an excursion to the summit of Mt. Tabor to see the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus.
Day 10: Tiberias / Tel Aviv
This morning we will depart Tiberias and drive to the sparkling port city of Haifa where we will ascend Mount Carmel, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, for Mass at Stella Maris. Then continue along the Mediterranean coast to ancient Caesarea where St. Peter preached and St. Paul was imprisoned for two years. Here we will visit the ruins of the Roman Theater, the Crusader’s Moat and the Byzantine Churches. Our drive continues to Old Jaffa where we will visit the Church of St. Peter, the home of Simon the Tanner. We will then enjoy a farewell dinner including wine at a local restaurant and then transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv to catch our late evening return flight home.
Day 11: Tel Aviv / U.S.A.
Today our Holy Land pilgrimage comes to an end as we arrive back home following our overnight flight from Tel Aviv.
The above itinerary is only a small taste of what we have to offer.
Customized itineraries and competitive quotations will be furnished upon request.
Embark on a full day drive from Israel to Cairo. The beautiful desert of Sinai has mystery, intrigue and remarkable story that will take you back to over thousands of years. Drive via the ancient caravan routes, across the Sinai Peninsula and the Suez Canal to your hotel in Cairo.
Day 2 – Cairo
Enjoy an all day tour highlighting the monuments of Egypt. Drive to Memphis, capital of the ancient kingdom of Lower Egypt. Here the sightseeing includes the Alabaster Sphinx and the remains of two colossal statues of Ramses II. Then proceed to the Necropolis of Sakkara and see the Serapeum, the Mastabas of Ti and Ptahotep, the step pyramid of Zoser and Funeral temple. Continue to the plateau of Giza, where you’ll see the sole survivors of the Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids. Visit the Royal Burial Chambers of the Great pyramids of Cheops, whose construction began more than 4000 years ago. Afterward ride by sand cart or camel to see the Sphinx. Visit a papyrus institute on the way to your hotel for overnight.
Day 3 – Cairo
Admire the treasures of ancient Egypt at the Egyptian Museum, where the treasures of Tutankhamen’s tomb fill the entire second floor. See some of the world’s most important collection of Egyptian antiquities, covering 30 dynasties of Pharaonic history till the arrival of the Romans. Next to the Citadel for a panoramic view of the minarets and domes of Islamic Cairo. See the Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali, an all impressive landmark. Onto Old Cairo, the Hanging Church, the Coptic Museum and the Abu Serga Church, where tradition says the Holy Family lodged on their flight into Egypt. Then drive through the colorful Khan El Khalili bazaar for shopping and bargaining.
Day 4 – Cairo / USA
Following breakfast, bid farewell to Cairo and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA.
The above itinerary is only a small taste of what we have to offer. Customized itineraries and competitive quotations will be furnished upon request.
Drive to the Allenby Bridge and cross into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Travel south along the Desert Road to Mount Nebo where Moses viewed the promised land. If you have a clear day, you may even capture a glimpse of Jerusalem’s sky line. Continue to Madaba, a Byzantine center of master mosaics, to see the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land. Pass through Machaerus, site of the Fortress of Herod the Great. It was here that John the Baptist was imprisoned and later beheaded at the wish of Salome. En route, motor through the village of Karak, an ancient walled city steeped in history. It is also known as Mons Realis because a castle was built here by a Crusader King. The highlight of your day will be the descent into Petra, one of the most magnificent sites in the Middle East.
Day 2 – Petra / Amman
Take a horse-ride through the Siq to the ancient city of Petra, discovered in 1912. The valley is enclosed by sandstone cliffs veined with shades of red, purple and pale yellow. This Rose-Red city was founded by the Nabatean Arabs as their capital city. You’ll be awed as you view the masterpieces of the Treasury, the Monastery, the Triumphal Arch and the Roman Amphitheater. The remains of Petra bear eloquent testimony to its former power, wealth and architecture. Motor on to Amman, the capital of Jordan, and a bustling commercial and cultural center, which, like Rome, sprawls over seven hills and was built by the Romans according to a traditional city plan.
Day 3 – Amman
This morning, drive north to Jerash, which was founded by the soldiers of Alexander the Great in 300 B.C. Jerash now stands as the most complete and best preserved ruins of a provincial Greco-Roman city in the world. Along a 2-mile stretch you’ll see the oval shaped forum encircled by 56 graceful Roman columns, Hadrian’s Arch, the Temples of Artemis and Zeus, and the massive Roman theater. In the afternoon, drive around the capital of Jordan to visit the 2nd Century Roman Amphitheater in the center of the town, the Roman Ruins of Citadel Hill and the Jordan Archaeological Museum. Time to bargain in the bazaar and catch a whiff of cinnamon, cloves, thyme and other exotic spices.
Day 4 – Amman / USA
Following breakfast, bid farewell to Jordan and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA. .
Today the Holy Land portion of our pilgrimage comes to an end. Following breakfast, we will transfer from our hotel to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight to Rome. After arrival in the Eternal City, we will be met by our local guide and transferred to our hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure. So much can be see while walking in Rome; the Parthenon, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona.
Day 2: Rome
A full day of exploring Rome begins with Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Our guide will then take us through the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel with its awesome frescoes painted by Michelangelo. In the afternoon our sightseeing includes visits to St. Mary Major Basilica, St. John Lateran, the Holy Stairs, the Old Appian Way and the St. Sebastian Catacombs.
Day 3: Rome
This morning we will experience a highlight of our Roman stay, attendance at the Papal Audience at St. Peter’s (subject to the Holy Father’s schedule). Join thousands of pilgrims from throughout the world to listen to the Holy Father and receive His Blessing. Our afternoon sightseeing of “Ancient Rome” includes visits to the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, St. Peter in Chains featuring Michelangelo’s “Moses” and St. Paul Outside the Walls, where Mass will be celebrated.
Day 4: Rome / Assisi / Rome
Drive through scenic Umbria to the mystic village of Assisi, home of St. Francis and St. Clare. Visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, site of the Porziuncola, the tiny church in the woods where St. Francis began his ministry and where St. Clare began her religious life. Proceed to the Convent of San Damiano where the miracle of the Eucharist of 1211 took place, the Basilica of St. Francis where the saint lies in rest, and the Basilica of St. Clare. In the late afternoon return to Rome.
Day 5: Rome / USA
Today marks the end of a marvelous experience as we board our jetliner for the return trip home, filled with memories that will last a lifetime.