Ken and Darlene Swanson Holy Land Tour
Fr. Ken and Darlene Swanson
March 10-21, 2019
Atlanta International Airport
Tel Aviv, Israel
SUNDAY-March 10-Leave the USA on an international flight to Tel Aviv.
MONDAY – March 11 (Day 1): Arrive in Tel Aviv – Jaffa – Beit Shemesh – Valley of Elah – Beersheba
Arrive in Tel Aviv and board a new, climate-controlled motor coach where our guide will greet us and give us an orientation of the land as we travel towards Jaffa. There we will consider the vision of Peter (Acts 10) and start following the sequence of events that lead to the opening of the gates of the early church to Gentiles. As we look at the very place where Jonah ran from the Lord, we will also reflect on our own walk with God. Then group will continue to visit Beit Shemesh referenced in book of Joshua (21,6). Group then will visit Valley of Elah best known as the place described in the Bible where the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath. Check in at our hotel in Negev for dinner and overnight
TUESDAY – March 12 (Day 2): Eilat – Taba Border – Sinai – Transfer to Morgenland
Following breakfast we will depart from Beersheba towards Eilat, where group will cross Taba Border, into Egypt, where we will meet our local guide and driver and head to Morgenland Village for dinner and overnight
WEDNESDAY- March 13 (Day 3): Mt. Sinai – St. Catherine – Arava Border – Aqaba
Early in the morning, we will climb to the Mountain of Sinai. Then group will be back to hotel for breakfast. Following breakfast, we will visit the St. Catherine Monastery. Group will be transferred to Taba border to cross to Jordan. Following the Cross of the Border, we will meet our local guide and driver and head to Aqaba in Jordan for dinner and overnight
THURSDAY – March 14 (Day 4): Aqaba – Wadi Rum – Petra
Following breakfast, we will depart from Aqaba where we pass through Wadi Rum. Continue to visit Petra (included) a 2000-year-old Nabatean (ancient Arab) city that was highlighted in the movie “Indian Jones and the Last Crusade”. We will walk through the narrow passageway (called the “Siq”) up to the Treasury, a massive royal tomb carved out of solid rock. If time permits, we will visit the traditional Tomb of Aaron (Moses’ brother), along with Little Petra before. Check in at our hotel in Petra for dinner and overnight
FRIDAY – March 15 (Day 5): Petra – Madaba – Nebo – Jericho – Beit Shean – Tiberias
Following breakfast, we will depart from Petra towards Madaba (included) the city of mosaics, to see the wonderfully vivid 6th century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land in the contemporary Greek Orthodox church of St. George. Then we will continue to visit Mt. Nebo (included) to view the Holy Land from where Moses stood (Deuteronomy 34:1). Group will cross to Israel through Allenby Bridge, where we will meet our local guide and driver and head visit Beit Shean (included) Here we will see the excavations of the city where the Philistines hung the bodies of Saul and Jonathan. Check in at our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight
SATURDAY – March 16 (Day 6): Capernaum – Tabgha – Mt. Beatitudes – Tel Dan – Banias – Boat Ride – Tiberias
Start the day with a visit to Capernaum (included) Jesus’ Galilean ministry base. There we will see the house of Peter’s mother in law, in addition to other ruins of the village. Then we continue to visit Tabgha the church of the Multiplication of Fishes and Loaves. Group will continue to visit Mt. Beatitudes on the Sea of Galilee. Group will visit Tel Dan (included), the northern extremity of Biblical Israel. We will visit the location of the altar where the golden calf was placed by King Jeroboam. There we will discuss the downfall and idolatry of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Then we will continue to visit Banias (included) the Site of Peter’s Confession. We end our day with a visit to the ancient boat museum (included), containing a recently-discovered 2000-year old fishing boat. We will then sail (included) on the Sea of Galilee on a replica of that boat. We return to our hotel. Dinner included
SUNDAY – March 17 (Day 7): Tiberias – Cana – Nazareth – Muhraqa – Caesarea – Jerusalem
Following breakfast, we will visit Cana the Church of the First Miracle where married couples can renew their wedding vows. Continue to visit Nazareth where we will climb the Mount of Precipice, the brow of the hill on which the city was built (Luke 4).There we will reflect on the rejection of Jesus by his family and friends in Nazareth. In addition to discussing Jesus’ boyhood we will also consider the life and times of Deborah (Judges 4). Then group will continue to visit Muhraqa (included) and consider the contest between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal (I Kings 18), discussing the reasons why the Prophet chose that place for the contest, and the lessons we learn from the story. Check in at our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight
MONDAY – March 18 (Day 8): Mt. Olives – Gethsemane – Davidson Centre – Mt. Zion
After buffet breakfast, group will start the day with a visit to Mt. Olives where we will stop for a panoramic view over Jerusalem where our guide will point the most important sites in Jerusalem. We then stop for a private time at Garden of Gethsemane. Then we will continue to visit Davidson Centre (included) where ruins of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount are still visible. We will then gather at the teaching steps, the main entrance to the Temple where Rabbis met and taught their disciples. Then we will continue to visit Mt. Zion where group visit the Upper Room and St. Peter in Galicantu (included) where Peter denied Jesus three times. Back to hotel for dinner and overnight
TUESDAY – March 19 (Day 9): Western Wall Tunnels – Bethlehem – Shepherd’s Field
Start the day with a visit to the Western Wall Tunnels (included) here we will walk on the very stones where Jesus trod Herod’s “second temple’, and see the place where our Savior taught the scriptures. Continue to visit Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity, built over the birthplace of Jesus. Group will continue to visit the Shepherd’s Field where the Shepherd’s saw the star of the nativity. Back to our hotel for dinner and overnight
WEDNESDAY – March 20 (Day 8): Jericho – Masada – Ein Gedi – Qumran – Jerusalem
After breakfast, we will depart to visit Jericho where we will visit the Tel of Jericho (included) with its ancient ruins, pointing out what possibly could be the foundations of the ramparts that Joshua and the Israelites brought down. Continue to visit Masada (entrance & cable car included); the fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD with the standoff against the Romans. We visit the fortress and see the ruins that are considered a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. We then continue to En Gedi, the oasis in the desert where the meeting between David and King Saul took place (I Samuel 24) and where many of the psalms were written by David. After lunch, we visit Qumran (included), the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by a Bedouin boy back in 1947. There we will see the caves and other buildings that the Essenes, the group of Jews who wrote the scrolls, lived. End of the day will be visiting the Dead Sea to try a float in the Salty Water of the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem
THURSDAY – March 21 (Day 9): Temple Mount – St. Anne & Pool of Bethesda – Via Dolorosa – Departure
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with a We will ascend the Temple Mount, discussing its connection to both the Old and New Testaments. We will also discuss why it is considered the third holiest site in Islam. We then enter the Old City to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and walk the Via Dolorosa. Rest of time is free to explore Jerusalem on your own. Afternoon group will be transferred to the Airport for our flights back home!!
Roundtrip Non-Stop Flight – Wide-bodied trans-atlantic jets.
Porterage of Baggage – Your bags will be put on buses and taken up to your room for you.
Air-Conditioned Motor Coaches – Ride aboard a brand-new, private, air-conditioned motor coach.
Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee – Complete the experience with prayer, singing and dancing on a 2,000 year old boat replica.
Guides Knowledgable of Historical and Biblical Context of Sites Visited
Customized Guidebook – Complete with study on where you have been and where you will go on your tour.
Superior First Class Hotels – We stay at only the best hotels the area has to offer.
Group Photos and More – Get a group photo and tons of photography opportunities!
Two Meals Daily
Comprehensive Sightseeing – With plenty of time and opportunity for pictures.
Limited Trip Size – We strive to make your trip special and unique, so this trip offers limited group size.
Entrance Fees to Places Visited – Walk right past the ticket booth with all your Entrance Fees paid in advance!
Special Rabbinical Tunnel Visit
Masada Visit Including Round-Trip Cable Car Ride to the Top
*Some accommodations may be changed on certain tours depending on the leader’s wishes. Please see your dedicated tour page for more information.
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