$6,300 (plus air)
or $4,800 (Israel only)
Sign ups opened to Patrons and paid Substack subscribers on August 8th and sold out in under 20 minutes. Space was very limited since I don’t travel with big groups and I am only offering two Holy Land Pilgrimages in 2024.
As with all The Catholic Traveler pilgrimages, this one includes daily Mass with our own priest, my favorite local guide, excellent hotels, amazing meals in some of the best restaurants, wine with our meals, and all your tips to our local guides, our drivers, and our servers.
We are staying in some beautiful four and five star hotels – including a five star Dead Sea resort and a night of glamping in the Wadi Rum desert. All but two lunches are included – most of our meals are outside the hotel in some wonderful restaurants. Some of these restaurants never see tourists, only packed with locals, so you know the dining will be great.
We will also have a wine tasting.
Is this pilgrimage trip for you?
You need to be flexible.
This pilgrimage is not for grumpy people or those unable to be joyfully flexible. The Holy Land is fully back to normal, but the world is still a bit uncertain. While I don’t expect any complications, we have be able to adjust our plans if needed.
I’ve personally led seven pilgrimage groups to the Holy Land since they reopened and there have been zero issues.
So if you are easy-going and excited to travel, even with some uncertainties mixed in, this could be the trip for you!
You should be in good physical shape.
We will do a lot of walking, much of it outside, and much of it on uneven ground. We can walk up to several miles per day. Please do consider this before signing up.
Concerned about safety?
Personally, I feel safer in the Holy Land than in much of the US. A stabbing in Jerusalem makes national headlines in the US. How many shootings in the US never even make the local news?
I’ve been taking my kids to Israel and Jordan for years.
It should also make you feel good to know that our local Israeli guide worked security for the US Embassy for a decade before becoming a tour guide. He’s very well connected.
April 15th: Arrive in Tel Aviv. Most flights will arrive TLV late in the day, so our only activity this evening is dinner. Overnight in Tel Aviv. Most people like to arrive a day earlier to enjoy the beach. I can help extend your stay, just let me know.
April 16th: Today we head north. We will stop in Caesarea and visit Mount Carmel.
April 17th: Next we travel to Nazareth to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation – we will arrive in time for the Angelus at noon and then celebrate Mass here. We will visit the spot of the first miracle in Cana and have an opportunity for marriage vow renewals. We will stop at Mount Tabor to visit the Basilica of Transfiguration. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight on the Sea of Galilee.
April 18th: This morning we will visit Cesarea Philippi. We will travel to the Golan Heights for a panoramic view of the Road to Damascus. Overnight on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner included.
April 19th: This morning we sail across the Sea of Galilee. We will visit Capernaum and the church built over Peter’s mother-in-law’s home. Next we will visit the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount. From here we will go to Tabgha where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes. We’ll take a short hike down a trail Jesus walked and visit the town of Magdala. This evening we will have a wine tasting before our dinner. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight on the Sea of Galilee.
April 20th: This morning we head up to Jerusalem. We will visit the Mount of Olives. We will walk Palm Sunday Road to Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem, then continue into the Garden of Gethsemane. We will visit the Church of Agony, the Grotto of Gethsemane, and the empty tomb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
April 21st: Today we visit to Ein Karem and the Church of the Visitation. Here we will also see where Saint John the Baptist was born. Next we head into Bethlehem. We will visit Shepherd’s Field, and celebrate Mass at the Church of the Nativity. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Jerusalem.
April 22nd: We will begin with an early morning walk along the Via Dolorosa, ending with Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will visit the Church of Saint Ann and the Pools of Bethesda. Then it’s over to Ecce homo and Judgment hall, where Jesus stood before Pontus Pilate. We will visit the Western Wall. After lunch, we will visit Mount Zion to visit Saint Peter in Galicantu and the Upper Room. Dinner included. Overnight in Jerusalem.
April 23rd: This morning we cross into Jordan. Once crossing the border, we’ll head to Madaba to see the oldest map of the Holy Land, which is a mosaic on a church floor. While in Madaba we’ll dine at the excellent Haret Jdodna restaurant. Then we visit Mount Nebo to see where Moses saw the Promised Land and then died. We’ll celebrate Mass here and then head south to Petra. We are staying just outside the entrance to this ancient city. Lunch and dinner included.
April 24th: This will be a best day ever! We will enter Petra with our guide right as it opens. We will walk the Siq, an amazing gorge that leads to the famous Treasury. Once here, you’ll have time on your own to hike and explore. This afternoon we will head deep, deep, deep into the Wadi Rum. Our coach can only go so far, so we will hop into 4x4s to get a tour of the sand dunes and watch an otherworldly sunset. Next, we will settle into our luxurious desert camp. Lunch and dinner included.
April 25th: This morning we leave the desert and head north to our five star Dead Sea resort. You’ll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the resort amenities and float in the Dead Sea, but first, we’ll stop at Bethany Beyond the Jordan to the actual site where Jesus was Baptized. Saint John Paul II called this spot the heart of the Holy Land. Lunch and dinner included.
April 26th: Today you have most of the day free to relax at our Dead Sea Resort. Dinner included.
April 27th: Your flights home from Amman (airport code AMM).
$6,300 per person – ground only.
Just want the Israel portion? The total is $4,800 per person – ground only.
The cost is per person, in double occupancy, meaning two people to a room.
You’re $1,000 deposit secures your space.
Final payment is due February 15th, 2024. Final payment is nonrefundable.
I match singles with other traveling singles (of the same sex, of course) and that always works out great. If you are uncomfortable sharing a room with a stranger, you can request a single room for an additional $1,200 ($1,800 total with the Jordan extension). Single rooms at this price are extremely limited. So, first come, first served.
Included in the price
Accommodations for 12 nights
We are staying one night in Tel Aviv.
We are staying four nights on the Sea of Galilee.
We are staying three nights in Jerusalem.
We are staying one night in Petra.
We are staying one night in the Wadi Rum desert.
We are staying two nights on the Dead Sea.
Breakfast daily plus 20 additional meals, including meals in some of my favorite restaurants.
Drinks, including wine, are included in all our lunches and dinners.
All group ground transportation
We’ll be traveling in a private motor coach.
Full time service of a local tour guide
My local guide Shafik will be with us throughout the pilgrimage in Israel. We will have a local Jordanian guide in Jordan.
Full time service of a tour director
I’ll be with you at all times.
No hidden costs
If we do it as a group, it’s included in the price! You are responsible only for things you do on your own, souvenirs you wish to buy, and Mass donations directly to the churches.
Unlike most pilgrimage companies, once I receive your deposit, your tour price will not go up!
All tips for group meals, guides, and drivers
Would you believe that many tour companies require you to tip as you go? Not only does that add to the advertised sticker price of a tour, it’s also a huge hassle to you. No need to worry about that here. Tips are already included.
Entry fees and tours
All entry fees and tours to our included group activities.
We have a lot planned, but time on your own is important. We take our time in churches to give you the opportunity for prayer and reflection. We also include free time for you to explore, shop, relax, even get tattoos on your own.
You should fly into TLV no later than April 15th. Most flights from the US will depart late on the 14th, and arrive the afternoon of the 15th. Some people like to arrive a day or two early to get over jet-lag and to enjoy the sea. If you need extra nights at the hotel, you can book that directly with them. Our only planned activities on the 15th are Mass and dinner.
Our last group activity is dinner together on the 26th. We have the hotel rooms for the night of the 26th so you can schedule your flight either for late at night on the 26th or for the 27th. Many flights to the US depart late at night or early morning, so keep that in mind when booking. In the past, some people have left even earlier on the 26th, if there’s a big enough savings in the flight. Most of the final day is relaxing at the resort.
Most airlines are offering free changes should anything happen to the trip. Some airlines are not offering refunds, but rather a credit.
If you need to cancel your trip for any reason, if the situation in the Holy Land or Jordan changes and we need to cancel or postpone the trip, it’s your responsibility to work with your airline to cancel, reschedule, or request refunds.
If you have any questions or concerns about booking your flight, email me.
Some opt for a taxi, others a private driver. If you want a private driver, I can help with that. Just let me know once you have your flights booked. This way I can also hook you up with others in our group arriving and departing around the same time to save money on the transfer.
No Hassle Cancellations
No other tour or pilgrimage company offers this level of free cancellation coverage.
If you need to cancel for any reason at all, up to 60 days before the start of the trip, you will be refunded 100% of the cost of the pilgrimage.
If you need to cancel for any reason at all up to 30 days days of departure, you’ll get everything back minus the deposit.
If you need to cancel after that time, you’ll need to use trip insurance for refunds, because I will have paid in full for everything by that point. 🙂
If for any reason I need to cancel or postpone the trip, you will be refunded 100% of the cost of the pilgrimage.
In all cases, you are responsible for working with the airline to get credit or refunds for changed or cancelled flights.
Trip insurance is a wise investment in case something comes up while you are traveling. If you think there is any chance you may need to cancel, I recommend you purchase travel insurance. A “Cancel for Any Reason” plan will let you, well, cancel for ‘most’ any reason. Most plans should allow for at least a 75% refund should you need to cancel at any time before departure. I have a friend who specializes in trip insurance, you can contact him directly, but you are under no obligation to use him and I don’t get any sort of kick backs, so shop around and find what is best for you.