Pilgrimage to The Holy Land(s)

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of Jordan and Israel

Visit the Lost City of Petra, sleep under the stars in the Wadi-Rum desert, work with Iraqi refugee children in Amman, relax on the Dead Sea, and see where Christ was born, lived, and died.
sunrise-crop
While most consider Israel to be the Holy Land, it is important to note that Jordan is home to hundreds of biblical sites dating all the way back to Genesis. On this pilgrimage, we will visit the Holy Lands of both Jordan and Israel.
We will stand atop Mount Nebo and gaze into the Promised Land, just as Moses did. We will see the spot where Elijah was taken into heaven. We will touch the spot where Christ was born in Bethlehem. We will visit the spot where Jesus was baptized, in Bethany beyond the Jordan. We will touch the spot where Christ was crucified and enter His empty tomb. And this barely scratches the surface of all we will see and do during our 9 nights in the Holy Land(s).
Our Holy Land(s) journey will also take us through Petra – where you’ll have time to search for the Holy Grail, deep into the Wadi Rum desert, and onto the Dead Sea.
You may want to read about my first visit to Jordan.

The Catholic Traveler Experience

A well designed itinerary: This itinerary has been tested, iterated, and perfected to pack in more than you ever thought possible, without being too busy and overwhelming. We will have time to relax, time to explore, and plenty of time for prayer and reflection.
Small groups: So many Holy Land groups have a minimum of 50 travelers. We are keeping this group between 20 – 30 people.
Amazing hotels: We are staying in some of the best four and five star hotels and resorts (and a tent) in all of Israel and Jordan.
Excellent meals: In addition to daily breakfast, I’ve included fourteen meals for this trip! We will dine in some amazing restaurants, including Tawaheen Al Hawa (Amman), Haret Jdoudna (Madaba), Magdalena (Tiberias), Wine and Cheese (Jerusalem).
Drinks included: Drinks are included with all group meals at no extra charge. Because of the region, alcohol is not available at all restaurants.
Tips included: Most tour companies expect you to tip as you go. Tips to restaurants, your driver, local guides, etc. As always, I’ve already included all the tips in the price. It’s just one less thing for you to worry about so you can focus on the fun.
Me: As with all my trips, I am available to answer all your questions and to help you plan and prepare for our trip. I’ll be with you throughout our entire pilgrimage to be sure you are well taken care of and that everything runs smoothly.

Itinerary

Tuesday, August 1st
Delta flight 2599 departs BNA at 3:59 PM, and arrives ATL at 6:13 PM.
Air France flight 689 departs ATL at 8:20 PM.
Wednesday, August 2nd
Air France flight 689 arrives CDG at 10:45 AM.
Air France flight 452 departs CDG at 2:45 PM, and arrives AMM at 8:25 PM.
It’s a short drive down to the lowest point on Earth. We’ll have dinner tonight at our Dead Sea resort.
Dinner included. Overnight at the Dead Sea.
We are staying at the amazing Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa.

A relaxing sunset over the Dead Sea.

A relaxing sunset over the Dead Sea.

Thursday, August 3rd
This morning we will visit the Pontifical Mission for Palestine and spend some time visiting the Iraqi Christian refugee children. We will visit the exact spot where Jesus was baptized in Bethany Beyond the Jordan before returning to the Dead Sea. We’ll end the day watching the sunset at our (dead)seaside resort.
Lunch and dinner included. Overnight at the Dead Sea.
Friday, August 4th
This morning we will travel to Madaba to see the famous 6th century mosaic map of Palestine in St. George’s church. We will have lunch together before visiting Mount Nebo where Moses saw the Promised Land. We’ll continue south to Petra for the night.
Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Petra.
We are staying at the five star Petra Marriott Hotel.
Looking towards the Promised Land.

Looking towards the Promised Land.

Saturday, August 5th
Today will be a best day ever. We start with an early morning visit to the amazing city of Petra. After our guided tour, you’ll have time to explore a bit on your own. From Petra we head into the Wadi Rum desert. We will take a 4×4 Jeep tour of this otherworldly landscape, surrounded by rugged mountains and sand dunes, as we find the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Tonight we sleep in Bedouin tents at the Wadi Rum Night Camp! Don’t let the word ‘tent’ scare you, this is a luxury camp. Check out the write up from my first trip to Jordan to see pictures from our camp.
Dinner included. Overnight in the Wadi Rum desert.
Sunday, August 6th
This morning we cross into Israel. As we head north towards the Sea of Galilee, we will stop at Mount Tabor and visit the Basilica of the Transfiguration. After Mass, we will continue to Tiberias.
We are staying at The Scots Hotel. This absolutely gorgeous hotel is located just off the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Dinner included. Overnight in Tiberias.
Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

Monday, August 7th
We begin today with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. We will then visit Capernaum and Tabgha to the Church of the Saint Peter’s Primacy. We end the morning with a visit to the Mount of Beatitudes. This evening we will walk through the Valley of the Doves before our dinner together.
Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Tiberias.
Valley of the Doves

Valley of the Doves

Tuesday, August 8th
This morning we’ll go into Nazareth. Here we will visit the Church of Annunciation, the Church of Saint Joseph, and Mary’s Well. We’ll stop in Cana where married couples will have a chance to renew their vows before heading into Jerusalem.
Dinner included. Overnight in Jerusalem.
We are staying directly across from the Old City at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center.
Wednesday, August 9th
Today we’ll visit Jericho for lunch and a quick visit to the Mount of Temptation. Then it’s on to Ein Kerem, the birthplace of Saint John the Baptist, and where we will see the Church of the Visitation. For those interested, we may be able to arrange an overnight stay inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher tonight or tomorrow.
Dinner included. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Thursday, August 10th
Today we travel to Bethlehem, stopping first at Shepherd’s Field, and then to the site of the Nativity. This afternoon we will visit the Mount of Olives, including Ascension Chapel and Pater Noster. 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.
Dinner included. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Friday, August 11th
This morning we have Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will follow this with a walk on the Via Dolorosa. We will visit the Western Wall, the Church of Saint Ann, and the Pools of Bethesda. Then we will visit Ecce homo and Judgment hall (where Jesus stood before Pontus Pilate). From here, we go to Mount Zion to Saint Peter in Galicantu, Dormition Abbey, the Upper Room, and King David’s Tomb. After dinner tonight, we head to the airport for our flight home.
Dinner included.
Saturday, August 12th
Delta flight 469 departs TLV at 12:15 AM (after midnight), and arrives JFK at 5:01 AM.
Delta flight 2341 departs JFK at 6:05 AM, and arrives ATL at 8:28 AM.
Delta flight 1066 departs ATL at 10:25 AM, and arrives BNA at 10:26 AM.

Important Dates

Your deposit reserves your spot. These small group pilgrimages fill up fast, don’t wait!
May 1st, 2017: Final payment is due. Photocopy of your Passport is due – picture page only – can be emailed. Any special dietary or medical requests is also due at this time.

Price

$4,400 per person
$1,000 deposit secures your spot. Tour deposit is fully refundable for 14 days from the time you make your deposit.
Final payment of $3,400 is due May 1st, 2017. Final payment is nonrefundable.
Space is limited!
This cost is for double occupancy. Traveling alone? No problem! You’ll have a chance to ‘meet’ the other solo travelers before the trip and pick a roommate. This usually works out well. If you really prefer to have your own single room, there is a single supplement of $900.

Optional Insurance

If you think there is any chance you may need to cancel, I recommend you purchase travel insurance. Insurance is strongly recommended on this trip.
Many people go through InsureMyTrip.com. 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. Please review all your options to be sure the plan you pick is best for you.

Is this tour for you?

Please review the following before committing to this trip!
You must be able to carry your own luggage.
You are responsible for your luggage and getting it from the plane to the bus and the bus to your hotel rooms. We will not have porters on this trip, so keep that in mind when deciding how many pairs of shoes to bring! Here’s a post I wrote about packing.
You should be in good physical shape.
We will do a lot of walking, much of it outside. We will cover several miles on some days.
You must be flexible!
This is the Holy Land, things may close without notice, a protest could spring up without warning. But, it’s not all negative, great things come up unexpectedly as well. Being flexible is the key for happy travels!

Included

Pre and post trip planning
If you are planning to arrive a few days early or stay a few days after the tour ends, I’ll help you with your itinerary.
Flights between Nashville/Amman and Tel Aviv/Nashville
August 1st
Delta flight 2599 departs BNA at 3:59 PM, and arrives ATL at 6:13 PM.
Air France flight 689 departs ATL at 8:20 PM.
August 2nd
Air France flight 689 arrives CDG at 10:45 AM.
Air France flight 452 departs CDG at 2:45 PM, and arrives AMM at 8:25 PM.
August 12th
Delta flight 469 departs TLV at 12:15 AM (after midnight), and arrives JFK at 5:01 AM.
Delta flight 2341 departs JFK at 6:05 AM, and arrives ATL at 8:28 AM.
Delta flight 1066 departs ATL at 10:25 AM, and arrives BNA at 10:26 AM.
Accommodations for 9 nights
Dead Sea: Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa (5 Star)
Petra: Petra Marriott Hotel (5 Star)
Wadi Rum Desert: Wadi Rum Night Camp (A tent)
Tiberias: The Scots Hotel (4 Star)
Jerusalem: Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center (4 Star)
Breakfast daily plus 14 additional meals
As always, drinks are included with our group meals. Keep in mind that wine will not be available in some places due to the laws in the region.
All group ground transportation
We’ll be traveling in a private motor coach.
Full time service of a tour director
Visiting new countries can be intimidating! That’s why you will have an experienced Catholic American tour director (me!) with you at all times.
Local guide
We will have a local guide with us throughout the trip. One guide will be specifically for Jordan and one specifically for Israel. I know them both and they are excellent!
No hidden costs
If we do it as a group, it’s included in the price! You are responsible only for the meals you have on your own, souvenirs you wish to buy, and anything you want to do in your free time. Tips, air taxes, drinks with meals? Already included!
Guaranteed price
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 and we take care of that behind the scenes.
Entry fees and tours
All entry fees and tours to our included group activities, including: Saint George’s Church in Madaba, Mount Nebo, Petra, Wadi Rum and 4×4 Jeep tour, Jerusalem Churches (Ascension, Pater Noster, Ecce Homo, Saint Peter in Galicantu, Saint Ann’s Church), boat across the Sea of Galilee, Mount Tabor, Capernaum, Baptismal site of Jesus.
Social planning
Plan your trip with your traveling companions before you leave! We set up private Facebook groups for each tour to give you a chance to meet before you meet!
You time
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 and relax on your own.

Sign up for the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land(s)

Use the form below to sign up for this pilgrimage. If you have any questions, you can email or call 404.330.9913.

Terms and Conditions

What you are getting by signing up, how much walking you will be doing, what happens if something changes in the itinerary, making your final payment, how we can send you home if you misbehave… and more!
Be sure to read everything carefully.

Deposit Info

You’ll be able to pay by credit card or check. Payment info will be emailed to you once you sign up.