Charleston Atlantic Presbytery | from $3,750 per person | Register by June 5
This 10-day journey to the Holy Land will bring you close encounters with the land of ancient Judaism and Christianity. Watch the scriptures come to life as you walk through the wilderness and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. Experience modern religious traditions as we celebrate Shabbat with Jewish Israelis and walk down the Mount of Olives. Build deep and lasting relationships with others from your presbytery through group reflections and shared worship. At Progressive Pilgrimage, every journey is carefully crafted to meet the interests and ability of the group. This itinerary offers a glance at what you can expect in your 10-day tour. Schedule may be adjusted for efficiency and guide availability.
September 18-27 Daily Itinerary
We depart as a group from Charleston International Airport on an overnight flight to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
A private coach will transport the group from Tel Aviv to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. En route, we will stop for a striking overlook of the Jezreel Valley and orientation to the region. Enjoy a traditional Middle Eastern dinner and overnight in the historic old city of Nazareth for two nights.
In the morning, visit the Mar Elias Educational Institute in Ibillin, dedicated to educating Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Druze youth in the ways of peace. Our visit includes a meeting with Archbishop Elias Chacour, author of Blood Brothers and founder of the Institute. After lunch in the Mar Elias guesthouse, we enjoy and “off the beaten path” tour of the Arab-Israeli city of Nazareth and the Basilica of the Annunciation, commemorating the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary. We will visit local artisans and sample local delicacies with free time to explore Nazareth in the evening before dinner and overnight at Villa Nazareth hotel.
Today we explore Jesus’ adult ministry in Galilee led by a Palestinian Christian guide. Highlights include the Mount of Beatitudes, the churches at Taghba, the ruins of Capernaum (home of Simon Peter), a lunch of “St. Peter’s Fish,” a museum with a 2,000 year-old boat, and a sunset boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Transfer to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight accommodations in a historic inn inside the Christian Quarter of the Old City for the duration of the pilgrimage.
A Palestinian guide will lead our visits to Bethlehem holy sites beginning with the Church of the Nativity, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. In the late morning, we visit with a cooperative of Palestinian women who are caring for disabled children. After a tour of their neighborhood, they will lead us in a cooking class that concludes in a delicious lunch. Following lunch, we visit the Shepherd’s Field church and an olive wood workshop. During our time in Bethlehem, you may also spot some original Banksy artwork. We close the day by joining a local Jewish congregation in Jerusalem for Shabbat worship services.
Begin the day on the Mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem’s old city, pausing to reflect on important moments in Jesus’ ministry. We continue to remember the events of Holy Week as we walk the Via Dolorosa and pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. End the day by visiting with the Franciscan brothers of Dormition Abbey and a celebration of the Lord’s Supper at the traditional site of the Upper Room.
This morning we will worship with a local Christian community in Jerusalem in either English or Arabic. In the afternoon, travelers may visit the Israel Museum (home of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, or choose free time to explore Jerusalem’s Old City.
Begin the day with a visit the site of Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan where pilgrims wishing to do so can renew their own baptismal vows. Our group will travel to the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada, built by Herod the Great. After touring Masada, experience the ruins of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. End the day with a relaxing bob in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea.
End your pilgrimage with a visit the ruins of the ancient Temple built first by Solomon, rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah, expanded by Herod the Great, and destroyed by Rome in 70 CE. Led by an expert local Jewish guide, we will explore the original foundations of Jerusalem dating to before King David, sit on the Temple’s Southern Steps, and pray at the Western Wall. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the Old City market before a celebratory group final group dinner.
Transfer from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv for return flight to Charleston, SC. Those participating in a Petra excursion will depart from Jerusalem.
The total land and air cost for this pilgrimage is $3,750 per person, double occupancy with round-trip airfare from Charleston, SC.
|Round-trip Airfare||All Meals, Including Lunches||Ground Transportation|
|First Class Hotels||Entrance Fees + Local Guides||Pre-trip Educational Resources|
|Gratuity for Drivers and Guides||Hotel Baggage Transfers||Ordained Spiritual Guide|
Single occupancy is available upon request for a surcharge of $470.
A $500/person deposit is due at time of registration, payable online via PayPal or credit card. Full payment is due by July 15, 2017. Participants will be invoiced for the balance due which may be paid by check, ACH, or credit card. Credit card payments of the remaining balance will incur a 3% fee.
Add an additional day of touring or relaxing at your own pace in Tel Aviv. This is a thoroughly modern city filled with lush gardens, history and art museums, and gorgeous beaches. Add an extra night at a beach-front hotel in central Tel Aviv to give yourself a little more time to unwind at the end of your pilgrimage.
This excursion includes one additional night (double occupancy) in our beach-view Tel Aviv hotel with breakfast.
Experience the treasures of Jordan on this exciting tour of the ancient cities of Madaba and Petra. Beautiful desert landscapes and fascinating historical sites await you. On September 27, travel from Jerusalem to Jordan where you begin atop Mount Nebo before continuing to the ruins of Madaba with its magnificent Byzantine mosaics, including the Madaba map. Enjoy a traditional meal and stay overnight in a Petra hotel. On September 28, you will have a guided introduction to Petra followed by free time to explore on your own. Return to the same Petra hotel for overnight accommodations. On September 29, make an early departure from Petra, arriving to Tel Aviv in time for your flight to the United States.
This excursion includes round-trip ground transportation between Israel and Jordan and throughout Jordan; overnight accommodations in Petra (double occupancy); breakfast and dinner daily; entrance fees; licensed guides; and border assistance. Does not include border fees of $101 US dollars, additional meals, or tips. Single supplement is $110/person.
Terms and Conditions
Please read the complete Terms and Conditions online. ENROLLMENT IN AND PAYMENT FOR THE TOUR CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE CONDITIONS AND STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY.