Day 1: Sun, Sept. 1 -
Los Angeles to Cairo, Egypt. Depart LAX at 6:00 a.m. on American Airlines 292, arriving at JFK in New York at 2:34 p.m. Transfer to Egyptair 986, departing JFK at 6:30 p.m. and arriving in Cairo at 11:00 a.m. the next morning.
Day 2: Mon, Sept. 2 -
Cairo arrival, transfer to Luxor. Upon arrival at Cairo International Airport, our Cairo representative will welcome, meet and assist us through immigration and customs formalities and then transfer us to the domestic terminal where we will fly south to Luxor on Egyptair 481, departing Cairo at 4:25 p.m. and arriving in Luxor at 5:35 p.m. We will be met and taken to the Movenpick Darakumluxury cruise boat where our four night cruise program will begin. Dinner and overnight on the Movenpick Darakum. After dinner we will take a walking tour of the Luxor bazaars.
Day 3: Tues, Sept. 3 -
Luxor, Valley of the Kings and Queens, cruising. In the morning visit the magnificent Karnak and Luxor temples on the east bank of the Nile River. Then we cross to the west bank to see the Valley of the Kings and Queens, the tomb of Tutankhamen, the funerary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, and the Colossi of Memnon. In the afternoon we will begin the cruise up the Nile toward Aswan. After passing through the Esna locks we continue up the river and reach Edfu in the early evening, where we will spend the night.
Day 4: Wed, Sept. 4 -
Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan. At Edfu we travel by horse drawn carriage to the Temple of Horus, the Falcon god. This temple is considered the best preserved temple from ancient Egypt and is the second largest after the great Temple of Karnak at Luxor. Sail on to Kom Ombo where we will stop to visit the Ptolemaic Temple of Sobek the Crocodile god, and then sail to Aswan for overnight.
Day 5: Thurs, Sept. 5 -
Aswan. After breakfast we will visit the Aswan High Dam, the Granite Quarry with its Unfinished Obelisk, and the Temple of Philae. In the afternoon we will take a felucca ride on Nile to view the botanical gardens on Kitchner’s island and the Aga Khan Mausoleum. In the evening we will take a walking tour of the Aswan bazaars.
Day 6: Fri, Sept. 6 -
Abu Simbel, Aswan to Cairo. We have an early morning excursion by air to Abu Simbel on Lake Nasser, visiting the two temples of Ramses 2 and his wife Nefertari. These temples were threatened with submersion by the lake after the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s and reassembled 60 meters up the sandstone cliff from where they had been built over 3,000 years ago. Returning to Aswan, we will transfer to the airport where we will take Egyptair 396 to Cairo, departing at 2:15 p.m,. and arriving in Cairo at 3:40 p.m. We will be met and transferred to the Marriott Mena House, formerly the world famous Oberoi Mena House and once a royal palace located on forty acres of jasmine scented gardens and situated in the shadow of the Great Pyramids. After an afternoon of walking and exploring the grounds and hotel gift shops, or relaxing by the pool, dinner will be served at the Khan El Khalili restaurant. Dinner and overnight will be at the Mena House. After dinner we will attend the Sound and Light performance at the Great Pyramids and Sphinx.
Day 7: Sat, Sept. 7 -
Cairo, Pyramids and Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque, Khan el Khalili Bazaar. After breakfast, we will first visit the Great Pyramids of Giza and its enigmatic Sphinx. We then will travel to the Egyptian Museum, housing over 120,000 artifacts from Egypt’s history, including hundreds of items from the tomb of Tutankhamen from the Valley of the Kings. After lunch we will visit the Citadel of Salah el Din and Mohamed Ali Mosque and the world famous Khan el Khalili bazaar. Dinner and overnight at the Mena House.
EGYPT to JORDAN:
Day 8: Sun, Sept. 8 -
Cairo to Amman, Jordan. After a leisurely morning, we will be transferred to Cairo International Airport for our flight on Royal Jordanian 504 to Amman, departing Cairo at 1:15 p.m. and arriving at Queen Alia International Airport at 3:30 p.m. In Amman we will be met by our Netours representative and taken to the Amman Millennium Hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: Mon, Sept. 9 -
Amman to Petra. We begin the day driving through Amman to the desert highway and later the Seir Mountains, mentioned in the book of Genesis. These mountains contain Aaron Peak and the burial place of Aaron, the brother of Moses. Reaching Petra, we walk through the main entrance to the first monument, the one appearing in the Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Walking further will take us past tombs and burial chambers to one of the largest theatres in Jordan. It is carved from the rose-red sandstone mountains of Petra. At the lower end are Roman ruins and the option to walk to the church of Petra with its mosaics. In the evening check into the Petra Movenpick Resort for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Tues, Sept. 10 - Madaba - Mt. Nebo - Dead Sea
Petra to the Dead Sea. In the morning drive north on the King’s Highway along the Exodus route, passing by the well conserved Crusader city of Kerak. At Madaba with its 6th century mosaic floor is displayed a map of the Holy Land as the Christian pilgrims of that time knew it. After seeing Mt. Nebo, from which God showed Moses the Promised Land, we descend for a swim or wade in the salty Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight at the Dead Sea Movenpick.
JORDAN to ISRAEL/PALESTINE:
Day 11: Wed, Sept. 11 - Jordan River
Jordan to Palestine/Israel. In the morning drive to the recently discovered baptismal site of “Bethany beyond the Jordan.” For Christians, the most significant event associated with the Jordan River is the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. This site is most likely where Joshua, Elijah and Elisha crossed the river. In New Testament times, it became known as Bethany, the village of John the Baptist. The baptism site is located at the head of a lush valley just east of the Jordan River. After his baptism, Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness east of the river, where he fasted and resisted the temptations of Satan.
Day 12: Thurs, Sept. 12 - Jericho - St. George's Monastery
We then proceed to the Allenby Bridge, also known as the King Hussein Bridge. Built in 1918, this is the crossing point from the West Bank into Israel. After finishing border proceedings we again rejoin our bus and drive to Jericho, the oldest city in the world, to view the traditional mountain of the temptation of Jesus. Ascending the Roman road along Wadi Qilt, we stop for a look at St. George’s Monastery, then drive back to the main Jericho/Jerusalem highway, passing by the Good Samaritan inn. Finally, atop Mt. Scopus, we behold the majestic Jerusalem where we will have dinner and overnight at the Hotel Inbal Jerusalem.
Day 13: Fri, Sept. 13 - Mt. of Olives - Old City Jerusalem - Mt. Zion - Shepherds' Fields - Bethlehem
We begin the day with an orientation to Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives. Then following the traditional Palm Sunday route, after viewing Jerusalem’s Golden Gate, we walk downhill to the Garden of Gethsemane. We then drive to Mt. Zion for the best view of the city of Jerusalem from the west. Driving south, we visit Solomon’s Pools, Jerusalem’s main source of water for thousands of years. After stopping in Beit Sahour for a visit to Shepherds’ Fields, where the shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks at the birth of Jesus, we conclude the day with a visit to Bethlehem, walking through its alleys and markets to the Church of the Holy Nativity. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Inbal Jerusalem.
Day 14: Sat, Sept. 14 - Jerusalem: Western Wall, Dead Sea Scrolls - Israel Museum
Begin with a visit to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. Then visit the Western Wall tunnel which enables us to examine the length of the outer Herodian Temple wall, mostly preserved in mint condition, including two stone blocks each weighing about 600 tons. At the Temple Institute we examine the ruins near the south side of the Temple complex, including steps where certainly Jesus and the disciples walked. In the afternoon drive to the Shrine of the Book, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls, and also visit the Israel Museum. We conclude the day with a visit to a model of Jerusalem, representing how the city looked around AD 66 when the Jews revolted against Rome. The revolt resulted in destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Titus in 70 AD. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Inbal Jerusalem.
Day 15: Sun, Sept. 15 - Jerusalem: Pools of Bethesda - St. Anne's Church - Via Dolorosa - Holy Sepulchre Church - Garden Tomb
Walking toward the Old City, we will meet our bus and board it for a transfer to St. Stephen’s Gate (the Gate of the Sheep). Just inside the gate find the Pools of Bethesda as well as St. Anne’s Church, preserved from the Crusader period, and with perfect acoustics. We then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) back as far as the Holy Sepulcher (Church of the Resurrection to locals), ultimately reaching the grounds of the Garden Tomb. We will then return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Inbal Jerusalem.
Day 16: Mon, Sept. 16 - Qumran - Masada - Dead Sea
We transfer to the Dung Gate and walk by the Western Wall. Ascend to the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, where the Temple once stood. Return to the bus and drive through the Judean Desert to Qumran. Here view Cave 4, which contained the greatest quantity of Dead Sea Scrolls. Continuing south to Masada, take the cable car to the top, visiting Herod’s mountain bunker and the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Rome (66-73 AD). We conclude the day with a float in the Dead Sea, then return to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Inbal Jerusalem.
Day 17: Tues, Sept. 17 - Jacob's Well - Mt. Gerizim - Megiddo - Tel Beit Shean
We drive north to Nablous (Shechem), passing Bethel on the way. Nablous is one of the oldest cities in the world, the original name Shechem given to the city by the Canaanites. Nablous is the largest city in the West Bank and has a rich and long history. At the entrance to the city we will stop at Jacob’s Well, where Christ met the Samaritan woman. We will drive through the city and up to Mt. Gerizim, the holy mountain for the Samaritan community, having the opportunity to visit the Samaritan synagogue that houses the world’s oldest Torah scroll, the Pentateuch. We then drive north through the city of Jenin, located in the Jezreel Valley, and cross back into Israel at the Jalamah checkpoint. We continue to nearby Megiddo for the background of the Battle of Armageddon. Driving through the Jezreel Valley toward Beit Shean, we shall climb the Tel and view the setting for the death of King Saul. There we will survey the magnificent Roman and Byzantine ruins: the theatre, bathhouses, ancient rest rooms, market areas, and colonnaded streets. Continue driving north into Galilee to Tiberius to check into the Leonardo Plaza Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 18: Wed, Sept. 18 - Nazareth - Cana - Tiberius
We begin the day at Sepphoris, an interesting example of a mixed Jewish-Gentile city. It was the capital of Galilee when Jesus was growing to manhood just four miles away in Nazareth. Spending time getting acquainted with Jesus’ home town, we visit its spring where Mary would have done the family’s laundry. We will walk through the present day bazaar and over the site of the ancient village, to the church of the Annunciation. After a stop at Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle, walk to the edge of the Arbel Cliff, overlooking the northern part of the Sea of Galilee, including the main sites of Jesus’ mission. Return for dinner and overnight at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel.
Day 19: Thurs, Sept. 19 - Galilee: Mt. of Beatitudes - Beth Saida - Capernaum
We begin with a visit to the Mt. of Beatitudes, then drive to the site of Beth Saida, believed to be the traditional site of the feeding of the multitudes. At Capernaum we see ruins of the house of St. Peter, then we drive to Nof Ginosar kibbutz to see the remains of a fishing boat estimated to be two thousand years old. In the late afternoon there will be a cruise on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight will be at Leonardo Plaza Hotel.
Day 20: Fri, Sept. 20 - Mt. Hermon, Dan - Caesarea Philippi - Golan Heights
Begin at Hazor, the largest Canaanite city, to view Mt. Hermon and its surroundings. Pushing onward to Dan for a nature walk beside the upper Jordan River, we will see the ancient ruins, including the Israelite high place that once supported a golden calf for worship. A short drive takes us to Caesarea Philippi to view the stunning remains of a first century palace belonging to King Agrippa. We drive around Mt. Hermon for a glimpse of Damascus, 45 miles away, then head back over the Golan Heights to Tiberias and the Leonardo Plaza Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 21: Sat, Sept. 21- Haifa - Mt. Carmel - Caesarea Maritima - Sharon Valley - Ben Gurion - LA
Tiberius to Tel Aviv. This morning we drive to Haifa, on the way ascending Mt. Carmel, the site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. From there we will continue toward the Mediterranean coast and drive south along the coastal highway to Caesarea-by-the-Sea. We enter Caesarea Maritima to explore the Roman ruins, visiting the ancient harbor as well as the hippodrome, aqueduct, and theatre. We will drive south through the Sharon Valley to Ben Gurion airport where we will connect to El Al Israel Airlines just after midnight for the flight back to Los Angeles.
Bethlehem where Jesus was born
- Beit Sahour where shepherds were informed by angels the messiah had been born
- Hebron, the burial place of Abraham and Sarah
- Nablus to Jacob’s Well and a Samaritan community
- Galilee where Jesus and his disciples fished in the sea and Jesus proclaimed the gospel from the Mount of Beatitudes
- Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus
- Jerusalem, the great home of the three monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.