Berkshire Institute for Christian Studies, The BEST of Israel, March 06 - 20, 2024
- Duration: 15 Days
- Location: Jerusalem
- Product code: BICS24
Berkshire Institute for Christian Studies
The BEST of Israel
We are so excited to invite you to join us for a trip of a lifetime to the Holy Land. In March 2024, we are going to embark on a 15-day spiritual journey to walk where Jesus walked and experience the Bible coming to life as we visit many incredible locations like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, and the region around the Sea of Galilee. Other highlights include visiting the Dead Sea, Masada, and Armageddon. This trip will be more than a vacation or a check on your bucket list; it will impact how you read, connect, and understand the Bible and can change your life forever. This tour will sell out quickly, so book now to reserve your spot today.
March 6 - 20, 2024
* the itinerary listed below is tentative/subject to change.
DAY 01 MAR 6: BEGINNING OF OUR TOUR – Depart Boston for Tel Aviv, Israel.
DAY 02 MAR 7: INTO THE LAND OF THE BIBLE – Arrive in Tel Aviv where you will be met at the airport for transfer to your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Netanya.
DAY 03 MAR 8: TO SEA OF GALILEE - Regions: Coast of Sharon. Jezreel Valley, Sea of Galilee Depart for nearby Caesarea Maritima. In Acts 10 read about Peter’s encounter with the god-fearer Cornelius. Paul also stood here before Festus and Felix. View the Pontius Pilate Stone. Continue to Herod’s summer home, the stadium, the harbor, and the Roman aqueduct. Depart for Muhraqa (Mt. Carmel) to consider Elijah’s encounter with the prophets of Baal. Lunch is included at a nearby Druze village. Descend Mt. Carmel for the Jezreel Valley and the sites of Megiddo. This is the site of the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). Walk to the overview of the Canaanite circular bama (altar). Explore the ruins and descend into the water tunnel. Cross the Jezreel Valley and proceed to your lodging for the next five nights at Tiberias. TIBERIAS: Leonardo Club Hotel
DAY 04 MAR 9: SEA CIRCLE TRIP - Region: Sea of Galilee. Circle the sea visiting sites of Jesus’ ministry. Depart Koursi ("demons into the swine") and Bethsaida (home of Peter, Philip, Andrew). Visit the Mt. of Beatitudes, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7). Optional is a foot-descent to the seaside of Tabgha. Visit Capernaum, the center for Jesus' Galilean ministry. Board the Jesus Boat, a double- scale replica of a Roman fishing boat, to sail the sea and enjoy some of the inspirational Bible geography references. Lunch included at local restaurant.
DAY 05 MAR 10: UPPER JORDAN - Regions: Upper Jordan, Sea of Galilee. Depart on the ancient Via Maris road to Chorazin (one of 3 cities cursed by Jesus), dwellings carved by volcanic basalt. Continue to Hazor (ancient crossroads, largest Canaanite city) for a brief stop. Proceed to Tell Dan. Walk into the Nature Preserve beside the roaring Dan River (Ps. 42) to Tell Dan (biblical Laish). View the High Place of Jeroboam. After a self-host lunch, proceed to Banias (Caesarea Philippi) to consider Peter’s confession of Jesus as Christ. Lunch is provided. Time permitting, visit the palace of Agrippa II. Return via Quneitra to view the Syrian border and continue to Tiberias. On the return trip to Tiberias, travel the Aphek Plateau for an unobstructed view of the Sea of Galilee from Kfar Haruv.
DAY 06 MAR 11: NAZARETH, MT. PRECIPICE - Region: Sea of Galilee. Return to the Jezreel Valley to visit the hometown of Jesus, Nazareth. Visit the Nazareth Village to explore the lifestyles of Jesus’ lifetime. Following orientation to the village, a complimentary lunch will be served. Ascend to Nazareth for a Mt. Precipice ridge view of Mt. Tabor and the Jezreel Valley. Visit Mary’s Well and the Church of St. Gabriel, as well as the Nazareth Synagogue. Walk to the Basilica of the Annunciation to view an archeological museum and excavations. Depart Nazareth by way of Cana to consider the first recorded miracle of Jesus (John 2). Return to Tiberias.
DAY 07 MAR 12: MT ARBEL, TEL BETH-SHEAN - Regions: Lower Galilee, Sea of Galilee. Depart for Mt. Arbel for a dramatic overview of Jesus’ public ministry on the north shores of the Sea of Galilee. Motor to the Valley of the Winds below the Arbel. Here one may see the untouched hills and valley as a reminder of what it was like in the days of Jesus. Continue to the seaside ruins of Magdala for the archaeology of a 1st century synagogue. After lunch visit Ma’ayun Harod (Gideon) and descend into the Jordan Valley to Tel Beth Shean. Approach a Roman bridge to ascend the Tel for the presentation of the death of Saul, Israel’s first king. Descend to the reconstruction of Scythopolis, the leading city of the Greco-Roman Decapolis. Return to Tiberias. Lunch is included.
DAY 08 MAR 13: SAMARIA, DEAD SEA - Regions: Samaria, Jordan Valley, Dead Sea. Depart for Dothan and Samaria (royal city of the Northern Kingdom) and Sebaste (King Herod). Lunch is included. Continue to Nablus for Tel Balata and nearby Jacob’s Well. Continue to the site of Shiloh to consider the tabernacle of Joshua 18:1. Continue to Bethabara (Bethany beyond Jordan) for the excellent Israeli site of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. Return to Jericho to consider the findings of Dr. Bryant Wood at Jericho’s wall. Depart for an oasis-like hotel at the Dead Sea for lodging. DEAD SEA: David Dead Sea Resort
DAY 09 MAR 14: BEDOUIN TENT & LUNCH - Region: Arabah. Visit Tel Arad and the ancient temple sites on the edge of the Syro-African rift. The north-south stretch of land from the tip of the Dead Sea to the Red Sea is almost 100 miles. Although not a desirable route for ancient caravans, the nomadic Bedouins found subsistence. Ride camels into the Arabah sands. The journey into Makhtesh Ramon is a window of explanations about the Bedouin ways, desert, and the famous spice route. The complimentary lunch will be in a traditional Bedouin tent, and includes traditional Bedouin service and stories. Some Bible scholars note that until one visits the wilderness the land of the Bible has not been visited, since 70% of Bible narratives involve the wilderness. Return to the Dead Sea.
DAY 10 MAR 15: MASADA, TO JERUSALEM - Regions: Dead Sea, Judaean Wilderness. Depart for the Masada fortress and ascend via the tram. Explore the legendary last stand of the Jewish Zealots against the forces of Rome. Explore the dig which includes the Jewish synagogue and the Roman assault ramp. Descend to the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi (David and Saul) and walk the path to the waterfall. Visit Qumran to view the caves. En route to Jerusalem, detour on a Roman Road to the Wadi Qelt (reference to the Parable of the Good Samaritan). From the road, survey the cliffside St. George’s Monastery. Return to the highway to visit Lazarus’ Tomb in Bethany. Proceed to Jerusalem’s Mt. Scopus for a first view of the Old City and an ancient Genesis welcome. Lodging is in Jerusalem. JERUSALEM: Ambassador Hotel
DAY 11 MAR 16: JERUSALEM, BETHLEHEM - Regions: Jerusalem, Judaean Hills. Visit the Mt. of Olives for orientation to Jerusalem’s Old City (Ps. 122). Walk on the traditional Palm Sunday route past the Dominus Flevit Church and continue to the Garden of Gethsemane. Proceed to the Dung Gate and ascend the Temple Mount to walk past the Al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Continue to the St. Stephen’s Gate to visit St. Anne’s Crusader Church and the Pool of Bethesda. Walk on the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Depart for the Judaean wilderness, the Herodion (Herod’s grave) and to view Shepherds’ Fields. Continue to Bethlehem’s Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. Visit an olive wood shop before departure for Jerusalem.
DAY 12 MAR 17: JUDAEAN SHEPHELAH, ARABAH - Region: Judaean Shephelah, Arabah. Descend Jerusalem on the Beth-horon Road into the Aijalon Valley (the sun stood still). Pass Nahal Sorek (Delilah) and arrive Beth-shemesh (Samson, Ark of the Covenant). Continue to the Valley of Elah. Visit Khirbet Qeiyafa (time permitting) to consider an early planned fortified city from the time of David. Ascend Azekah and reference the battle geography of David and Goliath. Depart for Hebron (conditions permitting) to view the extraordinary Herodian building, a classic structure illustrating the stone dressing of Herod the Great, the ancient master builder. Return to Jerusalem.
DAY 13 MAR 18: JERUSALEM SIGHTSEEING - Proceed to the Dung Gate to see the joyful ancient tradition of Bar Mitzvahs this morning at the Western Wall. Proceed to the Ophel Ridge to walk on the Herodian pavement, view and touch the Temple foundation, and sit on the Temple steps from Jesus’ time, the one place where we know Jesus walked and taught (Lk. 19-21). Proceed to the nearby Hezekiah’s Tunnel, (bring old shoes for the knee-deep water) and walk to the Pool of Siloam (Jn. 9). Visit the lower Pool of Siloam. Explore the newly opened Pilgrim’s Road. Walking through the Western Wall Tunnel is subject to time confirmation.
DAY 14 MAR 19: JERUSALEM - Visit the Jerusalem Garden Tomb. There will be time for personal reflection. Proceed to the Damascus Gate and walk through the shuq (old city) to the Western Wall. Continue to the eastern slope of Mt. Zion for the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantua. Ascend the Mt. Zion entry into the Old City to visit the Upper Room. Walk to the Cardo and Hezekiah’s Broad Wall. Enter the Wohl Museum to view the upper Jerusalem of Jesus’ time. Motor to the Israel Museum to view the biblical archaeology and the 1/50 model of Jerusalem in the Herodian period. Nearby is the Shrine of the Book.
DAY 15 MAR 20: TEL AVIV/USA – Transfer to Tel Aviv Airport for your return flight home with luggage packed with keepsakes and your heart full of memories!
NOTE: Schedule is subject to change due to various factors and your tour guide’s discretion.
- $5295 per person based on double occupancy.
- Single room supplement - $1295
- $500 per person with registration to secure space.
- 50% of the total amount is due on or before October 6, 2023
- Balance due on or before January 6, 2024
- TK 82 06MAR BOS-IST 2210 1525
- TK 788 07MAR IST-TLV 1825 1925
- TK 793 20MAR TLV-IST 0720 1045
- TK 81 20MAR IST-BOS 1550 1925
* Flight times, flight numbers, equipment, gates, and seats are subject to change. For the most current information check the airline website.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE REGISTERING
PASSPORTS: Passports must be valid with an expiration date of at least six months beyond the return home date of the tour. Participants with non-US passports are responsible for country-specific entry requirements. If you do not have a valid passport or need to renew your passport, enter "RENEWING" or "APPLIED FOR" when completing registration.
CANCELLATION POLICY: The $500 per person deposit is nonrefundable. Other payments exceeding the $500 per person are refundable in full up to sixty days prior to departure. After this date, refunds for unused accommodations and services will be limited to the amount received from and/or credited by all carriers, sightseeing operators, and hotels. All funds, including the deposit, are non-transferable.
AIR: The Standard Tour includes round-trip, economy-class airfare from the international departure city listed in the itinerary. Group airfares are based on contracted rates and are highly restrictive. Seats will be assigned by the airline at check-in, and specific seat requests cannot be guaranteed. Upgrades such as Comfort, Premium, Business, or First Class are not available with the standard tour. Participants who wish to upgrade or purchase a specific seat should choose the Land Only option when registering. Participants are responsible for providing frequent flyer numbers, TSA PreCheck, and Global Entry information upon check-in. Group fares do not permit schedule deviations. Participants who wish to deviate from the group schedule should choose the Land Only option.
LAND ONLY: Participants who wish to arrange their own air should choose the Land Only option. $1000 will be deducted from the standard tour price when selecting this option. Participants arranging their own air should notify Signature Tours prior to the second payment date listed on the payment schedule.
GROUND/TRANSFERS: The group will be met by a Signature Tours representative and transferred to the hotel/airport. Land Only participants are responsible for scheduling ground transfers.
HOTELS: Superior first-class hotels throughout. Priced based on two people per room with a private bath and shower.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: A limited number of single rooms are available at additional supplement prices. Signature Tours and/or the group leader will make every attempt to pair single participants requesting a roommate. However, the single supplement fee will be charged for each person occupying a single room, whether by choice or circumstance.
MEALS: Breakfast and dinner are provided daily. Lunch is provided on days as noted in the itinerary.
SIGHTSEEING: Entrance fees to all places listed in the itinerary are included, as well as an expert English-speaking guide.
LUGGAGE: Space is limited on the tour buses. Participants are allowed one suitcase weighing 50lbs or less and will be transported in storage under the bus. Participants are allowed one backpack/daypack or personal bag to carry on the bus during the tour. These requirements will meet most airline carrier restrictions. See the carrier website for airline-specific baggage restrictions and requirements. Medical devices are not included in these restrictions.
TIPS, SERVICE CHARGES, AND TAXES: Tips, service charges, and taxes ARE INCLUDED in the selling price. Taxes, as imposed by national and/or local governments, that are not included at the time of booking are the responsibility of the participant.
NOT INCLUDED: Excess baggage fees, passport fees, visa fees, food or drink items not listed on the regular table menu for included meals, and items of a personal nature such as room service, laundry, etc. Any service not indicated in the itinerary and/or the above list of included features.
HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: This tour requires a substantial amount of walking. Many of the sites are not accessible by wheelchair, and the uneven terrain is not feasible for rollators. Signature Tours reserves the right to refuse individuals who may require special attention beyond what the tour guide and tour host can provide.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel Insurance is not included in the purchase price. For your convenience, we offer travel insurance through Travelex Insurance Services. For more information and rates, please review the product flyer or Click Here to enroll in the plan.
* Travelex Insurance Services, Inc CA Agency License #0D10209. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. V94
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