Israel Christmas Tour with Anthony Sweat

Dates Dec. 26, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019
Destination Tel Aviv; Caesarea; Galilee; Capernaum; Qumran; Jerusalem; Bethlehem;
Duration 12 days 11 nights
Price From 1,999
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TOUR ID#928L26

Religious Focus:

Sightseeing:

Activity Level:

Dates & Prices
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We invite you to come with your family and friends this year and enjoy a magically meaningful experience for all as we celebrate the holiday season where it all began over 2000 years ago. 

Please join our special tour director, BYU Professor, LDS author and artist Anthony Sweat this year as we experience Christ's birth in the fields of Bethlehem, his youth and ministry in the Galilee and the last week of his life and resurrection in Jerusalem. Each area will give an added spiritual dimension to your holiday traditions and special memories to the season that will last a lifetime. 

This tour has many highlights that will enhance the testimonies of all who join us and truly bring the Bible to life and the true meaning of the holiday to your heart.

DISCOUNTS OFFERED FOR FAMILY GROUPS of 10 or more-Call the office for more detail

For those with a little more time, please consider adding a breathtaking experience with a post trip to Egypt! Your adventure will take you to Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, Pyramids of Giza and more!

  • Notes: $50 CASH DISCOUNT for final payments made by check (deposit OK by CC)
  • EGYPT OPTION - Jan 5-10, 2019: $1599 per person (price may vary depending on how many participants)

To Book This Tour, Contact:

Day 1: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018

U.S.A. to Tel Aviv

Today we start our adventure of traveling back to the time of the Old and New Testaments.  As you leave your home cities you will meet up with the group either in Salt Lake, our international gateway or our final destination at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.   This is an overnight flight that will have you arriving the next day. 

Day 2: Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018

Tel Aviv - Joppa - Haifa

Hidden secrets and the old ruins have legends. For 3,000 years on this small patch of land, men have toiled and battled; prayed and worshiped; and added their own small humanity to the history of this country. Listen, and let the land of Israel tell you the stories of its past. As we leave the airport we will see the modern city of Tel Aviv with its large buildings and bustling traffic. Sitting on the Mediterranean Sea, our hotel for the night will give you views of its beautiful sandy beaches and an opportunity to dip your toe in the water if interested. Departing the airport we dive right into the Bible starting at the ancient seaport town of Joppa and talk about Daniel and whale as well as a visit to the traditional site of Simon the Tanners house where Peters stayed and received the important revelation about teaching the Gentiles.  Arrive to our hotel on the Mediterranean coast for dinner and rest.  

Meals : Dinner
Day 3: Friday, Dec. 28, 2018

Tel Aviv - Caesarea - Mt Carmel - Megiddo - Cana

And on the morrow, they entered into Caesarea…Cornelius thy prayer is heard.” Enter Caesarea, remains of a city founded by Herod, residence of Pontius Pilate and a prison for Paul. Sit in the well-preserved amphitheater overlooking the blue sea and hear the story of Paul's conversion of the Centurion.  The scenery begins to change to the beautiful green pastures and high rolling hills of the Jezreel Valley as we approach Mt Carmel where the prophet Elijah and the priests of Baal contested their faith. Not far away is Megiddo, the tragic site of ancient bloody battles where nations were won and lost. Upon these same tragic fields, the great and terrible last battle of Armageddon will be fought.  As we make our way towards the Sea of Galilee we will stop by the church in Cana that celebrates the 1st miracle performed by Christ when he turned water to wine at the wedding. Tonight we stay on the shores of the Sea of Galilee!

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018

Mt Tabor\Nazareth\Beit Shean 

Shabbot Shalom - This is the official Jewish greeting on the Sabbath and we have a great day planned. "And he lifted up his hands and blessed them - while he blessed them; he was carried up into heaven." Mount Tabor is one of the mountains traditionally claimed to be the site of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. You will thrill to the almost hair-raising taxi ride up the mountain, but once at the summit, you will feel the peace and calm of the surrounding valley.

We journey next to Nazareth, the quaint town where Jesus Christ spent his childhood, learned his earthly vocation as a carpenter and "grew and waxed strong in spirit." We will visit a recreated town from Christ's time and visit with the villagers to learn what life was like for the Jesus as a boy.  This afternoon we will travel to the ancient tel of Bet She'an, where 6,000 years of civilization seem to unfold among the ruins. It is believed to be the very Bet She'an of the Old Testament where the former King of Israel, Saul, was fastened to the city wall without his head by the conquering Philistines. We will end our day with a visit to the beautiful state park Sahne. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018

Banias\Sea of Galilee\Jordan River

Besides a place of great natural beauty Banias is the site of ancient Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus demanded to know of His disciples who people were saying He was. As we make our way back south towards the Sea of Galilee you see to see some of the rich farm land that has made Israel on of the leading agriculture leaders of the world.   This afternoon you will sail upon the Sea of Galilee to view the area of Jesus Christ's early ministry. As the wind carries your boat, note the halo of mountains that surrounds its shores. Our last visit will be at the Yardenit Baptismal Site on the banks of the Jordan River. It is here that people from around the world, representing diverse denominations, still come to be baptized. 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Monday, Dec. 31, 2018

Mount of Beatitudes\Capernaum\Tabgha

The Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount is always a highlight to visitors. Here you can see how it was possible to Jesus to teach the multitude all at the same time. From here we will visit Tabgha, site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. There is a beautiful Byzantine mosaic in the floor of this miracle that you will not want to miss. We will end our day Capernaum, where Jesus lived and recruited his first followers among the fishermen. The well preserved city will amaze you as you sit in the synagogue and imagine Jesus' teaching and performing miracles for the masses. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019

Qumran\Dead Sea\Masada\Jerusalem

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  As we leave the fertile valleys of the Galilee, we enter the strange and barren desert of the Dead Sea. Once the Biblical Lands of Moab and Edom, the Dead Sea basin has been a refuge to prophets, zealots and outcasts throughout time. Buried in the beige limestone bluffs, the ruins of Qumran still tell the story of the essences, a reclusive Jewish sect that buried the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls. Further south lays Ein Gedi, the oasis where David hid from King Saul.

From the desert floor, ascend by cable car to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada, where a community of 960 Jews preferred death at their own hands to the indignity of surrender to the overwhelming Roman forces. While at the Dead Sea, you cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy a dip in the buoyant waters and bathe in the wonderful medicinal mud! Even Cleopatra sent her slaves to retrieve this magical mud in order to preserve her legendary beauty. This evening we will journey to the beloved city of Jerusalem. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Wednesday. Jan. 2, 2019

Western Wall\Dome of the Rock Old City\Old Jerusalem

The Western Wall is the most important site in all of Jewish civilization because these rough massive stones are all that is left of the great Second Temple. Revered and honored, the Jews wait and hope for the day they will rebuild their third and final temple upon these sacred remnants. Above the wall is Mount Moriah where the Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is located. Entering the oldest quarter of Jerusalem, follow the winding alleys and crowded streets to the Pools of Bethesda and learn about their importance. We will discover the ancient city beneath the modern streets where the old paving stones are carved with Roman games at Antonia Fortress.

Located in the old quarter of Jerusalem is the site believed to be the Room of the Last Supper. Devoid of gilded statues or ornate chapels, the quiet simplicity and elegance of this room helps one to focus on the words of Christ and the poignant last moments with his beloved disciples. Our last stop will be at the House of Caiaphas, which owns the dark and sad dungeon that once imprisoned the Savior. To experience the cold dismal cells and feel the sorrow and grieving of such a place, brings understanding and gratitude to our hearts. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019

Israel Museum\Yad Vashem\Davidson Center Archeological Park

Discover the treasures of the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, the site chosen to house the Dead Sea Scrolls. This unique building is shaped like the ancient pottery in which the precious scrolls lay hidden for thousands of year. While we are there we will get to see the Holy Land Model, a unique scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The model visually explains the layout of the ancient city as well as the design and magnitude of the Second Temple. One of the most memorable pages of Jewish history unfolds as we visit Yad Veshem, the official memorial to the six million Jews who perished in the Nazi-wrought Holocaust in Europe.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Friday, Jan 4, 2019

Bethlehem - Free Time in the Old City

Music, bells and churches appropriately adorn the little town of Bethlehem for it was here that the Light of the World was given life. Pilgrimages, sacred holidays and festivities occur all year long to celebrate the birth of Christ. Tradition holds that the small humble inn with just a stable for lodging was located where the Church of the Nativity now stands. Shepherds still tend their flocks on the fields overlooking Bethlehem just as they did over 2,000 years ago when the angel appeared bringing them glad tidings of great joy. Gathered on these fields, we sing the beloved hymns and listen to the wondrous story - a moment not to be forgotten.

This afternoon we will have some free time to go back into the Old City to revisit sites or to finish up shopping for treasures to take home.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Saturday, Jan 5, 2019

Mount of Olives - Gethsemane - Sacrament Services at the BYU Jerusalem Center - The Old City

This morning begins with on the Mount of Olives on whose slopes the Garden of Gethsemane lies nestled. Feel the powerful spirit in the Garden as you envision the momentous events, which took place at this sacred site. We will travel up the hill then to attend sacrament services at the BYU Jerusalem Center. After lunch we will stop at the beautiful Garden Tomb, there is a limestone hill, which many revere as Golgotha, site of the crucifixion. Just around that hill is an old cemetery with an ancient tomb that once held the Savior's mortal body and saw its glorious resurrection. There is a sign on the door of the tomb that says, “Do not look for Him here for He is risen”. You will never forget this moment in your life as you look for Him, not in the tomb but within your own life.

Tonight we will have a farewell dinner together as we prepare to leave the land we have grown to love to travel back home. After clearing immigration and customs, you will transfer to the connecting gate for your flight back home with memories to last a lift time. 

Day 12, Sunday, Jan 6th, 2019

Arrive Home

Arrive home with memories to last a lifetime!

Includes:

  • 1 tour-bus experience for the whole tour
  • Deluxe motor coach transportation
  • Meals as indicated on itinerary
  • Local guide & experienced LDS Tour Director - BYU Teacher of Religion
  • Hotel accommodations in comfortable 4 star hotels with porter age
  • Sightseeing tours as outlined on the itinerary
  • Audio hearing system throughout tour
  • Entrance fee and all admissions during tour
  • Destination and study guide material
  • Travel bag and document packge

Israel Not Included:

  • Round-trip air to and from Tel Aviv - Group airfare will be available in Feb 2018
  • Pre-paid tipping of $125 per person (collected at the time of booking)
  • Round-trip air from other cities available upon request
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance starting as low as $35
  • Lunches and misc expenses

Optional Pricing:

  • Single Supplement for private room $800 ** Ask about our Single Share program
  • EGYPT Option: $1599 per person based on double or $1725 single rate (for those with their own room)
  • Jordan option is available - ask for pricing
  • $50 cash discount for main tour

Payment Terms:

  • $500 deposit due at the time of booking
  • Final payment due 21 Sep 2018