5. Christmas in the Bible Lands Tour with Allan Gunnerson

Dates Dec. 20-31, 2017
Destination Amman, Jordan; Petra, Jordan; Galilee; Caesarea; Capernaum; Nazareth; Masada; Jerusalem; Cairo; Luxor;
Duration 11 days 10 nights
Price From N/A
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Dates & Prices
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Come and celebrate an unforgettable Christmas in the Holy Land with Allan Gunnerson. Your experience in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Galilee area will give an added spiritual dimension to your holiday season and special memories that will last a lifetime!

To Book This Tour, Contact:

Karen Gerlach, Tour Manager
Tel: (801) 483-6152
Email Karen

Day 1-2: Wed./Thurs, Dec. 20-21, 2017

U.S.A. • Transatlantic flight to Amman, Jordan

We will take flights from our various home cities, make transfers, and arrive the following day at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, an ancient city of Old and New Testament times known as Philadelphia. We will stay at Le Meridien Amman Hotel for the night.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Fri, Dec. 22, 2017

Mount Nebo • Petra

This morning we will drive south through the ancient region of Moab and stop at Mount Nebo before continuing on to the ruins of Petra, where we will either take horses (half the distance and costs extra) or walk to the ruins of this “rose-red city half as old as time.” This wonder of the ancient world, built out of sandstone by the Nabataeans, has beautiful temples and amphitheaters carved out of the cliffs which surround the hidden valley. We will visit the Treasury and other sites as time will allow. We will check in to the interesting Taybet Zaman Hotel for the night.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Sat, Dec. 23, 2017

Jerash • Sea of Galilee

We begin our day by traveling north along the highlands of Gilead, first arriving at the Jabbok River that crosses the territory of Gilead. It was here that Jacob wrestled with the angel and was given the name Israel. We will continue northward until we arrive at the ancient Greek–Roman city of Jerash. Jerash was a part of the Decapolis, was second in size to Damascus, and is known as the “City of a Thousand Pillars.” It is one of the most complete ruins of any Greek–Roman city in the world. We continue north to the border of Israel and on to the Sea of Galilee, where we will check into Nof Ginosar Hotel for three nights.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Sun, Dec. 24, 2017

Mount Tabor • Megiddo • Muhraka • Caesarea

We will begin the day by visiting Mount Tabor, where we will take taxis to the top for a discussion of the Transfiguration. From there we will drive across the historic Jezreel Valley arriving at Tell Megiddo, an important strategic site during the period of the Old Testament. We continue on to Mount Carmel to Muhraka, the traditional site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal, enjoying a sweeping view of the Jezreel Valley, and where we will discuss the importance of this valley both ancient and modern. We will continue through the hills making a brief stop to view an ancient stone partially covering a tomb and then south down the Mediterranean Coast to the Roman New Testament seaside capital, Caesarea. Here in the Roman Theatre we will discuss the events of the New Testament that took place there. We end our day by returning north along the Mediterranean Coast through Haifa and on to our hotel by the Sea of Galilee.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Mon, Dec. 25, 2017

Sea of Galilee • Capernaum • Dan • Banias • Golan Heights

Our day will begin with a morning boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We will then visit the Galilee Boat, an ancient fishing boat from the 1st century AD. We will next visit Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ Galilean ministry, and the Mount of Beatitudes, where we will discuss the Sermon on the Mount. We will pass by the Canaanite city of Hazor on our way to Tel Dan, the ancient northern limits of Israel (“from Dan to Beersheba”), to enjoy a beautiful nature walk and to see this historic tel. We will continue on to Banias which is ancient Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s testimony of the Savior. This site is one source of the Jordan River where it surfaces from the foothills of Mount Hermon. We then continue on to the Golan Heights – home of Druze people as well as the scene of fierce fighting between Israel and Syria in 1967 and again in 1973 – to enjoy a view of Mount Hermon. We will drive near the Syrian border where somewhere near there, while on the road to Damascus; Paul had his life-changing vision of Christ. We will return to our hotel for an evening on the lakeshore and our final night in Galilee.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Tues, Dec. 26, 2017

Nazareth • Jordan River Valley • Jericho

Today we begin by traveling to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. We will visit Nazareth Village, a site depicting life as it would have been during his boyhood. We will then travel south down the Jordan River Valley. Our first stop will be Qasr El Yahud where we will discuss the baptism of Jesus and other important events that took place near there. We will drive past Jericho and through the Judean wilderness and along the Wadi Kelt on our way up to Jerusalem. We will make a quick stop to view the ancient Roman road that Jesus may have traveled. We will check into the Oasis for the night.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Wed, Dec. 27, 2017

Masada • Qumran • Bethlehem • Jerusalem

In the early morning we will drive down to and along the Dead Sea on way to visit the mountain fortress of Masada. We will visit the museum and take the tram up to the fortress where we will recall a tragic event in Jewish history. We will then visit Qumran, site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found before driving back to the Jerusalem. We will visit Bethlehem to see the Church of the Nativity, including St. Jerome’s Grotto and if possible a site known as Shepherds’ Field, to review the biblical events that occurred in this area. We will return to our hotel with the possibility of an evening of shopping. Our last stop is at the Haas Promenade to get another perspective of Old Jerusalem before checking in to the Olive Tree Hotel for the nights in Jerusalem.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Thurs, Dec. 28, 2017

Jerusalem • Yad Vashem • Israel Museum • City of David

The day begins with a stop on the Mount of Olives for an orientation and view of the historic city, Jerusalem. We then visit the Old City for a tour of the Rabbinic Tunnel and the Holy (Temple) Mount or Mount Moriah, ancient site of the temples of Solomon and Herod, now occupied by the magnificent Dome of the Rock and El Aksa mosques. This is where Gabriel opened the New Testament and where the Savior did most of His teaching when He was in Jerusalem. In the afternoon we visit the Yad Vashem (Holocaust) Museum to review the impact of the Holocaust on the history of this land and the Jewish people. We will drive by the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) on our way to visit the Israel Museum, including the Shrine of the Book (Dead Sea Scrolls display) and the model city of Jerusalem to see how it looked near the time of Jesus. The day ends with our visiting the City of David and walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a water system dating back to the time of Isaiah. We also will view the Pool of Siloam before returning to the hotel to change clothes. After dinner, those who choose to may shop.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Fri, Dec. 29, 2017

Jerusalem • “Footsteps of Jesus”

We will begin this day with a visit to the site of the traditional Upper Room—scene of the Last Supper, washing of feet, and the last teachings of Jesus to His disciples—and then visit St. Peter’s in Gallicantu, possible site of the cock’s crowing and the palace of Caiaphas. We then visit Gethsemane, where the great atoning sacrifice took place. In the afternoon, we’ll see the Sisters of Zion Convent, built on the site of the Antonia Fortress, where Pilate may have questioned Jesus. We will visit Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified and then visit to the Garden Tomb to discuss the sacredness of the Resurrection. Before going back to our hotel, we will visit the Wailing Wall and watch the Jewish people welcome in the Sabbath. After dinner, those who so choose may shop.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Sat, Dec. 30, 2017

Jerusalem

Our Sabbath begins with a visit to the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden to review the history of the Church in Jerusalem. Our next stop is at the BYU Jerusalem Center, where we will attend sacrament meeting with members of the Jerusalem Branch. After lunch we will view Lion’s Gate and the Pool of Bethesda to recall the events recorded in John 5. Walking along the Via Dolorosa, we will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Sun. Dec. 31, 2017

Egypt Option

Jerusalem • Cairo, Egypt

We will depart Jerusalem for the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv for a flight to Cairo, Egypt, arriving at the Cairo International Airport. We will check in to the Concorde El Salam Hotel for the night.

Meals : Dinner
Day 12: Sun, Dec. 31, 2017

Jerusalem

Today is a free day to return to previously visited sites, visit other sites, shop, and relax. We return to the hotel to pack and after dinner transfer to the airport for the trip home. Those going on the Egypt option will leave for the airport in the morning.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 13: Mon, Jan. 1, 2018

Cairo • Luxor

We first visit the exhibits from throughout Egypt’s history at the world-famous Cairo Museum, including the discoveries from King Tut’s Tomb. Then we will stop at the Citadel of Saladin and the Mohammed Ali Mosque (Alabaster Mosque) and discuss Islam. We then fly to Luxor, and check in to the Sonesta St. George Hotel for the night.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14: Tues, Jan. 2, 2017

Luxor • Cairo

We will visit the west bank of the Nile, where the tombs and mortuary temples of the famous kings and queens of the New Kingdom (when Egypt ruled the East) are located. In the Valley of the Kings we will see King Tut’s Tomb and others, view the location of Pit Tomb 33 (believed by some to be the place from which Joseph Smith’s Abraham papyri came). We will stop by an alabaster factory for a demonstration and shopping and then enjoy a felucca (sailboat) ride and a provided lunch. For those who wish at their own cost, we will enjoy a hot air balloon ride with Magic Horizons Balloons. (optional) and visit the largest temple complex in the world, the famous Temple of Karnak. If time permits, we will visit the Temple of Luxor. We will take an evening return flight to Cairo and check in to the Intercontinental City Stars Hotel or Concorde El Salam Hotel for the night.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 16: Thurs, Jan. 4, 2017

Cairo • Transatlantic flight to U.S.A

We will say a very early farewell to the city of Cairo as we depart from the Cairo International Airport for the U.S.A. We will arrive home in the evening.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 15: Wed, Jan. 3, 2018

Cairo

We will begin the day with a visit to the sites of Egypt’s ancient splendor, beginning with the Giza Pyramids. We will go inside the Cheops or Chephren pyramid and then visit the 5,000yearold Sphinx. If time permits, we will stop at the pharaonic capital of Memphis on our way to lunch. Then we will see the Step Pyramid of Zoser, the Pyramid of Unas, and the Mastaba of Ti (or Mereruka) at Saqqara. We will visit a papyrus factory for a demonstration and shopping. We will return to the hotel to pack, have dinner, and drive to the airport for our flight to the U.S.A.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Price includes:

  • Deluxe motor coach transportation
  • Local guides
  • Hotel accommodations in moderate-class hotels
  • Sightseeing tours as outlined on the itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Gratuities
  • All breakfast and dinner meals on the land portion

Price does not include:

  • Egypt option - $1965 per person based on double occupancy
  • Round-trip air from Salt Lake City–Amman–Tel Aviv or Cairo–Salt Lake City $1465
  • Additional possible airfare from cities other than Salt Lake City
  • Sightseeing not included on the itinerary
  • Additional hotel accommodations
  • Items of a personal nature (e.g., phone calls, room service, e-mails, etc.)
  • Travel insurance and cancellation waiver (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
  • Lunches except where noted
  • Single supplement: Jordan and Israel $770; Egypt option $225