2024 Early Fall Holy Land Tour with Craig Ostler

Dates September 19 - October 3, 2024
Destination Amman, Jordan; Madaba, Jordan; Petra, Jordan; Masada; Jericho; Sea of Galilee; Capernaum; Nazareth; Jerusalem; Gethsemane; Tel Aviv;
Duration 15 days 14 nights
Price From 4,155

Religious Focus:


Activity Level*:

The thrill of visiting the Holy Land is an experience of the heart, might, mind, and soul. Dr. Craig James Ostler, his wife, Sandy, and local licensed tour guides assure that you will have the opportunity to walk where Jesus walked, feel the Spirit of site, enrich your understanding of the scriptures, learn more of the history of this part of the world, and connect with the cultures of the Middle East. Experience all the wonderful biblical locations on this tour with us!

Let Israel come alive for you as you travel your own personal journey through the Holy Land.

*Please note that while the physical activity on this tour (walking distances) is not significant, the days are full of touring from breakfast to dinner time with "down-time" only in the evening.

Highlights of the Tour:

  • 1 tour-bus experience for the whole tour!
  • Morris Murdock tour Director on for the whole trip along with local guides
  • VERY INCLUSIVE rate -Tour, transportation, Tips for Israeli guide and driver, & taxes, breakfast & dinner daily - All you pay for is lunches & souvenirs!
  • We include all tipping for hotels and restaurants where meals provided.
  • Licensed, insured, and bonded travel agency with over 60 years’ experience!! IT MATTERS!

Tour ID # 9224D11

We offer A $125.00 CASH DISCOUNT on this tour. It applies for all payments made by check or ACH AFTER the deposit, and only the deposit amount is paid by credit card.

To Book This Tour, Contact your favorite Morris Columbus Travel advisor or the Group Tour Manager listed below:

Kim Meyer, Tour Manager
Tel: (801) 483-63154
Email Kim

Days 1 and 2: Thursday and Friday, September 19-20, 2024

Transatlantic Flight • Amman, Jordan

We will take flights from our homes and arrive in Jordan the following afternoon or evening at the Queen Alia International Airport near Amman. If time allows, we will explore parts of Amman, before checking into our hotel for the night.

Day 3: Saturday, September 21, 2024

Amman • Madaba • Wadi Musa

After breakfast we will have a brief drive through Amman for a city highlight tour and downtown area. Our morning will include a visit to the King Abdullah Mosque, commonly known as the Blue Mosque for its magnificent blue dome. Here we will dress in culturally appropriate clothing for a tour and our Jordanian guide will teach us regarding Moslem worship and the importance of this faith’s beliefs and practices. We will then travel to the city of Madaba, where the mosaics on the floor of a Byzantine Christian Church include an ancient map of the Holy Land. After lunch, we will travel south along the “Kings Highway,” as it was known in ancient times. This route will take us through the heartland of ancient Moab (homeland of Ruth in the Old Testament) and Edom, passing the Crusader Karak Castle on the way to our hotel in Wadi Musa near Petra.

Day 4: Sunday, September 22, 2024

Petra • Mt Nebo • Jericho

We will spend several hours exploring the marvels of Petra (you choose: in a e-cart, on foot, by camels, or even mules). Our first view of the city will be the Treasury (as seen in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.) We will then visit the impressive architecture of ancient Petra, the “rose-red city half as old as time.” This unique city, built out of sandstone, has beautiful temples, tombs, and amphitheaters carved out of the cliffs which surround the hidden valley. The Nabataean rulers lived in Robin Hoodlike isolation (robbing from the rich and giving to themselves).

After lunch, we will travel north, up to Mount Nebo, where Jehovah permitted Moses to view the Promised Land that the prophet would not enter. We will visit the sanctuary there and see the archaeological finds of early Christian churches. In the early evening we will say goodbye to Jordan and cross the Jordan River at the King Hussein Bridge to enter Israel. We will continue to the Oasis Hotel in Jericho, where we will spend the next two nights.

Day 5: Monday, September 23, 2024

Masada • Qumran • Dead Sea • Jericho

Our morning drive will take us south along the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth’s surface. Here we will take a cable car to the top of Masada, King Herod’s ancient plateau palatial fortress. From high above the Dead Sea, Masada is best known as the location of a Roman siege against Jewish Sicarii in AD 74. As we drive north, we will stop at Qumran for a walk-through of the ruins of the mystic Jewish sect of the Essenes. Here will we discuss the importance this unique society and their connections to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Following our visit to Qumran, we will have opportunity for one of the most unusual floating experiences of a lifetime at the Dead Sea. We will continue north to return to rest and relax in our hotel in Jericho.

Day 6: Tuesday, September 24, 2024

Bethabara • Jericho • Wilderness • Beit Shean • Sea of Galilee

In the morning we will journey to the Jordan River Valley and stop at the site of the Children of Israel’s crossing into the Promised Land, Elijah’s ascent into heaven, John the Baptist’s wilderness ministry, and the Savior’s baptism, today known as Qasr el Yahud. We will then visit Jericho, touted as the oldest city on the earth and nearly 850 feet below sea level. Here we will take cable cars to the Mt of Temptation Monastery (Jebel Quarantul), built to remember the 40 days that the Savior was with His Father, fasted in the Judean Wilderness and afterwards was tempted of the Devil. We will have an overlook of the archaeological dig of tel-Jericho, the ancient Old Testament City miraculously conquered by Joshua and the children of Israel and have lunch. We will then take a short journey to Wadi Qelt to see the Judean Wilderness, where the Savior spent those 40 days; scene of the parable of the Good Samaritan; and area where the Prophet Elijah lodged during much of the 3 ½ year drought he brought by sealing the heavens from rain.

Continuing north we will enter the area of Galilee, to tour Beit Shean National Park, where after defeating the army of Israel, the Philistines took the bodies of King Saul and his sons and fastened them to the city wall. Here we will also visit the most complete ruins of a Roman city in all Israel, known as Scythopolis. We will learn of the Roman cities of the Decapolis visited by the Savior in His mortal ministry. Our hotel will be on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, at the Kibbutz Nof Ginosaur, where we will stay for three nights.

Day 7: Wednesday, September 25, 2024

Sea of Galilee • Mount of Beatitudes • Tabgha • Magdala

Our day will begin early with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee followed by a visit to the boat museum, where an ancient fishing boat from the time of the New Testament has been preserved. We will then ascend to the Mount of Beatitudes, the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount, where we will have the opportunity to contemplate the Savior’s teachings concerning our discipleship. We will visit Chorazin, one of the cities that rejected the Savior’s ministry.

After lunch we will travel to Tabgha, where a mosaic commemorates the feeding of the five thousand with a few fishes and loaves, and St. Peter’s Primacy, remembering the Savior’s commission to Peter to feed His lambs. Our next visit will be to Magdala, considered to be the hometown of Mary Magdalene, where there are remains of ancient synagogue and special chapels dedicated to the women of the New Testament Gospels. As time allows, we will visit the Valley of the Doves located beneath Mount Arbel, following the path that Jesus took from the Sea of Galilee to the area of Nazareth. After a wonderful day we will return to our Hotel at Nof Ginosaur to rest and relax; you may even wish to swim in the Sea of Galilee.

Day 8: Thursday, September 26, 2024

Capernaum • Katzrin • Golan Heights • Caesarea Philppi

Our morning drive will take us to the site of ancient Capernaum, where Jesus stayed at Peter’s home during His Galilean ministry, site of many of His miracles and healings, and of His “Bread of Life” sermon within its synagogue. Next, we will visit the reconstructed talmudic village of Katzrin, whose homes are furnished with replicas of period household goods and tools, farming implements, an ancient wine press, and a functional olive press, which will open our understandings to various elements of the Savior’s parables, teachings, and ministry. On the Golan Heights, we will stop at Mount Bental to view nearby Syria.

We will travel through Druze villages and stop for lunch at Birkat Ram. We will continue to travel north to Banias, ancient Caesarea Philippi, at the foot of Mount Hermon, where Peter declared his testimony that Jesus is the Christ and the Only Begotten Son of God. At the end of the day, we will return to our hotel for our last night at Nof Ginosar.

Day 9: Friday, September 27, 2024

Mount Tabor • Nazareth • Jezreel Valley • Caesarea • Jerusalem

We will begin our day traveling to the base of “a high mountain apart” (Matt. 17:1) and take taxicabs to the top of Mount Tabor, the probable site of Christ’s transfiguration during the visit of Moses and Elijah to confer priesthood keys upon Peter, James, and John. We will travel to the city of Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we will visit the Nazareth Village, developed to show life as it existed at the time of Jesus. Here we will reflect on His early life and homecoming to preach at the synagogue of his hometown. Next, we will visit the Church of the Annunciation, built over the traditional site of Mary’s home and the visit from the angel Gabriel, and the Church of Joseph, built over the traditional site of Joseph and Mary’s home after they returned to Nazareth from Egypt.

We will drive through Jezreel Valley, to the Mediterranean Sea coast for a visit to Caesarea Maritima. Here the apostle Peter taught and baptized the first gentiles to become Christians and the apostle Paul gave his stirring testimony of Christ before King Agrippa. Lastly, we will ascend to Jerusalem, where we stay at the Olive Tree Hotel for our remaining time in Jerusalem. After dinner we will visit the Western Wall as the Jewish people welcome Shabbat.

Day 10: Saturday, September 28, 2024

BYU Jerusalem Center • Bethlehem

We will begin our first Sabbath Day in Jerusalem arriving early to tour the grounds and then attending sacrament meeting on the Mount of Olives at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies with its auditorium’s spectacular view of Jerusalem. Following our sabbath worship meeting, we will travel to nearby Bethlehem, where we will have a delicious traditional Palestinian meal. After lunch we will visit the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square to see the traditional site of the grotto in which the Savior of the world was born into mortality.

Afterwards, we will visit the Latin Shepherds’ Field to contemplate the angelic proclamation given to the shepherds that the Messiah had been born in the City of David. On our return to Jerusalem, we will drive past the Herodion, a mount that served as a fortress for Herod the Great, and where many scholars believe he was buried. In the evening we will return to the Olive Tree Hotel.

Day 11: Sunday, September 29, 2024

Jerusalem • City of David • Old City • Bethany

We will begin our exploration of Jerusalem with a visit to the Old Testament City of David, which also includes ruins from the time of the prophets Jeremiah and Lehi. We will then enter Hezekiah’s Tunnel and wade through this exciting third-of-a-mile historic marvel that provided water during the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem in the time of King Hezekiah and Isaiah. (Those that wish may choose to walk an ancient dry tunnel.) At the end of this exciting experience, we will sit around the newly excavated Pool of Siloam and share the account of the Savior healing the man born blind and sending him to go this pool to wash his eyes. We will orient ourselves from various viewpoints of Jerusalem from Seven Arches Hotel Overlook.

We will enter the Old City through Jaffa Gate and walk through the Christian Quarter to the area known as the Muristan, where we will have lunch. After lunch we will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with its many chapels. We will then walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Roman Cardo, which was originally built by the Roman emperor Hadrian, and see Hezekiah’s Broad Wall, built as a defense against the Assyrian armies. We will drive to the east side of the Mount of Olives to the Palestinian city of Bethany, where we will visit the traditional tomb of Lazarus and site of the home where he lived with his sisters, Mary and Martha. After an exciting day we will return to the Olive Tree Hotel.

Day 12: Monday, September 30, 2024

Temple Mount • Model City & Shrine of the Book • Yad Vashem

Early in the morning we will enter the Old City to tour the Holy Mount or Mount Moriah—known as the Temple Mount to the Jews—site of the temples of Solomon and Herod; and referred to as the “Haram al Sharif” or the Noble Sanctuary by the Moslems—a location of the magnificent Dome of the Rock and the El Aqsa Mosque. At the foot of the Temple Mount, we will visit the Davidson Archeological Center, where we see the ancient temple stones thrown over the Temple Mount onto the Roman road below and visit the ancient steps and gates that led to the temple.

After lunch in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, we will travel to the Israeli Museum to see the Model City, which is a scale model of Jerusalem at the time of the Savior, and visit the Shrine of the Book, which displays items from the Dead Sea Scrolls. In the mid-afternoon, we will travel to nearby Vad Yashem, a premier museum dedicated to the Jewish Holocaust. Olive Tree Hotel

Day 13: Tuesday, October 1, 2024

Bethphage • Mount of Olives • Gethsemane • Orson Hyde Memorial Gardens • Mount Zion • Pool of Bethesda • Via Dolorosa

This full, but special day, we will commemorate the Savior’s last week in mortality while walking in His footsteps. We begin with a visit to Bethphage, located on the backside of the Mount of Olives, where the Savior began his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem riding upon a foal of an ass. We will next visit the Pater Noster Church, which has the Lord’s Prayer inscribed upon the walls in 140 languages and is the traditional location of Christ’s instructions to His apostles regarding the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs of His 2nd Coming. We will then descend the Mount of Olives to Dominus Flevit, near where Christ wept over Jerusalem. If is open, we will visit the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene and then continue down the path to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations.

At the foot of the Mount of Olives we will visit the, Orson Hyde Memorial Gardens with its magnificent views of the Old City and the Kidron Valley. In the afternoon we will visit the probable site of the Palace of Caiaphas the high priest, where the Savior was illegally tried after His arrest. The modern Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu is the traditional site of Peter’s denial of knowing Jesus of Nazareth. This area of Mount Zion provides an excellent overlook of Aceldama and Hinnom Valley, symbolic of hell in Old Testament times. We will enter the Old City through Herod’s Gate to visit the Church of St. Anne, marking the traditional site of the home of Jesus’ maternal grandparents and where Mary was born. Nearby is the Pool of Bethesda, where on a Sabbath the Savior healed a lame man who had waited years for help into the pool’s healing waters.

We will walk the traditional Via Dolorosa, commemorating the Savior’s path during the last hours of His life. We will begin near Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was sentenced to be crucified. According to interest and time, we will visit or point out the following on the Via Dolorosa: Church of Condemnation, Antonia Pavement, Sisters of Zion Convent, and Ecce Homo arch. We will return for our final night at the Olive Tree Hotel.

Day 14: Wednesday, October 2, 2024

Gethsemane • Garden Tomb • Jerusalem

We will begin this day to always remember by entering a private garden on the Mount of Olives in the area of the Garden of Gethsemane. We will conclude our morning at the Garden Tomb. Here we will see Gordon’s Calvary, a proposed site for Golgotha and the Savior’s crucifixion. Nearby we will see a rock-hewn tomb in a garden where here, or somewhere nearby, the body of Christ was interred and from which He arose on that glorious resurrection morn. Our final afternoon in Jerusalem will be free to shop and visit optional sites (we have a list of suggestions to choose from according to your preferences, as time allows,( such as a view from the rooftops of the homes in the Old City; David’s Citadel Museum, the Rampart Walk around the walls of the Old City, the Third Temple Institute, the Hurva Synagogue, and the four Sephardic synagogues with their Jewish traditions regarding Elijah’s return, etc.) After dinner and final packing at our hotel we will travel to Tel Aviv for our scheduled flights home.

Day 15: Thursday, October 3, 2024

Return Flights Home

Returning home, we will take with us treasured memories of wonderful experiences in the Holy Land!

Highlights of the Tour:

  • 1 tour-bus experience for the whole tour!
  • Morris Murdock tour Director on for the whole trip along with local guides
  • VERY INCLUSIVE rate -Tour, transportation, Tips for Israeli guide and driver, & taxes, breakfast & dinner daily - All you pay for is lunches & souvenirs!
  • We include all tipping for hotels and restaurants where meals provided.
  • Licensed, insured, and bonded travel agency with over 60 years’ experience!! IT MATTERS!

Price includes:

  • Accommodations tourist class 4/5-star hotels
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Entrance fees and all activities as specified in itinerary
  • Hotel porterage - 1 bag per person
  • Whisper technology headsets to be used throughout tour
  • Experienced LDS guide traveling and Services of a bilingual licensed Israeli tour guide throughout tour
  • Minimum prepaid gratuities for your Israeli guide and driver
  • Transfers via deluxe air-conditioned motor coaches
  • Group transfers
  • Destination study and informational book
  • Travel bag and Document

Price does not include:

  • Round-trip air from your home city
  • Additional transfers when not arriving or departing with group
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Gratuities for Morris Murdock Tour Director
  • PCR tests

Payment options:

  • $500 Per Person Deposit is due at the time of booking
  • Final payment due on or before Thursday, August 15, 2024

Other pricing:

  • Double Occupancy - $4,155.00
  • Single supplement - $5,681.00 

Air Price: Call your travel agent for information.