Anderson Tours Christmas Holy Land Tour
Dec 22nd - Jan 1st
(Petra, Jordan, Egypt & Rome Options thru Jan 8th)
Price for Israel: $2,985
Directors: Dr. Clark D. Anderson
Day 1-2 (Sat—Sun Dec 22—23rd): FLY USA to TEL AVIV / Mt of OLIVES
Today we fly from the USA to Tel Aviv. When we arrive we will go directly to our hotel in Bethlehem.
Day 3 (Mon Dec 24th): CHURCH / CHRISTMAS EVE in BETHLEHEM
What a treat to be able to attend Church in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve! Following church services we will enjoy Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. We will participate in the local festivities; parade in Manger Square, local entertainment, food, etc. As the sun sets we will go out into a local Shepherd’s Field near Bethlehem and reflect and review the account of the first Christmas. We will enjoy a bon-fire and share testimonies of the Living Christ and His humble beginnings. We overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 4 (Tues Dec 25th): CHRISTMAS IN BETHLEHEM!
Christmas Day in Bethlehem is one that will last in our memories forever as we spend the day in service and in visiting the traditional sites for the Savior’s birth. Our service activities today will include working at the SOS Orphanage and/or spending time with the handicapped children at the Hogar Nino Dios foster home in Bethlehem. This will be an opportunity to give to a community that has been hurting and suffering in many ways since the building of ‘The Wall’. In the afternoon we will pay a visit to the Church of the Nativity where on Christmas Day we will visit the site where the Christ Child was born many years ago. We again overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 5 (Wed Dec 26th): MUSEUMS / WALLS OF JERUSALEM / TUNNELS
This morning we will visit the Tunnels at the Western Wall. This is a fascinating museum which will provide the history of the Temple Mount and let you explore the tunnels running under the city and parallel to the Holy of Holies. Following this experience you will enjoy the views of Jerusalem as you walk around the Old City Walls on the Rampart. Lunch will be on the famous Ben Yehuda Street. From here we will have a sobering experience at the new and improved Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem. Our next stop is a very impressive miniature model of the city of Jerusalem in Christ’s day at the Israeli Museum. Here we will explore The Model City as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls on display there at the Israeli Museum. We conclude our day with a unique walk through the flowing waters in Hezekiah’s Tunnel. (This evening we will be joined by our LDS Guide, Dr. Clark Anderson). We again overnight in Jerusalem!
Day 6 (Thur Dec 27th): JESUS/MARY AS A TEENAGER: NAZARETH(TEMPLE MT)
Today we consider Jesus and Mary during their teenage years as we visit Nazareth and the surrounding areas. Before heading up north we explore what Jews believe is the Center of the Universe and where the Spirit of the Lord resides with a visit up on the Temple Mount. We view the Dome of the Rock, the Wailing Wall, etc. and discuss the past, present and future of that significant site for all three major religions: Jews, Muslims, & Christians. We travel north and visit Caesarea which is right on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and represents the spot where the first Gentile convert joined the Church and the Gospel spread to the world. Paul was imprisoned for 2 years here and also departed for his 4 historic missionary journeys. We will view the ancient theater and aqueducts before making our way north to Mount Carmel. On Mt. Carmel is a great view of the Jezreel Valley (Valley of Armageddon). From this vantage point we will discuss Armageddon, the 2nd Coming and the future of this Holy Land as well as reenact the remarkable story of Elijah and the Priests of Baal. We travel to Nazareth and from Mount Precipice we will have an amazing view of Nazareth and the surrounding area. We then drive around the Sea of Galilee to our Hotel. Checking into our Hotel this evening is a joy. Every room is only steps away from the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This evening you can enjoy a quiet, relaxing evening strolling on the Sea shores, or taking a dip in the Sea, etc.
Day 7 (Fri Dec 28th): JESUS MINISTRY: GALILEE (CAPERNAUM / BEATITUES)
Today we explore the Galilee area where Jesus spent most of His ministry. We begin by boarding a small fishing boat and exploring the Sea of Galilee as we cross to Capernaum. On our way we cut the engines & review some of the scriptural accounts that take place on the Sea. On shore we visit Capernaum which He called ‘His own City’ as well as the Mount of Beatitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered. For lunch those interested can have St. Peter’s Fish from the Sea! Following lunch we will drive to the very north border of Israel where we will look over into Lebanon and Syria. We will enjoy a short nature hike to view the ancient city and alter at Tel Dan. Our next stop is at Banias, the ancient site of Caesarea Philippi where Peter is declares as ‘the Rock’. As we bus our way home we will travel on the Golan Heights where we can look over into Syria. From here we also have a great view of Mt. Hermon (Mount of Transfiguration) and will reflect on the remarkable experiences there! This evening we will enjoy our last evening strolling on the Sea shores, etc.
Day 8 (Sat Dec 29th): JESUS' FINAL DAYS: BETHANY (LAZARUS'S TOMB/DEAD SEA)
Today we visit and consider the events leading up to the death of the Savior and the final days of His mortal ministry. We begin our day with a visit to Peter’s Primacy where the historic conversation took place between the resurrected Jesus and Peter in John 21. Next we visit Magdala (birthplace of Mary Magdalene) where there is a brand new church with stunning murals and a portion of the Church dedicated to Women in Jesus Life. As we make our way back to Jerusalem we pass through the Green Line and parts of the West Bank and will take this opportunity to discuss the current political situation, borders, and history. As we pass Bet She’an we will consider the ‘Fall of Saul’. We drive by Jericho and then make a stop at the Jordan River (Children of Israel River Crossing and Jesus’ baptismal site). Following lunch we will enjoy a quick visit to Qumran (discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and also have the unique experience of taking a float in the Dead Sea. You cannot sink! From here we make our way up to Jerusalem. We will visit Bethany and Lazarus’ Tomb. We overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 9 (Sun Dec 30th): BYU CENTER / BETHESDA / BETHLEHEM
This morning we spend some ponder time in the Orson Hyde Park where some believe is the ‘real Gethsemane’ before attending Church at the BYU Jerusalem Center! The view of Jerusalem during the Sacrament Service is inspiring. Following Church we will enjoy lunch and then a visit to St. Anne’s Church, the ancient site for the Pool of Bethesda. Following these visits we enjoy some free time and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 10 (Mon Dec 31st): JESUS' FINAL HOURS: (THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST)
Today we conclude the year 2017 by reviewing closely the final hours of the Savior’s life. It is one of our most significant days as we venture through the wonders of the ‘Eternal City’ and retrace the events and sites of the final moments of the Saviors Life! We begin in the Upper Room where the Savior held the Last Supper. From here we trace His steps to the Garden of Gethsemane (Church of all Nations). We next visit Caiaphas’ Palace (St. Peter of Gallicantu) where Jesus went before the Sanhedrin and where Peter allegedly denied Christ thrice. Following lunch we enjoy a stop at the Antonio Fortress (Jesus before Pilate) and from here we will follow the Via Dolorosa (or Path of Suffering), the path Jesus carried His cross to Golgotha. Next we will reflect on the burial & resurrection of the Savior as we visit the two possible sites for Golgotha & Calvary. First we visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher [believed site for many Christians] and then the Garden Tomb [where others feel is the true site]. We will discuss the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior and the majesty of the final moments of His mortal ministry! We will enjoy our final evening at our hotel and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 11 (Tues Jan 1st): ME...HERE...NOW: GETHSEMANE (MT OF OLIVES / PETRA)
Today we conclude our Jerusalem and New Testament portion and begin our new year by considering the Me…Here…Now of all we have experienced. We begin our day on the Mt of Olives with some ponder time in the Orson Hyde Memorial Park (Church regulated property and where some feel is the real ‘Garden of Gethsemane’). From the Mt of Olives Jesus officially concludes His mortal ministry on that continent (Acts 1) and fittingly we will in similar fashion conclude our study here as well and kick off our 2018 with a serine setting. Those continuing on will head southward and begin the Book of Mormon/Old Testament focus and portion of our tour while the others will make their way to the airport and begin their journey home.
JORDAN Option: $880
Day 11 (Tues Jan 1st): EIN GEDI / MASADA / TIMNAH / SODOM / PETRA,JORDAN
Today we depart Jerusalem and go ‘down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea’ (1 Nephi 2:5). As we do so we will be traveling on the road from ‘Jerusalem to Jericho’ and we will reflect on a certain parable (Luke 10). We will have the unique experience of taking a float in the Dead Sea. You cannot sink! We continue south and stop for a picture of the natural spring and waterfall at Ein-Gedi (where David hid from King Saul). From here we will visit the majestic Masada where we will gondola to the top and be in wonder at its fabulous story. On our way to the Israeli/Egyptian border we will enjoy a brief stop at Timnah where we will view a replica of the very first physical temple structure; the ancient Tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness. We will also enjoy a discussion on Sodom & Gomorrah. We cross the border and make our way up to the fascinating city of Petra, Jordan where we will enjoy a small New Year’s Eve celebration…Jordanian style and overnight.
Day 12 (Wed Jan 2nd): PETRA, JORDAN / EGYPT
This morning we explore one of the newly voted ‘Wonders of the World’; Petra, Jordan. We will walk down the narrow canyon to the breathtaking view of the Treasury, Petra’s most famous landmark. You will have time to visit this fascinating city carved from the cliffs of the canyon and experience some of the best ruins found anywhere in the world. Petra was once a great commercial empire with a long history, it is best known today as the lost city in the Indiana Jones Movie, The Last Crusade. We will enjoy lunch and then make our way down to the Sinai.
*Those not participating in the Egypt Option will take a shuttle up to the airport in Amman, Jordan and begin their journey home!
Those continuing on will cross 2 borders and make their way down to St. Catherine’s in Egypt. We will bus our way through the Sinai to get to our Hotel (Morganland Village) which is near the base of “Mt. Moses”. We will enjoy a relaxing evening reviewing the scriptural account of Moses and the Children of Israel in preparation for our climb up the ancient temple….Mt Sinai.
EGYPT Option: $1985
Day 13 (Thur Jan 3rd): MT. SINAI / SHARM / RED SEA
We arise very early and enjoy a moonlight hike up Mount Sinai (Camels are available for those interested in the adventure). On top we will enjoy the sunrise and a very special meeting before making our descent. Those not able to make the hike can enjoy sleeping in or other things at the hotel. Once off the mountain we will bus our way to one of the top five locations in the world for snorkeling and deep sea diving…Sharm El Sheikh (Ras Mohammed). Arriving at this luxurious resort is a very welcomed experience following our early morning hike. We will enjoy all the amenities and comfort of this 5-star resort for the next day and a half. There will time for deep sea diving, snorkeling, swimming, reading, relaxing, etc. We overnight in Sharm.
Day 14 (Fri Jan 4th): RED SEA
Today we continue to enjoy the Red Sea. Those who desire can enjoy some of the world’s best snorkeling & deep sea diving and those who are not interested in getting in the water can relax at the resort hotel which has several beautiful pools, a lazy river, spa options, para-sailing, boating, etc. This afternoon those interested can participate in a 4 wheeling experience in the Sinai desert. Other options include a visit to Naama Bay for some shopping and night life, or one can enjoy retiring early and other various options at the resort. We once again overnight in Sharm.
Day 15 (Sat Jan 5th): LUXOR: LUXOR TEMPLE
This morning we will review the scriptural accounts of Egypt. We will consider how it was discovered as well as prepare for our visits of the Egyptian Temples as they relate to our LDS Temples. We take a short flight from Sharm to Luxor. When we arrive begin our exploration of Luxor where over 60% of the world’s ancient ruins are located. Our first stop will be a visit to one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World and is also one of the largest temple structures in the world; the Karnak Temple. You will truly be amazed at this 64 acre temple. This evening we enjoy visit to the impressive Luxor Temple. These structures are amazing and must be seen to be believed. You might even enjoy these experiences more than the Pyramids in Cairo! We overnight in Luxor.
Day 16 (Sun Jan 6th): LUXOR: VALLEY OF KINGS / RAMSES III TEMPLE / KARNAK CAIRO: PYRAMIDS & SPHINX / CITIDEL / MUSEUM
This morning we will explore the sites on the West Bank where we will visit one of the most intriguing spots in the world; the “Valley of the Kings” and “Valley of the Queens” (burial place for the Egyptian Pharaohs & Queens). You will marvel at the similarities in Egyptian and LDS beliefs and rituals! We will next take pictures of the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the Collosi of Memnon & Nobels as well as Pit Tomb #33 where the Book of Abraham was discovered. We will next explore the Temple of Ramses III. This evening we will take a short flight to Cairo and overnight.
Day 17 (Mon Jan 7th): CAIRO: PYRAMIDS & SPHINX / CITIDEL / MUSEUM
Today we enjoy a full day touring the sites in Cairo! We begin with the splendor of the famous Pyramids and Sphinx. Those interested can go inside the Pyramid as well as take a camel ride. From here we will make a visit to the Egyptian Museum and explore the various items there (including real mummies and artifacts from King Tut’s tomb). This afternoon we will visit one of the largest mosques in the world; the Mohamed Ali Mosque. We will enjoy a short rest in our hotel rooms before making our way to the airport.
Day 18 (Tues Jan 8th): FLY HOME
Today we make our way home to be reunited with our loved ones in the USA!