Christmas In The Holy Land
Celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus in the place where it all began.
Join together with fellow believers on a holiday where Christ is at the very centre of Christmas. Travel on this tour with our friends from Christian Fellowship Tours for a journey full of fellowship, fun and faith. Rejoice and worship in Christ’s birthplace as well as many other important Biblical sites connected to his life. Visit Bethlehem on Christmas Eve and celebrate Christmas Day in Jerusalem with a special worship service and a wonderful Christmas Banquet.
Wednesday 16 December 2020 – Monday 28 December 2020 (13-Days)
Day 1 – Wednesday 16 December 2020 | Home Cities to Sydney (Flight Meal)
This afternoon you are transferred to Auckland International Airport for your flight to Sydney. Assistance at check-in will be available to you but this flight will be unescorted. On arrival in Sydney you will be met by a company representative and transferred to your overnight accommodation in Darling Harbour.
Day 2 – Thursday 17 December 2020 | Australia – Flight to Israel (B)
Today is at leisure in Sydney. Our centrally located accommodation means you’ll be able to explore central Sydney. This afternoon you will be transferred from your hotel to Sydney Airport. We depart Australia for an evening flight to Israel, joining fellow Christians on this wonderful spiritual holiday. Only 8 more sleeps to Christmas!
Overnight: On flight
Day 3 – Friday 18 December 2020 | Flight – Tel Aviv – Netanya (LD)
Arriving early morning in Israel we meet our local guide and are transferred to the coastal resort town of Netanya. Our rooms will be made available as early as possible after our arrival so you can relax and freshen up before lunch in nearby Caesarea. Caesarea Maritime is an important site to visit for non-Jewish people (Gentiles) as it is from here that the Good News of Jesus started to be made known to non-Jews. Our return to the hotel is made in time to complete check-in and enjoy our first dinner together in The Land of the Bible.
Day 4 – Saturday 19 December 2020 | Mount Carmel – Nazareth – Sea of Galilee (BLD)
This morning we step back in time to when the prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. This area is also important to such Old Testament incidents as the battle of Gideon and Deborah, along with the prophesied Battle of Armageddon. Our drive from Mount Carmel will take us to Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood village, and the Church of Annunciation. We will then continue to Galilee and visit the Sea of Galilee Boat Museum where we will view an ancient fishing boat from the 1st Century AD, like those used by the fishermen in the Gospels. Enjoy a sunset boat trip on the Sea of Galilee before we check-in to our hotel.
Overnight: Sea of Galilee, 2 nights
Day 5 – Sunday 20 December 2020 | Sea of Galilee – Jesus’ Ministry – Mt Beatitudes (BLD)
Today we will visit many sites important to Jesus’ ministry including Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ activities in Galilee. Here, Jesus taught in the local synagogue and it was the hometown of the apostles Peter, James, Andrew, John, and the tax collector Matthew. A short stop in Tabgha, site of the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, will take us to St Peter’s Primacy where Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. We then travel to Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount before we explore the ruins at Caesarea Philippi.
Day 6 – Monday 21 December 2020 | Jordan Valley – Baptism site– Mount Tabor – Jericho – Jerusalem (BLD)
A very special start to our day as we visit the River Jordan and a traditional Baptism site. We will pass Mount Tabor, the traditional Mount of Transfiguration and follow the Jordan Valley to Jericho. Jericho is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and it is where Jesus healed a blind beggar. When we visit the Holy Land, we make sure we go “up” to Jerusalem, and excitement mounts as we drive into this very special city with an overview from Mount Scopus.
Overnight: Jerusalem – 5 nights
Day 7 – Tuesday 22 December 2020 | Jerusalem – Jesus’ Footsteps in Jerusalem (BLD)
A morning view to make your heart sing – yes, you are in the Holy City at Christmas time! From the Mount of Olives, we will enjoy an eye-opening moment overlooking Jerusalem before visiting the Church of the Pater Noster, the site on which Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. To commemorate the Ascension Emperor Constantine built a church over a cave here in the 4th Century and today we can see it partially reconstructed. Together we will walk the Palm Sunday Path and visit the little teardrop shaped Church of Dominus Flevit, recalling the Gospel incident when Jesus wept over the future fate of Jerusalem. We will visit the Garden of Gethsemane where our Lord prayed, and his disciples slept the night before his crucifixion. The Basilica of Agony enshrines a section of the bedrock where Jesus prayed before his arrest. We enter the Old City through the Lion’s Gate and visit the Pools of Bethesda. We then walk the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa. We will be inspired by Christendom’s holiest of sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. From here we go to Mount Zion and marvel at the Cenacle or “Upper Room”, the site of the Last Supper, before visiting the beautiful Dorminton Abbey. What a truly wonderful day.
Day 8 – Wednesday 23 December 2020 | Jerusalem – Garden Tomb – Light Show (BLD)
This morning we visit the Western Wall and the Cardo in the ancient heart of Jerusalem. We will view the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, before visiting the Israel Museum. See a model of Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book. This afternoon we make a guided visit of the Garden Tomb and we finish the day with the dinner in the Old City before enjoying the Tower of David Sound and Light Show in the evening.
Day 9 – Thursday 24 December 2020 | Bethlehem – Church of Nativity (BLD)
We step back in time as we travel to Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Lord Jesus, to see the Church of the Nativity. Bethlehem has a large Christian community so there are decorations everywhere, a huge Christmas tree in Manger Square and Christmas music can be heard on the streets. We will then sit in an area overlooking The Shepherd’s Fields – despite the growth in housing around them, these grazing pastures that have changed very little since the time of Jesus’ birth. Singing Christmas Carols will never be the same after we have shared a few from this vantage point. Return to our hotel to celebrate Christmas Eve as part of a Christian family.
Day 10 – Friday 25 December 2020 | Christmas Day in Jerusalem (BLD)
Happy Christmas! What an amazing experience to be here in the Holy Land celebrating Jesus’ birth. This will be a unique Christmas experience for all as we celebrate in the Old City of Jerusalem. We rejoice as we come together for a service of worship in Christ Church, an Anglican church located inside the Jaffa Gate and opposite King David’s citadel. Following worship, our destination is the American Colony Hotel for a Christmas banquet. After lunch we will visit El Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist, the heralder of the coming of Jesus. What a joyous Christmas celebration we have shared!
Day 11 – Saturday 26 December 2020 | Depart Tel Aviv – Flight (B)
Enjoy some free time this morning to relax or do some last-minute shopping before transferring to the airport for our return flight. We depart the Holy Land after a very special Christmas that has brought the Bible to life.
Day 12 – Sunday 27 December 2020 | Arrive Australia (Flight Meal)
We arrive back to Australia in the evening after a truly memorable Christmas holiday. What a blessing to have shared such incredible experiences with wonderful like-minded people. Tonight you will stay overnight in Sydney before our flight back to New Zealand tomorrow.
Day 13 – Monday 28 December 2020 | Sydney to Home Cities (B)
After breakfast this morning you are transferred to Sydney Airport for your unescorted flight back to New Zealand.