14-Days: Holy Land, Mt. Sinai, plus Cairo

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DAY 1: DEPART USA

Depart en route to Tel Aviv with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.

DAY 2: ARRIVE TEL AVIV / TRANSFER TO HERZLIA

On arrival in Tel Aviv we will be met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative and proceed to our hotel in Herzlia on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Dinner is at our hotel this evening. (D)

DAY 3: HERZLIA / CAESAREA / MUHRAQA / CARMEL / TIBERIAS

We depart Herzlia to Caesarea, where St. Peter baptized the first Gentile convert (Cornelius) and where St. Paul was imprisoned. Continue to Muhraqa, where the Carmelite Monastery of St. Elijah marks the place where the prophet Elijah set up his altar and triumphed over the false prophets of Ba’al. Here we celebrate Mass. Then we proceed to Mt. Carmel and the Chapel of Stella Mares. We arrive in Tiberias for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 4: TIBERIAS: SEA OF GALILEE, CAPERNAUM & BEATITUDES

This morning we begin with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, then visit Capernaum, the Heptapegon (Peter’s Primacy), followed by a visit to Tabgha to commemorate the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. We ascend by motor coach to the Mt. of Beatitudes to gain a panoramic vista of the Sea of Galilee. Here we celebrate Mass. We continue to the Baptismal Site at the Jordan River to renew our baptismal vows, then return to Tiberias for the balance of the day. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)

DAY 5: TIBERIAS / CANA / MT. TABOR / NAZARETH / JERUSALEM

We depart to Cana, site of Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding feast. Here we invite couples to renew their marriage vows. Then to Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration. We continue to Nazareth where we visit the Basilica

of the Annunciation for Mass at the Grotto, then continue to St. Joseph’s Workshop and Mary’s Well. We arrive in Jerusalem for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 6: JERUSALEM: BETHLEHEM, EIN KAREM & CHURCH OF VISITATION

We depart Jerusalem for Bethlehem, visiting Shepherds’ Field and the Church of the Nativity, St. Jerome’s Chapel, and St. Catherine’s Church. We celebrate Mass in Bethlehem, the town of Jesus’ birth. Returning, we stop in Ein Karem where we visit the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Visitation. This evening we request an audience with His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch and leader of the Roman Catholic community in the Holy Land (subject to schedule). Dinner is served at our hotel. (B, D)

DAY 7: JERUSALEM: MT. SCOPUS & MT. OF OLIVES

Early this morning we carry the cross as we follow the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross), later we celebrate Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, followed by a ride to Mt. Scopus and to the Mt. of Olives, where we gain a panoramic view of the old City of Jerusalem. We visit the Ascension Mosque, Pater Noster (commemorating the “Our Father”), Dominus Flavit (where Jesus wept over Jerusalem), and the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane. After lunch on our own, we continue onto the Church of St. Peter in Gallicanctu (where Peter denied Christ), the House of Caiphas, the Church of the Dormition of Our Lady, and the Upper Room, commemorating the Last Supper. We also visit the Franciscan Chapel of the Cenacle. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)

DAY 8: JERUSALEM: THE OLD CITY

We begin today entering through the Dung Gate, with a visit to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall), the Dome of the Rock & Temple Mount. We visit the Church of St. Anne, marking the place of birth of the Blessed Mother, visiting as well the nearby Pools of Bethesda. We visit the Ecce Homo Arch and Lithostrotos, where we celebrate Mass. The balance of the day is at leisure in the Old City. Tonight we gather for dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 9: JERUSALEM / QUMRAN / MASADA / EILAT

We depart early this morning for Masada. On our way, we visit Jericho to view the Mt. of Temptations from a distance and to see the traditional Zaccheus site. This city was the site of Joshua’s first dramatic conquest. From a distance, we view the Mt. of Temptation, now home to a Greek Orthodox Monastery. We also visit Qumran (site of the Dead Sea Scrolls), the waterfalls of Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea for an optional swim (bring your swimsuit). Arriving in Masada, we ascend by cable car to view the site, then continue to Eilat for the evening. (B, D)

DAY 10: EILAT / MT. SINAI

This morning we transfer to the Egyptian border, where we change buses and meet our Egyptian guide, who will take us on a five-hour journey through the Sinai desert along the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba and then travel inland to our hotel for dinner and the overnight. (B, D)

DAY 11: MT. SINAI / CAIRO

We will be roused early this morning (about 3:00AM) to make the climb up Mt. Sinai (camels optional!). We arrive at the summit for sunrise and some time for private reflection before returning down the mountain and continue to Cairo for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 12: CAIRO: VISIT OF THE PYRAMIDS

Today we make an excursion to Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, where we view Ramses II’s colossal statue. Then we continue to Sakkara’s mastaba tombs and the early Step Pyramid. After lunch on our own we continue to Giza to visit the 4,500 year old Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza, with a camel ride for the adventurous souls! We return to our hotel for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 13: CAIRO: EGYPTIAN MUSEUM

This morning we visit the Egyptian Museum and Khan el Khalili bazaar. After lunch on our own we tour Old Cairo and Citadel. This remainder of the afternoon is free to explore on our own. (B, D)

DAY 14: RETURN USA

We transfer to the Cairo airport for our return flight to the USA.

NOTE: While no changes are anticipated, there might be occasions when certain alterations become necessary to this itinerary due to changes in airline schedules or for other reasons. All Masses are subject to final church schedules.