March 13-23, 2012
Led by: Archimandrite Pachomy
DAY 01 – TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012
depart from Detroit International Airport for your overnight flight to Tel Aviv. In-flight meals service.
DAY 02 – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14
Arrive in Tel Aviv. You are met and greet by our representative and then transferred to the Holy City of Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. Welcome dinner at the hotel. L
DAY 03 – THURSDAY, MARCH 14
Today we will follow the footsteps of Christ on His way to Golgotha. We’ll start our journey to St. Stephan’s Gate and enter the Old City. Our first visit will be to the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos built over the house where the Theotokos lived with her righteous parents Joachim and Anna, then to a sheep’s pool, known from the Gospel story as Bethesda. Then we will continue on Via Dolorosa – the path Christ walked carrying His cross to Golgotha. We will make several stops along the way to visit churches and places marked by Holy Tradition as being related to the last walk of Christ to save all men from death. We will end our journey in the Holy Sepulchre – a Medieval Cathedral built atop of a Byzantine basilica that St. Helen had built to house the places of our Lord’s Saving Passion and Crucifixion – Golgotha, the stone of anointing, the “Garden tomb” – place of Lord’s Resurrection, and several adjacent places depicted in the description of the Lord’s Saving Passion. After a break for lunch in the Old City we will continue to the Monastery of St. Mark to view the Mystical room. Return to our hotel to freshen up prior to dinner. B, D
DAY 04 – FRIDAY, MARCH 16
During our second day in Jerusalem we will visit a variety of holy sites that cover the whole spectrum of the Biblical and Gospel stories, and the history of the Christian church even up until the present day. We will visit the Monastery of our Lord’s Ascension on Mt. of Olives, the “tombs of the prophets” (one of the first places in Jerusalem supposedly utilized by Christians for worship), and the Church of “Our Father” – a small and modern house of worship built over a system of tunnels and caves where according to tradition our Lord taught His disciples the prefect prayer to His Heavenly Father. We will also visit the Convent of St. Mary Magdalene – a Russian Imperial foundation that houses the relics of its founder – the martyr Duchess Elizabeth. At the very bottom of the Mountain we will visit the empty tomb of the Virgin Mother and will have an Akathist service to Her Glorious Dormition. Before heading out for lunch, we will stop to see historical monuments in the Valley of Cedars. After lunch we will continue our exploration of the city with visits to the Monastery of the Holy Cross and we will finish the day with a stop at a convent that marks the place of where St. John the Baptist – was born. B, D
DAY 05 – SATURDAY, MARCH 17
We will go “down” from Jerusalem to *Jericho, visiting along the way: the Monastery of St George the Hozebite in Wadi-Kelt, the monastery of St. Gerasimos of Jordan Archaeological Park at Jericho*, and the Monastery on the Mount of Temptations*. On the way back, we will stop at the Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany. We will plan for a relatively early return to Jerusalem to attend Vespers in the Church of the Holy Trinity that belongs to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the Holy Land. We will plan to be back at the hotel right after our last visit in order get some rest before the Midnight Liturgy at the Holy Sepulchre.
* subject to change
DAY 06 – SUNDAY, MARCH 18 Feast of The Holy Cross
we will start our day with Matins and Divine Liturgy in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. (we will depart the hotel around 11:00pm Saturday for the Holy Sepulchre and will return to the hotel around 3:00am on Sunday morning) Sunday is your day to spend at leisure. You may go to venerate the Holy sites again, buy some souvenirs at exotic street markets, visit some of Jerusalem’s many museums or just stroll along the streets of the Old City. Alternatively, you may go for an optional tour along the Dead Sea to visit the ruins of the ancient fortress of Masada and remains of a Jewish “proto-monastic” foundation at Qumran.
DAY 07 – MONDAY, MARCH 19
Today we will begin by venturing deep into Judean desert to venerate the most prominent fathers and spiritual leaders of Palestinian Monasticism – St. Sabba the Sanctified and Venerable Theodosios the Sanctified. The Lavra of St. Sabba is open for males only, so our female travellers will be able to observe the monastery only from a “bird’s eye view” – from an observation deck in an ancient defense tower nearby. For lunch we will come to Bethlehem, and afterwards explore and venerate holy sites linked to the birth of Our Lord – the Basilica of Nativity in Bethlehem (the only surviving foundation of the Blessed Empress Helen), the Chapel Church of the Holy Innocents and a Greek Monastery on Shepherd’s Field. B, D
DAY 08 – TUESDAY, MARCH 20
After an early breakfast and check-out from the hotel we will leave the Holy City and descend toward the Mediterranean. Our first stop will be in Jaffa, now suburb of Tel Aviv, but once a historical city, closely linked to the mission of the apostles; the tomb of the righteous Tabitha is located in the vicinity of the old city. From there we will continue to an Archaeological Park in Caesarea, known from the Scriptures and Classical History as the Caesarea of Palestine, center of the Roman Province of Palestine at the time of Christ. Continue to the town of Nazareth, where the good news to the world where announced by Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary and where Christ spent his young years with His Most-Holy Mother and the righteous Joseph. There are two important churches in town that share the glory and importance of the event. One is an Orthodox Church built over a well with a spring where according to local tradition the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary. Another shrine is the large Catholic foundation that is built over the remains of the house of the carpenter Joseph. Later this morning we will stop in the little town of Cana – the place of the first miracle of our Lord (of turning water into wine) that announced the beginning of His service to the world. In the afternoon we will continue to Mt. Tabor, the place of the Lord’s glorious and wondrous Transfiguration. B, D
DAY 09 – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21
Our second day in Galilee will be long and awe inspiring. We will start our day by heading to the Sea of Galilee. We plan to visit a number of sites around the lake. To cover the territory in one day is impossible, but some of the most important sites are definitely on the list: we will visit Capernaum, where Jesus made his home during the years of His earthly ministry; the Mount of Beatitudes where Our Lord taught His followers the New Testament “ten commandments;” Tabgha, with church of multiplication of loaves and fishes; Magdala, with a Russian Orthodox Church; and possibly Beit Saida, with some archaeological remains from the time of Christ (the famous ruins of a fisherman’s house are located here). B, D
DAY 10 – THURSDAY, MARCH 22
We will depart Tiberias for Tel Aviv. We will stop to visit Jaffa, biblical Joppa, and the oldest port city in the world. It was in Jaffa that Peter brought Tabitha back to life, and his miraculous vision at the house of Simon the Tanner. If time permits visit Neve Tzedek the first Jewish neighbourhood to be built outside the walls of the ancient port of Jaffa. Years of neglect and disrepair followed, but today, Neve Tzedek has become one of Tel Aviv’s latest fashionable and expensive districts, with a village-like atmosphere. Literally, Neve Tzedek means Abode of Justice, but it is also one of the names for God. Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus architecture district. Dinner and overnight in Tel Aviv
DAY 11 – FRIDAY, MARCH 23
As we bid farewell to our journey that has taken us through time and history, we head out quite early to the airport for our return flight home.
B – Breakfast
L – Lunch
D – Dinner
- Round-trip economy class air transportation from Detroit to Tel Aviv
- Meeting & assistance on arrival and departure at Ben-Gurion Airport by our representative
- Luxury air-conditioned coach throughout the tour
- 9 overnights at the Superior Tourist class hotel based on double occupancy with private facilities – 6 night, Jerusalem; 2 nights, Tiberias; and 1 night Tel Aviv
- 9 days sightseeing as per itinerary including transfers to the Holy Sepulchre Church for midnight office
- Meal arrangements: including full Israeli buffet breakfast and dinners daily at hotels
- Entrance fees: Jericho, Caesarea, Mt. Tabor, Beit Saida, all churches in Jerusalem and Galilee
- English speaking tour guide throughout the entire tour
- Fuel surcharge of $560 (subject to change) and departure taxes are included (subject to change)
Price is based on a minimum of 18 passengers traveling…
Price per person in double: $ 3,395
Hotel single supplement: $ 600
- Gratuities to guides, drivers and waiters
- Expenses of a personal nature.
- Meals throughout the entire tour other than mentioned.
- Any other item not mentioned above.
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. Passport valid for three months upon return to the U.S.
RESERVATION FORM (may also be faxed to 516-937-9037)