If you’re a spiritual person, you understand how deeply religion permeates the lives of people throughout the world. Imagine then, being given the chance to put down the Bible and physically experience the sights, smells, and sounds described on those very pages.
In addition to our popular international destinations that sell out quickly, an equally popular traveling experience is our journeys to the Holy Lands. Christian groups in particular contact us to help them design the perfect trip for their congregation or church group, to experience the lands where Jesus once walked and ministered.
As you probably know, every Christian denomination has its own unique way of observing its faith. For example, Catholics believe Jesus was resurrected from Calvary, which is now within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Many Protestant denominations want to visit the Garden Tomb, widely considered to be Jesus’ burial place. Seventh Day Adventist groups schedule their worship services on the Jewish Sabbath, rather than on Sunday. And so on.
Every denomination experiences Jesus’ life in the Holy Land differently. That’s why, while we’ve carefully designed our tours to include the all relevant places to Christian travelers, we also give our pilgrims the chance to customize their trips. We understand completely the commitment and emotional investment a traveler makes in choosing a pilgrimage, and we go to great lengths to design and operate our tours so that they provide an experience that is at once deeply spiritual and rewarding, as a vacation should be.
At the same time, we calculate prices with a razor sharp pencil, knowing that we must be excellent stewards of our passengers’ resources. A Holy Land group tour that is booked with Friendly Planet will be as inexpensive as it is rewarding. That’s a commitment we’ve kept for 30 years, and we’ve got plenty of pastors and their congregations who’ll vouch that we keep our commitments.
Our specialty Holy Lands tours center around a nine day itinerary that typically begins in the north with a night in Tel Aviv or vicinity upon arrival, then continues through the Galilee and then up to Jerusalem, usually the highlight of the trip. The program encompasses the perfect blend of breathtaking natural scenery, incredible historical sites, and awe-inspiring religious significance. A perfect journey of Biblical discovery and spiritual renewal is the goal for every group, where the Bible comes alive for all.
Here’s how it works. We help each group plan its ideal itinerary. While nine days is the most popular tour length, the itinerary can be extended to include more of Israel or other countries in the region, such as Jordan, with visits to Petra and Mt. Nebo, and Egypt. Once the details are clear, we will prepare a costing based on all the desired features, including the most convenient gateway for the group. Once everything is agreed upon, we’ll create an attractive web page which we post on our website, so that the group can easily provide information to everyone who is going and for those who are just considering.
Pastors and tour leaders typically value this free exposure, and they use the Web page as a promotional tool to help recruit travelers. A special, personalized registration form is provided for every group, and group members have the option to book on line, by mail, or by telephone.
Our group tour leaders especially appreciate our service to them in every phase of the tour. We collect deposits and final payments, arrange for everything from flights, transfers, hotels, meals, special requests, even tipping. Group leaders can look to us to take care of all the details, so that they have plenty of time to recruit their group and then enjoy the tour.
The most recent Israel and Jordan tour took advantage of nine days of touring for just $2,380. And as with every Friendly Planet Travel vacation, the prices don’t skimp on the details. They include roundtrip airfare, fuel surcharges, great hotels, transfers, many meals, touring, and more.
Destinations and tours for a personalized Israel/Jordan tour include Bethlehem; the Church of the Nativity; the Church of the Visitation; the Church of John the Baptist; Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found; the Shrine of the Book, and the newly restored model of Jerusalem from the Second Temple Period; Mount of Olives; the Garden of Gethsemane; the Church of All Nations; the Old City of Jerusalem; the Western Wall; the Byzantine Cardo; St. Anne’s Church; the Crypt of Mary; the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; Mount Zion; the traditional burial site of King David; the Room of the Last Supper; the Garden Tomb; Calvary; the Dead Sea; Galilee; the Church of St. Peter; the Mount of Beatitudes, the site of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount; the Heptagon Church at Tabgha, where Jesus performed the Miracle of Loaves and Fish; and many, many more
As with all Friendly Planet Travel packages, prices includes airfare from the group’s gateway city, fuel charges, all group transfers, superior hotel accommodations, buffet breakfast and dinner daily, comprehensive touring, and more. To book or for more information on any Holy Lands tours, please visit the Friendly Planet Travel Web site, or contact us.