Father Tomas Celebrating mass in Mt. Beatitudes

Israel & Turkey
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December 15th to 26th, 2015

We have voyaged on this pilgrimage 50 times over the past 26 years!

Istanbul-Turkey

December 15th.
Departure from NY to Istanbul. Overnight flight.

December 16th
Meet with English speaking licensed guide at the airport. Transfer to hotel by your private 27 seated midi coach. Check in at hotel Germir Palas. Rest of the day at leisure. In the evening transfer to Kervansaray Restaurant for dinner and show.

December 17th
After breakfast at the hotel we depart for a full day sightseeing.
Blue Mosque:
a name given by the visitors fascinated interior decoration of the mosque. Istanbul’s one of the best-known mosque complex from 1609.
Hippodrome:
constructed for the Roman chariot races. It was the center for civil events witnessed man victories and riots. Beautified by the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine and Constantine columns. 
Hagia Sophia:
the church of “Divine Wisdom”. Justinian built this masterpiece of Byzantine architecture in 6th century as church and being converted in to a mosque by the Ottomans. Today it serves as a museum with the unique examples of two religions together.
Topkapi Palace:
served for more than four centuries as the imperial residence of the Ottoman household, including 24 Sultans in total. Abandoned as the imperial residence in 1853 by Sultan Abdülmecid I for the Dolmabahçe Palace, in 1924 it was converted into a museum. It now houses an extraordinary collection of imperial treasures, including priceless porcelain, jewels, armory, costumes, weaponry, miniatures, calligraphy, and other precious objects and works of art.
Covered Bazaar:
(Kapalıçarsı) is, owing to its architecture, history, location, and sheer variety of merchandise, one of İstanbul's most significant tourist sites. The Bazaar has eight different entrances, each of them facing one of the city's most important historic monuments. Built at the command of Sultan Mehmed the, Conqueror in 1461, the Bazaar initially consisted of just two warehouses (bedesten). In time, merchants began to set up their own stalls and workshops in the surrounding area.

December 17th.
Transfer to Ataturk airport for flight to Tel Aviv. Arrive to Tel Aviv and transfer to Tiberiades, relax and dinner in hotel.

December 18th.
In the morning, travel to Yaffo, the old city where St. Peter opened up the Church to the Gentiles. This is also the site where Jonah began his voyage.
We'll See the old Roman Aqueduct, the impressive theatre and the harbor, on the way go to Caesarea Maritime, one of the oldest dioceses in the Holy Land and place of the one the most important Christian libraries in the second century. On our journey to the north is Haifa the industrial city of Israel.
We'll visit the cave where Elijah lived and prayed and the place where the Devotion of Our Lady of Mount Carmel started. Continuing trip to Tiberias for dinner and hotel

December 19th
In the morning, after breakfast, we will visit the ruins of the City of Kfarnaum, where a great part of Jesus' life took place. We'll walk to the Mount of Beatitudes and proceed to Tabgha, the site where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.
We will walk along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, visit the Church of Primacy Thru the Lake of Tiberiades visiting Banias - the place of foundation of Peter as chief of Church, Magdala, and birthplace of Mary Magdalene. Continuing to Nazareth and Cana.
In the Church of Cana, we will remember the first miracle of Jesus, with the conversion of the water into wine. Married couples may renew their vows of marriage; this will be a great memory to cherish forever. 
From Cana we will visit the city where Jesus spent His childhood and adolescence; the village of Mary and Joseph, and the city of Nazareth.
Our tours continues with a Visit to the Great Basilica of the Annunciation, which is recognized as the biggest basilica in the Middle East. We will also visit Saint Joseph's workshop.Return to the hotel for supper and rest.

December 20th
Exit from Galilee to Jerusalem. On our way, visit of Sr Gerosimos Monastery, near to the border of Jordan, close to Allemby Bridge; Arrive to Jerusalem, visiting in the evening we will proceed to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, where according to the tradition, is located the cave that Joseph and Mary rested at when they arrived to Bethlehem for the census taking ordered by Cirino which is narrated by the Gospel of Saint Luke. We will visit The Shepherds Field, place where the shepherds were sleeping the night when Jesus was born. Return to the city of Jerusalem Arrive to the hotel. Dinner and relax.

December 21st
On this day, we will visit the Mount Scopus, the  Old City of Jerusalem, the Via Dolorosa, the Church of Saint Anna, the Probate Swimming pool, the Holy Sepulcher, the Gethsemane Garden, the church of Dominus Flevit and Mary’s Tomb. In Mount of Sion we will go to the Cenacle, place where our tradition tell us the Last Supper was served, and then we’ll go to King David’s Tomb.

December 22nd
We will visit Yad Vashem, the Memorial of the Holocaust.
Then will continue with a Panoramic View of the Israeli Parliament, the Menorah of the seven arms, which is great symbol for the Jewish faith. Visit of Western Wall and Temple area.

December 23rd.
After breakfast we will go to Judean Desert and will have the opportunity to bathe in the Dead Sea. On our way towards Jerusalem, we will visit Qumram; where the Manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947. We continue our pilgrimage by visiting the community of Essenes and Samaritan Inn continuing towards Jerusalem. Arrive to hotel for dinner and rest.

December 24th
After breakfast we will go to Ain Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist, where according to tradition Zachariah lived with his wife Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, mother of Jesus. It is written that this is where John The Baptist "The Precursor" was born. Mass at midnight.

December 25th
Day of leisure, last minute shopping.

December 26th.
In the morning, breakfast and we will leave in the direction to Tel Aviv to board the airplane that will bring us back to the United States; proceed through immigration and security requirements and board our non Stop Flight to USA.
End of Pilgrimage!

PRICE:

$3895.00 per person double occupancy from New York.

Single room supplement: $750.00 extra

Services includes:

• Round trip air transportation
• All ground transportation to and from airport and at destinations.
• Transportation in Israel and Jordan
• Double occupancy accommodations
• All breakfasts
• All dinners
• Bi-lingual local guides
• Entrance to archaeological and historic places
• All Airport taxes
• All also included, a CD of photos taken by Fr. Tomas throughout the trip.
Photo CD will be mailed approximately 2 weeks after return date. Make sure we have your correct mailing address.

Not Included:

• Alcoholic drinks & beverages with meals
• Lunch
• Visa fees for Egypt and Jordan
• Trips/Gratuities
• Optional boat trip at Lake Tiberiades