22 Days ex Amman
Come to Jordan the Holyland and Oberammergau following the footsteps of Moses Jesus St Paul & St John with the Very Rev Mike Hawke Dean of Nelson Cathedral and his wife Patsy a former teacher.
To visit the Holyland and see the places where Jesus walked taught and ministered is such a wonderful experience.
Join Patsy and I on our latest Pilgrimage starting 04 June 2020. This is my 6th tour with Innovative Travel to the Holyland and Jordan. I have just returned from another successful tour here along with Greece in the Footsteps of St Paul.
Then continue with a Croisi cruise Budapest-Passau – culminating in the once-in-a-life-time Passion Play in Oberammergau Germany.
Ask some friends to join you so you can share this incredible experience together.
Day 1: Amman
Fly to Amman.
Day 2: Amman - Dead Sea (D)
On arrival in Amman you will be met by a local representative and assisted with pre-paid group visa formalities. Transfer directly to the Dead Sea Spa Hotel for overnight accommodation. Remainder of the day is at leisure to relax and catch up. Time for a float in these therapeutic waters which contain over 30% in natural minerals. Dinner this evening is at the hotel to meet with your fellow travellers.
Welcome to Jordan. Jordan is a unique country with a wealth of cultural and scenic attractions to offer the visitor. Jordanians are gracious and welcoming hosts they will often surprise you with their command of English. Please remember that religious beliefs traditional customs and daily manners may sometimes seem quite strange at first. Please be patient if you think things are a happening at a different pace than you are used to!
The Dead Sea is 75 kilometres long and from 6 to 16 kilometres wide. It is fed by the Jordan River but it has no outlet. As its name suggests the Dead Sea is entirely devoid of plant and animal life. This is due to an extremely high content of salt and other minerals—350 grams of salt per kilogram of water as compared to about 40 grams in the world’s oceans. This concentration is caused by a rapid rate of evaporation. These natural elements give the waters of the Dead Sea certain curative properties recognized since the days of Herod the Great over 2000 years ago.
Day 3: Dead Sea - Mt Nebo – Madaba – Petra (BLD)
Today explore the area around the Dead Sea area and Jordan Valley. Visit Madaba where you can view the oldest known map of the ‘Holyland’ inlaid in mosaics in the St George church which was constructed approximately 542 AD by the Christian community at Madaba. Enroute to Mt Nebo visit La Storia Museum and handicraft centre where you will see first-hand the art of mosaic making plus you will be able to add a stone to the largest mosaic in the world that is currently being created. Continue to historic Mt Nebo where Moses looked out over the ‘Promised Land’. Continue to Petra for two nights at the Petra Guesthouse or similar. Lunch is included at Madaba at the Haret Jdoudna Restaurant.
Day 4: Petra (BL)
Today depart to discover the lost city of Petra. Petra is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
During the iron age approximately 1200 BC the area was inhabited by the Edomites who controlled the trade routes between the Arabian Peninsula and Damascus in what is today Syria. (Edom is the Aramaic word for red). According to the Bible King David subdued the Edomites around 1000 BC. The area later became controlled by the Nabataeans merchant people from the Arabian Peninsula who settled in South Jordan more than 2000 years ago. From a remote staging post they dominated the trade routes of ancient Arabia levying tolls and sheltering caravans laden with Indian spices and silks etc. The Nabatean Kingdom endured for centuries and Petra became widely admired for its refined culture massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels. Ultimately however the Roman Emperor Trajan annexed the Kingdom. By the 16th Century it was completely lost to the west and was so until 1812 when it was re-discovered. Most of Petra’s appeal comes from its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge. Various walks and climbs reveal literally hundreds of rock cut tombs and temple facades funery halls and rock reliefs.
Lunch is included at Petra at the Nabatean Tented Restaurant. Return to your hotel. Dinner is at your own expense this evening. Mike will advise options. This evening is your first experience of Petra - by night. This event is a magical way to see part of the rock city by candlelight. Walk the entire Siq to the Treasury lit with over 1500 candles to bring the major attraction due into spectacular view.
Day 5: Petra - Wadi Rum – Eilat (BD)
This morning transfer to Wadi Rum where Lawrence of Arabia rode across the desert with his Arab liberation army. Take a jeep ride through this impressive moon-like landscape with its dramatic canyons and dunes before continuing to the Arava Border with Israel.
After border procedures continue to Eilat or its surrounds for overnight. Welcome to Israel.
Day 6: Eilat – Jerusalem (BD)
Transfer via the Negev Desert to Masada the ancient Herodian fortress made famous during the time of King Herod as the last Jewish stronghold. On the way to Jerusalem pass by Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered before continuing to Jerusalem for three nights. A welcome dinner is included this evening.
Day 7: Jerusalem (BD)
This morning start with a walk underneath the Old City here see recent excavations that reveal the most exciting archaeological finds of the ancient world. Exit from underground at the Southern Wall Stairs. Continue your tour along the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Nearby is the tomb where Jesus was buried and rose again. This site is said to the site of the Golgotha (the Hill of Calvary) where Jesus was crucified. The church has been an important Christina pilgrimage focus since at least the 4th Century AD. Visit the Garden Tomb.
Day 8: Bethlehem – Jerusalem (BD)
This morning start with a spectacular view of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives. The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem with three peaks running from north to south. It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes. It is frequently mentioned in the New Testament as the route which Jesus took from Jerusalem to Bethany and the place where he stood when he wept over Jerusalem. Jesus is said to have spent time on the Mount teaching and prophesying to his disciples and also coming there on the night of his betrayal.
Walk down the Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane. Visit nearby St Georges Church time permitting including a church service. Continue to Bethlehem.
Visit the Shepherds Field. Meet with Angela a personal friend of Mikes to discuss the day to day lives of those living in this area and an opportunity to purchase local handicrafts.
Dinner is included at Bethlehem this evening. Return to Jerusalem.
Day 9: Jerusalem-Galilee (BD)
This morning depart for the Galilee area. First stop at Caesarea. Continue to Haifa and view the Baha’i Gardens. Onto Mt Carmel Muhraka the Druze Village of Daliat El Carmel. Travel to Nazareth to see Mary’s well and visit the Church of Annunciation.
This afternoon is a casual and meaningful meeting with local Christian families living in the village of Illabun between Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee. Here we meet with some of the villagers at the 600 year old Church built on the path that Jesus took from Nazareth to Capernaum. Hear their stories about living as Christians in Israel and get a glimpse of Israel’s small Christian Arab community. We share the breaking of bread with coffee and cake in the home of one of the village hosts.
Continue to our Kibbutz Hotel on the shores of the Galilee for three nights. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 10: Galilee (BD)
This morning visit the ancient boat museum which is located at Kibbutz Ginnosar and houses the remains of the Ancient Galilee boat dating from the first century AD the remains of the boat is of tremendous historical importance to Christians.
Continue the day with a boat ride in a traditional wooden sailing vessel on the Sea of Galilee. Explore the centre of Jesus’ ministry at Capernaum and see the remains of the synagogue where he preached. Onto the site of the miracle of the Fishes and Loaves at Tabgha and visit the Church of Multiplication with its 4th century mosaic floor. Ascend the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee where the Sermon on the Mount took place.
Stop at Cana Visitor centre a unique non-profit organization led by a team of Arab and Jewish women working to create social change from the ground up. Their goals are to produce outstanding olive oil and other premium food products while enhancing Arab-Jewish cooperation promoting Fair Trade creating economic opportunities for Arab women and assisting local growers and producers. Meet the local women and experience the rich local culture.
For those that want there is an opportunity to renew your wedding vows if you wish to at Cana Church.
Dinner is included this evening.
Day 11: Galilee (BD)
Drive to Caesarea of Phillipi at Banias Springs and then tour the Golan Heights to better understand the geopolitical issues affecting the region. Here visit Tel Dan. On your return to the Galilee is a visit to Safed city of Mystical Judaism for a walk through the artists’ colony.
Tonight is a farewell to Israel dinner.
Day 12: Galilee – Tel Aviv – Budapest (BD)
Today transfer to Tel Aviv. Here we explore the ancient port of Jaffa.
Some free time in the afternoon before rejoining for an early dinner in the Jaffa area.
Transfer to Tel Aviv Airport for your onward flight to Budapest for overnight.
Day 13: Budapest
Welcome to Hungary. You will be met and transferred to your hotel for overnight.
Day 14: Budapest (BD)
Time at leisure for shopping or exploring the city before transferring to board your special Oberammergau CroisiEurope Cruise.
Passengers are welcome to board our ship at 6:00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail before dinner. In the evening join us for an evening of traditional entertainment in Budapest. This one-and-a-half-hour show will take you across all the regions of Hungary through its folklore and Gypsy dance and music.
Over the next six days sail from Budapest to Passau. CroisiEurope is a French founded cruise company that offers an all-inclusive cruise amazing European cuisine an open bar including your choice of regional wines beers cocktails and spirits plus tea and coffee. All sightseeing is included.
Take time to relax as your floating hotel sails down the Danube.
Day 15: Budapest – Bratislava (BD)
This morning is guided tour of Budapest. Discover the history and architecture of this picturesque city. The metropole was once two distinct cities only united in 1873: Buda with its winding streets Turkish baths and Buda Castle; and Pest with its flatter landscape offering a panoramic view over the banks of the Danube.
Day 16: Bratislava – Vienna (BLD)
We'll arrive in Bratislava in the early morning. This morning is a sightseeing tour of Bratislava. Lined by the Danube Bratislava intrigues. The charm of the Slovakian capital lies in its old city which reveals magnificent baroque palaces churches and pleasant squares. The pastel-coloured façades give its many houses their unique style. Our ship will cruise to Vienna. This evening join us on an excursion of Vienna by night. Vienna symbolizes power and strength through its architecture and monuments. Street lights and special lighting accentuate shapes and dramatize the lovely baroque structures.
Day 17: Vienna (BLD)
This morning visit Schoenbrunn Palace a former summer residence for the Hapsburg monarchs. We travel on The Ring part of the vast changes to the Viennese cityscape that took place in the second half of the nineteenth century before arriving at the palace. The 1441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural cultural and historical monuments in Austria.
This afternoon visit Hofburg Palace an imperial march through history art and luxury. The Palace is also known for having been during 600 years the Winter Residency of the Habsburgs. You will visit the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments and access the 19 official and private rooms that once belonged to Franz Joseph and Elisabeth. The Imperial Apartments are a reflection of the monarchic splendour.
In the evening is a Concert of Viennese music (subject to availability). Famous waltz melodies will take you back to the era of Franz Joseph and Sisi. The first half of the concert will be devoted to Mozart compositions and the second half to Strauss. We'll start cruising during the night.
Day 18: Melk – Passau (BLD)
We'll cruise along the most beautiful section of the Wachau Valley before arriving in Melk. Visit Dürnstein the fortified village where Richard the Lionheart was once held prisoner. You will be able to stroll through the streets of this medieval town and visit the Baroque abbey. In the afternoon visit Melk Abbey. Originally a Baroque-style palace built between 1702 and 1736 it is now a Benedictine monastery that hosts a prestigious co-ed school with more than 900 students. In the evening we'll start cruising towards Passau. Tonight is our gala dinner and evening.
Day 19: Passau – Oberammergau (BLD)
Savour one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. and discovering Passau. We’ll have lunch in town. Around 2.00 p.m. departure by coach to Oberammergau known throughout the world for its Passion Play. After checking into a 3-star hotel dinner will be in the local area.