Holy Land Pilgrimage
Due to current conditions we are cancelling this year’s Holy Land Pilgrimage
originally planned for
Sunday Oct.25 – Thursday Nov.05 / 2020
The Reverend Susan Sheen and I would like to thank everyone for their interested in our proposed pilgrimage to Israel in the Fall of 2020. At this point in time, we have been reviewing all health forecasts and monitoring the financial situations broadly around the globe. As your pilgrimage leaders, Rev’d Susan and I felt it would be the most prudent choice, to cancel our arranged trip for this fall. As a result, we have notified Amiron Travel, that our planned trip for this year has been cancelled and postponed till further notice.
It is our hope, that this cancellation is only a postponement and that in near future, once the global health situation has stabilised, and international travel is safely opened up, that we will look launch our travel plans again. For those who are interested in being part of that future activity, we have left up our proposed itinerary for you here to review and refer to. Our aim would be to keep this current schedule and travel plan, and look to do the same trip, once the situations indicate it is wise to do so.
For any who have placed a deposit with Amiron Travel, please contact Ami and he will happily refund it to you. Please download the reservation form (link above) if you need his contact information.
Thank you for your interest and support and we’ll look forward to meeting again in Jerusalem.
Blessings, Fr. Matthew+
Below you will find a copy of our 2020 Itinerary.
If you are interested in joining us in the future on our rescheduled trip, please continue to see what a pilgrimage to the Holy Land could look like.
DAY 1: SUNDAY, OCT. 25/2020: CANADA – ISRAEL
Depart Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Terminal 3, at 8:15 pm on a non-stop transatlantic flight to Israel, via El Al Israel Airlines. Dinner, breakfast, snacks, en route.
Flight Details: LY 32 – YYZ-TLV (Oct 25: 20:15 pm – Oct 26: 12:50pm)
DAY 2: MONDAY, OCT. 26/2020: NEOT KEDUMIM – TEL AVIV / JAFFA
12:50 arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv – Israel’s main centre of art and commerce. We are welcomed by local representatives, shalom! Meeting/assistance provided on arrival. Our first experience in Israel will be to visit Neot Kedumim, a 600-acre biblical landscape reserve located in the low foothills of the Judean Mountains. We will experience how Neot Kedumim practices “green archaeology” as it replicates biblical flora and relates it to the interpretation of scripture. And then we will proceed to the ancient Mediterranean seaport of Jaffa (biblical Joppa), site of the house of Simon the Tanner and the healing of Tabitha (Acts 9:32-43). We will stroll the twisting streets of Jaffa’s restored artists’ colony and visit the ‘Church of St. Peter,’ with its striking olive tree pulpit.
Overnight in Tel Aviv. (D)
DAY 3: TUESDAY, OCT. 27/2020: CAESAREA – HAIFA – AKKO – TIBERIAS
After our first experience of the world famous, sumptuous Israeli breakfast, we leave Tel Aviv. We drive north along the fertile Plains of Sharon, the Mediterranean and the old coastal road that linked Egypt and Babylon, the Via Maris, as we journey to Galilee. Our first stop is Caesarea Maritima, the ancient Roman seaport-capital where Roman proconsuls including Pontius Pilate lived. Built by Herod the Great, the city was once occupied by Phoenicians, Hellenists, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs & Crusaders; and is associated with the apostle Peter and the conversion of the first Gentiles to Christianity (Acts 10). We walk in the footsteps of the apostle St. Paul, who was imprisoned and tried here, before he sailed to Rome (Acts 23: 23). We also remember 3rd century theologian Origen and his famous Caesarea library, and Eusebius, bishop from 313-340 CE. After touring we continue to Haifa, Israel’s busiest seaport, located on Mount Carmel, associated with the Prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18:20). From there, we enjoy a panoramic view of the spectacular Bahai Gardens descending towards Haifa’s harbour. Looking north, we see the coast as far as Lebanon with Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21), and the hills of upper and lower Galilee inland.
We continue to Acre (Akko) a port city in northwest Israel, on the Mediterranean coast. It’s known for its well-preserved old city walls. In a tunnel in the walls is the ‘Treasures in the Walls Ethnographic Museum,’ depicting daily life from the Ottoman times to the 20th century. The mosaic-covered ‘Or Torah’ (Tunisian) Synagogue has 7 torah arks. The 18th-century ‘Al-Jazzar Mosque’ has marble pillars and underground pools. Steeped in medieval Crusader history, Akko is an over 5000 year old town surrounded by lofty fortifications. Much of its picturesque stone architecture has been preserved, making this one of the most interesting towns for sightseeing in the country. With all the many things to do and tourist attractions here, including a caboodle of khans (caravanserais), fortifications, and Crusader buildings packed amid the narrow alleyways, history-fiends will be in heaven. Continue to Tiberias.
Overnight Tiberias (B.D)
DAY 4: WEDNESDAY, OCT. 28/2020: CAPERNAUM – TABGHA – MT. OF BEATITUDES – CAESAREA PHILIPPI
Today we head out from Tiberias, built by Herod Antipas (John 6:23) and cross the Sea of Galilee by boat. We visit Capernaum, centre of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee (Matthew 4) and celebrate the Eucharist at Tabgha on the shore of the Sea, traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish.
There, we also visit the Church of the Primacy of Peter / the Church of Mensa Christi, built around an exposed Galilean rock (John 21:1-19). We continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, traditional site of the famous “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5:1). We then climb the magnificent Golan Heights travelling north to Banias, ancient Caesarea Philippi of the Confession of Peter (Matthew 16:13), at the foot of snow-covered Mount Hermon (Psalm 133:3) bordering Syria and Lebanon. Banias is one of the three sources of the Jordan River. We then return to Tiberias for an evening of leisure.
Overnight Tiberias (B.D)
DAY 5: THURSDAY, OCT. 29/2020: MAGDALA – ZAFED – SEPPHORIS – NAZARETH – CANA – MEGIDDO – MT. TABOR – TIBERIAS
After breakfast our first stop will be Magdala, a unique site in the Holy Land, where a first century synagogue and a complete first century city have been uncovered. We continue to Tzfat — birthplace of Jewish mysticism, also an active artist’s colony. We will visit the Ashkenazi and Sephardic synagogues, as well as the Davidka Monument overlooking the city. We then continue to the ongoing excavations of Sepphoris (or Tzippori) – near Nazareth, an ancient city of rich and diverse cultures — believed by some Christian traditions to be the birthplace of the Virgin Mary. Sepphoris is the place where Mary’s parents, Anna and Joachim once lived.
In Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, we visit St. Joseph’s Church built over Joseph’s traditional carpenter’s shop, and the spectacular Basilica of the Annunciation. The church is built over a cave-grotto, the traditional home of Mary, which is decorated with magnificent art works from around the world, depicting Madonna and Child. Time permitting, we stop at the Church of the Synagogue, built over the traditional site of the synagogue where Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah on the Sabbath Day (Luke 4: 16-30). We will then visit Cana where Jesus “turned water into wine” (John 2) and if time permits, we will continue to Megiddo, one of King Solomon’s fortified chariot cities with its famous archaeological ‘tel’ displaying some 20 layers of civilization. Lastly on day 5, on to Mt. Tabor, associated with the Old Testament judge Deborah (Judges 4) and site of the Transfiguration (Mk. 9:2-8). The Franciscan, Church of the Transfiguration, designed by Antonio Barluzzi, uses breath-taking mosaics and architecture to express the significance of this event in the life of Jesus. After, we return to our hotel for our final overnight in Galilee.
Overnight Tiberias (B.D)
DAY 6: FRIDAY, OCT. 30/2020: BETH SHEAN – JERICHO – DEAD SEA
Today we will check out of our hotel and make our way south. Our first stop will be the extensive excavations of Scythopolis, a reconstructed Roman-Byzantine city of the era of Jesus’ life and ministry. Beth Shean, is the only city of the Decapolis west of the Jordan River. We then continue south to Qasr el Yahud on the west bank of the Jordan River just above where it empties into the Dead Sea. There we will hold a ceremony for the Renewal of Baptismal Vows in the Jordan. This site fits the biblical location in the wilderness, where John the Baptist preached repentance and offered baptism(Mt 3:1-17).
We drive to Jericho (Mk 10:46-52, Lk 19:1-10), a spring-fed, citrus-producing town vying with Damascus as the oldest city in the world from c. 8000 BCE (though a Turkish recent find is challenging those claims.) Here we will find a sycamore tree to recall wee Zachaeus (Lk 19:1). But germane to the baptism of Jesus, we take a cable-car to the heights above Jericho, Jebel Quaruntul —“The Mountain of Forty Days”. Clinging to the rock-face is a Greek Orthodox monastery, its name commemorating Jesus’ being tested and fasting in the wilderness for forty days and nights (Mt 4:1-11). The present monastery was rebuilt between 1874 and 1904 on the ruins of a monastery founded by St. Chariton in 340 and which had been abandoned after the 614 Persian invasion. It provides a magnificent, panoramic view of the entire Jericho region. Finally we continue south to ‘En Bokek’ on the Dead Sea, where our tour members can have a float (not swim) in the Dead Sea.
Overnight Dead Sea Resort (B,D)
DAY 7: SATURDAY, OCT. 31/2020: DEAD SEA – MASADA – QUMRAN – JERUSALEM
After some relaxation and experiencing the wonders of the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea, we will check out of our hotel and make our way to Masada. Ascending by cable car, we tour Masada, one of Herod’s fortress castles and view the mountains of Moab in Jordan across the Dead Sea. Masada was the scene of the last hold-out of Jewish resistance to the Romans in 70AD before the entire band of 900 committed suicide to avoid capture.
We will then go to visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 and the Essene monastery there. After, we will make our way to Jerusalem, the goal of all pilgrims. We will have our first glimpse of the Holy City from the Mount of Olives with the old, walled city below us. As we prepare to enter the city, we will share bread and wine in a ceremony as ancient as King Melchizedek’s welcome of Abraham (Gen 14:18). A recitation of Psalm 122 will place us in the company of pilgrims immemorial.
Overnight Jerusalem. (B,D)
DAY 8: SUNDAY, NOV. 01/2020: JERUSALEM: JEWISH & CHRISTIAN QUARTERS
Today being Sunday and the Feast of All Saints, we join with other Anglican brothers and sisters in Jerusalem to celebrate the Eucharist at the Anglican Cathedral of St. George’s. Following the service, we will make our way to the Tower of David Museum at Jaffa Gate and receive a 4,000 year historical overview of the Holy City. We will then set out on a comprehensive walking tour to include; the Western Wall, the restored Jewish Quarter with its Cardo, the “Burnt House,” and shops. We get a magnificent view of the Dome of the Rock and Temple Mount from a nearby balcony and visit the Temple Mount excavations that will take us along the original temple steps leading to the Gate of Huldah and to the restored Herodian streets, on which Jesus likely would have walked. Outside the Dung Gate, we will stand on the edge of the Kidron Valley and see the ridge of land captured from the Jebusites some 3,000 years ago, the original city of David. Time permitting, we proceed to Mount Zion with its beautiful Dormition Abbey where the Virgin Mary is believed by many to have fallen into eternal sleep. Towards the end of the afternoon we see the Tomb of King David and the site of the Last Supper – the “Upper Room.” Time permitting, we will visit the awe-inspiring ancient Armenian Cathedral of St James.
Overnight Jerusalem (B.D)
DAY 9: MONDAY, NOV. 02/2020: JERUSALEM: MOUNT OF OLIVES – CHRISTIAN QUARTER
Today’s tour will start with a drive to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic overview of; the ancient City of David (2 Samuel 6:5-10), the old walled city and New Jerusalem. We then walk the ‘Palm Sunday route’ visiting a series of Antonio Barluzzi churches. First is, Dominus Flevit that commemorates Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem. We continue to the impressive Basilica of the Agony or the Church of all Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane, which commemorates Jesus’ night of agony before his crucifixion. In the ancient Garden, we will see olive trees that were planted untold centuries ago. We will cross the Kidron Valley with its traditional tombs of Absalom, Zachariah and James. (2 Sam 5:6) and via Lion’s Gate, visit the Church of St. Anne, the Pool of Bethesda, then walk prayerfully along the Via Dolorosa, ‘The Stations of the Cross’. We will walk the path of Christ, through the Arab section of the old city of Jerusalem to, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditional place of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Overnight Jerusalem (B.D)
DAY 10: TUESDAY, NOV. 03/2020: BETHLEHEM – WEST JERUSALEM – GARDEN TOMB
Our final scheduled day will have us travelling 5 km south of the holy city, to Bethlehem. We visit the ancient ‘Church of the Nativity’ – one of the first to be built in the land, with its uncontested birthplace of Jesus. Bethlehem is also the home of Israel’s beloved King David. We will also see the cave grotto of St. Jerome, the scholar and translator of the Vulgate Bible. We visit Beit Sahour or Shepherds’ Fields nearby, then on to a well-known olive wood store for lunch and Bethlehem shopping. We continue to West Jerusalem to visit Yad Vashem, the commemorative site of The Holocaust. While there, we also explore, the Hall of Remembrance and Children’s Memorial. At the end of the day, we celebrate the Eucharist at the stunning Garden Tomb, alternative site of Calvary and the resurrection of Jesus.
Overnight Jerusalem (B.D)
DAY 11: WEDNESDAY, NOV. 04/2020: JERUSALEM AT LEISURE
A free day in Jerusalem!
Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Jerusalem (B.D)
DAY 12: THURSDAY, NOV. 05/2020: ISRAEL – CANADA
After breakfast and check out, we transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our return flight home arriving the same day. (B)
Flight Details: LY 31 – TLV-YYZ (Nov 5: 11:00 am – 16:15 pm)
B=breakfast, D= Dinner
TOUR COST PER PERSON: $4,195.00 (Double Occupancy)
Single Supplement: $1,855.00
PLUS: Airport departure taxes, Fuel surcharge & Security fees (approx.$700.00 per person)
TOUR PRICES: based on a minimum 30 paying participants traveling together and on tariffs and exchange rates at time of printing. In the event of market fluctuation, the tour cost will be adjusted accordingly.
PAYMENT: May be made by cash or cheque, including credit card cheques. Issue to: AMIRON TRAVEL, (Credit Card payment, Visa & Master card only please add 3% convenience / Bank fee.)
DEPOSIT: A deposit of $ 500.00 per person must be submitted with your Registration Form to secure your space on the tour, after which an invoice will be mailed to you from AMIRON TRAVEL.
FINAL PAYMENT: August 01/2020
PACKAGE COST INCLUDES:
- Return air transportation Toronto – Tel Aviv – Toronto via El Al Israel Airlines
- Fully escorted by tour leaders from/to Canada & by a Government licensed guide in Israel
- Airport/hotel return transfers in Israel
- Accommodation at the following first class hotels or similar
Oct 26 – 27 / 2020 (1 night) Port Blue Hotel, Tel Aviv (Standard room) on HB (dinner at a local restaurant) — or similar
Oct 27- 30 / 2020 (3 nights) Caesar Hotel, Tiberias (Standard room) on HB — or similar
Oct 30 31 / 2020 (1 night) David Hotel , Dead Sea ( Standard room) on HB — or similar
Oct 31 – Nov 5 / 2020 (5 nights) King Solomon, Jerusalem (Standard room) on HB — or similar
- Porterage at the hotels
- Buffet breakfast and buffet dinner daily at hotels or restaurants
- Sightseeing by private air-conditioned coach
- Entrance fees to all sites included in the itinerary.
Touring sequence may be changed to comply with domestic requirements or per Guide or Tour Leader discretion.
Passports; Lunches; any beverages; Personal expenses; Insurance. • Tips to driver, guide and hotel staff , Suggested : US $ 115.00
Airport departure taxes, fuel surcharge, security fees (approx. $ 700.00 per person)
100 to 60 days prior to departure – loss of deposit.
59 – 45 days prior to departure – loss of 50% of tour price.
44 days to departure – loss of 100% tour price
** INSURANCE: STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
A special group insurance package, which includes trip cancellation, medical coverage, accident and luggage is available at the following rates:
Age: 0 – 59 = $360.00 Age: 60 – 64 = $445.00 Age: 65 – 69 = $540.00
Age: 70 – 74 = $725.00 Age: 75 – 79 = $915.00 Age: 80 – 84 = $1190.00
INSURANCE ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONNAIRE Participants ages 70 and over will be required to fill an Insurance Eligibility Questionnaire. If the score is 100% i.e. the client is healthy without medical problem, then only will they be eligible for the premium above.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: The Tour Operator, Amiron Travel acts only as an agent for the various Companies, Owners or Contractors providing the means of transportation, accommodation and other services pertaining to the tour. Amiron Travel, Reverend Matthew McMillan and Reverend Susan Sheen, shall not be in anyway liable for any injury, damage or loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned either by defect or irregularity on any vehicle, or through the acts or default of any company, or person engaged in conveying the passengers, or of any hotel proprietor, personnel or servant or of any person otherwise in connection therewith. Delivery of baggage to the Airline, Railway or Motorcoach shall be deemed an irrevocable release of the tour operator from any and all liability. Whatsoever resulting from loss, damage or delay in transit to any baggage of the tour participant during any portion of tour including sightseeing. All rates published in this brochure are based on tariffs and exchange rates in force at the time of printing. In the event of marked fluctuation, and increased of taxes and fuel surcharge the tour cost will be adjusted accordingly.
Passport: In order to travel each tour participant must be in possession of a Passport valid for at least six months after day of return back to Canada. If not, you must apply for a new Passport.
Vaccinations: not required.
Visa: is not required for passengers travelling with Canadian/USA/EU Passports.
For all other passport holders please contact Amiron Travel.
Please note: The government of Canada requires that you be advised of the following:
Entry to another country may be refused even if the required travel documents are in order. Living standards and practices at the destination and the standards and conditions there with respect to utilities & services, may differ from those found in Canada.
Documents: 15 days prior to departure, each tour member will receive documents consisting of final itinerary, flight and hotel schedules, and other important informative material regarding the tour.
What have I seen and where have I walked? I have seen places I have only dreamed about. I have seen places I have only read about. I have seen places I have only heard about. I have seen places I have only prayed about. Now, I have walked into places where the footsteps of God are deep and yet new to you and me. May I walk the pilgrim’s way again!
DO NOT DELAY, RESERVE EARLY
For registration forms and further information:
AMI at AMIRON TRAVEL
405 – 1018 Finch Avenue West .Toronto , Ontario. M3J 3L5
PHONE: (416) 630-5024 (Ext 23) OR (416) 829 6111 OR 1-800-644-1965 FAX: (416) 630-8093
TICO # 2174046 & 405422