PLEASANTVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH 2018 ISRAEL TOUR

Led by: Pastor A.J. Potter

Date: February 27, 2018 - March 09, 2018
Led by: Rev. AJ Potter
Guided by: Eitan Chamberlin
Base Price for:
Land & Air: $3,975.00

Join This Tour


NOTE: The dates have changed! New pricing for this tour will be published soon.

Join Pastor A.J. & Karis Potter and the Pleasantville Baptist Church on this 10 day tour of Israel from February 27th – March 9th 2018.

Please visit the Getting Prepared tab or Download the Brochure to review all pricing options for children, Single Supplements, etc.

Day 1 - Tuesday - February 27th, 2018 - (D)

In the afternoon, depart from Des Moines on the shortest possible flight time to Israel. (Meals & Entertainment in flight)

 

Day 2 - Wednesday - February 28th, 2018 - (D)

  • Morning/Noon arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport
  • We begin our journey with a visit to Caesarea Maritima: Herod’s Port City. We’ll explore the Roman Theatre, the Praetorium (Governor’s Palace), the Hippodrome and the fabulous Roman Aqueduct. Caesarea was the home of Pontius Pilate, the scene for Cornelius and Peter (Acts 10:1) the imprisonment of Paul (Acts 23:23), the home of Philip the Evangelist a (Acts 8:40; 21:9) and the opening scene for the Great Jewish Revolt in 66 CE.
  • Check in to our hotel on the Mediterranean Sea
  • Welcome ‘home’ dinner.

Day 3 - Thursday - March 1st, 2018 - (B/D)

  • Visit the site of Muhraka on Mt. Carmel, where Elijah fought the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18).
  • Explore the majestic Tel Megiddo in the valley of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). At this UNESCO world heritage site, we’ll see the Canaanite Gateway, the controversial Solomonic Gate and Casemate Wall, ‘Solomon’s Stables,’ a lookout over the Valley of Armageddon and the amazing water shaft and tunnel built during the time of Ahab.
  • Visit the Nazareth Village, a reconstruction of the 1st century village and enjoy a biblical style lunch there. (Note: your guide, Eitan Chamberlin, excavated here in 1999). At the end of our visit, you’ll have a lovely gift shop to enjoy.
  • Stop by Cana of Galilee (John 2), the site of Jesus’ first miracle.
  • Lookout over the Sea of Galilee from Mt. Arbel

 Accommodations:

 4-Star - Overnight & Dinner on the edge of the Sea of Galilee: Maagan or Nof Ginosar (Deluxe Rooms)

Day 4 - Friday - March 2nd, 2018 - (B/D)

  • Walk in the Arbel Pass, Jesus’ passageway to the Sea of Galilee. This is one of the most impressive natural settings that provides an excellent backdrop for Jesus' ministry.
  • Visit the pre-70 synagogue at Magdala. Here, we’ll discuss the modern theories of Mary Magdalene and her role as one of Jesus’ most dedicated followers (Mark 16:9).
  • Visit the 1st century Galilee boat at Ginosar’s Yigal Allon Museum. Was this a boat similar to the one the disciples used?
  • Set sail on the Sea of Galilee While on board, we’ll experience the silence of the Sea as well and see how a fisherman casts his net.
  • Enjoy lunch on your own by the Sea of Galilee.
  • Jump into the archaeological remains at Capernaum, Jesus’ home in the Galilee and where he chooses his disciples (Matthew 4:13, 8:5, 11:23, 17:24; Mark 2:1, 9:33; Luke 4:23; John 2:12).
  • Experience an amazing lookout and stories of miracles at Bethsaida, the birthplaces of Peter, Andrew, Philip, James and John (and the ancient Israelite town of Geshur (Matthew 11:21; Mark 8:22; Luke 9:10; John 1:44).
  • End the day with a lovely walk down the Mount of Beatitudes (Matthew 5) to the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

 Accommodations:

 4-Star - Overnight & Dinner on the edge of the Sea of Galilee: Maagan or Nof Ginosar (Deluxe Rooms)

Day 5 - Saturday - March 3rd, 2018 - (B/D)

  • Visit Tel Hazor and see the destruction of the Canaanite city as reported in Joshua 11 and Judges 5. Here, we’ll see the Solomonic Gate, the destroyed Late Bronze Age palace and an example of the Israelite House. (Note: your guide excavated here in from 1997-1998).
  • Drive through the Hulah Valley, possibly the Waters of Merom (Joshua 11:5).
  • Experience the Tel Dan Nature Reserve to see the “Arch of Abraham,” Jeroboam’s temple, and the discovery place of the ‘House of David’ inscription (Gen 14:13-16; Deut. 34:1; Josh 19:47; Judg. 18:1-2, 18:27-29; I Kings 12:26-33, 15:20; II Kings 15:29)
  • Explore the Temple of Pan at Caesarea Phillipi (Matt. 16:13-28).
  • Enjoy coffee & deserts in the Druze village of Ma’sade in the Golan Heights.
  • Lookout from Mt. Bental Volcano into Syria and the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-20).

 Accommodations:

4-Star - Overnight & Dinner on the edge of the Sea of Galilee: Maagan or Nof Ginosar (Deluxe Rooms)

Day 6 - Sunday - March 4th, 2018 - (B/D)

  • See the site of Kursi where Jesus healed the demonized man name Legion  (Matt. 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:26-39)
  • See Gideon’s Spring (Mayan Harod) and watch Judges 4 come to life.
  • Have a short visit Tel Beth Shean next to Mt. Gilboa (I Sam. 31:8-13; II Sam. 21:12-14) to lookout over the Roman city, the ancient Tel. Beth Shean was the capital of the Decapolis in Jesus’ day (Matthew 4:25; Mark 5:20).
  • Visit the baptismal site of Qasr El Yahud, where John most likely performed his baptisms (Matthew 3:13; Mark 1:9)
  • Our last site of the day is Qumran, where some of the Dead Sea Scroll caves were copied and Cave 11
  • Enjoy the rest of the day at the Dead Sea or your hotel’s spa.

 Accommodations:

4-Star - Overnight & Dinner: Daniel Dead Sea

Day 7 - Monday - March 5th, 2018 - (B/D)

  • Enjoy the morning at leisure
  • 10:00 -Departure
  • Visit the desert of Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul (Isa 35:7; I Sam. 23:29, 24:1-22)
  • Explore Masada, Herod the Great’s desert fortress and the last stand for the Jewish rebels in 73 CE (Luke 11:21-22).
  • Visit Tel Jericho (Josh 3:15-16, 6:1-27; II Kings 2:4-5, 2:18-22; Matt. 4:1-11, Mark 10:46-52; Luke 19:1-10), where the walls came tumbling down, and lookout over the Mount of Temptation.
  • Lookout over the Judean Desert and the Monastery of St. George in Wadi Kelt
  • Check in to our fabulous New Jerusalem hotel.

Accommodations:

4-Star - Overnight & Dinner: Kibbutz Ramat Rachel or similar

Day 8 - Tuesday - March 6th, 2018 - (B/D)

  • Have an early departure for the Temple Mount to see the site of the former Jewish temples and the current Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque.
  • Say a prayer at the Wailing Wall and admire the grandeur of this sacred spot for the Jewish people.
  • Visit the Southern Wall Excavations (Davidson Center) and walk up the 1st century steps of the Temple.
  • Visit the newest excavations in the City of David and wade through Hezekiah’s tunnel, and visit the Pool of Siloam (II Sam 5:7-9; II Chr. 32:2-5; I Kings 1:33, 1:38-40; II Kings 20:20, 25:1-9; Ps. 48:12-13; Isa. 22:11; John 9:6-11)
  • Visit the Upper Room and David’s Tomb on Mt. Zion.
  • Have lunch and some shopping time on your own in the Jewish Quarter
  • Visit the Jewish Quarter to see Hezekiah's Broad Wall (II Kings 20:22; II Chr. 32:3-5; Isaiah 22:9-10 & the reconstructed Cardo, the north-south street that ran through the city in the Roman and Byzantine periods.
  • Go underground to visit the 1st century Burnt House. Like Pompeii, this section of the Jewish Quarter provide a revealing moment in the destruction of the city by the Romans.
  • Enjoy the rest of your afternoon shopping in the Old City

 Accommodations:

4-Star - Overnight & Dinner: Kibbutz Ramat Rachel or similar

Day 9 - Wednesday - March 7th, 2018 - (B/D)

  • Enjoy a panoramic lookout from the Mount of Olives (II Sam 15:30; Numbers 19:1-10; Ezekiel 11:23; Ps. 122:3, 122:6, 125:2; Luke 21:37; Zech 14:4; John 8:1)
  • Walk the Palm Sunday journey down the Mt. of Olives, stopping by Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over the city (Luke 19:41-44) and engaging with the early Christian tombs discovered at the site.
  • Visit the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of all Nations (Matthew 26:36ff).
  • See the Pools of Bethesda at the Church of St. Anne (John 5:1-9).
  • Walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, noting key archaeological details. Learn 7 reasons why Jesus was most likely crucified here (Matt. 1:17; Matt 27; Luke 23; John 19)
  • Walk out the Damascus Gate, to where Stephen was stoned (Acts 6:5-15; Acts 7:1-8:2).
  • Visit the Garden Tomb, a modern alternative for the place of Jesus’ crucifixion. Guided by a local volunteer guide.
  • Enjoy the rest of your afternoon exploring Bethlehem, have lunch near Shepherds Fields and visit the Church of the Nativity. Enjoy shopping in Bethlehem at a Bazaar owned by local Christians- (Micah 5:2; Luke 2:4-20; Matt. 2:1-12, 2:16-18).

 Accommodations:

4-Star - Overnight: Kibbutz Ramat Rachel or similar

Day 10 - Thursday - March 8th, 2018 - (B/D)

  • Visit the Israel Museum to see the 2nd Temple Model & the Shrine of the Book, where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed
  • Experience Yad vaShem the Holocaust Memorial
  • Gather up 5 smooth stones in the Elah Valley where David fought Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
  • Stand on Tel Beth Shemesh to see the place of the ‘return of the ark of the covenant’ (2 Samuel 6:1f and Samson country, Zora and Eshtaol, the place of Samson’s birth and stories (Judges 13-16)
  • Visit Jaffa, the world’s most ancient port (2 Chronicles 2:16; Ezra 3:7) and the setting for the stories of Jonah and the Whale (Jonah 1:3), the house of Simon the Tanner and the healing of Tabitha (Acts 9-10) and Andromeda’s Rock.
  • Enjoy a final farewell dinner (included) out together at a fabulous Middle Eastern style restaurant located on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32).
  • 20:00 - Transfer to the airport.

Day 11 - Friday - March 9th, 2018

  • Arrive back to Des Moines

Full flight details will be posted here approximately 9 1/2 months before departure.

See our helpful FAQ section.

 

Rates Per person

Solid 4-Star

Per Adult in a Shared Double/Twin Room in 4-Star Accommodations with Roundtrip Airfare valued at $1600.

$3975.00

 

Per Child (2-12) sharing a room with two adults in 4-Star Accommodations with Roundtrip Airfare valued up to $1600. Note: a maximum of 2 children are allowed per room with parents.

$3598.00

Supplements

Add to your Per Person Cost

Single Room Supplement (for single passengers)

$745.00

Ways to Save $

Your Per Person Discount

Share a Room with 2 other passengers in a Triple Room

-$40.00

Increase the tour size to 30 or more paying passengers

-$50.00

Full payment by Check, Cash, Over-the-Counter Cash Deposit or Money Order

-$50.00

Refer a friend outside your local congregation to join our tour using your own Coupon Code.

-$70.00

Inclusions

  • Round-trip airfare from Des Moines, IA – group airfare will be officially announced around 9 months prior to departure. (Up to $1600 value)
  • Fuel & Taxes for flights (included in airfare price, valued up to $700)*
  • Transfers to and from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport
  • Luggage & Airport services upon arrival/departure
  • 9 days of new air-conditioned tour bus & driver
  • Licensed Israeli Tour Guide (Eitan Chamberlin, M.A. Hebrew University)
  • 8 nights in nice accommodations
  • Full Buffet Breakfast each day (soft drinks & alcohol not included)
  • 8 Full Buffet Dinners (includes full-course Farewell dinner)
  • 1 ‘biblical style’ Lunch at the Nazareth Village
  • All park fees & scheduled activities and entertainment
  • Internal Headset Whisper System for groups of 20 or more
  • Gratuities for hotel staff and local guides ($6.00 per person, per day)
  • Traveler’s Kit (hat, map, 2 starter water bottles)
  • Bus Banners and Name Tags
  • All Credit Card Fees (Pay with Visa, MasterCard, Discovery or American Express)
  • All Visa & Border Fees (if needed)

Exclusions

  • Lunches (average cost is around $12 per person, per day)
  • Any substantial fuel surcharges, ticket prices increases, or tax increases for flights.
  • Any diversion that may result in an increase in airfare or land costs.
  • Personal expenses such as telephone calls from room, mini bar, room service, etc.
  • Industry Standard Cash gratuities for guide & driver (recommended minimum for 15 or more passengers: $12 per person, per day = $120; maximum $20 per person, per day.).
  • Optional Traveler’s Insurance through Travel Guard or your own private carrier
  • Final Itinerary & Hotels: The itinerary may be updated from time to time at the discretion of Samson Tours, its guide and its tour leader. Final Hotel Arrangements will be posted no later than 100 days before departure. In the event of a hotel change, Samson Tours will guarantee a replacement at the same quality or provide an upgrade to a higher class of accommodations at no extra charge.
  • Group Minimum: A minimum of 20 paying participants are required for this tour program. If the group minimum is not reached by 4 months before departure, Samson Tours or its tour leader will have the right to either a.) request that all tour members pay a supplement for the increase in costs of no greater than $500.00 per person and operate the group at the same quality; b.) lower the hotel class by at least 1 star to offset the increased costs; or c.) postpone the dates until a minimum number of participants are achieved.
  • Group Maximum: A maximum 48 paying participants will be allowed to join this unique tour program.
  • Group Airfare: Samson Tours works alongside the tour leader to find the best airfare and best price for the group. In order to request a group airfare price, there must be at least 10 passengers on the group flight. The airfare will be paid to the airline in full upon their request and subject to their cancellation/refund policies. We have budgeted on your behalf up to $1600 to cover your group airfare. If it is higher than this amount, then you may be asked to pay a supplement fee.
  • Booking your own Airfare: If you are not joining your tour’s group airfare, please do not book your airfare until 90 days before the tour departure date or until the Notice of Group Minimum has been sent to you.
  • Flight Diversions: If you elect to be on the group flight and wish to depart from a different city of origin, you can a.) Book your own domestic airfare connection or b.) Select the Add-On in your My Account for a $50.00 Domestic Flight Booking Fee. Any costs or savings for the additional flight will be added or deducted from your tour balance. Please contact us with your specific departure city request.
  • Deposit & Payments for Land: To ensure your spot on the tour, we request a $200.00 deposit be paid upon signup. The deposit (less a $100.00 non-refundable fee per person) and any other payments made are refundable up to 90 days before departure. After that, the remaining deposit amount is non-refundable, but can be used as a future credit with Samson Tours or converted into a Gift Certificate which you can transfer to a third party. The deposit can be paid by cash, check, money order, bank transfer, debit or credit card. If the tour is canceled by Samson Tours, then you will be entitled to a full refund without any cancellation fee. This refund of cancellation fee does not apply to tour leader cancellations or postponements due to group minimums not being reached. For cases of political instability or cancellations or postponements due to force majeure, please see the Force Majeure section below.
  • Final Payments: The final payment will be made 90 days before departure. Payments made by check or cash will be made in US$ to Samson Tours, Inc. Payments made by debit or credit card to Samson Tours, Inc. will be charged the full balance. If there are any unpaid fuel surcharges for the group flight, they will be billed to you at cost per the group airline contract either before or after the tour. There is a Late Payment Fee of $200.00 if the balance is paid after the final payment date.
  • Late Registrations & Payments: Theoretically, you can join a tour anytime up to the time of the departure date (Land Only and subject to Hotel Availability). There will be a Late Payment Fee of $200.00 and an additional $50.00 fee if you require airfare assistance. If a hotel or other service listed in the itinerary is unavailable, we will find an alternative hotel for you, however you will be responsible for any transportation costs to/from joining the main group.
  • Land Diversions: If you arrive either before or after the recommended group departure/arrival time, or if your flight is delayed beyond a reasonable waiting period, or if you elect to divert or add-on additional days to the trip, then it is understood that you will arrive at the hotel or to the airport at your own expense. We will more than happy to assist you with these arrangements
  • Refunds (Land): The following refunds for the land portion of the price will apply for non-insured travelers only: Your balance less a non-refundable fee of $100.00 per person, which is transferable or can be applied to future tours if cancelled 90+ calendar days before departure. 75% refund of balance less a non-refundable fee of $100.00 per person if cancelled 89-60 days before departure. 50% of balance less a non-refundable fee of $100.00 per person refund if cancelled 59-30 days before departure. 0% refund if cancelled 29 or less days before departure.
  • Refunds (Group Air): Per group contract with airline. Typically, there is a $100 non-refundable fee up to 3 months before departure and 100% non-refundable 30 or less days before departure. Most airlines will, however, allow you to postpone your travel dates for a re-ticketing or name transfer fee.
  • Force Majeure: If Samson Tours decides to postpone the tour do to political unrest or for any reason beyond our company’s control that could compromise your security, then your balance will carry over to the new tour dates. Depending on the new dates, there may be an increase in costs for tours that are rescheduled within 1 year. If you are unable to join the new tour dates, then you will be entitled to a refund, less the cancellation fee (see Deposits) and any other non-refundable deposits that may be imposed on us by suppliers such as airlines and hotels. The deposit and/or balances amount can also be applied to any future tour or may be transferable to a third party.
  • Travel Insurance – Samson Tours does not require travel insurance. It is, however, strongly advised that all travelers equip themselves with a comprehensive travel insurance plan through Travel Guard. You can obtain an individual travel insurance quote, by visiting our Insurance page and clicking on any of the ‘Get a Quote’ links that refer you to the Travel Guard website. Travel Insurance coverage begins ONLY from the time you have purchased travel insurance. It is advisable only to purchase travel insurance when you have made non-refundable payments that exceed the amount of travel insurance purchased.
  • Add-ons once you have registered for a tour you can select from a variety of add-ons in your My Account area you may select or deselect any of these add-ons (extension tour, hotels, late fees, etc.) until 30 days before your tour.
  • Your Health:All participants should be in good health and walking condition. This program is active and involves a lot of walking over uneven surfaces and climbing stairs. All locations may not be accessible for the disabled. Having a disability does not disqualify you from joining any tour. However, be advised that you may have to forgo portions of the said itinerary by waiting on the bus or in a safe location until the main group has returned. If you require special accommodation, please report this at the time of your reservation so that we can better serve you.
  • Single Supplement: For single travelers, a single supplement fee for the hotels is required. This usually amounts to around 85%-90% of the Double Room cost. If a person has ordered a double room and his or her roommate cancels his or her tour, then the individual holding a double room must find a new roommate or pay the single supplement.
  • Exchange Rate: Samson Tours, Inc. reserves the right to charge a supplement to the price if the dollar falls below the 3.5 threshold. To date, we have never yet had to charge an exchange rate surcharge.
  • Government Imposed VAT or taxes: Currently there are no VAT taxes for foreign on tour land packages to Israel. Should such a tax be imposed before the start of the tour, even after ‘final payment’ has been made, Samson Tours will notify all of its participants in writing. In order to participate in the tour, you will be required to pay all such taxes before the start of the tour. If you are an Israeli Citizen you will be asked to pay VAT at the time of you final payment.
  • Responsibility - Samson Tours, Inc., its agents, suppliers, guides, leaders and representatives shall be, in no way, liable or responsible for any personal or property loss, damage or injury howsoever caused. The company shall also not be responsible for penalties for privately-booked flight tickets if purchased before the minimum is reached.  
  • Update – These policies may be updated from time to time. Upon update, you will be notified by Samson Tours, Inc. or its group leader.

Group Minimum Should be Reached

Oct 27th    2016

 

Final Payments are Due

Nov 27th    2016

 

Deposits become non-refundable to Samson

Nov 27th    2016

 

Last Day for Early Bird Registration

Nov 27th    2016

 

Late Registration Fee of $200 Goes into effect

Nov 28th   2016

 

All Passenger Info is Due (Passports, Roommates, etc.)

Dec 28th 2016

Updates Online

Last day to send Names List (see Names List Template)for ticketing

Jan 25th 2017

 

Final Airfare Payment is Due to Airlines by Samson (must retain 80%)

Jan 25th 2017

 

Airline Tickets are issued

Jan 28th 2017

 

 

 




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