Preliminary Itinerary The Holy Land & Poland
40th Anniversary of “The New Westminster Eparchy”
|28 Sept 2014Sunday 29 Sept 2014
30 Sept 2014
Arrive Krakow 2:30 PM Transfer to the Holiday Inn Hotel
Orientation tour of Krakow
Welcome dinner at the local restaurant
Buffet breakfast at the hotel
½ day city tour of Krakow including entrances to Wawel Castle, Wawel Royal Cathedral and St. Mary’s church
You will start with Wawel Castle that was the Royal residence and the seat of Polish Kings; now it is the richest museum in Poland with beautiful Arras Tapestries collection. The Wawel Cathedral used to be the scene of coronations and is the eternal resting place of the Kings of Poland.
Continue to the main Market Square that includes a double row of 13th century merchants’ stalls later converted into the Renaissance Cloth Halls and the Gothic Church of St. Mary’s housing the masterpiece of European gothic art – the 15th century wooden alter by Wit Stwosz.
[we may stop and have a lunch on our own in the square]
Afternoon excursion to Oswiecim visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum – silent witness of human tragedy
Considered as the biggest Nazi’s concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau was established on 14 June 1940 and liberated in January 1945
Approximately 1.5 million people of 28 nationalities lost their lives here, mostly Jews. One Christian man who died here became a Martyr to the truth of evils of nazism – a true hero for our times. A Saint who lived what he preached total love toward God and Man.
The cell where Father Kolbe died is now a shrine. Maximilian Kolbe was beatified as Confessor by Paul VI in 1970 and Canonized as Martyr by Pope John Paul II in 1981.
Today the site is the museum and included on the Unesco World Heritage List.
Lunch on our own
Dinner at a local restaurant in Krakow
Buffet breakfast at the Hotel
Morning visiting the Salt Mine in Wieliczka, one of the oldest salt mines in Europe [operated since the 13th century] an impressive underground world of salt lakes, chambers, galleries and unique Salt Works created by many generations of Polish miners. Tourists are visiting 3 levels [136 meters below ground], part of which have been worked in the 17th – 19th centuries. Afternoon on our own
Lunch and dinner on our own
After Buffet breakfast check out of the Hotel
Depart for Czestochowa visiting Jasna Gora Monastery
Czestochowa is one of the most important places of religious worship in the Christian World with traditions of pilgrimages that go back to the 14th century. In recent years 4 – 5 million pilgrims have visited this place annually, including 100 thousand from abroad. Only Lourdes and Fatima host more pilgrims.
The tradition of pilgrimages to Jasna Gora date back to 1382 when a 293 metre high hill was handed over to the Pauline Monks from Hungary and a monastery was founded. During the wars in Rus, Prince Ladislaus of Opole found the miraculous picture of Our Lady, in Belz Castle. After the victory over the Tatars, he brought the painting to Czestochowa, entrusting it to Pauline Monks for safekeeping.
There are two versions of the history of the picture from Jasna Gora. The traditional and legendary one says that Luke the Evangelist painted it on the plank of a table on which the Holy Family prayed and dined. However, the art critics say that it was a Byzantine icon dating between the 6th and 9th centuries. In the 1717 the picture was crowned with papal diadem and started to be called the picture of the “Black Madonna”.
The interiors of the Basilica are richly decorated with stuccoes, frescos, and marble in the Baroque style as well priceless votive offerings and valuable gifts from prayers all over the world.
Afternoon on our own, lunch on our own
Dinner at a local restaurant in Czestochowa
Overnight @ the Mercure Centrum Hotel in Czestochowa
| 03 Oct 2014Friday
04 Oct 2014
|After Buffet breakfast, we depart for WarsawLunch and dinner on our ownOvernight @ the Polonia Palace Hotel
[Divine Liturgy TBA]
After Buffet breakfast we have a ½ day city tour of Warsaw including entrance to the Royal Castle. Sightseeing tour of Warsaw will include the Castle Square where you can see the first non ecclesiastic statue in Warsaw King Sigismund’s Column and the originally Gothic Castle dated to the 15th century expanded throughout the centuries; the seat of kings of Poland. It was where the Third of May Constitution was promulgated in 1791, the second constitution, next to the US Constitution, in the world.
We will admire St. John’s Cathedral and walk through the Market Square full of restaurants, gift shops and galleries.
We will pass by the late – Gothic structure by John Baptist of Venice – the Barbican. The new Town Market and see the Church and Monastery of Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and the house where Maria Sklodowska-Curie was born. At the Krasinski Square stop by the Monument of Warsaw’s Uprising.
Drive via the Royal Route with its aristocratic residences, Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and building of Warsaw’s Grand Opera and national Theatre House erected by Antonio Corazzi.
We will visit St. Stanislaw Kostka Church and the special exhibition devoted to Father Jerzy Popieluszko, one of the greatest Church personalities in Poland murdered by the communists. In the year 2010 the beatification of Father Popieluszko took place in Warsaw.
The afternoon is free, lunch on our own
We will have an early farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Warsaw before transferring to the airport for our flight to Tel Aviv which departs @ 10:55 PM
Arrive Tel Aviv 3:50 AM
Transfer to the Hotel Prima Kings Tel Aviv,
breakfast at the Hotel
We will depart for Jaffa for Divine Liturgy and a walking tour of Jaffa – the Carmel Market and return to the hotel for a rest or beach.
Dinner At the hotel. [Divine Liturgy TBA]
| 06 Oct 2014Monday
07 Oct 2014
09 Oct 2014
12 Oct 2014
|After early breakfast8:00 AM depart the hotelDrive to Caesarea [Jerusalem – Caesarea approx 1 ½ hr] where Paul was imprisoned and tried, and where Cornelius was converted. Visit the Roman and Crusader ruins. Drive through the Carmel Mountains and Haifa, heading for Galilee, continue to Megiddo [Caesarea – Megiddo approx 50 minutes] [Armageddon], one of King Solomon’s Chariot cities.
12:00 noon – 1:00 PM lunch on our own @ Megiddo
Drive to Mount Tabor
4:00PM [Divine Liturgy TBA] @ Tabor Basilica of the Transfiguration drive to Tiberius
register @ the Hotel Leonardo
6:30 PM dinner @ the hotel
8:00 AM depart the Hotel
Begin the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Then viewing “Jesus Boat” at Kibbutz Ginosar. Continue to Capernaum, centre of Jesus’ ministry. Located here are the ruins of an ancient synagogue and the site of Peter’s house. Proceed to Tabgha, the site of the miracle of the loaves and fish and see the fish mosaic from the 5th century Byzantine Basilica. Visit the Church of the Primacy.
12:30 – 1:30 PM lunch on our own @ the Fish Restaurant
Drive to the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the “sermon on the Mount” travel through the upper Galilee to Banias springs [Caesarea Philippe], where Peter made his confession of faith. [Banias – Hotel approximately 1 hour]
2:30 PM [Divine Liturgy TBA – Amphitheatre – Mt. of Beatitudes
5:30 PM return to the hotel Leonardo
6:30 PM dinner @ the hotel
8:00 AM depart the Hotel
Drive to Yardenit on the shores of the Jordan River and renew baptismal promises.
Proceed to Nazareth where Jesus spent his early years and visit Mary’s well and the Church of the Annunciation
11:00 AM TBA Mass @ the Basilica of the Annunciation
12:30 noon – 1:30 PM lunch in Nazareth on our own
Just North of Nazareth is the village of and Cana of Galilee, heart touching vows renewal ceremony in Cana of Galilee for the couples.
Return to Tel Aviv [approximately 2 hours]
Check into the Hotel Prima Kings in Jerusalem
7:00 PM dinner @ the Hotel
7:30 AM depart the hotel
Drive to Jericho [45 minutes], the oldest and lowest inhabited city in the world. Visit of Mar Saba in the area of Bet Sahour or Monastery of St. George on the way to Jericho ** [vans] [situation permitting]
At the oasis town of Jericho, visit the excavations of the oldest city in the world and view Mt. Temptation where Jesus fasted and was tempted by Satan.
1:00 – 2:00 PM “lunch @ the Lot Hotel
Continue through the Judean wilderness to the lowest point on earth – the Dead Sea.
Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to the base of Masada [Jericho – Masada – 1:15 hours]
The stronghold of the Jewish zealots against the Romans. Ascend by cable car and tour the famed archaeological site including Herod’s palace, an ancient synagogue and a bathhouse. After descending drive to a nearby oasis and enjoy an opportunity to swim or “float” in the unique waters of the Dead Sea
[1 – 1 ½ hrs]
6:00 PM Return to the Hotel
7:00 PM dinner @ the hotel
8:00 AM depart the Hotel
Ascend to the Mount of Olives, for a panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem revealing a city with 4000 years of history… From this vantage point see much of what makes Jerusalem such a unique city to the three major religions, – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
We visit the Pater Noster with the Lords Prayer in many languages, and the Ascension to Heaven. Then stopping at Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Continue to walk along the Palm Sunday Way and descent to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spent the last night before he was arrested.
Divine Liturgy [to be confirmed]@ Gethsemane Basilica of the Agony.
We visit the cave of betrayal then the Cave of Dormition of Mary to Heaven.
We enter the old city of Jerusalem through Stephen’s Gate to the Christian quarters, and visit St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Antonia Fortress
Lunch on our own in the Old City
3:00 PM and follow the Via Dolorosa [Stations of the Cross]. As we walk along the Via Dolorosa [Way of Sorrow], through the markets of the Old City praying at the Stations of The Cross, we reflect on the greatness of His sacrifice.
Finally we arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where we pray at the spot where Christ was crucified, and visit the Resurrection Tomb.
We continue to the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem to pray at the Western Wall [NOTE: during Shabbat, you are not allowed to take pictures of the Wall] This is a Holy and joyous eve for Jewish faith.
Return to the hotel approximately 7:00 PM where a Sabbath dinner will be served [the Guide will stay with the group to explain the traditions].
8:30 AM Depart the Hotel
We enter at Mt. Zion. At the Cenacle we visit the Upper Room of the Last Supper [by way of walking – not a long walk]
Next we go to Dormition Abbey where we believe the Theotokos/Blessed Mary died. We end our morning at St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus thrice. Divine Liturgy in Gallicantu
Continue to the Yad Vashem Museum, memorial to the holocaust which tells the story of the Holocaust and serves as a sober reminder of man’s inhumanity to man. [the visit is approximately 1 ½ hours]
12:00 noon – 1:00 PM lunch at Yad Vashem on our own
Bus tour of the City of Jerusalem [1 ½ hrs] Knesset, Dead Sea Scrolls etc.
4:00 PM return to the hotel,
6:00 PM dinner @ the Hotel
8:00 AM depart the Hotel
Walking today is approximately 1.5 km. of walking
We enter the Old city and visit the grounds of the Dome of the Rock through Stephen’s Gate, and to the Christian quarter, Ecce Homo [Lithostrotos] – visit the Chapel.
11:00 AM [Divine Liturgy TBA] @ Melkite Church
12:30 Noon – 1:30 PM Lunch in the old City on our own
In the afternoon, drive to Bethany. Bethany was the home of the Lazarus, Mary and Martha and the setting for a number of New Testament events. The Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany has long been venerated by Christians and Muslims alike, and a modern Franciscan Church dedicated to the resurrected Saints stands on the site of much older ones
5:00 PM return to the hotel
6:30 PM dinner @ the Hotel
|13 Oct 2014Monday
|After breakfast8:00 AM depart the HotelWe drive to Bethlehem [Jerusalem – Bethlehem approx 30 minutes] visiting first The Shepherds Field, followed by the Church of the Nativity, St. Jerome’s Chapel, and St. Catherine’s Church.Divine Liturgy TBA @ Shepherd’s Field of Angels Chapel.
12:00 Noon – 1:00 PM lunch in Bethlehem on our own
We will allow extra time for shopping in Bethlehem. [if feasible]
We proceed on to Ein Kerem [Bethlehem – Ein Kerem – 1 hour] where we visit the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Visitation.
3:00 PM return to the Hotel
6:00 PM dinner @ the Hotel “Thanks Giving”
9:00 PM Tonight enjoy the Tzabarim Dance Performance at the YMCA. The “TZABARIM MECHOLA” Folklore Ensemble is composed of young men and women born in Jerusalem.
After breakfast, depart for home!!!!!!!
Yes, if Israel and Poland have been on your “Bucket List”, this is the tour for you!!
- buffet breakfast daily in Poland
- lunch and dinners as outlined in Poland
- buffet breakfast daily in Israel
- dinner daily in Israel
- lunch @ the Lot Hotel Dead Sea
- sightseeing including entrance fees with English speaking Guides
- Tour is based on 25 guests
Note: Divine Liturgy to be confirmed 3 months prior.
Tour from Toronto $4,589.00 [including airfare from Toronto]
$ 688.80 [approximate] air taxes
$5,277.80 Canadian dollars
Airfares available from other gateway Cities
The tour is based on exchange rates valid as per this date. However should there be any large currency fluctuation, we reserve the right to adjust the pricing accordingly unless fully paid.
A deposit of $750.00 per person due 14 April 2014
We recommend that your airfare be done at the same time as your deposit. Call us for special rates on international air from other gateway cities.
Please ask us for additional hotel nights should you wish to travel earlier and/or stay longer.
- Medical & Cancellation insurance highly recommended
- Cancellation penalty up to 60 days prior $750.00, 60 days to day of departure is 100% non refundable.
- Final payment is due 15 August 2014.
- We can do the deposit on credit card, however, for the final balance a 3% credit card fee will be charged.
Our Toll free telephone: 1 877 430-6789