Group Cruising, the best of both worlds?
Wendy Fracchia

Do you like cruising? Why?

Do you like traveling with a group? Why?

Not to sound like a three year old, but you should ask yourself these questions because some of the best features you enjoy about these two traveling styles can come together, like a great ice cream sundae, and make the perfect choice for your next travel adventure.

Top 5 Reasons to Consider a Groups Cruise:

    1. Unpacking once and having your hotel travel with you: To most people, this is what they like the most about cruising and like the least about a land tour. The benefit here is huge, especially if you are a classic over-packer! You know who you are.
    2. Sea Days: We hear on land tours that it would be great to have a "down day" to let your legs rest and catch up on some sleep. When asked what of the tour they would give up for this down day they can't decide. Since most cruise itineraries require a day at sea to travel to our next port, it's the perfect answer to this question.
    3. The food: All you can eat, any style you want is available now on cruises. The variety is also better than a land tour. And since it is included in the price, there isn't the budget decision of, "Do I want a good meal tonight or a special souvenir tomorrow?" You know what I'm talking about, we've all done it!
    4. The itineraries: WOW, the world is really big and there is a lot of sea out there. Land tours just can't cover the distance of a cruise so with a cruisetour you can include so much more in your trip. More checks off that bucket list - all in one trip!
    5. Great balance of group and personal time: If you've done a land tour you know how close you become with other tour members in a short period of time. You quickly become a "family" and really, it's one of the things I like best about doing a tour. Lifelong friendships are made. You do, however, long for the quiet of your room at the end of a day and personal time to digest and contemplate the amazing sights you've seen that day. If you are traveling with family or friends, sometimes you just want to hang out and laugh together. On a cruise you get a great balance of togetherness and private time.

I am going to add an extra bonus thought here:

  • On-site learning mixed with classroom style. Not all cruises have an educational theme to them. Some are just fun times - in great destinations. If you choose one that does, this is a great way to enjoy both teaching styles. I don't know how you learn the best but, on a cruise tour you have both options so you are covered. You can absorb the onsite teaching as you ponder what you are seeing and then follow up on an onboard meeting.

So, now that I've given you a few things to think about - go back to the beginning and ask yourself those questions again and see if you are ready to experience this type of travel yourself. If you are, please call us today to review our group cruise options.

Summer Travel To Israel and Why You Should Consider It!
Roger Manning

Last summer my wife and I guided a group of 48 people to Israel and guess what, not only did everyone survive but EVERYBODY had a wonderful time!   When considering travel to Israel, the heat sometimes will scare people away from travel in the summer, but I’d like to offer you 3 reasons why you should consider an Israel summer tour and a few more just about Israel in general.

1. The historic and sacred sites are not heavily populated. Often, there are no waiting lines. We can spend more quality time at each site. Imagine trying to feel/learn/experience a sacred site with 500+ others speaking different languages and worshiping in other fashions.  While there is a great energy at these sites during the busier seasons, there is a lot to be said for this more personal opportunity.

2. The average temperature in Israel in June is 82 degrees. The evenings cool off nicely. In Jericho, Masada, and the Dead Sea areas, the dry heat temperatures range between 89-95 degrees. I don’t know about you but to me, it was not TOO hot that it interrupted our activities and no one was near heat exhaustion.

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Experiencing the Masters' Art in Europe
Howard & Shari Lyon

We often get asked why we love to travel to Europe so often. Despite the obvious answer of how much we love to travel and experiencing new places, our main reason is that we are so fed and reenergized by surrounding ourselves by inspirational art when we visit! We always return home with new ideas, new visions of how we want to create and new respect and awe for the artists that paved the way for us to create as a profession.

If you love art or desire to better understand the art treasures all over Europe, there is a talk given by President Kimball titled “The Gospel Vision of the Arts.” that you will want to read. Read it in its entirety, before, during and after traveling. It will help you experience the art in a very different way, and bring more appreciation and respect for the masterpieces you will encounter.

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Following the Journey of the Apostles
Tim Taggart

For the next two weeks the entire membership of the Church, in our “Come Follow Me” study, will focus on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. During that time we will also watch and listen to General Conference. How appropriate it will be to study: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”, as latter-day prophets testify of Christ.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians “contains many teachings and ideas that are familiar to Latter-day Saints, including foreordination, the dispensation of the fulness of times, the Holy Spirit of Promise, the importance of prophets and apostles, the idea of one true and unified Church, and the various callings and functions within the organization of the Church. This letter also contains some of the most sublime teachings on the family that are found anywhere in scripture. (NT Institute Student Manual, p. 421).

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Bring Your Studies to Life On Tour & Your Phone
Super User

Take your Bible study to a new level by taking a virtual step back in time to Jerusalem. With the free Virtual New Testament App you can now digitally walk where Jesus walked, whether with us on tour or from the comfort of your couch. The scripture stories that took place in Jerusalem will become more understandable, memorable, and impactful when you can visualize where these events occurred. The app allows you to visit key locations around the ancient city of Jerusalem. It will also allow you to take a ground-level walk-through of the Temple Mount with its expansive Courts (Gentiles, Women, Israelites, and Priests). Walk into the Temple’s Sanctuary with its Holy Place that includes the menorah, altar of incense, and table of shewbread. Walk through the veil and see the Holy of Holies, symbolic of the presence of God. Even better than visiting these sites virtually, is to the Holy Land with the app in hand to compare the ruins and sites in front of you with how they might have looked 2,000 years ago. The stories will become more real. The principles and doctrines they contain will become more relatable and your appreciation for the Savior’s perfect life and infinite atonement can increase.

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D-Day: A Look Back on the 74th Anniversary
Super User

Of all the key dates in history, few are as important as June 6, 1944. It was on that day, in terrible weather, that the Allied Forces launched, the long-awaited invasion of Europe, Operation Overlord, to defeat Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers. It was the largest military operation in history, fraught with peril, and with real danger that our troops would be thrust back into the English Channel in defeat. So great was the risk that General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, wrote two press releases; one expressing appreciation for the sacrifices of American and Allied servicemen who successfully formed a beachhead on the Normandy shores of France, the second expressing the same appreciation, but taking full responsibility for the failure of the operation because of Eisenhower’s bad judgment. He concluded the second “In Case it Fails” letter with these words, “If any fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.” It was late in the day on June 6th before it became clear that he could release the first letter.

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Making Sacred Places Sacred - Israel and Jordan
Del and Cherrie Clark

Several years back on our first trip to Israel, we were taking a taxi to the West Bank to study events on sites. Our wonderful driver was very accommodating. We mentioned several times throughout the day that we wanted to go to Shechem (modern Nablus). The day was winding down and he told us that we would not have the time to make that stop. He turned and asked us where we would like to go instead of Shechem. There was a look of disappointment on our faces, and the driver perceived that no other place would do.

He said, "So, you want to go to Nablus, then we will go."

We arrived in the middle of town and the Greek Orthodox church right after closing time. The door was locked, but our driver would not take "No" for an answer. He was persistent in knocking when finally, an old priest came to the door. The Old priest started shaking his head while our driver was explaining or desire to see Jacob's well. Once the old priest looked our way and saw the deep desire on our faces, he motioned to us to come in.

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Oberammergau 2020 Guided Tours and Vacations
Super User

The premiere of the 42nd Passion Play will be in May 2020. You can pre-register yourself now for one of our renowned land tours and stay in contact with us.

In spring 2019, the names of the actors will be announced. In addition to the major characters of Jesus, Mary, Peter, Judas, Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas, there are 120 larger and smaller speaking parts. Altogether, more than 2,400 Oberammergau villagers will participate in the 2020 Passion Play.

Rehearsals for the 42nd Passion Play will start in autumn 2019. The first performance of the 2020 Passion Play will be in May with five performances a week until October. More than half a million visitors from around the world are expected to attend. The stage was built in 1928, the auditorium in 1898. For the 2000 Passion Play, the entire Passion Play Theatre will underwent a complete restoration. The Passion Play Theatre has got about 4,500 covered seats.

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