2023 Celebrate Christmas in the Holy Land with Patrick Degn

Dates December 27, 2023-January 7th, 2024
Destination Tel Aviv; Caesarea; Nazareth; Banias; Capernaum; Jerusalem; Bethlehem; United States
Duration 12 days 10 nights
Price From 2,699
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Religious Focus:


Activity Level:

We invite you to come with your family and friends this year and enjoy a magically meaningful experience for all as we celebrate the holiday season where it all began over 2000 years ago. 

Please join Patrick Degn and Morris Murdock Escorted Tours as we experience Christ's birth in the fields of Bethlehem, his youth and ministry in the Galilee, and the last week of his life and resurrection in Jerusalem. Each area will give an added spiritual dimension to your holiday traditions and special memories to the season that will last a lifetime. 

This tour has many highlights that will enhance the testimonies of all who join us and truly bring the Bible to life and the true meaning of the holiday to your heart.

*Please note that while the physical activity on this tour (walking distances) is not significant, the days are full of touring from breakfast to dinner time with "down-time" only in the evening.

Highlights of the Tour:

  • 1 tour-bus experience for the whole tour!
  • Morris Murdock LDS tour Director Patrick Degn for the whole trip along with local guides
  • Licensed, insured, and bonded travel agency with 65 years of experience!! IT MATTERS!

Tour ID # 9223L28

We offer A CASH DISCOUNT of $75.00 on this tour. It applies for all payments made by check or ACH AFTER the deposit, and only the deposit amount is paid by credit card.

To Book This Tour, Contact your favorite Morris Columbus Travel advisor or the Group Tour Manager listed below:

Dani Edmunds

(801) 483-6114


Day 1: Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Depart USA to Tel Aviv

Meals : Dinner
Day 2: Thursday, Dec 28, 2023

Tel Aviv

Welcome to Israel! As you begin your journey in this ancient land, you will notice that the mountains have hidden secrets and the old ruins have legends. For 3,000 years on this small patch of land, men have toiled and battled; prayed and worshiped; and added their own small humanity to the history of this country. Listen and let the land of Israel tell you the stories of its past. 

Meals : Dinner
Day 3: Friday, Dec 29, 2023
Day 3: Friday, Dec 29, 2023

Caesarea\ Mt. Carmel\Megiddo\Cana

"And on the morrow, they entered into Caesarea; Cornelius thy prayer is heard." Enter Caesarea, remains of a city founded by Herod, residence of Pontius Pilate and a prison for Paul. Sit in the well-preserved amphitheater overlooking the blue sea and hear the story of Paul's conversion of the Centurion. The scenery begins to change to the beautiful green pastures and high rolling hills of the Jezreel Valley as we approach Mt Carmel where the prophet Elijah and the priests of Baal contested their faith. Not far away is Megiddo, the tragic site of ancient bloody battles where nations were won and lost. Upon these same tragic fields, the great and terrible last battle of Armageddon will be fought. As we make our way towards the Sea of Galilee, we will stop by the church in Cana that celebrates the 1st miracle performed by Christ when he turned water to wine at the wedding.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Saturday, Dec 30, 2023
Day 4: Saturday, Dec 30, 2023

Mt Tabor|Nazareth|Beit Shean

Shabbot Shalom - This is the official Jewish greeting on the Sabbath, and we have a great day planned.

"And he lifted up his hands and blessed them while he blessed them; he was carried up into heaven."  Mount Tabor is one of the mountains traditionally claimed to be the site of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. You will thrill to the almost hair-raising taxi ride up the mountain, but once at the summit, you will feel the peace and calm of the surrounding valley.  We journey next to Nazareth, the quaint town where Jesus Christ spent his childhood, learned his earthly vocation as a carpenter and grew and waxed strong in spirit. We will visit a recreated town from Christ's time and visit with the villagers to learn what life was like for the Jesus as a boy.  This afternoon we will travel to the ancient tel of Bet She'an, where 6,000 years of civilization seems to unfold among the ruins. It is believed to be the very Bet She'an of the Old Testament where the former King of Israel, Saul, was fastened to the city wall without his head by the conquering Philistines. We will end our day with a visit to the beautiful state park, Sahne. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Sunday, Dec 31, 2023
Day 5: Sunday, Dec 31, 2023

Banias|Sea of Gallee|Jordan River

Besides a place of great natural beauty, Banias is the site of ancient Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus demanded to know of His disciples who people were saying He was. As we make our way back south towards the Sea of Galilee you see some of the rich farmland that has made Israel one of the leading agriculture leaders of the world.

This afternoon you will sail upon the Sea of Galilee to view the area of Jesus Christ's early ministry. As the wind carries your boat, note the halo of mountains that surrounds its shores. Our last visit will be at the Yardenit Baptismal Site on the banks of the Jordan River. It is here that people from around the world, representing diverse denominations, still come to be baptized. 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Monday, Jan 1, 2024
Day 6: Monday, Jan 1, 2024

Mount of Beatitudes\Tabgha\Capernaum\Magdala

HAPPY NEW YEAR!   The Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, is always a highlight to visitors. Here you can see how it was possible for Jesus to teach the multitude all at the same time. From here we will visit Tabgha, site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. There is a beautiful Byzantine mosaic on the floor of this miracle that you will not want to miss. Next, we visit Capernaum, where Jesus lived and recruited his first followers among the fishermen. The well-preserved city will amaze you as you sit in the synagogue and imagine Jesus teaching and performing miracles for the masses. Our last stop of the day is Magdala.  Here one can find a first century synagogue, a complete first century city, and remains of a once prosperous fish processing industry.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Tuesday, Jan 2, 2024

Bethabara|Qumran|Dead Sea|Masada|Jerusalem

As we leave the fertile valleys of the Galilee, we enter the strange and barren desert of the Dead Sea. Once the Biblical Lands of Moab and Edom, the Dead Sea basin has been a refuge to prophets, zealots, and outcasts throughout time.  Our first stop is Bethabara the site where the Savior was baptized by John the Baptist. Buried in the beige limestone bluffs, the ruins of Qumran still tell the story of the Essenes, a reclusive Jewish sect that buried the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls.  From the desert floor, ascend by cable car to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada, where a community of 960 Jews preferred death at their own hands to the indignity of surrender to the overwhelming Roman forces. While at the Dead Sea, you cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy a dip in the buoyant waters and bathe in the wonderful medicinal mud! Even Cleopatra sent her slaves to retrieve this magical mud to preserve her legendary beauty. This evening we will journey to the beloved city of Jerusalem.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Wednesday, Jan 3, 2024
Day 8: Wednesday, Jan 3, 2024

Western Wall| Dome of the Rock Old City|Old Jerusalem

The Western Wall is the most important site in all of Jewish civilization because these rough massive stones are all that is left of the great Second Temple. Revered and honored, the Jews wait and hope for the day they will rebuild their third and final temple upon these sacred remnants. Above the wall is Mount Moriah where the Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is located. Entering the oldest quarter of Jerusalem, follow the winding alleys and crowded streets to the Pools of Bethesda and learn about their importance. We will discover the ancient city beneath the modern streets where the old paving stones are carved with Roman games at Antonia Fortress. Located in the old quarter of Jerusalem is the site believed to be the Room of the Last Supper. Devoid of gilded statues or ornate chapels, the quiet simplicity and elegance of this room helps one to focus on the words of Christ and the poignant last moments with his beloved disciples. Our last stop will be at the House of Caiaphas which owns the dark and sad dungeon that once imprisoned the Savior. To experience the cold dismal cells and feel the sorrow and grieving of such a place brings understanding and gratitude to our hearts.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Thursday, Jan 4, 2024

 Sifting Project/Israel Museum/ Davidson Center Archaeological Park/ City of David/ Hezekiah's Tunnel

This morning we get our hands in the dirt as we have a special opportunity to participate in a sifting project of dirt taken from under the Dome of the Rock and the City of David. Next, discover the treasures of the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, the site chosen to house the Dead Sea Scrolls. This unique building is shaped like the ancient pottery in which the precious scrolls lay hidden for thousands of years. While we are there, we will get to see the Holy Land Model, a unique scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The model visually explains the layout of the ancient city as well as the design and magnitude of the Second Temple. After lunch we visit the Davidson Center Archaeological Park at the base of the Temple Mount to visit the Southern Steps of the 2nd temple.  Our last stop will be at the City of David to explore the ancient waterway of Hezekiah’s Tunnel!  When Jerusalem was preparing defenses against the approaching Assyrian army in the 8th century B.C.E., King Hezekiah decided to protect the water source by diverting its flow deep into the city with an impressive tunnel system. This engineering feat was accomplished by digging a 1,750-foot tunnel into the mountain we can explore today.  

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Friday, Jan 5, 2024
Day 10: Friday, Jan 5, 2024

Bethlehem|Free Time in the Old City

Music, bells, and churches appropriately adorn the little town of Bethlehem for it was here that the Light of the World was given life. Pilgrimages, sacred holidays, and festivities occur all year long to celebrate the birth of Christ. Tradition holds that the small humble inn with just a stable for lodging was located where the Church of the Nativity now stands. Shepherds still tend their flocks on the fields overlooking Bethlehem just as they did over 2,000 years ago when the angel appeared bringing them glad tidings of great joy. Gathered on these fields, we sing the beloved hymns and listen to the wondrous story - a moment not to be forgotten.  This afternoon we will have some free time to go back into the Old City to revisit sites or to finish up shopping for treasures to take home. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11, Saturday, Jan 6, 2024
Day 11, Saturday, Jan 6, 2024

Sacrament Services at the BYU Jerusalem Center/ Mount of Olives/ Gethsemane/Garden Tomb

This morning begins with sacrament services at the BYU Jerusalem Center.  Next, we visit the Mount of Olives on whose slopes the Garden of Gethsemane lies nestled. Feel the powerful spirit in the Garden as you envision the momentous events which took place at this sacred site.  After lunch we will stop at the beautiful Garden Tomb, there is a limestone hill, which many revere as Golgotha, site of the crucifixion. Just around that hill is an old cemetery with an ancient tomb that once held the Savior's mortal body and saw its glorious resurrection. There is a sign on the door of the tomb that says, do not look for Him here for He is risen. You will never forget this moment in your life as you look for Him, not in the tomb but within your own life.

Tonight, we will have a farewell dinner together as we prepare to leave the land we have grown to love to travel back home. After clearing immigration and customs, you will transfer to the connecting gate for your flight back home with memories to last a lifetime.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Sunday, January 7, 2024

Arrive USA. Welcome Home!!

Highlights of the Tour:

  • 1 tour-bus experience for the whole tour!
  • Morris Murdock LDS tour Director, Patrick Degn on for the whole trip along with local guides
  • VERY INCLUSIVE rate -Tour, transportation, Tips & taxes, breakfast & dinner daily - All you pay for is lunches & souvenirs! 
  • We include all tipping for Israeli guides, bus drivers hotels, and restaurants where meals are provided!!
  • Licensed, insured and bonded travel agency with 65 years of experience!!  IT MATTERS!


  • Deluxe motor coach transportation throughout the tour
  • Group transfers if flying with the group or arriving at the same time
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • Local guide & experienced LDS Tour Director
  • Hotel accommodations in comfortable 4/5-star hotels with porterage (1bag)
  • Sightseeing tours as outlined on the itinerary
  • Audio hearing system throughout the tour
  • Entrance fee and all admissions during the tour
  • Minimum tipping for Israeli guides, drivers, hotels, and restaurants
  • Destination and study guide material
  • Travel bag and document package

Israel Not Included:

  • Round-trip air to and from Tel Aviv - Group airfare will be available in Feb 2023
  • Additional transfers when not arriving or departing with the group
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance starts as low as $35 
  • Lunches and misc expenses
  • Tipping for Morris Murdock Tour Director

Optional Pricing:

  • Single Rate $3539.00 
  • Triple Rooms available, same cost as the double rate
  • $75 cash discount for the main tour

Payment Terms:

  • $500 per person deposit due at the time of booking
  • Final payment due 27 September, 2023

Terms & Conditions for all tours

TOUR CODE - 9223L28