2023 Christmas Holy Land Tour with Jonathan Brinley

Dates December 28, 2023 – January 8, 2024
Destination Tel Aviv; Caesarea; Capernaum; Nazareth; Dead Sea; Masada; Jerusalem; Gethsemane; Bethlehem; United States
Duration 12 days 11 nights
Price From 2,699
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Religious Focus:


Activity Level*:

Welcome to an unforgettable experience! Immersing yourself in the spirit of the Holy Land will help provide a greater appreciation for the numerous sacred sites and events as recorded in the Bible. The focus of our tour will be on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. We will visit many sacred, traditional areas of Jerusalem (Mt. of Olives, Lazarus’ Tomb, Gethsemane, Golgotha, Holy Sepulcher), Galilee, Nazareth, Masada, the Dead Sea, and Bethlehem. We are confident you will sense an increased love for and knowledge of the Scriptures and strengthen your testimony and conversion to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Come join Jonathan Brinley and let Israel come alive for you as you travel your own personal journey through the Holy Land.

*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 tour Director on for the whole trip along with local guides
  • VERY INCLUSIVE rate -Tour, transportation, Tips for Israeli guide and driver, & taxes, breakfast & dinner daily - All you pay for is lunches & souvenirs!
  • We include all tipping for hotels and restaurants where meals provided.
  • Licensed, insured, and bonded travel agency with over 60 years’ experience!! IT MATTERS!

Tour ID # 9223L29

We offer A $75.00 CASH DISCOUNT 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:

Questions? Contact:

Dani Edmunds, Tour Manager
Tel: (801) 483-6114
Email Dani

Days 1 & 2: Thursday and Friday, December 28-29, 2023

U.S.A. - Transatlantic Flight - Tel Aviv, Israel

We take a morning flight from our various U.S.A. homes and arrive the next afternoon at the Ben Gurion International Airport. 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. Tonight, we rest from our journey at a seaside hotel in Netanya.  After our welcome dinner, we will gather together to get to know our group members better. 

Meals : Dinner
Day 3: Saturday, December 30, 2023
Day 3: Saturday, December 30, 2023

Caesarea - Mt. Carmel - Megiddo

Shabbot Shalom - This is the official Jewish greeting on the Sabbath and we have a great day planned. "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. Next, we make our way towards the Sea of Galilee.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Sunday, December 31, 2023
Day 4: Sunday, December 31, 2023

Mount of Beatitudes - Tabgha - Capernaum – Sea of Galilee – Magdala

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 in 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. A St. Peter’s fish lunch is included today. It not only tastes fabulous but makes a great memory. 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 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, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Monday, January 1, 2024

Mt. Tabor - Nazareth – Banias – Tel Dan

HAPPY NEW YEAR! "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. 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. Next, we travel to Tel Dan. This Nature Reserve is one of Israel’s most beautiful parks and archaeological sites. Tel Dan hosted both an ancient Canaanite civilization and the Israelite tribe of Dan. As we make our way back south towards the Sea of Galilee you see to see some of the rich farmland that has made Israel one of the leading agriculture leaders of the world.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Tuesday, January 2, 2024
Day 6: Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Beit Shean – Qasr El Yahud - Dead Sea

This morning we will travel to the ancient tel of Bet She'an, where 6,000 years and 18 levels of civilization have been discovered. 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.

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 next stop is Qasr El Yahud the traditional site where the Savior was baptized by John the Baptist. We continue on to our hotel located at the Dead Sea. 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.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Day 7: Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Masada - Qumran – Olivewood shop - Jerusalem

From the desert floor, we 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. Next, we travel to Qumran. Buried in the beige limestone bluffs, the ruins of Qumran still tell the story of the essences, a reclusive Jewish sect that buried the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls. This evening we journey to the beloved city of Jerusalem.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Thursday, January 4, 2024
Day 8: Thursday, January 4, 2024

Western Wall – Dome of the Rock Old City – Sifting Project – Davidson Center Archaeological Park – City of David – Hezekiah’s Tunnel

The Western Wall is the most important site in all 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.

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. 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 9: Friday, January 5, 2024

Israel Museum- Old Jerusalem - Free Time in the Old City

In the morning, 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. Then, 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. Then we see the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. 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 10: Saturday, January 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.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Sunday, January 7, 2024
Day 11: Sunday, January 7, 2024

Bethlehem – Ein Karem Village – Valley of Elah

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. Our next stop will be the Valley of Elah. Elah is best known as the place described in the Bible where the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath.

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 life time.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Monday, January 8, 2024

Arrive USA. Welcome Home!!!!

Highlights of the Tour:

  • 1 tour-bus experience for the whole tour!
  • Morris Murdock tour Director on for the whole trip along with local guides
  • VERY INCLUSIVE rate -Tour, transportation, Tips for Israeli guide and driver, & taxes, breakfast & dinner daily - All you pay for is lunches & souvenirs!
  • We include all tipping for hotels and restaurants where meals provided.
  • Licensed, insured, and bonded travel agency with over 60 years’ experience!! IT MATTERS!

Price includes:

  • Accommodations tourist class 4/5-star hotels
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Entrance fees and all activities as specified in itinerary
  • Hotel porterage - 1 bag per person
  • Whisper technology headsets to be used throughout tour
  • Experienced LDS guide traveling and Services of a bilingual licensed Israeli tour guide throughout tour
  • Minimum prepaid gratuities for your Israeli guide and driver
  • Transfers via deluxe air-conditioned motor coaches
  • Group transfers
  • Destination study and informational book
  • Travel bag and Document

Price does not include:

  • Round-trip air from your home city
  • Additional transfers when not arriving or departing with group
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Gratuities for Morris Murdock Tour Director
  • PCR tests

Payment options:

  • $500 Per Person Deposit is due at the time of booking
  • Final payment due on or before Thursday, September 28, 2023

Other pricing:

  • Double Occupancy - $2,995.00
  • Single supplement - $3,539.00 

Air Price: Call your travel agent for information.