This comprehensive full day tour offers a wonderful opportunity for sightseeing in Jerusalem, one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. Boarding your coach at the pier, you'll first enjoy a scenic drive from Haifa into the hauntingly stark Judean Hills, traveling along the same route used for centuries to reach Jerusalem.
The capital of Israel, Jerusalem is famous for its timeless beauty and was once considered the center of the world. As you navigate your way through this amazing city, you will pass some of Israel's most notable landmarks, such as the Hebrew University, home to 2005 Nobel Prize winner Professor Emeritus Robert J. Aumann, the Israel Museum, the Shrine of the Book, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) and the State Supreme High Court.
From here you will continue on to Mt. Zion, lying to the south of today's city walls. Upon arrival, you will visit the Room of the Last Supper, where according to tradition Jesus' last meal with his disciples and the descent of the Holy Spirit took place. Located on the ground floor is the Tomb of King David, one of the places most visited and venerated by the people of Jewish faith. Next, it's on to the Dormition Abbey, a massive yet serenely beautiful structure topped by a high domed bell tower, a conical dome and corner towers. According to tradition, this Benedictine basilica is built over the place where Mary, the mother of Jesus fell asleep.
Your morning is capped off with a relaxing buffet lunch at a local hotel, and then it's time to begin your walking tour of the old city. Entering via the Jaffa Gate, your walk will take you past some of the most sacred sites in religious history. As you make your way along a route that flanks the colorful bazaar, you'll observe the Christian Quarter, which rests beside a part of the famous Via Dolorosa, believed by many to be the route Jesus followed as he carried his cross to Calvary. Amongst the sites you will view is the golden-topped Dome of the Rock. With its stunning blue and gold ceramic tiles, this amazing shrine is considered the third holiest site in Islam. You will also view the famous Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest site in the Jewish world because it is believed to have been closest to where the Holy Ark once stood. A visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is also included. Perched on the hill known as Golgotha, the Church marks the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
Re-joining your coach, you'll enjoy a drive past the city walls and through the Kidron Valley, viewing the Church of All Nations at the Gardens of Gethsemane, as well as the sacred churches on the Mount of Olives: the Church of Ascension, Pater Noster, Dominus Flevit and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. A final panoramic view over Jerusalem's enchanting Old City is provided before it's time to travel back to the ship in Haifa.