Jerusalem & Bethlehem
Central to the Bible and Israel’s long and revered history are Jerusalem and Bethlehem, both of which you will visit as you board an air-conditioned motor coach for a journey through time.
DurationApproximately 11 hours
En route to Jerusalem, stop to enjoy views from atop the Mt. of Olives. Continuing on, arrive at the Church of All Nations, also called the Basilica of Agony. Located at the foot of the Mt. of Olives next to the Garden of Gethsemane, the church was built between 1919 and 1924 using funds from 12 countries. Structural highlights include a domed roof, thick pillars and floor mosaics, all of which give the building a Byzantine flair. The central feature of the Garden of Gethsemane is a section of stone enshrined by the Catholic Church, where Jesus prayed on the night of his arrest.
Following your visit to the Basilica and gardens, transfer by motor coach to a venue in Jerusalem where you will savor a relaxing meal.
The conclusion of lunch ushers in the beginning of your guided walk of Jerusalem’s Old City. Stroll past the bazaar and along part of the famed Via Dolorosa, believed by many to be the route Jesus followed as he carried his cross to Calvary. You will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at Golgotha, view the golden Dome of the Rock and pause at the Western Wall, formerly called the Wailing Wall.
After contemplating the wall, considered the holiest site in the Jewish world, travel to Bethlehem, the birthplace of both Jesus and David, and where David was crowned the king of Israel.
Your Bethlehem experience includes a visit to one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world, the Church of the Nativity. The complex is comprised of two churches and a grotto beneath where Jesus is said to have been born. Take some time to appreciate the façades and interior spaces of the main basilica, built in the Roman style, and the adjoining Church of St. Catherine, characterized by Gothic revival architecture. If there is time permitting, you may descend into the Grotto of the Nativity, where you will find the exact spot of Jesus’ birth marked by a 14-pointed silver star, set into the marble floor, with an altar above.
Also experience Manger Square, the large, pedestrian-only courtyard in front of the Church of the Nativity. Every year, large crowds gather on Christmas Eve to celebrate and sing Christmas carols in anticipation of midnight mass at the Basilica.
Celebrating your discovery of magnificent and historic sights, rejoin your motor coach and enjoy your approximately two-hour journey to the pier and your Crystal ship.
Important Notes: As this excursion involves a substantial walking over cobblestone surfaces, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. There are approximately 20 steep steps inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and steps descending into the grotto at the Church of Nativity. Negotiating the steps at both locations is optional. Visit to the Grotto at The Church of Nativity in Bethlehem is subject to time permitting. It is recommended that guests bring a hat, sunglasses and wear sunscreen, as well as wear flat, comfortable shoes. Guests should dress conservatively for their visits to religious sites. Shorts and sleeveless tops are not permitted. The order of sights visited may vary. See information concerning special cancellation conditions below. This Crystal Adventures excursion MUST be pre-reserved.
SPECIAL CANCELLATION CONDITIONS If cancellation of the above Crystal Adventure is made within 30 days of arrival in the excursion port, there will be a 100% cancellation fee charged to the guest's shipboard account. In the event guests cancel their cruise within 30 days of arrival in the excursion port, this cancellation fee will be charged throught the Crystal Cruises corporate office.
All Crystal Adventures with Special Cancellation Conditions can only be canceled in writing to Crystal Cruises. Please e-mail your cancellation to email@example.com or you may fax your cancellation to (310) 286-2412.