Note: This website has been designed by Eric Johnson, who is an Evangelical Christian missionary working in Utah and has designed two previous trips for CVCS, including the last one in 2018. He is working with Mr. Aaron Bond to make this the best trip CVCS has ever taken to Israel!
April 1-11, 2021
Have you always wanted to see the Holy Land?
Would you like to walk where Jesus walked?
Do you have a thirst to learn more about the Bible?
Join Mr. Aaron Bond and several other CVCS teachers and staff as they take an 11-day trip to the Holy Land over Easter break 2021! This is sure to be a trip that will forever change the way you read your Bible!
Join us for so many sites that you have read about in the Bible, including:
- Sea of Galilee boat ride
- Baptisms in Jordan River
- Behind-the-scenes tour of the Western Wall
- Communion service at Garden Tomb
- Sloshing through the historic Hezekiah’s Tunnel
- Seeing the Valley of Elah, where David and Goliath fought
- Hiking through the river forests of Ein Gedi and Dan
- Walking around the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount
- And much more!
For the hard brochure, click here (COMING SOON)
To see the insurance policy, click Allianz Travel Insurance.
Sign up for this trip with a $500 deposit per person by February 29, 2020 and receive:
- $100 Early Bird Discount
- A complimentary copy of Joel Kramer’s DVD Jericho Unearthed
If you end up having to cancel by Thanksgiving 2020, you will receive $375 of your deposit back.
We are limited to one bus of travelers, so there is limited room.
To sign up online for this trip, please click here (and have your credit card ready). (COMING SOON) Final payment due January 2021, and credit cards are accepted for all payments!
There will be an informational meeting on Thursday night, January 23, 2020 in Mr. Aaron Bond’s room at CVCS. It’s not mandatory, but for you to learn more about the trip and ask questions, please try to attend!
DAY 1 – Thursday, April 1, 2021: Flight from LAX
We will meet at CVCS to be taken to the LAX Airport and we’re on our way to Tel Aviv. Meals served on board.
DAY 2 – Good Friday, April 2, 2021: Arrival in Tel Aviv
We arrive in Tel Aviv where we are met by our guide who will be with us for the time we are in the Holy Land. We board our bus and travel through Tel Aviv, proceeding to the city of Netanya on the Mediterranean to our hotel where we will check in for overnight.
This morning we begin our day at Caesarea, a port on the Mediterranean Sea that was built by Herod the Great and dedicated to Augustus Caesar, the Roman emperor. Here you will have a chance to sit in the Roman theater, walk along the hippodrome, and check out a Crusader fort. You can also see where Herod’s palace once stood, as 2,000-year-old floor mosaics can still be seen on the shore. Paul was under arrest and certainly was here! No site in Israel is visited more than Caesarea, and the Mediterranean Sea makes it one of the most beautiful places in the country. We proceed to Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s successful challenge with the Baal priests. We can look over the entire valley from this spot and get a good idea of the geography. After lunch, we proceed to Megiddo to visit the excavations that unearthed 20 different civilizations. It is better known as Har Megiddo, or “Armageddon” according to the book of Revelation. We then take a step back in time at Nazareth Village, which has been constructed to look like a 1st century village just like Jesus would have known. You will have a chance to talk to a shepherd, carpenter, and others who will converse in their first century way. It is quite an experience! Finally, we make our way to our hotel in Tiberias for the first of our three-night stay.
Today we go to the northern part of Israel (Galilee), starting with Chorazin and Bethsaida before driving through the Hula Valley to Hazor, where we will see ruins of the powerful Canaanite city destroyed by Joshua and rebuilt by King Jabin and then by Solomon as a chariot city to command upper Galilee. We continue to the northern limits to Dan where we combine a nature walk beside the Upper Jordan with views of the ancient ruins, topped by the Israelite high place that supported a golden calf (I Kings 12). Next we’ll take a short drive to Banias (Caesarea Philippi), dedicated to Pan the Greek god of pastures, flocks and shepherds, where Peter made his great profession of faith. Driving along the base of Mount Hermon, we ascend onto the Golan Plateau for a magnificent view of upper Israel and have lunch. On our way back, let’s stop by Magdala along the Sea of Galilee and visit Mary Magdalene’s hometown. There is a first century synagogue here, the first to be found in the Galilee region. Return to the hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
This morning is a special time to practice the ordinance of water baptism. We will go to the Jordan River where those participants who have never been baptized (or who do not remember their infant baptisms) will have a chance to give their testimony and be immersed the same way as Jesus. Next we continue to Capernaum where the home of Peter and the town’s synagogue can be seen. Let’s have lunch at a restaurant to partake of a St. Peter’s fish (or, if you wish, chicken) meal. After lunch, we visit Christian churches located at Tabgha (loaves and fishes) and the Mount of Beatitudes—a place where we can read from the Sermon on the Mount. Our final activity is taking a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee…how exciting! We will have a chance to hear Christian worship music, dance to Jewish songs, and celebrate our time in the Holy Land. We will see a New Testament boat found two decades ago during a drought dating to the time of the apostles. We will spend the night at the Sea of Galilee for a third night and prepare for our drive south in the morning.
- See a video on Baptisms at the Jordan River
- See a video on the Mount of Beatitudes
- See a video on Capernaum
- See a video on the Jesus Boat and a Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee
DAY 6 – Tuesday, April 6, 2021: BET SHEAN / MASADA / CAMEL RIDE / DEAD SEA RESORT HOTEL
We begin by stopping off at the ancient city of Bet Shean, a site where Saul’s head was hung from the city wall after he was killed. It is a wonderful archaeological wonderland that gives us an idea of what an ancient city looked like, with a theater, baths, and a large “tell” which we can climb up. Bet Shean comprises more than a dozen civilizations and is an awesome place to explore! We get back on the bus and travel down to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on the earth (1300 feet below sea level), ending up in Masada and ascending by cable car to the magnificent ruins of the fortress where, from AD 70-73, Jewish defenders made their historic stand in the Judean revolt against Rome. We will have a chance to explore as we walk through the storehouses, cisterns, and three-tiered palace created by Herod the Great. We then head over to a Bedouin camp to ride camels in the desert—how many of your friends have done that? Finally, we go to the Dead Sea where we have planned a special retreat at a resort hotel. This is a place where you can enter the waters of the Dead Sea for a swim and mud yourself. Or, if you’d like, utilize the spas—just sit back and let the bubbles relax you.
DAY 7 – Wednesday, April 7, 2021: EIN GEDI / QUMRAN / HERODIUM / BETHLEHEM / MOUNT OF OLIVES / JERUSALEM
We begin at a place called Ein Gedi, a desert oasis, as we have a chance to observe the wildlife and hike to a wonderful waterfall. In one of these caves above the waterfall area, David found Solomon and cut off part of his robe. Next, we stop by Qumran and check out the village once inhabited by the Essenes, the people who compiled the Dead Sea Scrolls 2,000 years ago. These scrolls were first discovered by a shepherd boy in 1947, including the earliest copies we have of the Old Testament. This discovery helps us see how accurate the Old Testament really is. Then we make our way to Herodium, a palace set in a conical mountain that was built by Herod the Great and where his tomb was uncovered in 2007. Remember, it was Herod who was visited by the Wise Men. He did what he could to prevent the “King of Kings” from being born, including the “Massacre of the Innocents.” After seeing this man’s monument to himself, let’s go visit one of the possible sites for the Shepherds’ Fields—perhaps we could celebrate Christmas a bit early by singing “Silent Night” inside one of the caves! Bethlehem is where Jesus was born, a direct fulfillment of Micah 5:2. From here, we move to near-by Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity. Here, in a basement cave, we will stand in the same place where the Savior was born. We will also visit the quarters where Jerome translated the Latin Vulgate in the fourth century. After a stop at a Bethlehem olive wood shop run by Christians, we head to Jerusalem, the place where we will spend the rest of our trip. Let’s go on up to the Mount of Olives to check out a bird’s-eye view of the old city of Jerusalem. This will give you a perspective as we embark on a tour of this city over the next days. This is the first of a 4-night hotel stay in Jerusalem.
DAY 8 – Thursday, April 8, 2021: RABBI TUNNEL / WESTERN WALL / TEMPLE MOUNT / POOL OF BETHESDA / ST. ANNE’S CHURCH / SOUTHERN STEPS / JERICHO / JERUSALEM
This morning we start at the Western “Wailing” Wall, the holiest place in all of Judaism, before touring the Rabbi Tunnel, which takes us down to the very foundation of the walls. Next we will climb up to the Temple Mount, which is where the Dome of the Rock is located. This is the site where the Holy of Holies was located. From here, we will stop by the Pool of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church, which is perfectly preserved from the Crusader period – with remarkable acoustics. Why don’t we sing “Amazing Grace” together? You have never heard this hymn sung more sweetly than here. After this, we go back to the Jewish Quarter where we will visit the Southern (Teaching) Steps—Jesus was certainly here, right outside the temple itself. After lunch in the Old City, we head over to Jericho, about a 45-minute ride away. This is the place where the walls came tumbling down. Be sure to check out Joel Kramer’s video to get the whole story of the meaning of this place.
- See a video on the Western Wall (filmed by Eric Johnson)
- See a video on the Western Wall
- See a video on Temple Mount
- See a video on Amazing Grace in St. Anne’s Church
- See a video on the City of David
- See a video on Hezekiah’s Tunnel as well as comments by students afterward
DAY 9: Friday, April 9, 2021: CITY OF DAVID / HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL / ISRAEL MUSEUM / AZEKAH (VALLEY OF ELAH) / JERUSALEM
We begin the day in the City of David so we can see where the palace of David was located. We will have the chance to slosh through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which measures 1749 feet from one end to the other–be sure you bring your flashlights. For those not so adventurous, there is a shorter dry tunnel as well. This tunnel was dug by Hezekiah’s men in the 8th century BC and you will feel the chisel marks that were made almost 3 millennia ago! We will also see the Pool of Siloam talked about in the Bible, as part of it has recently been uncovered. From here, we will visit the Israel Museum to spend time seeing authentic samples of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as walking around a model city of the ancient city of Jerusalem that is a football field in size! We will be given the chance to look at such important artifacts as the Pontius Pilate inscription, the Tel Dan inscription (with proof of David), and the ossuary of Caiaphas. After lunch, we will take a bus ride over to Azekah, which overlooks the Valley of Elah, the place where David fought Goliath. From a certain location, you will be able to see exactly where the battle took place and even view the stream where David picked up his rocks.
DAY 10: Saturday, April 10, 2021: CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS / GETHSEMANE / CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER / GARDEN TOMB / RAMPARTS WALK OR SHOPPING (FREE TIME) / JERUSALEM
It’s the Shabbat (Sabbath), so we will focus on visiting Christian sites today that remain open. We start out in the morning at the Church of All Nations, the place where Jesus went after the Last Supper and the site of the Garden of Gethsemane. There are olive trees in this garden with root systems going back to the time of Jesus! This is where Jesus prayed before he was betrayed and arrested. We then drive a few minutes to the Jaffa Gate to make our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried before raising on the third day. Finally, we end up at the Garden Tomb! We will have a private communion service here that you will never forget! The words “He is not here. He is risen indeed” will have extra meaning for everyone. After lunch in the Old City, you have two choices: 1) Take the ramparts walk from the Christian Quarter to the Muslim Quarter. This involves a lot of stairs and you need to be cautious—doing this hike will give you a good perspective of the Old City of Jerusalem; 2) Shopping in the Christian Quarter. You choose what works for you.
- See a video on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
- See a video on Sifting, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane
- See a video on the Ramparts (Jerusalem’s Walls) (free time?)
DAY 11: Sunday, April 11, 2019: JERUSALEM / TEL AVIV
We wake up early in the morning to make our way from our hotel to the airport. We leave with good memories of walking in the country where Jesus walked and where much of our Bible was created. In fact, it is a guarantee that you will never read your Bible the same ever again!
Cost of the Trip: $____ TBD (all inclusive from LAX)
What does the trip cost include?
- Air transportation/transfers from LAX
- Full-time guide / bus / driver
- All 4-star hotels
- All admission fees
- All tips and taxes
- 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner buffets
- A St. Peter’s fish lunch
- Complimentary DVD Jericho Unearthed (on the day of the presentation and for those who signed up online before the January meeting)
Not included: Optional travel insurance policy (7.25% or 9.8% of tour cost), transportation to LAX, most lunches, snacks/drinks,and souvenirs
Actual comments from previous travelers
“Thanks for a prize-winning tour!”–Duane Tubbs, La Mesa, CA (2019 trip)
“This trip has so much power to change you!”
“The thrill of walking where Jesus walked and seeing the hills that Jesus preached from…it changes the way you read the Bible. It’s definitely worth it!”
“My experience on this trip was unlike any other. I will never forget what I saw and felt as we took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee — I knew I was seeing the same things that Jesus Himself saw. This was the trip of a lifetime and it was worth every cent!”
“Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for such a life changing trip. I am so grateful for your time and planning for the last 10 days. This Easter has new meaning to me now that I have walked where Jesus walked, prayed where He prayed and saw where He was sacrificed. What a gift it is to visit the Holy Land and get to fellowship with such an amazing group of people.” K.B., traveler on the March 2018 trip
Christian High School (CHS) Video Testimonies (who traveled with CVCS in 2018):
- CHS Parent Cameron Owens (March 2018)
- CHS student Jack Mason (March 2018)
- Former CUSSD School Board Member Thad and Melissa Rothrock (March 2018)
- Fromer CUSSD Superintendent Pat McCarty (March 2018)
“As I reflect back on our amazing trip and continue to try to adjust for the time zone change (smile), I just wanted to drop you a note and thank-you for the incredible journey you led. As people have been asking me about our time in Israel I am finding that it is so very difficult to put into words the dramatic impact that it had strengthening my faith and opening my understanding of God’s Word.”–Pat McCarty
“Just want to say one more time how grateful I am for your leadership of such a life-changing trip. There is not a single person that didn’t have an incredible time, and many people’s faith grew significantly because of the experience. . . . You really did a great job at managing the details and all you did to make the trip smooth and enjoyable was noticed and appreciated.”–CVCS Superintendent Chris Rutz
Questions you may have
We are taking just one bus and will not go to a second bus, so there is limited room.
Can parents come on the trip?
The answer is, absolutely! We encourage parents to come with their children, especially if they have never been to Israel. Why not see the Holy Land together as a family? In past trips, there has been an average of 1 parent for every 2-3 students. Having more adults on the trip makes it easier on the CVCS staff as well.
Can we pick our roommates?
You can! There are normally 2 to a room, but in special cases (i.e. family members), there can be three to a room. When you sign up, be sure to write down who you want your roommate to be. Adults can either choose to room with their child OR they can pick adult roommates. Those who request a single room will be billed $1000 extra.
Will there be a lot of walking?
Yes, there will be land to cover. If you go to Disneyland, you know that you will easily put in 5 miles the day you’re there. In Israel, it’s similar. To see the sites, the buses will drop us off and we will need to walk to get to the site(s). On the average day, we will cover between 3 to 6 miles, although not all at once. Generally we will get on and off the bus an average of 5-6 times each day. If you get tired, you are free to stay with the bus, as our driver stays with the bus when we are gone. Our day typically begins at 6 a.m. wake-up call, 6:30 breakfast, and 7:30 drive away from the hotel. We usually try to get back to the hotel by 5:30 p.m. Dinner is usually at 6:30 p.m.
Passports, YES! Your passport should not expire before October 2021 or you will need to renew it. You can apply for a passport at your local post office. Do yourself a favor and obtain this well in advance! Sometimes passport deliveries are delayed and you don’t want to risk it. As far visas and shots, the answer is no to both!
Do we need the insurance policy?
There are two different policies from which you can choose. One is a standard policy, covering missed connections, medical issues, and lost luggage. The other allows you to cancel for any reason and receive 80% of your money back. You need to decide for yourself, but we definitely recommend the basic insurance for peace of mind.
What about safety?
We have to say that we feel much more safe in Israel, even in the West Bank, than we do in Chicago, New York, and Washington DC! Nobody on our high school trips (this is the third trip for Capistrano Christian!) has ever felt threatened at any site we have visited. As we understand it, no American tourist has been killed or even seriously injured for decades by any terrorist activity while going on a pilgrimage to Israel. The entire time we are in Israel, safety will be our highest priority. If anything is ever happens in a particular area during our trip, we will avoid that place–the guide will be in constant communication with the authorities. Also understand that governmental security is all around us, especially in sensitive areas such as Temple Mount and the Western Wall. And security is tighter in the Ben Gurion Airport than anywhere in the world. You will be as safe as possible and much safer than if they were in London, Paris, or Rome. So, in conclusion, I believe this is a very safe trip, or I would not have traveled here, without incident, nine times since 2009 and have brought every member of my family!