Steve Cushman, Professor of English

Amir Orly, Israeli National Guide

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$5,995 per person, double occupancy, land only.
A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,795 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

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Israel’s unmatched history, archaeological treasures, and cultural attractions make it an essential destination for religious pilgrims and secular travelers alike. Join popular UVA English Professor Steve Cushman in exploring this mythic land starting in Jerusalem, a walled hilltop city with a fabled 5,000-year past, sacred to more than a third of the world’s population. In Bethlehem, Galilee, and across the countryside, retrace Biblical events and learn about ancient civilizations and unique modern communities. Israel is as beautiful as it is fascinating and you will be struck by the majestic deserts, rolling hills, and picturesque coastlines. And, to enrich your journey, we’ve arranged exclusive lectures with journalists, writers, and experts on hot historical and current topics.

Program Highlights

  • Explore historic sites of early Judaism and Christianity including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Sea of Galilee and Nazareth.
  • Discover the new Israel at Haifa, home of Technion, the Institute of Technology and learn about discoveries for which Israelis have won Noble prizes.
  • A crossroads of culture, Israel preserves the ancient civilizations at World Heritage Sites such as Acre, Caesarea. Explore archaeological sites from Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine Eras and the Crusades.
  • On an optional extension to Jordan, explore the preserved ruins at Jerash and the rock-cut city of Petra, carved from rose colored stone.


Steve Cushman, Professor of English

Stephen Cushman is Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at UVA where he has taught since 1982. With a B.A. from Cornell and a Ph.D. from Yale, he has brought to the English Department his commitment to American literature, poetry, literature and the environment, and the American Civil War. His teaching has been honored with an All-University Teaching Award, the first Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the Cavalier Distinguished Teaching Professorship, and a State Council of Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. A poet as well as a scholar, he has published ten books, most recently Belligerent Muse: Five Northern Writers and How They Shaped Our Understanding of the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press) and Hothead: A Poem (Louisiana State University Press). For more about Steve, visit http://www.engl.virginia.edu/people/sbc9g or https://stephencushman.com/.

Amir Orly, Israeli National Guide

With more than 30 years’ experience as a tour leader and an exceptional breadth of knowledge about his homeland, Amir Orly is the ideal guide to introduce you to Israel’s many treasures. He holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies and is a PhD candidate at Hebrew University, with additional studies in history and geology. Amir has been selected by several government Ministries to guide official guests, including dignitaries, presidents and heads of state, as well as foreign press and student groups, and has been invited to give lectures to religious organizations in the U.S. In addition, he has worked with prominent American universities to develop and teach academic programs such as Religions in the Holy Land and The Arab-Israeli Conflict, both taught in Israel. As your tour guide, Amir will take you beyond the places and relics you’ll visit and show you how each fits like a puzzle piece into the much larger story of Israel’s dramatic past and complex present. His extraordinary insight will enrich your journey with historical background and meaning every step of the way.


DAY 1 - Thursday, May 9


Depart on your overnight flight to Israel.
Meals Aloft

DAY 2 - Friday, May 10


Deplane at Tel Aviv where you are greeted by your specialist guide and transferred to your hotel in Jerusalem. Enroute, visit the Haas Promenade for stunning views of the “Holy City.”
Arthur Hotel

Welcome Reception and Dinner (D)

DAY 3 - Saturday, May 11


Delve into the history of this sacred city with a lecture on “Jerusalem, the Holy City.” Then, visit the areas sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians at Temple Mount, site of Al Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock, Via Dolorosa and Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In the Old City, explore new excavations in the City of David; a virtual reconstruction of the Herodian Temple Mount; and the Western Wall. In the Jewish Quarter, see resplendent ruins and Byzantine vestiges like Nea Church and Cardo Maximus.
Arthur Hotel

(B, L)

DAY 4 - Sunday, May 12


Begin the day at the Israeli Supreme Court and a tour of the striking compound then continue to the Israel Museum to view the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Shrine of the Book. After lunch, visit Mount Herzel, Israel’s National Cemetery and the Yad Vashem Museum dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. Enjoy dinner and a Sound and Light show at the “Tower of David.”
Arthur Hotel
(B, D)

DAY 5 - Monday, May 13


Drive to Masada, a World Heritage Site where the Zealot’s last stand against Roman rule ended in mass suicide. Ascend by cable car to inspect the ruins of Herod’s palace and fortifications Continue to the Essene ruins of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
Arthur Hotel
(B, L)

DAY 6 - Tuesday, May 14


Jerusalem - Mount of OlivesToday, ascend the Mount of Olives, stopping at the tranquil Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion. In Bethlehem, visit the Church of the Nativity, Shepherd’s Fields. Learn about the Jewish settlements at a private home in an Israeli settlement in the “West Bank.”
Arthur Hotel

(B, L,)

DAY 7 - Wednesday, May 15


Leave Jerusalem behind to explore the spectacular archaeological remains at Beit She’an. View artefacts that reveal the remains from ancient civilizations including Canaanite, Egyptian and Roman occupation. Ascend the Golan Heights and enjoy a unique lunch and tour at an olive oil mill.
Kibbutz Nof Ginosar

(B, L, D)

DAY 8 - Thursday, May 16


CapernaumBegin your day on the shores of the Sea of Galilee at Capernaum where Jesus served as a rabbi. Continue to Tabgha, known for the “miracle of the loaves and fishes,” and the Mount of Beatitudes, the site of the “Sermon on the Mount.” Perched high above Galilee is the small town of Safed; explore the cobbled alleys with artists’ galleries, medieval synagogues and spectacular vistas of the surrounding valleys and distant mountains.
Bay Club Haifa

(B, D)

DAY 9 - Friday, May 17


Begin your day at the Technion, the Institute of Technology that has been the heart of Israel’s technology miracle. Continue to the World Heritage Site of Acre and explore the underground Crusaders City. Your day ends at Rosh Hanikra and descend by cable car to the grottos and caves that provide refuge to loggerhead turtles and unique flora and fauna.
The Market House Hotel, Jaffa

(B, L, D)

DAY 10 - Saturday, May 18


Bahai GardensSpend the morning at Bahai Gardens, a living memorial to the founders of the Baha’i Faith. The garden was created to inspire the soul and reflect the tenets of the faith: Unity of all religions and unity of all God’s creations. Nineteen terraces sweep gently down the face of Mount Carmel toward the beautiful bay of Haifa. Take an herbal cooking seminar with lunch then drive to Nazareth to explore the biblical childhood home of Jesus and the remains of Byzantine and Crusader churches.
The Market House Hotel, Jaffa
(B, L)

DAY 11 - Sunday, May 19


Head to Givav Haviva, a cultural center seeking to foster a shared society, and build understanding among divergent groups in Israeli society through education. Drive to the ancient city of Caesarea to see ruins from the Roman, Byzantine and Crusader eras. Constructed by Herod the Great between 22 and 10 BC, this marvel of the ancient world was once the largest artificial port and one of Israel’s largest projects of archaeological discovery.
The Market House Hotel, Jaffa

DAY 12 - Monday, May 20


After breakfast, bid farewell to this amazing country as board your international flight for home.

Post-Extension to JORDAN

Single Supplement: $795 PER PERSON

DAY 12– Monday, May 20
Take an early flight to Amman, capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Nothing can prepare you for the site of Petra, the “Rose-red city.” Enter through a narrow gorge and explore this marvel of nature and man, carved from the cliffs by the Nabataeans more than 2,000 years ago. Visit the final resting place of Moses at Mt. Nebo and view the oldest map of the Holy Land rendered in beautifully preserved mosaics on the floor of Saint George’s Church.
Petra Movenpick Hotel
(B, L, D)

DAY 13– Tuesday, May 21
Return to Petra for further exploration of the ancient city. Pass through hundreds of rock-cut tombs, soaring temples, a Roman-style amphitheater and the impressive Al Khazneh (The Treasury) celebrated in legend and film. In the evening, enjoy dinner at Petra Kitchen, where you participate in the preparation of a traditional meal of Jordanian meal.
Movenpick Dead Sea Resort
(B, L, D)

DAY 14– Wednesday, May 22
Travel through the rift valley of Araba to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. Stop for a dip in the salty waters lauded for the therapeutic mineral-rich mud. Enjoy the luxurious amenities of your spa resort or explore the ancient cave believed to be the sanctuary of Lot and his daughters following the destruction of Sodom.
Movenpick Dead Sea Resort
(B, L)

DAY 15– Thursday, May 23
Visit the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, built on a site occupied since the Neolithic Age, and walk the incredibly well-preserved colonnaded streets to the ancient baths, plazas, theaters and arches which remain in near pristine condition. Afterward, explore the riddled passageways of the 12 century mountaintop fortress of Ajlun. Built by the great Muslim general, Saladin, the fortress was instrumental to his successful campaign to drive the Crusader armies from Jordan in 1189.
Movenpick Dead Sea Resort
(B, L)

DAY 16/17– Friday/Saturday, May 24/25
Spend the day at leisure to enjoy some of the spa amenities offered at the resort or simply relax on the terraces overlooking the sea. Gather this evening for your farewell dinner before your international flight, departing in the early hours of May 25.
Movenpick Dead Sea Resort
(B, L, D and Meals Aloft)


  • Arthur Hotel in Jerusalem
  • Kibbutz Nof Ginosar, Tiberias
  • Bay Club Haifa, Haifa
  • The Market House Hotel, Jaffa
  • Petra Movenpick Hotel, Petra, Jordan
  • Movenpick Dead Sea Resort, Dead Sea, Jordan


All meals as specified in the itinerary. Please notify us if you have special dietary needs or requests, and we will do our best to accommodate.

Program Fees

$5,995 per person, double occupancy, land only.
A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,795 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

Price includes:

  • Roundtrip flight between Tel Aviv and Amman on the post extension.
  • Superior accommodations as indicated.
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary.
  • Complimentary bottled water throughout.
  • Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach throughout.
  • An enrichment lecturer with 10 travelers on the main program and 10 on the extension.
  • Services of a highly-trained English-speaking specialist guide, Amir Orly in Israel.
  • Private visits to homes and museums as indicated in itinerary.
  • All applicable hotel tips and taxes, plus gratuities for baggage handling.
  • All entry fees to visited monuments.
  • Visa for Jordan will be provided on arrival for the post extension.
  • Baggage tags and passport wallet.
  • Complimentary emergency evacuation insurance.

Does not include:

  • Roundtrip air transportation from Washington D.C. to Tel Aviv including departure taxes and fuel surcharges (quoted separately.)
  • Cost of passport.
  • Excess baggage charges levied by airlines.
  • Gratuities to driver/guides and other conveyance attendants. Gratuities should only be given as a reward for exceptional service and is at your discretion. We estimate $15 per person/per day for the specialist guide. $10 per person/per day for the driver$5 per person for each arrival and departure transfer from the airport / hotel. These are daily per service estimates and an exact tipping chart will be detailed on your final itinerary.
  • Meals other than specified and all beverages.
  • Laundry and other items of a personal nature.
  • Currently, no visa is required for U.S. citizens to enter Israel. Israel may issue visas upon entry into the country. This is free of charge.
  • Personal, trip cancellation, accident and baggage insurance.
  • Any cost not specifically included in the listing above.

General Terms & Conditions

Cavalier Travels reserves the right to use photos that might include you in marketing materials and other purposes unless you specify otherwise.

RESPONSIBIITIES: Neither Classic Escapes (the Company) nor any person or agent acting for, through or on behalf of the Company shall be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising from any cause whatsoever and without restricting the generality of the aforegoing shall particularly not be responsible for loss or damage arising from any errors or omissions contained in its brochure or other literature, loss or damage caused by delays, sickness, theft, injury or death. In addition, the Company shall have the right at any time at its discretion to cancel any trip or the remainder thereof or make any alteration in route, accommodation, price or other details and, in the event of any trip being rendered impossible, illegal or inadvisable by weather, strike, war, government or interference or any other cause whatsoever, the extra expenses incurred as a result thereof shall be the responsibility of the passenger. The Company may at its discretion and without liability or cost to itself at any time cancel or terminate the guest’s booking and in particular without limiting the generality of the aforegoing it shall be entitled to do so in the event of the illness or the illegal or incompatible behavior of the guest, who shall in such circumstances not be entitled to any refund.

CANCELLATIONS: Cancellations are only effective on receipt of written notification. The following per person fees are applicable on this tour:
• Up to February 3, 2019, $300 handling fee, plus $250 non-refundable deposits given to overseas suppliers.
• February 4 to 23, 2019, deposit is forfeited.
• February 24 to March 5, 2019, less 75% of tour cost on both the main trip and the extension.
• After March 5, 2019, no refund is possible.
These cancellation fees are also in addition to any imposed by airlines.

PHOTOGRAPHY: The Company reserves the right without further notice to make use of any photograph or film taken on the tour by our photographers without payment or permission. We guarantee that no photographs of a compromising nature will be used.

CHANGES TO SCHEDULES: Although every effort is made to adhere to schedules it should be borne in mind that the Company reserves the right and in fact is obliged to occasionally change routes and hotels as dictated by changing conditions.

REFUNDS: While the Company uses its best endeavors to ensure that all anticipated accommodation is available as planned, there shall be no claim of any nature whatsoever against the Company for a refund either in the whole or part, if any accommodation or excursion is unavailable and a reasonable alternative is found. If the guest is unable to use any service provided in the itinerary, then there are no refunds due.

AIRLINE CLAUSE: The airlines concerned are not to be held liable for any act, omission or event during the time the passengers are not on board their planes or conveyance. The passengers’ tickets in use by the airline or by other carriers concerned when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and the purchaser of these tickets and/or passengers.

DELAYS: We cannot be held liable for any delays or additional costs incurred as a result of airlines not running to schedule. If one of our guides is unable to take a trip due to illness, etc. we reserve the right to substitute with another guide. This agreement is made subject to and shall be governed by and construed according to the laws of the country in which the trip takes place. Classic Escapes act merely as an agent for the operating companies. To the best of our knowledge the itinerary is correct at the time of printing. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or changes that may occur after printing.

CONSENT: The payment of the deposit OR any other partial payment for a reservation on a trip constitutes consent by all guests covered by that payment to all provisions of the conditions and general information contained in this brochure whether the guest has signed the booking form or not. The terms, under which you agree to take this trip, cannot be changed or amended except in writing signed by an authorized director of the Company.

INSURANCE: It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependents/traveling companions for the duration of their trip. This insurance should include cover in respect of, but not limited to, the following eventualities: cancellation or curtailment of the program, emergency evacuation expenses, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, damage/theft/loss of personal baggage, money and goods. Classic Escapes, including their representatives, employees and agents will take no responsibility for any costs, losses incurred or suffered by the guest, or guest’s dependents or traveling companions, with regards to, but not limited to, any of the above-mentioned eventualities. Guests will be charged directly by the relevant service providers for any emergency services they may require, and may find themselves in a position unable to access such services should they not be carrying the relevant insurance cover. PLEASE NOTE INSURANCE PREMIUMS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE SHOULD TOUR BE CANCELED BY PARTICIPANT.

INCLUDED EMERGENCY EVACUATION COVERAGE: For the convenience of our travelers, Classic Escapes provides a complimentary Medical Insurance Plan during this trip through Travel Guard Group, Inc. This includes:
• Emergency evacuation insurance up to $100,000.
• Up to $25,000 medical expense and up to $500 dental expense coverage subject to the terms and limitations of the insurance policy.
• 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance.
Please click here to view complete coverage of details. https://webservices.travelguard.com/Product/FileRetrieval.aspx?CountryCode=US&StateCode=NW&ProductCode=009031&PlanCode=P4&FileType=PROD_PLAN_DOC