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2019 In the Footsteps of the Knights Pilgrimage Tour
A pilgrimage in the Footsteps for the Knights Hospitaller, to celebrate 50 years of the OSJ in Australia. Israel, Rhodes, Malta, Rome.
May/June 2019. Take as 21 day tour. Or take as a 15 day tour option (excluding Israel). Be Quick!   Only 4 Seats Remain

Tour dates highlighted - Click on a date to view details.

May 2019
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June 2019
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Tel Aviv

Day 1, Saturday, May 25th  

You are welcomed on arrival in Tel Aviv Airport and transferred to a beachside hotel in Tel Aviv. Meet your fellow pilgrims over dinner tonight. [D]

Galilee

Day 2, Sunday, May 26th  

We drive north today to the Galilee region where Jesus spent most of his life, visiting Nazareth & Cana on the way to our hotel on Lake Galilee. [B] [D]

Galilee

Day 3, Monday, May 27th  

Today we cross Lake Galilee on a fishing boat to the Mount of the Beatitudes, then visit the Mount of Transfiguration and Caesarea Philippi. Back to our hotel on Lake Galilee. [B] [D]

Jerusalem

Day 4, Tuesday, May 28th  

Heading south today, we visit the site where Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, and on to Jerusalem. We pause for a spectacular view of Jerusalem from Mount Scopus, and a visit to the Garden of Gethsemane, before arriving in our Jerusalem hotel. [B] [D]

Jerusalem

Day 5, Wednesday, May 29th  ^ Top ^

Today we visit the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. We explore the colourful bazaars, and walk the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross) to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, said to be built on the spot of Jesus’ Tomb. In the afternoon we visit Jesus’ birthplace, in the nearby village of Bethlehem and visit the Shepherds’ Fields, the Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. [B] [D]

Jerusalem

Day 6, Thursday, May 30th  

It is fairly certain that the first OSJ hospice was opened in Jerusalem in 1048 next to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We visit the OSJ’s historic sites in Jerusalem today. [B] [D]

Tel Aviv

Day 7, Friday, May 31st  

The Knights Hospitaller were removed from Jerusalem when it fell again into Muslim hands. They relocated to Acre, and we visit Acre today, then to our beachside hotel in Tel Aviv. [B] [D]

To Rhodes

Day 8, Saturday, Jun 1st  

Acre fell in 1291 and Christians were expelled from the Holy Land, effectively marking the end of the Crusades. The knights moved briefly to Cyprus then, in 1309, to the island of Rhodes. We follow their footsteps today on our flight to Rhodes. [B] [D]

Rhodes

Day 9, Sunday, Jun 2nd  

The knights remained in Rhodes for 213 years. Here they established a community, practically their own independent state. They fortified the island and withstood attacks by the Sultan of Egypt in 1444 and by the Ottoman Turks in 1480. We begin our sightseeing today, the walls and the gates. [B]

Rhodes

Day 10, Monday, Jun 3rd  ^ Top ^

Sightseeing today includes the Grand Master’s Palace (pictured, left), the Armouries, and St Catherine’s Hospice. [B]

Rhodes

Day 11, Tuesday, Jun 4th  

A scenic drive today down the West Coast of the island of Rhodes. [B]

To Malta

Day 12, Wednesday, Jun 5th  

Our flight today from Rhodes to Malta requires two connections, in Athens, then Rome. We arrive tonight in Malta’s capital, Valetta. [B]

Malta

Day 13, Thursday, Jun 6th  

Until 1530 Malta was an extension of Sicily. It was the Spanish Emperor Charles V who bequeathed Malta to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, who ruled over Malta from 1530 to 1798 for the annual rent of one Maltese Falcon. Malta’s capital, Valetta, was purpose- built as the capital by the Knights Hospitaller, so every part of the city has significant OSJ associations. We commence our discovery of the city on today’s walking tour. [B] [D]

Malta

Day 14, Friday, Jun 7th  

Surrounding the Grand Harbour in the South of Malta, the three walled towns known as the Three Cities - Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea - offer a fascinating glimpse into Malta’s maritime history. Home to the Knights of St John, churches, grandiose palaces and imposing bastions. There were knights on Malta from 8 different European national or language groups, called langues, and each built their own auberge (hostel) at nearby Birgu. Three still stand, and we see them today. [B]

Malta

Day 15, Saturday, Jun 8th  ^ Top ^

On today’s sightseeing we wander through St. John's Co-Cathedral (left) , built to serve as the heart of the Order, with eight chapels, one for each langue and view the stunning Baroque architecture and Italian artwork. There are two paintings by the Italian master Carravaggio. St John’s Co-Cathedral is one of the world’s truly stunning cathedrals. [B]

Malta

Day 16, Sunday, Jun 9th  

After worship at the cathedral this morning, we enjoy a leisurely Sunday afternoon, taking a beach-front drive in the south of the island. [B]

To Rome

Day 17, Monday, Jun 10th  

We join our flight this morning to Rome, the Eternal City, and this afternoon we begin an exploration of the classical sights – the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon. [B]

Rome

Day 18, Tuesday, Jun 11th  

Catholic Rome today. We cross to Vatican City and visit St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel (left), Michelangelo’s masterpiece. [B]

Rome

Day 19, Wednesday, Jun 12th  

An excursion today on Italy’s flagship train, the high speed Frecciargento, to Amalfi, the very birthplace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. It was a group of pious merchants from Amalfi who set up a hospital in Jerusalem sometime between 1060 and 1070 AD to care for Christian pilgrims. On a pilgrimage visit to Jerusalem, Gerard Thom of Amalfi stayed at the hospital, and became leader of the community, a religious community based on the Benedictine rule. And so the OSJ was born. [B]

Rome

Day 20, Thursday, Jun 13th  ^ Top ^

The last day of our tour. A free day for the shops of Rome. It will be possible to make an excursion today to the beautiful hill village of Assisi (left), home of everybody’s favourite saint, Francis. Our Farewell dinner tonight. [B] [D]

FAREWELL

Day 21, Friday, Jun 14th  

Our tour ends after breakfast. There is a shuttle to the airport for your homeward (or onward) flight. [B]

Hamlin Fistula Hospital EthiopiaFaithful to the historic mission of the Knights Hospitaller “to care for the poor and the sick in the name of Christ”, we will donate $200 from every booking for this tour to the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia.

Tour costs: Option A - 21 days including Israel 

By OANDA.com, The Currency Site

$AUD 14,950 per person twin share. Single supplement $ 1,500.

What’s included?  

  • 20 nights 4 star hotel accommodation, with full buffet breakfasts
  • 10 dinners
  • Economy Class airfare from your Australian capital city
  • Economy Class airfares Tel Aviv – Rhodes – Malta – Rome
  • All sightseeing and entrances per itinerary
  • All tipping and porterage
  • Transport in air-conditioned coaches or First Class rail
  • Local expert guides
  • The services throughout of an Australian Christian historian Tour Director, who is also the Tour Company principal and a member of OSJ.

Tour costs: Option B - 15 days excluding Israel, commencing Rhodes on June 1st.  

By OANDA.com, The Currency Site

$AUD 10,950 per person twin share. Single supplement $ 1,200.

What’s included?

  • 14 nights 4 star hotel accommodation, with full buffet breakfasts
  • 3 dinners
  • Economy Class airfare from your Australian capital city
  • Economy Class airfares Rhodes – Malta – Rome
  • All sightseeing and entrances per itinerary
  • All tipping and porterage
  • Transport in air-conditioned coaches or First Class rail
  • Local expert guides
  • The services throughout of an Australian Christian historian Tour Director, who is also the Tour Company principal and a member of OSJ.

Meals:^ Top ^
Throughout Israel, and on the first night in each other stop, dinner is included in the tour cost. In Rome the included dinner is on the last night, a Farewell Dinner. On other nights, the Tour Leader will suggest or accompany tour members to local authentic restaurants.

Airfare Upgrades:
Australia - Tel Aviv and Rome (Australia only) [not available within Europe]
Premium economy: $2,500
Business: $6,000

Should you wish to purchase the tour as land content only, commencing in Tel Aviv on May 25th and ending in Rome on June 15th, (or commencing Rhodes on June 1st and ending in Rome on June 15th) deduct $1,500 from the tour cost and arrange your own airfares.

Costs are based on exchange rates and airfares valid at January 31st 2018.

Payment Details:
A deposit of $2,500 per person guarantees your seat, with the balance due 3 months before departure. The tour size is strictly limited to 20 persons, so early booking is essential. Travel insurance is mandatory. Please ask for a quote.

Tour Leader:
The Tour Director is Chev Stan Klan, of Toowoomba, a Church Historian, a former School principal, and the owner/operator of Great Trains of Europe Tours.

About the Footsteps of the Knights Pilgrimage Tour

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Resource: greattrainsofeurope.com.au/tour-footsteps-of-the-knights-pilgrimage-2019.php Printed: 2018-10-20
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