Divine Destinations of the Middle East

from 

AU$18,415

per person
 
Duration: 27 Nights
Destination: Middle East
Region: Middle East
Deal Code: PA7XFK6

 

 

Description

Your fly, tour and cruise package includes:

  • $1600 flight credit per person
  • 14 night Israel & Jordan Tour by Insight Vacations
  • Includes 14 nights accommodation in stylish, hand-picked hotels
  • 14 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners, 5 Dinners with Wine
  • Services of an expert Travel Director plus arrival transfer
  • Private transfer from Amman Airport to Aqaba Hotel
  • 10 night Middle East cruise onboard Silver Moon, Petra return
  • Includes gourmet restaurant dining, beverages in-suite and throughout the ship
  • Butler service, unlimited free wifi plus more
  • Onboard entertainment and complimentary transport into town
  • Pre and post cruise transfers in Aqaba
  • Port charges & prepaid gratuities onboard your cruise
  • Private transfers from your home to the airport and return

***Rate is based on twin share for travel 20 December 2023 to 16 January 2024***


Israel & Jordan Tour

See modern marvels, ancient wonders and stunning scenery on this 15-day guided tour of Israel and Jordan. Travel to Tel Aviv, where you’ll see the Habima National Theatre, one of the first Hebrew-language theatres. In Jerusalem, ride a cable car to Masada — a desert fortress atop a rock plateau — then ascend to the top of Mount Scopus for panoramic views of the city below. Later, visit a Holocaust museum and see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book. Buy a hand-crafted souvenir during a visit to the Iraq-Al Amir Women's Cooperative, which teaches local women trade skills. See the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra, an ancient city carved from the rose-hued stone of the surrounding mountains and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Take a jeep safari into the desert of Wadi Rum, where you’ll join local Bedouins for tea and authentic Jordanian cuisine under the stars.

Day 1: Welcome to Tel Aviv
You will be met at Ben Gurion Airport and driven to your hotel in Tel Aviv. At 19:30 meet your travel companions for a Welcome Reception and a short introduction to your Israeli adventures.
Accommodation: Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel

Day 2: Exploring Tel Aviv
Morning sightseeing showcases the highlights of this vibrant city, including the Habimah National Theatre, Rabin Square and Carmel Market. Venture along the seashore to the ancient city of Jaffa to see the famous clock tower and the old harbour. Visit the artists' quarter with its galleries, boutiques and picturesque narrow lanes. Walk along the seaside promenade at sunset for spectacular views, as local musicians and street artists take to the stage. Meet a local artist at their gallery for an insight into their work and inspiration.
Accommodation: Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Caesarea to Galilee
Travel from Tel Aviv, along the coastal road to Caesarea. Explore the ancient Roman and Crusader ruins, including the huge amphitheatre. Travel via Haifa to Acre, fought over for centuries and captured in turn by Saracens and Crusaders, including Richard the Lionheart. See the fortress, the old harbour area and Crusader crypt. Continue to Nazareth and visit one of Christianity’s most sacred places, the Church of Annunciation, built on the site where the angel Gabriel is said to have appeared to Mary. Head to your hotel in Tiberias, located on the Sea of Galilee. The day concludes with a brief introduction to life on a Kibbutz. This evening, break traditional challah bread with your travel companions over a cheerful Shabbat dinner.
Accommodation: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Tiberias
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner with Wine

Day 4: Hula Valley
Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and meet a ranger for a tour of the Agmom Hahula natural reserve. This nature reserve is home to endangered plant species native of the Hula Valley, and also hosts a bird park on one of the most important migration routes in the world.
Accommodation: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Tiberias
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: To the Dead Sea
Explore Galilee with Insight Choice. Choose to cruise the serene water of Lake Kinneret for glorious views of the Golan Heights. Alternatively, meet one of the fishermen who found the Ancient Galilee Boat and hear the story of its excavation. Visit Capernaum, where Jesus is said to have entered the synagogue to teach, before heading to the Mount of Beatitudes, where he preached the Sermon on the Mount. Journey through ever-changing landscapes along the Jordan Valley, past ancient Jericho, to take a dip in the buoyant salt waters of the Dead Sea.
Accommodation: Milos Dead Sea Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6: Masada and the Holy City of Jerusalem
Take a cable car ride up to the fortress of Masada, where Jewish zealots held out for three years against King Herod's armies. Travel through the Judean Hills to Mount Scopus for breathtaking views of Jerusalem. Visit King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, and the Room of the Last Supper. Enter the Old City and follow the winding cobbled alleyways to the magnificent Wailing Wall, the most sacred monument in Judaism.
Accommodation: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Exploring Jerusalem
Today is dedicated to exploring the multiple facets of Jerusalem. Visit Yad Vashem, a memorial for those who perished in the Holocaust. Continue to the Israel Museum and retrace the history of the city. Visit the Shrine of the Book, home to ancient Dead Sea scrolls, and look out for the most ancient one, the Isaiah scroll, dating from the third century B.C.
Accommodation: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Optional Bethlehem Experience
Enjoy a relaxed morning or alternatively choose to meet your Local Expert at the West Bank border and continue to the Holy city of Bethlehem. The Optional Experience includes visiting the Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. The structure is built over the cave that tradition marks as the birthplace of Christ, and is considered sacred by followers of both Christianity and Islam. In the afternoon, visit the Garden of Gethsemene and walk through the Old City to see the Temple Mount, one of Islam’s holiest sites. Continue along the Via Dolorosa past the Stations of the Cross, Ecce Homo Arch, and the Pool of Bethesda, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. At night, toast your adventures over a hearty Highlight Dinner with wine.
Accommodation: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9: From Jerusalem to Amman
Travel through the Judaean Desert to the border of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. On the other side journey through a landscape that has changed little in the last 2,000 years. Once at your Amman hotel, relax and settle in before meeting your Jordanian Travel Director for drinks and dinner.
Accommodation: Amman Marriott Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner with Wine

Day 10: Exploring Amman and Jerash
After breakfast depart for Iraq Al-Amir. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and visit a women's cooperative, working with women and girls from the nearby Wadi Al Seer villages. The association is supported by Insight Vacations through The TreadRight Foundation and provides training and work opportunities for women in the region. Then, the journey to Jerash reveals the most beautifully preserved example of a Greco-Roman city still in existence. Enter through Hadrian's Arch, to explore the grand ruins of the Temples of Artemis and Zeus, where you can listen to the Whispering Column. Overlook the vast Oval Plaza and Cardo Maximus, the key Roman road. Enjoy an al fresco lunch of natural produce and family recipes at Beit Khairat Souf, during a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. This women-owned café is combatting female unemployment and aims to build a strong community of women leaders. Return to Amman where the rest of the day is at leisure.
Accommodation: Amman Marriott Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 11: Red city of Petra
Continue to Mount Nebo, one of the most revered holy sites of Jordan, where Moses stood and saw before him the Promised Land. At Madaba, visit the famous Greek Orthodox Church of St. George with its amazing 6th century mosaic map depicting the entire Holy Land, stretching from Jordan and Palestine in the north, to Egypt in the south. Follow the King's Highway to visit Shobak, an authentic 12th century crusader fortress, perched on the side of a rocky mountain, standing guard over a barren and desolate land. Admire the towers and Arabic calligraphy on the external walls before discovering the original Crusader chapel, palace complex, and even a set of secret passages! Then head south for one of the highlights of your journey: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra, voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Accommodation: Petra Marriott Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner with Wine

Day 12: Exploring the Lost City of Petra
This day is devoted to the beautiful ‘rose-red city, half as old as time'. You enter this lost city through a narrow gorge, the Siq, with walls that rise up to 200 metres. Emerge from the path to see the magnificent Treasury, carved out of solid rock and standing over 40 metres high. Wind your way through the canyon to explore the ancient tombs and the Roman Amphitheatre, which once seated 3,000 spectators. Dine with locals at the Ammarin desert camp with a stunning backdrop.
Accommodation: Petra Marriott Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13: Wadi Rum with the Bedouin
Head to Wadi Rum. Enjoy beautiful vistas as you make your way on a jeep safari deep, into the heart of Wadi Rum's majestic desert. Enjoy the spectacular Bedouin hospitality tonight as you dine with locals under the stars. Wadi Rum is known as one of the world's best place for stargazing. After dinner join an astronomer for a private stargazing session, a magical experience. Stay in elegant simplicity in a desert camp for the night.
Accommodation: Sun City Camp
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14: Amman
If you wish, start the day with sunrise yoga at the Bedouin camp, before returning to Amman. Explore Amman with Insight Choice. Choose between joining a guided sightseeing to discover the highlights of the city and learn about the history and culture or alternatively, explore Amman's street art scene on a guided graffiti walking tour. Later, check in at your hotel where the rest of your day is at leisure. Join in a lively dinner to celebrate the end of your Jordanian adventures.
Accommodation: Amman Marriott Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner with Wine

Day 15: Depart Amman
After breakfast, you are transferred to Amman Airport for your onward transfer to Aqaba.
Meals: Breakfast


Middle East Cruise

Bookended by the rose-walled perfection of Petra, sail first to the crystal waters of Saudi Arabia’s Dhiba Port. Two sea days and a stop in Jeddah will bring you to Safaga, gateway to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. Ain Sukhna – just 90 minutes from Cairo is next, while the glorious, sun-drenched beaches and balmy seas of Sharm El Sheik complete this voyage of Middle Eastern promise.

Day 1: Aqaba (Petra)
Improbably carved into the rusty-red rock of the Jordanian desert, the ancient city of Petra has been mesmerising visitors since being rediscovered by Westerners in 1812. The Treasury is perhaps Petra’s best-known structure, having featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as the mystical hiding place of the Holy Grail. Petra developed as the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, and the sophistication of the Rose Kingdom’s rock-hewn buildings is matched only by the elaborate and advanced water collection and transportation system that quenched its thirst and provided the means to thrive, despite its remote location and the intense burn of the sun. Look out for the delicate water channels that lace the city as you explore. High above the city - up a daunting 800-step climb - stands the Monastery. The High Place of Sacrifice is an even tougher hike - with only occasional electric-blue lizards scattering from your footsteps as you rise - but the views of the remarkable city, embossed into the mighty sandstone cliffs below, will last a lifetime.

Day 2 & 3: Dhiba port, Saudi Arabia
Thanks to its absolutely fabulous location on the Red Sea coast, Dhiba is a natural hub, both for people travelling the coast and boats and ferries making their regular crossings to neighbouring Egypt and Jordan. Small and charming, welcome to the Pearl of the Red Sea. The vast, gorgeous beaches with mesmerizing views are reason enough to come to here but diving enthusiasts of all levels will relish exploring some of the most unspoiled underwater treasure troves in the world. Just a short boat ride away is the uninhabited island of An Numan. Sandy bays, fringed with coral reefs and vibrant marine life, it’s a diver’s delight. With the Red Sea teeming with fish, it’s only natural that Dhiba is renowned for its amazing seafood. Go to the heart of the city and take a tour of its fish market. Whilst offering beautiful views of the Duba Gulf, it’s the occasion to enjoy the hustle and bustle of this authentic Arabian fish market. There’s a lively atmosphere as you inspect the catch of the day. Appetite whetted, taste the freshness in one of the many local restaurants. Looking out onto the Duba Gulf is a most impressive fort, built in traditional mud brick style, for King Abdul Aziz in 1933. Today it is a natural heritage site and with four corner, crescent shaped towers and large courtyard and mosque, it is well worth a visit.
Included excursions: Cultural & Historical Highlights of Dhiba > NEOM, Saudi Arabia's New Future Vision
Optional excursions: Exploring Wadi Al Disah > A Day at Al Magna Diving Resort > Local Culinary Experience > Sustainable Duba > The Great Canyon of KSA > Silver Shore Privato: Private Van & Guide (Half or Full Day)

Day 4: Indulge At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 5: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
The principal gateway to Mecca, Jeddah’s spiritual roots are very deep. Eve, the mother of mankind, is said to be buried in the city centre, while archeological excavations in the old city suggest evidence of pre-Islam (700 BC) activity. Regrettably only scant vestiges of historical Jeddah remain, a reason why UNESCO deemed the city a World Heritage Site in 2014. An interesting by product of Jeddah’s location as major port on the Red Sea and proximity to Mecca is that Muslims from all over the world flock to the city. This has given Jeddah a very cosmopolitan feel, unlike other parts of Saudi Arabia. The 19th century Red Sea architecture is unique in its kind. Beach side, the city offers much. Jeddha’s dive sites are among the best in the world while the laid-back approach is appealing to westerners. However, while the city might well be more open than other ports in the Kingdom, it is still Saudi Arabia and when in doubt, visitors – especially women – should err on the side of modesty when it comes to beach wear. Traditionally, the city is rich. The souk in the heart of the old town is, of course, a must see during your visit, offering everything from amazing architecture to bargains galore. The area is also home to the oldest mosque in Jeddah, built in the 17th century. Local delicacies range from fabulously fresh seafood to the ubiquitous kebab, so foodies will have much to tease their palettes with.
Included excursion: Highlights of Jeddah
Optional excursion: Silver Shore Privato: Private Car & Guide (Half or Full Day)

Day 6: Indulge At Sea

Day 7 & 8: Luxor, Egypt
Unravel the mysteries, and marvel at the artistry and scale, of some of Ancient Egypt's most important and impressive monuments, which rise from the fertile plains and palm groves of the River Nile. Safaga’s port sits on the Red Sea's dazzling coastline, where gorgeous beaches and super waters for diving and snorkelling await. Unwind here, amid the colourful fish life, or lie back to soak in ever-reliable sunshine. Most will choose to head inland to the banks of one of the world’s longest and most storied rivers - where the immense treasures of Ancient Egypt loom in the desert's haze. Modern Luxor rests beside the Nile, and is set amid an unparalleled archaeological site of swirling legend and ancient beauty. This vast, open-air museum sprawls out below the burning sun, and you'll discover preserved ancient tombs, momentous statues like the Colossi of Memnon, and vast columned temples with rows of statues, such as the Temple of Karnak. Soak in the surroundings on boats, which meander up and down the river, or head out to tick off as many of the remarkable ruins as you can. Cultural treasures like the World Heritage Site listed Valley of the Kings – carved into the copper rock of the desert – provided elaborate resting places for Ancient Egypt's revered Pharaohs. Built between the 16th and 11th centuries BC, no fewer than 63 temples have been discovered here so far. Head into incredibly preserved tombs, decorated with majestic and mystical symbols and colourful artworks. See famous sites like the cursed tomb of King Tutankhamun, and the imposing rise of Queen Hatshepsut's temple, amid the countless highlights and wonders.
Included excursions: Aquascope Semi-Submarine > Soma Bay Resort > Red Sea Snorkelling > Explore the Bedouin Life by 4X4
Optional excursions: Luxor & Valley of the Kings > Spectacular Temples of Luxor > Exclusive Karnak Temple, Nefertari Tomb & Nile River Cruise with Lunch > Silver Shore Privato: Private Car & Guide (Half or Full Day)

Day 9: Ain Sukhna, Egypt
A palce where people come to unwind and have always done so. The town’s Arabic name means “Hot Springs” referring to nearby springs in the Gebal Ataka mountains, whose warm waters have always been considered healing. Protected by the Ataka mountains, the soft sandy shores and inviting transparent waters of the Red sea, makes it a divers paradise. Time slips away, discovering underwater worlds of coral reefs and the secret life of fish. For those preferring to stay on top of the water, water skiing, wakeboarding, kite surfing and wind surfing are all popular sports, passing dolphins just might join in. Heading away from the sea, turn to the Eastern desert and make a visit to Egypt’s oldest monasteries St Anthony and St Paul. St Anthony the bigger is built as a fortress but inside discover a self-contained village, giving fascinating insight into the monks daily life. There are treasured paintings and a library of handwritten manuscripts. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate these or the peaceful setting either. Continuing on from the monasteries, don’t miss out on an opportunity take a look at the magnificent Suez Canal, a glorious triumph of engineering over nature. With Cairo only a couple of hours away, it’s just the occasion to make a trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Worlds. The eternally awe-inspiring Great Pyramids, Great Sphinx and Valley Temple will transport you back to the time of the Pharaohs.
Included excursions: Red Sea Monasteries > Half Day Beach Relax
Optional excursions: Great Pyramids of Giza > Pyramids of Giza & Grand Egyptian Museum > Sakkara & Pyramids of Giza > Mosque, Museum & Lunch Cruise > Beach Day with Lunch > Silver Shore Privato: Private Car & Guide (Half or Full Day)

Day 10: Sharm El Sheik, Egypt
With glorious, sun-bathed beaches, balmy seas, and the tempting shade of palm trees, Sharm El Sheik is Egypt’s laid-back leisure hotspot. This holiday city has blossomed from small fishing village roots to a global tourism centre, and it boasts exceptional dive sites, rich heritage and adrenaline-raising desert scenery among its many assets. The gorgeous waters of the Red Sea invite you to bathe, swim and dive in amongst incredible marine life, painted with every colour of the spectrum. The Red Sea is famous for the world of life that thrives below its glittering surface, and you can snorkel among the swirling fish, or lounge at leisure on the soft sands of Egypt’s sun-drenched shores. Head out to find the treasured diving and snorkelling spots - swimming amid corals gently swaying in underwater currents. Angelfish, clownfish and gliding rays all inhabit the reefs here, along with a confetti of tiny red and yellow fish. Ras Mohammed National Park, which waits on a peninsular nearby, is renowned for having some of the best diving opportunities in the world. Back on land, explore lively Na’ama Bay, where humming restaurants, cafes and shisha bars are filled with holidaymakers. The bay’s golden beach is the original heart of Sharm El Sheikh’s tourism resort, and you can camp out here in a prime spot or settle into the luxury of a resort’s private sands. Encounter the massive El Mustafa Mosque with its marvellous domes and minaret rocketing up into the blue sky, impelling worshippers to pray. Wade into the market, to enjoy the challenge of securing a bargain - haggling is an essential part of the local culture here. Or, get your thrills by roaring across rolling biblical desert scenery, whipping up a wave of fine sand in your wake, as you storm the landscape in a 4X4.
Included excursions: Glass Bottom Boat Cruise > Sharm Snorkelling Adventure > Naema Bay Beach Break > Desert Jeep Safari > Highlights of Sharm El Sheik City
Optional excursions: St. Catherine's Monastery > Silver Shore Privato: Private Car & Guide (Half or Full Day)

Day 11: Aqaba, Petra

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Terms & Conditions

Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking and shown on the lowest Inside category available at the time.  Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 23 June 2022 and can be withdrawn without notice. Cabin categories include prepaid government fees and port taxes unless otherwise stated. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Air credit is applicable on airline of choice, subject to availability and subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.