May 4-14, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a visa to visit Israel?
No, visas are not required for U.S. or Canadian citizens; just a passport.
Will I have to vaccinate to visit Israel?
No vaccination shots are required to enter Israel.
Do I need an approval form to be signed by my pastor to be a part of the Blue Zion Ministries' group?
A form for pastor approval isn't available; however, we encourage every tour member to talk with their pastor and personally seek his approval first before committing.
Is it safe in the Middle East?
All of our tours have returned without a hitch and the souls that went were blessed beyond measure. Not once has anyone felt threatened or in danger. Our agancy's (Pilgrim Tours) expert drivers and guides will keep you from areas that are known for conflict and treat you to the riches of the Holy Lands as a special guest.
Do we have the same guide for the entire tour?
If our tour is in one country for the entire time, we will normally have the same guide throughout. If our intinerary requires us to cross to another country, our agency will generally hire a new guide, bus and driver from that country.
Will there be free time?
There is a very limited amount of free time. Time will be provided for shopping on occasions, but this is not a primary concern. You will also have a couple of hours at the end of the schedule to shop if you wish.
Will I have the opportunity to shop?
Yes, there will be opportunities to shop while on tour. Our tour guides choose which shops to visit based on location, the size of the group, and how much time is available between site visits. There are many options if you choose to go out on your own in the evening. Pilgrim Tours or Blue Zion Ministries does not endorse any specific shops and you are never required to purchase anything. Some shop visits are necessary in combination with site-seeing locations.
What length of day can I expect?
An average day will be 8:30-5:30. There will be occasional days that you can expect a 8:00-6:00 schedule or longer if the crowds are larger than normal.
How much walking is required?
Our Retail Tour sightseeing schedules require tour members to walk 1-2 miles at a time using a moderate pace. Total distance walked in one day could exceed 3 miles. Some portions of the tour will require walking and/or hiking on uneven terrain so comfortable, sturdy walking shoes are a must. For this reason, we cannot accept persons who are not able to navigate uneven terrain or need assistance.
Are children allowed on the tours?
We suggest that children be 10 years of age or older. Some younger "well-behaved" children are allowed if parents accept the responsibility to make sure the children will not be a disruption or hindrance to the tour quality.
Will Pilgrim Tours find a room-mate for me?
Pilgrim Tours will accept your reservation as a "single requesting a share." If another person of the same sex is interested in a room-mate, they will allow the two of you to correspond and agree to share a room. Pilgrim Tours will not automatically assign a room-mate. If a room-mate cannot be found, the passenger will be responsible to pay the single supplement charge.
What types of meals are included?
Most tours include buffet breakfast and dinners. There is generally a choice of 3 or 4 meats and a variety of vegetables, salads, starches, breads, deserts and beverages. Some ethnic foods are included, but there will always be options that will be similar to your regular diet.
Can I take food from the breakfast buffet for lunch?
Some hotels will not object to your taking a fruit or bread and lunch meat snack from the breakfast buffet. Ask your guide if this is acceptable. For those who choose to purchase a more substantial lunch on tour, expect to pay $8-15 each.
Is water provided at meals?
Table water is available in Israel and is drinkable.
Is water provided while touring?
Bottled water is provided on most busses at a reasonable cost.
What is the type of motor-coach/bus?
The bus will normally have 48-52 seats. Rest stops are made every 1-2 hours for your comfort.
What is the baggage allowance?
Due to the size of baggage compartments in touring coaches, each passenger is restricted to ONE suitcase and ONE carry-on bag (in addition to your purse, camera case or video camera). A total dimension of the bag to be checked on the airplane is not to exceed 62 inches (length + width + height) and should not weigh more than 50 lbs.
*Please Note: Due to recent changes in baggage allowance in the industry, we advise checking with your airlines before you depart to see if there has been a change in their regulations.
What types of hotels are included?
Most hotels are 4 star or above according to local government standards. This can be described as a better than average property with good standard of cleanliness and service. Examples of hotel lists will be given out by Pilgrim Tour's customer service agents on request.
Are hairdryers and irons available in hotels?
Hairdryers and irons are available at most hotels.
What do I wear?
Casual, comfortable, wash and wear clothing.
Are laundry facilities available?
It will be possible to send out laundry on the first night of hotel stays with two or more nights, but costs are expensive. We suggest that you reuse items by spot washing and hanging clothes to dry while out on tour.
Can I be baptized on the tour?
This is possible at the Jordan River Baptismal Site.
If Bethlehem is on the itinerary, should I go?
Bethlehem is part of the Palestinian Territory and often requires that you change busses and guides at the check-point. This does feel a bit uncomfortable for some and optional free time in Jerusalem is available for those who do not wish to go.
What do I do about gratuities?
Pilgrim Tours will add the minimum amount of Israel gratuities to your final invoice as noted in the "Tour Includes" section of the tour itinerary. This tip money will be distributed by your guide. Gratuities for other countries (if applicable) should be given to the appropriate tour manager/guide on the first sightseeing day in that country.
What to do about mobile phones and emergency contact?
If you have a cell phone with international capabilities, contact your company for costs and to verify that it will work in the areas you are touring.
Emergency contact information is also included in your travel documents.