Israel Travel Update April 2023

We know the current news of military action on the northern border of Israel and Gaza. These situations are not unusual in the Middle East and typically do not last long. The areas affected are away from any places where tourists travel. The safety of our travelers remains our top priority.

Thousands of tourists are currently in Israel, and tours are operating as usual. Airlines are continuing their flights in and out of the country as scheduled. We are staying in consistent communication with our partners and experts in Israel.

At this time, every expectation is that our Israel tours will continue as planned. We monitor the situation closely and receive regular updates from our team members in Israel. If anything changes or impacts your Inspiration tour schedule, our reservations team will notify you.

Israel Travel Update December 2022

As 2022 comes to an end, we’re thrilled to report that travel to Israel is back in full swing! In fact, we led seven Israel tour groups with 1,723 travelers this year. We had multiple conversations with travelers who visited Israel pre-pandemic; they all shared how good it felt to be back and how comforting it was for things to feel back to normal.

Inspiration travelers touring Caesarea Maritima

Israel might be even better than before! Israel’s archaeologists made incredible progress on some of the country’s most exciting excavations. Our Vice President, Joel James, has been to Israel 33 times, and says he saw more of Israel this year than ever before. “One example is in Caesarea of Philippi,” he says. “They unearthed the temple so you can see the floor and foundation leading up to the entrance.” This is just one of many sites that have been excavated over the past few years.

As for COVID-19 restrictions, there aren’t any in Israel, apart from the requirement that travelers’ health insurance covers COVID-19. Travel in Israel is safe, secure, and we plan every step of the journey. If you’re thinking of booking travel to the Holy Land in 2023, it’s a fantastic time to go!

Israel Travel Update June 2022

It was so good to return to Israel throughout the spring of 2022! Excitement and joy were evident throughout the country as Israelis welcomed visitors to their beloved home. These are just two of the countless unforgettable moments our travelers experienced while exploring the Holy Land.

Inspiration travelers touring Mount Zion

Max Lucado teaching Inspiration travelers on the Mount of Beatitudes

Israel has opened its borders for international travel and continues to review and update its protocols on a regular basis. Tourists of all ages are permitted to enter Israel, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, with no requirement for PCR tests before or after arrival, as well as no requirement to quarantine upon arrival.

You can view the most up to date protocols on our Healthy Travel webpage by clicking here.

Israel Travel Update July 2021

Two of the first Americans to visit Israel upon its reopening were from our Inspiration staff. Our President, Steve Dick, and Executive Vice President, Stephanie Smith, recently had the opportunity to journey back to one of our favorite places on earth and document all the exciting aspects of traveling back to God’s chosen land. You can click here to read all the details about their experience.

A quiet Shabbat in Jerusalem

Israel has largely returned to normal and has one of the highest vaccination rates. Steve and Stephanie were tested as they entered the country and then were free to travel. They visited new hotels and reconnected with places where we stay often. One of their first stops was with Israel’s Ministry of Tourism to hear about their plans to restart travel. Because we are one of the top tour agencies in Israel, they also wanted to hear from us. They respect our opinion and asked us to help them understand how Americans will respond to certain health protocols and restrictions.

We fully expect our fall groups to travel to Israel, and our team is paying close attention to the constantly shifting regulations and requirements.

Israel Travel Update May 2021

We hope you will join our staff in praying for peace in Israel. God loves all the people in Jerusalem, Gaza and throughout the country. May He bring healing and relief to those affected by the current conflict.

As we persistently pray for peace, we are hopeful. We have seen these conflicts often resolve within a short time and this is our prayer: that a resolution may be reached quickly. We fully expect this to happen before our scheduled tours, and a few of our executives are traveling to Israel next month to meet with our guides and hotel managers and see things firsthand.

Israel Travel Update April 2021

As of April 13, 2021, Israel has announced that tourists will be welcomed back into the country as early as May. We are still waiting for the details, but will keep our travelers updated as we know more.

The first wave of reopening was announced just days before, on April 6: Foreigners who are traveling with a specific purpose are now permitted to enter the country with proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

The Israeli Ministries of Tourism and Health are working closely with hotels and vendors to establish safe opening and operating procedures. It is encouraging to see the new government, formed after the recent election, working together to help Israel emerge from this time stronger than ever. They are eager to welcome tourists back again.

Active distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be a priority for Israel as it leads the way in vaccinating the majority of its population. You can track COVID-19 vaccinations around the world by clicking here.

Israel Travel Update December 2020

Things are moving in the right direction for travel to the Holy Land! Israel has set up a testing facility within the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport to process on-site COVID-19 testing of incoming and outgoing travelers. This step represents a significant investment toward getting tourism back on track.

Additionally, the Israel Ministries of Tourism and Health are working closely with key hotels throughout the country to establish safe opening and operation procedures for hotels. Beginning with the Dead Sea hotels, and those in the city of Eilat, the authorities plan to set up green zones with the hotels as a start to opening tourism in those areas. We remain in consistent contact with a number of our key network providers in Israel to discuss and prepare for the future. If you are as eager as we are to return to Israel in 2021, you can see all our upcoming Israel tours by clicking here.

Israel Reopens to Travel August 2020

The skies in Israel are beginning to open up, and Israelis are now able to travel to “green countries.” Within the next few weeks a plan is being put into place to welcome tourists from “green countries” to Israel. When group travel tours resume, they will do so with enhanced safety and sanitation protocols to ensure a healthy travel experience.

Israel is continuing to slowly lift its coronavirus-related restrictions, and we praise God with our friends there. Through all of this, Israel has proven it is well equipped to handle crises, both medically and with tourism.

We remain in consistent contact with the Israel Ministry of Tourism for travel updates and are in close contact with a number of our key network providers in Israel to discuss and prepare for the future. If you are as eager as we are to return to Israel in 2021, you can see all our upcoming Israel tours by clicking here.

Traveling to the Holy Land April 9, 2020

At the moment, Israel is closed to tourism. This is a protective measure by the Israeli government to limit their people’s exposure. We are in consistent contact with the Israel Ministry of Tourism for updates on when travel will resume, and just this week we initiated a video call with a number of our key network providers in Israel to discuss and prepare for the future, including when they expect the country to reopen to travelers.

While Israel is going to be cautious about not reintroducing the virus from countries that have not yet recovered, our colleagues encouraged us to continue making preparations to travel to Israel as soon as it is safe to do so. Israel is well equipped to handle crises such as this, both medically and with tourism.

As we long to return to the Holy Land and wait to see the new requirements from the airlines and border control, Israel is also excited and looking forward to welcoming us back soon.

Israel: A Top Travel Destination January 2020

Although we have received a few inquiries of concern regarding recent Iran and Iraq conflicts, all our Israel tours remain unaffected. In reassuring support, a recent statement from Sar-El Tours, our travel partner in Israel, mentioned:

“We are of course saddened by all conflict in the Middle East, but as is always the case, in times such as these here in Israel, everything goes on as normal. Nothing has changed in our daily schedules and no military call-ups have happened. We anticipate another record-breaking year of tourism in Israel.”
Inspiration Cruises & Tours has 3 tours going in January. We take the safety of our travelers seriously and remain vigilant through continual conversations with our guides and contacts in Israel to understand every new situation and its potential impact on our tours. Each detail—especially the protection of every traveler—is handled with the same meticulous dedication, so our travel experiences can be enjoyed with full peace of mind.

2019 travel statistics show it was the largest year of tourism to Israel ever. And predictions for 2020 suggest numbers will exceed previous years! According to the Israel Ministry of Tourism:
“We welcomed more than four and a half million visitors from around the world, all of whom enjoyed the wonders and adventure of this extraordinary destination…[and] we are on course yet again for another record-breaking year in 2020. Bloomberg, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, CNN Travel, and Travel and Leisure all list Israel as one of the top destinations to visit in 2020.”
We’ve experienced the increase in tourism firsthand as our Israel tours remain one of the most booked of our exceptional travel experiences. Over 3,900 travelers joined us in 2019 for a life-changing journey through Israel as they walked where Jesus walked.

Israel Safety Update November 15, 2019

This week Israel took defensive action against a terrorist threat in the southern region of Gaza—which is far away from where our tour groups travel. Communication continues to move forward between Israel and those involved, and officials remain vigilant to execute every precaution and ensure complete safety within the country’s borders.

The safety of our passengers is our top priority. We pray for peace, and our staff continues to closely monitor the situation. We speak to our guides and extensive contacts in Israel for frequent updates. In fact, we currently have over 200 travelers in Israel, and David Guzik, our Event Assistant Director, texted us this update and picture:

“We prayerfully anticipate the situation to diffuse in the coming days. Our team will continue to monitor the situation closely as the safety of our passengers is a top priority. I was in Tel Aviv this afternoon at the airport and all the flights were coming in on time—our groups haven’t been impacted. We ask you to join us in prayer for the peace of Israel and its people, and we look forward to seeing you here soon!”

Traversing the Holy Land July 15, 2019

Millions of tourists come to Israel each month to explore and experience the many historically and spiritually significant sites. We stay in constant contact with our guides and travel partners in Israel to ensure that our guests are safe and able to enjoy all that Israel has to offer. Most of our tours include on-the-ground staff members who work towards making each Israel tour an incredible experience. We welcome the opportunity to serve those who are returning to Israel or visiting for the very first time. It is a life-changing journey to walk where Jesus walked and see the places of the Bible firsthand.

Take a look at the many smiles in this stunning picture from Greg Laurie’s Israel Tour May 2019 as they experienced all the wonders that Israel has to offer. We’re passionate about sharing this same moment with more Believers!

The Only Way We Travel: Safety First May 6th, 2019

This week we are in Israel with over 600 travelers, managing every detail of their Israel Tour. Although the recent news in Israel has caused us all to pause and pray, be assured that we closely monitor all developments related to Israel, and that our trusted, experienced guides keep us updated moment-by-moment when we’re in the Holy Land.

Your security is our priority. We’re confident that, like the thousands of Believers we have successfully guided through Israel in the past, you will return home safely, with a testimony of how God deepened your faith while visiting His land.

We look forward to traveling with you in Israel!

Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. That is where the tribes go praise the name of the LORD…
Psalm 122:2,4

In fact, just last month a passenger from another of our Israel Tours posted this update, “You may have read or seen Israel mentioned in the news. We are safe...the Inspiration Staff have made our safety a priority at all times. We are grateful and are thoroughly enjoying this beautiful country.” Kathy P.

The Largest Israel Tour in Over a Decade April 1st, 2019

Last month we were in Israel with over 1,000 travelers managing every detail of the Israel Tour experience with Turning Point, the ministry of David Jeremiah.

For 2019, Israel Tourism Continues to Climb Spring 2019

We’ve just wrapped up another active fall travel season in Israel and are now looking forward to an equally busy spring! March and April are beautiful times of year in this country. The sun is shining. The weather is warm but not too hot. While many people think of Israel as a desert, the springtime shows them this is not entirely the case. Visitors in March encounter a verdant land filled with blooming gardens, lush vineyards and flowering trees.

Because of this beautiful weather, March is traditionally the start of the “official” tourist season in Israel. This year will be no different! In fact, it’s projected to be one of the most successful tourist seasons in the nation’s history.

In 2018, a record-breaking four million visitors from around the world came to enjoy the wonders of this ancient land—a 13 percent increase over 2017, and a 38 percent jump from 2016! Nearly 4,000 new hotel rooms were built in Israel last year to accommodate the growth. Meanwhile, the stability and safety of Jerusalem has made it one of the fastest-growing destinations in the world for international visitors.

Most remarkably, the Israel Tourism Ministry reports that 40 percent of 2018 tourists were returning visitors. In other words, Israel isn’t just a place travelers worldwide want to explore once. It’s a place they enjoy so much the first time that they make plans to return. In fact, we hear our passengers express this sentiment all the time. After they get home, they can’t stop thinking about Israel’s people, scenic beauty and fascinating culture. Beyond those elements, the deep spiritual connection this sacred place facilitates has a long-lasting impact. It reignites their relationship with God—and it also compels them to return.

We wrote a few weeks ago about Qasr Al-Yahud, an ancient oasis that has reopened to the public after being closed for decades as a literal minefield. Peace continues to spread across this fascinating, sacred country. Right now, our travel specialists are putting the final details on upcoming Israel tours with ministry partners including Kay Arthur and David Jeremiah. We hope you’ll join us in praying for these unforgettable events. And soon, perhaps, you could be joining the throngs of travelers discovering why Israel has become such a beloved world destination.

Tourism in Israel Soars by Twenty Percent Fall 2018

Another Israel travel season is just around the corner. Our team will be guiding groups there starting in late October with ministry partners including Don Moen, Tony Evans and The Isaacs plus Karen Peck & New River. Fall is one of the most gorgeous times of year in this beautiful nation. The nights are growing cooler, apples are being harvested in Galilee and migratory birds are stopping through on their way from Europe.

Our friends in Israel are returning to day-to-day activities as the High Holiday season concludes, preparing to welcome our passengers to this sacred homeland. Before departure, our travelers sometimes hear news reports about safety in Israel. Friends or family sometimes express concerns. However, the resounding testimony of our passengers throughout our 26 years of touring history, is that they feel completely safe during their stay in Israel. (Most agree they feel safer there than they do in many U.S. cities!) Regardless, our team members, tour operators and on-the-ground security personnel remain hyper-vigilant concerning passenger safety.

In the first half of this year, a record 2.1 million international visitors arrived in Israel, setting a new tourism record. That’s a 20% increase over the same period in 2017. (Nearly a quarter of those visitors came from the U.S.) As we prepare for our upcoming tours, we can’t wait to introduce hundreds more to the Holy Land.

The first Sunday of every October marks the annual Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem. We hope you’ll join us in praying for shalom and celebrating this spiritually significant land.

David Arthur’s Perspective on Precept Ministries Holy Land Tour May 2018 Safety Update

Our spring Israel tours have proved to be amazing, uplifting, life-defining experiences for the scores of passengers we have taken to the Holy Land. Family members back home who heard reports of the rocketfire launched from Syria on May 10, 2018 were understandably concerned. However, there was no cause for alarm. The rockets were aimed at the Golan Heights, Israel’s northern boundary, where Inspiration was planning to take a group of 250 passengers that day. However, we adjusted our schedule so that no one was in harm’s way. It turns out there was nothing to worry about in the end. Israel’s Iron Dome defense system shielded the nation from these missiles so that none crossed into her borders.

As this video, recorded by David Arthur in Israel during the time of rocketfire, illustrates: Israeli citizens and tourists were in absolutely no danger. You’ll notice the sense of peace he exhibits as he invites others to partake in the life-changing travel experience that is Israel.

Passengers on the Precept Ministries tour felt safe throughout their entire journey. In fact, many who travel with us attest to feeling safer in Israel than they do in certain parts of the U.S.! Israel makes the security of her citizens and guests its top priority, as do we. Inspiration has safely led passengers on tours of Israel for 25+ years. And nearly everyone desires to come back to the Holy Land as soon as they can. We hope you will be among them!

U.S. Embassy possibly to move to Jerusalem Winter 2017 - 2018 Safety Update

The Hanukkah and Christmas season is a popular time to visit the Holy Land. According to Israel Ministry of Tourism, there are currently 350,000 foreign tourists in Israel right now. Our friends continue to welcome tour groups and visit biblical destinations throughout the country. We continue to monitor security in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, and will remain vigilant in the days to come. That’s why, over our 25 years of travel in Israel, no Inspiration-led tour has ever experienced a security concern.

With President Trump’s diplomatic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and announcement of his intent to move the American embassy there, the media has speculated of potential unrest in the region. However, the reaction they anticipated hasn’t manifested beyond a few isolated demonstrations in the Palestinian territories (where, it should be said, our tour groups do not go). We continue to hear the same, encouraging message from our partners and authorities on-the-ground: It’s “business as usual” in Israel, with no interruptions or changes to daily life.

The past year has been a record-breaking one for tourism in Israel, and we expect 2018 to provide spiritual pilgrims with countless new opportunities to encounter the land of their Savior. We hope you will be one of the many to experience the sacred and cultural beauty of Israel in the coming year!

Bethlehem, Israel decorates for Christmas every year, as hundreds of thousands flock from around the world to celebrate the Savior's birth.

More life-changing Israel tours on the horizon Fall 2017

This fall, we have several hundred passengers heading with us to Israel over the course of six tours. That schedule becomes even busier with the arrival of the 2018 travel season, which features tours led by Oliver North, Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans and Michael W. Smith. These world-class travel experiences are set to follow yet another record-breaking year for tourism in Israel.

Those who have returned from our summer tours have good things to report! The negative press Israel so often receives from the mainstream media isn’t something our passengers find when they go there. And, along with our tour operators and on-the-ground security personnel, we remain hyper-vigilant concerning the safety of our passengers. That’s another reason why no Inspiration Israel tour, in our 25-year touring history, has ever experienced a security concern.

Did you know that some of our passengers have never traveled overseas before? Yet not one has ever expressed regret about stepping out of his or her comfort zone and becoming a world traveler. Over and over, we hear how much fun they had in Israel, how it was one of the top experiences of their lives and how they already miss the fresh, Mediterranean cuisine. Whatever concerns they had are simply forgotten once they meet the friendly, warm-hearted people of this exceptional nation.

Venturing to an unfamiliar place always comes with a little apprehension. As travel professionals, we understand. But, we assure you, fears immediately melt away the moment you set foot in the land of the Bible. Over one and a half million tourists entered Israel in the first half of this year. Inspiration plans to bring many hundreds more in 2018. We encourage you to become one of them!

Inspiration passengers enjoy floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea.

New Tourism Record Set in Israel May 12, 2017

As another beautiful Israeli spring comes to a close, we’re grateful for the safe, enriching, biblically focused tours we’ve already led there in 2017. Our passengers were part of a dramatic increase in tourist visits to Israel.

January and February 2017 showed a 25% increase in tourists compared to those months last year. April set an all-time record, with nearly 350,000 foreign visitors arriving in Israel. That’s the most tourists in any one month since the nation of Israel was founded! At the same time, several international airlines are adding new service to Israel. And Israel’s official El Al Airlines has just announced three weekly, nonstop flights from Miami.

More people than ever—from Christian pilgrims to culinary explorers to adventure seekers—are identifying Israel as a top travel destination. One of our passengers who just returned had this to say: “Everything was perfect: hotels, food, teachings, worship, fellowship... The Lord ministered to me in so many areas of my life!”

As we look forward to our exciting line up of tours, we continue to monitor all news and events in Israel with an intense focus on the security of our passengers. The daily updates from our trusted tour guides continue to be positive and encouraging. We’re glad that more travelers than ever (we are bringing 200 this month alone) are discovering the blessings of this ancient, modern land.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.

—Psalm 125:2

Inspiration travelers mix with local Israelis in Old City Jerusalem's open-air market.

2017: A Great Year to Travel to Israel January 23, 2017

Here at the beginning of 2017, we’re looking forward to yet another year of life-changing and exceptional travels throughout the land of Israel. It’s an exciting prospect for us to be leading several tours during the spring months, which is the best time to visit Israel.

Our tour passengers will be in good company... Tourism in Israel is up a significant 2% since the beginning of last year. That’s over two and a half million visitors greeting the Holy Land in just one year! November 2016 saw a staggering 38% increase from the previous November. On top of this, the renowned publication Travel + Leisure just included Jerusalem in its annual list: 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017. Apparently Israel is not only a beloved spiritual destination for Christians, but a lively place for “foodies” searching for the latest culinary hot spots.

Be assured that we closely monitor all developments related to Israel, and that our trusted, experienced guides keep us updated daily from the Holy Land. Your security is our priority. We’re confident that, like the thousands of Believers we have successfully guided through Israel in the past, you will return home safely, with a testimony of how God deepened your faith while visiting His land. We look forward to traveling with you in Israel!

Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. That is where the tribes go praise the name of the LORD… (Psalm 122:2,4)

Inspiration travelers enjoy a camel ride near the Dead Sea on one of our recent study tours of the Holy Land.

Safety and Preparation for fall Israel Tours July 7, 2016

Summer months in Israel are dry and extremely hot, keeping most Western travelers at bay. The Israel tours we lead tend to be in the more temperate spring and fall—warm but pleasant—with sunny days and cool evenings.

Right now, we are getting ready to lead Christian pilgrims on life-changing study tours and worship experiences during the months of September, October and November. Autumn is a popular time for those who want to observe the biblical Feast of Tabernacles, which occurs during this season. We continue to monitor developments in Israel on a daily basis so that we can offer our passengers an exceptional travel experience that puts their safety first.

Recently, western media outlets have reported minor attacks in the contested West Bank region. Two Israelis have been killed by Palestinians and a rocket from Gaza struck an empty kindergarten. These events prompted a closure of Hebron (the West Bank’s largest city) and a response from Israel’s military. Disputes over this territory have been common in recent years and are the main reason we never include the West Bank on any of our tours.

As always, we remain in close touch with the Israel Ministry of Tourism as well as our trusted travel guides and security teams in the Holy Land. They report that day-to-day life continues normally in places where we spend our time. Travelers and residents alike continue to visit open-air markets, archeological sites and enjoy a beautiful summer in Israel. In fact, more tourists are coming to Israel than in years past. New luxury hotels are opening in Jerusalem, a multimillion-dollar airport is nearing completion in Eilat and a number of new flight options from North America to Israel are in the planning stages.

We take the safety and security of our passengers seriously and will continue to monitor situations even in areas we do not enter. Thank you for standing in solidarity with the people of Israel and praying for peace to reign in this land (Psalm 122:6).

Tourists and locals enjoy sun and sand along the Mediterranean shoreline of Tel Aviv, Israel.

Safety Report: Public Transportation in Jerusalem April 21, 2016

Recent news coverage shows a bus bombing that happened in Jerusalem Monday. By the time the media began reporting on it, our team was already monitoring the situation. Only two people suffering injuries required hospitalization—one of whom may have been a suspect in the attack. We are immensely grateful that this was the extent of the injuries.

It’s important to note that the targeted bus was not a private tour bus, and the attack was not aimed at spiritual pilgrims. This is of great importance to us, as we have a tour of over 600 people who just returned safely from the Holy Land and another tour scheduled to leave in the next week.

Among the friends and colleagues we communicated with yesterday were a number of Americans staying in a hotel less than a mile from the bombing. Along with the below photo showing smoke from the event above the Jerusalem skyline, they reported that life in the city seemed completely “normal” in spite of the incident. People continued working, dining with friends and walking Jerusalem’s streets, resolute to live their lives without fear.

As always, we take the safety and security of our passengers extremely seriously and maintain vigilant contact with our trusted tour guides and security personnel on the ground in Jerusalem. And, on behalf of the people of Israel, we appreciate your continued prayers for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

A Safe and Sunny Spring in Israel
February 2016

The arrival of spring in Israel means enjoying one of the most pleasant times of year to be in the region. For us, it means a busy schedule full of Israel tours! In the coming weeks, Inspiration will be leading groups with Calvary Albuquerque, California’s Kingsburg Community Church and larger groups led by Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Kay Arthur and Greg Laurie. Springtime temperatures reach the 80s and brilliant wildflowers begin to bloom across the countryside. Pilgrims always remark to us how surprised they are at the beauty of this country as they fellowship, worship and discover new things at these ancient biblical sites.

Our travel throughout the country remains as safe as ever. We are in constant communication with our trusted guides and colleagues regarding conditions in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and other significant destinations. Our friends at Israel’s Ministry of Tourism tell us that the spring 2016 wave of tourists are in the country as of this writing. All holy places and tourism sites are open, children are attending school, local residents are walking to work and business carries on as usual. In fact, all indications are that the rate of crime in Israel continues to be lower than that of the United States.

As your trusted travel provider, your safety continues to be our top priority. By taking meticulous precautions and monitoring all developments in the land through our on-the-ground network there, we keep our passengers safe at all times. And, as those who spend year after year leading Christian tourists through Israel, we can assure you that now is a wonderful time to visit Israel!

Christian travelers encounter Israelis enjoying an afternoon stroll in the Golan Heights.

Safety in Israel: Holiday Report December 8, 2015

Israel is a special place in December. Jewish families are observing Hanukkah; menorahs are lighting up windows throughout Jerusalem; Christmas lights are being hung in Bethlehem. Every day, Christian pilgrims from around the world arrive to visit sacred sites in Nazareth and in the City of David—places central to the Christmas story. In fact, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism has informed us that more than 100,000 tourists are enjoying themselves in the Holy Land at this time. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has even booked three performances in Israel this month as part of his world tour!

Whenever news organizations offer their reports about instability in the region, our passengers ask us: Is it still safe to travel in Israel? Our informed and confident answer is a resounding YES. For tourists, Israel remains one of the safest countries in the world due to the country’s vigilance and enhanced security measures. Israel is serious about protecting its borders, its citizens and its guests. Likewise, as a trusted travel provider with over 30 years’ experience, there is nothing we take more seriously than your safety. We are constantly monitoring daily events in Israel. We stay in contact with our security experts, our trusted travel partners on the ground and the U.S. State Department. We value their reports more highly than those of the American news media.

We are assured, from every angle, that life in Israel continues as normal—and everyone is excited about the holiday season.

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas from the Holy Land!

Your Safety and Security in Israel October 15th, 2015

As travel experts with over 30 years of experience, we make the security and well-being of our passengers our highest priority—wherever we’re going in the world. Be assured that, from carefully-thought-through itineraries to state-of-the-art hotels, each of our Israel tours is designed with safety in mind. We receive an inside report on current events in Israel through continuous communication with our colleagues who live and work there. They continue to assure us, moment by moment, that the tours we now have in the land are running smoothly, and that the isolated incidents we’re hearing about on the news have not affected travel and tourism in any way. Though the U.S. Government suggests vigilance while traveling in the Middle East, they have not issued a travel restriction prohibiting people from going to Israel. In fact, at this time, all airlines are still flying to the country, Holy Sites and attractions are welcoming visitors and our team is looking forward to receiving more guests in the weeks and months ahead.

Over and over, our passengers return home safely from the Holy Land and share not only how secure they felt while on their journey, but the incredible sense of God’s presence they encountered every step of the way. We’re excited about what God has in store for our upcoming Israel tours, and look forward to the testimonies that will come pouring in. We encourage you to cover your trip in prayer, come with a sense of joyful expectation and keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

Our Solidarity with Israel at This Time November 20th, 2014

The Inspiration Cruises & Tours team, along with our travel partners in Israel, are deeply saddened and outraged by Tuesday's attacks at a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. The murdered rabbis studying were peaceful men who were committed to their faith and devoted to their scriptures. We join the victims' families and the people of Jerusalem in grieving for these lives lost. While doing so, we want to reassure you that these occasional incidents—while horrific—do not influence the safety of our tours, nor the life-change encountered by the believers who travel with us. Please join us in praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

Israel Tours Safely Running as Planned November 20th, 2014

One Israel tour supplier recently wrote about the safety in Israel. We feel their words are a perfect summary of the current situation:

With the recent appalling attack that took place in the Jerusalem synagogue we understand that you have growing concerns. While we do not want to make light of what happened, it is important to keep things in context; this horrible act took place in a residential area far away from any tourist attractions, and no tourist sites, hotels, or restaurants were in the neighborhood or nearby.

As this moment we have thousands of pilgrims, church groups, individuals and families visiting and enjoying all parts of Israel, including Jerusalem. We are in constant contact with our guides and groups to make sure that all is well, and we hear that they are having an amazing time and feel completely safe throughout the tour.

Kay Arthur and Anne Graham Lotz talk Israel Safety August 27th, 2014

Pastor Chris Swansen talks Safety in Israel August 19th, 2014

We recently accompanied a tour group to the Holy Land from Calvary Chapel in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. Their trip took place July 27–August 9, just weeks after the escalation of conflict in the region between Israel and Gaza. Despite the tensions elsewhere in Israel, Calvary Chapel’s pastor Chris Swansen reported that his group saw “zero problems” as they toured Jerusalem and the Galilee region. The only difference, he said, was the reduction in tourism.

“Everything has been extremely secure,” he says in the video below, taken while he led a visit to the Garden Tomb. “If you’ve booked a trip—before you’re so hasty to cancel it—ask the Lord if He’s telling you to cancel it,” Pastor Chris says. “Because if He’s not, why not trust the Lord and let Him bring you to Israel?”

Watch the video here, and please continue to join us as we pray for peace.



Calvary Chapel Chest Springs Passenger-Balmer
Calvary Chapel Chest Springs Passenger-Sam Negron
Calvary Chapel Chest Springs Passenger-Ruth
Calvary Chapel Chest Springs Passenger-John, Sherri and familty


Sar-El Newsletter August 17th 2014

Dear Friends,

Shalom and greetings to you from Jerusalem.
I am very pleased to report that all of us here in Israel have enjoyed a full week of quiet and peace on our southern border. The negotiations are continuing in Cairo and we are expectant that reasonable decisions will be made. There is a lot of international pressure on Hamas to comply and normalize their relationship with both Israel and Egypt. As a result, life has returned very quickly to its pre-conflict routine. The beaches in Ashdod and Ashkelon were full this week end, people are very happily filling restaurants and hotels for their summer vacation. Since the summer started out with conflict, it seems that everyone wants to make up for their lost summer days by enjoying what remains of the summer vacation. We are also very happy to welcome in all of the summer visitors from France and other countries who fill our seaside and Tiberias hotels every year.

Most important we are glad that the conflict is now over so that all of you who are planning to join us in the coming months will have the confidence to continue with your travel plans. I am glad to be able to continue to report that we have, and continue to have a steady stream of Christian tour groups all summer long. This week we are expecting more visitors to Israel from Asia, Africa and the United States. We are grateful for each and every visitor to Israel this summer and to all of you who are planning to be with us in the coming months.

With best regards,
Samuel Smadja

Local Jerusalemites enjoying the refreshing fountains near the Old City this weekend


President Steve Dick In Israel August 4th, 2014

Despite the current conflict, people of all backgrounds still intermingle every day in Jerusalem. Inspiration Cruises and Tours president, Steve Dick, filmed these video reports earlier this week to show the contrast between what you hear on the news and what’s actually occurring in sites we visit when in Israel.


8/4/14 Western Wall - Jerusalem
8/4/14 Western Wall - Safety in Israel
8/5/14 Gai Beach Hotel - Tiberias



Inspiration Israel Tours to Proceed as Planned July 25th, 2014

As of Thursday, July 24, we are continuing with all scheduled tours to Israel as planned. The United States has lifted its flight restrictions to and from Tel Aviv, after both Secretary of State, John Kerry, and former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, flew into Israel yesterday to protest the previous FAA flight ban.

Our tour suppliers in Israel have confirmed that Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv is open and functioning as normal for domestic and international flights. As a precautionary option, the Israeli government has opened the Uvda airport near Eilat to facilitate arrivals from any international airlines that remain concerned about Tel Aviv.

According to Haim Gutin, Israel's tourism commissioner, “tourism is continuing, and hotels, restaurants, tourist sites and holy places are open as usual” to the 75,000 tourists currently in the country. “Their travel arrangements are proceeding as planned,” Gutin said.

Our ministry partner, Dr. Charles Stanley, is leading a tour to Israel with us in early September. He has communicated the following to those joining him: “After a great deal of prayer, research, and wise counsel, I am glad to report that I have peace about our upcoming trip and have come to the conclusion that it should proceed as planned. This is because, for the most part, life in Israel continues as usual—especially in the areas we are intending to see. We won’t be in places that are vulnerable to attack, but sites that are far from fighting and have proven to be safe for the thousands of tourists that visit them each day.”

We look forward to our upcoming tours to Israel, and are grateful for your patience as we have been assessing the situation. Please continue to pray for peace throughout the region and a swift resolution to the current conflict.