|Dear Pilgrims, While the Holy Land is referred to as the “City of Peace”, there have been moments in the last few years that have led many of us to think otherwise. Rest assured that “your” concerns, are “our” concerns. We have been leading pilgrimages to the Holy Land for over 30 years, and from our firsthand experience, this is what we can tell you:
- - We will not send you anywhere that we would not travel ourselves.
- - We are in contact with your Guides and Drivers daily, as well as our Operators and the Israeli Tourism Boards.
- - Not one of our pilgrims has been harmed in the Holy Land.
- Feedback Letters: We encourage you to visit www.206tours.com/letters , and read the most up-to-date feedback letters from pilgrims all over the world, who have traveled with us to the Holy Land. There is no better feedback than from one pilgrim to another
(No feedback letters have been altered – or information omitted).
Our Pilgrimage does not include visits to any areas on the “Alert” list: such as Gaza, Northern Israel, or the West Bank.
(Note: Jericho and Bethlehem are exempted from that list – per the State Department)
You are not left alone, at any point, during the pilgrimage. Your Guide/Escort will be with you from the moment you arrive at the airport in Tel Aviv, until the last day when you are dropped off at the airport for your return flight home.
State Department Warnings:
- Final Instructions Booklet: Along with your Travel Documents, you will receive the following booklet that contains the cellphone number to your Guide and Hotels, as well an Emergency Number and Email to reach our offices.
The State Department has been in charge of warning Americans when traveling conditions are “unsafe”, for which it issues regular alerts. The departments sensitivity to such threats have increased since 2001, and even more since 2012. We want you to know that there are two (2) kinds of measures the State Department can issue: an “Alert” and a “Warning”. The Office of International Affairs notes as follows:
Alert: Issued to disseminate information about short-term conditions that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. Citizens
Warning: Issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a region dangerous or unstable.
Again, as of today, July 2nd, 2015, www.travel.state.gov has issued a “Warning” for Israel but only in the areas of: Gaza Strip, Northern Israel, and the West Bank. When they mention West Bank, they note “with exception to Jericho and Bethlehem”. The warning does not include where Tour 111 visits, but all pilgrims should be cautious and take as much precaution as they would prior to these Alerts/Warnings.
Security in Israel:
- Israel takes such issues very seriously. Israel is a combination of countries, and many of them are drastically different from one another. The security measures at Tel Aviv airport are noted in your Final Instructions booklet, and we advise that you read them thoroughly. The security goes to greater lengths, and heavily monitored, for your safety. We have had many groups travel to the Holy Land over the last few years (with no cancellations), and more scheduled to go throughout the coming years. 206 Tours monitors all of our Pilgrims, as well as all of the Alerts and Warnings sent out by the State Department.
- - In case of a Warning: Should a Warning be sent out for the areas where our Pilgrims are, and it is deemed dangerous and unsafe - The departure will be cancelled and the you will be notified. You will then receive options in the form of: a list of pilgrimages departing around the same time as this pilgrimage – along with a credit to use towards them, switch to the later departure date for the same pilgrimage, or a full refund.
- - In case of an Alert: If you do not feel safe, or have hesitations, you may cancel your trip, however, it will be subject to the “Terms and Conditions” that apply at the time we receive your cancellation in writing (email/mail). All cancellations must be received in writing, and will be cancelled at point of receipt of the notice.
- If you wish to cancel, and there neither an Alert or Warning: Being at peace is an important part of a pilgrimage. Should you not feel comfortable traveling, we must receive your cancellation in writing. Your cancellation will be per the Terms and Conditions noted on our website (www.206tours.com/terms), and fees will apply in accordance to when we receive your written cancellation.
|Feedback on Safety from Father Donald Calloway and his Pilgrims.