Posted by: faithtravelfocus | April 3, 2012

More Faith Floats for 2012

Cruise lines are adding more faith sites to itineraries.

As worldwide traveler interest in faith travel increases, the number of onboard opportunities to sail into pilgrimage and heritage touring are rising. 

Want to visit the Greek island of Patmos and site where the Apostle John received his End Times vision that he recorded in the Book of Revelation? Or perhaps an Alaska cruise with a leading Bible teacher or musical entertainer would be your this year’s choice?    Read More…

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Posted by: faithtravelfocus | March 26, 2012

Asheville and The Cove Combine for Retreat and Refresh

Autumn at The Cove

One of North America’s most beautiful corners can make a valuable deposit in your travel memory bank, especially if you combine it with spiritual retreat, fellowship and Bible study. 

Once upon a time, an American aristocrat named George Vanderbilt traveled from New Yorkto the North Carolina mountains in search of peace, contentment, and personal reset. George liked what he found there so much that he went about acquiring 120,000 acres near  Asheville and created his 250-room kingly country estate.  Read More…

Posted by: faithtravelfocus | March 20, 2012

France’s Mont St Michel Rises From the Mud

Mont St Michel is a pilgrimage and heritage sentinel

It’s France’s most visited site outside Paris (about three million visitors annually) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s been beloved by faith travelers for centuries. 

Though it’s been beloved through the centuries as a pilgrimage site,  the visitor experience has changed in the past century with the advent of motorized vehicles and irrigation to create pasturelands. Instead of retaining its natural “floating” island setting, the mount has been enclosed by mud. Read More…

Posted by: faithtravelfocus | March 5, 2012

Jordan Offers New Dead Sea Stop

Mud bathing at the Dead Sea

Pilgrims and tourists who visit the Dead Sea soon will have more than mud packs, seaside resorts and Lot’s wife to call on. 

Coming in April is a new multi-million dollar museum on the Jordan side of the lake about one of the world’s most fascinating natural features. It’s all about the geological, human, and ecological history that spans many centuries. 

Located in Ghor es-Safi, Jordan, The Museum at the Lowest Place on Earth has a scheduled April opening very near the Byzantine era monastery that commemorates Lot’s cave and his flight from the wicked ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which God destroyed. 

Lot's Wife overlooks the Dead Sea

The Old Testament describes how Lot and his two daughters escaped the destruction and hid in a cave, butLot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt because she disobeyed God and looked back at the cities (Genesis 19). A natural formation on a hillside above the Dead Sea is tagged Lot’s wife pillar. Jesus Christ recalled the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Luke 17 when he warned “Remember Lot’s wife” and said that “it would be the same on the day the Son of Man is revealed,” meaning every person’s eternal destiny would hinge on their spiritual allegiance to God or something earthly.

The Dead Sea has also been called the “Sea of Arabah”, the “Salt Sea,” and the “Eastern Sea” in the Bible.  The Arab people have always known it as Bahr Lut (Lot’s Sea). The surface of theDead Seais at 1,312 feet below sea level, making it the lowest water surface on earth. The lake is 47 miles long and has a maximum width of about 10 miles.

The new museum’s permanent exhibition hall has four sections with different themes: Origins of theDead Sea; Eco-system; Man and the Dead Sea; and Will the Dead Sea Really Die? The Dead Sea’s conservation needs run throughout the exhibits, and the museum’s two documentary films, “Ecology of the Dead Sea” and “Dead Sea in Danger” contribute to the appeal. 

Ancient tombstones also contribute to the museum’s story. They were recovered from the region’s many cemeteries of Arab, Jewish and Christian communities of people who lived and died through the ages. There are also artifacts from the sugar industry that flourished during the Mamluk period (13th-16th centuries) in Zoar (nowSafi), as well as handicrafts and daily implements used by Bedouin and villagers who live in the area today. 

The Dead Sea has drawn pilgrims and tourists to its shores for centuries.  It’s bounded on the west by modern Israel and on the east by Jordan. Hotels and resorts populate the area, and visitors often indulge in spa mud therapies and sea floats in the mineral-laden water that keeps them afloat. 

The Dea Sea has no outlet, and fresh water evaporates quickly because of the hot desert climate. It is seven times more salty than the ocean. Fish cannot live in the water, and most other life forms perish there also. The sea’s chemical products such as potash, bromine, gypsum, and salt make the sea economically valuable, as does the growing health  resort industry.

Posted by: faithtravelfocus | February 20, 2012

Good Trip Add-on: California’s Missions

San Miguel Mission Altar

 Planning a trip to the Golden State? 

California vacations often mean urban excitement, long and languid tours of the  Golden State’s beautiful beaches and rugged coastal scenery, along with winery visits and culinary adventures. 

For faith travelers, there’s even more cultural excitement on the state’s Spanish Mission Trail that stretches 600 miles from San Diego to Sonoma. The Franciscans built 21 missions between 1769 and 1823 along the legendary El Camino Real, a route that corresponds roughly to modern U.S. Highway 101. The padres’ objective was to convert the Indians to Christianity and in what was then Mexico’s territory. Read More…

Petra Treasury by night

Jordan has its tourism spotlight on two major attractions this year as it marks anniversaries associated with Petra, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of rose pink rock wonders, and Wadi Rum, the expansive and beautiful desert and mountain landscape that stars in the epic film, Lawrence of Arabia. Read More…

Posted by: faithtravelfocus | January 23, 2012

Go For Quebec City’s Winter Warmth and Excitement

Ice sculpture at Carnaval de Quebec

Few cities in the world are as exciting in winter as Quebec City. One reason why is the annual Winter Carnival (Carnaval de Quebec) which kicks off this Friday through February 12.

Visitors from outdoor adventure jocks to young children have a dizzying array of activities and events to experience throughout the event. Carnaval de Quebec has been at the top of the world’s winter celebrations since 1955 – an ever enlarging pre-Lenten event that keeps expanding. Though the scene can get raucous in some corners, most Carnival events and spectacles are family-friendly. Faith sites can be a valuable add-on to your wintertime experience. Read More…

Posted by: faithtravelfocus | January 14, 2012

Visit Britain’s Unique Events and Faith Sites in 2012

Iona Abbey and Cross in Scotland

Britain is or should be on faith travelers’ bucket lists, because it has hundreds of sites and stories from nearly two millennia of Christian history. This is a great year to combine some memorable anniversary events with a tour of at least some of the sites related toBritain’s cache of Christian heritage. 

You might combine the faith places with events like Charles Dickens 200th Birthday (February 7 in Kent); Sailing of the Titanic, 100th (April in Belfast); The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (June 2-5 in London); The Beatles’ 50th Anniversary (all year in Liverpool); and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (July 27-August 12). More commemorative options area at VisitBritain.  Read More…

Posted by: faithtravelfocus | January 4, 2012

Christians Hold Keys to Free Worldwide Housing

 Are you a member in good standing of a Christian church anywhere in the world? If yes, you have the keys to free house stays and/or house and pet care while you are away. In a world of rising vacation or holiday travel expenses, this can be great news. 

At non-profit Christian House Sitters (CHS), you can register as a house sitter  – one who stays rent free in homes around the world and cares for pets and premises – or home owner  – one who provides the premises and receives free caretaking – or both. Member registration in the sitter category costs 25 British pounds a year and all proceeds go to charity. Home owners register for free. Read More…

Posted by: faithtravelfocus | December 20, 2011

The 2012 Faith Travel Hot List

Israel's Masada

Faith travelers have a world of destinations to explore in the new year. And as more cultural travelers embrace this sector, nations, historic sites and cities are spotlighting what they have to offer. Read More…

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