Kosher Travel & Cruises 2015/2016
October 6 - 20
 
October 25 - November 8
 
AACI Delux Kosher Prague
November 16-19  2015
 
Nov 23-Dec 03, 2015
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AACI Kosher Barcelona
January 04-07, 2016
 
AACI Kosher South Africa - Details coming soon
January 10-21, 2016
 
February 01-7, 2016
 
AACI Kosher Thailand - Details coming soon
February 20 - March 04, 2016
 
AACI Travel in Israel
 
Music in the Hills: 28th Annual Klezmer Festival in Safed
Tuesday to Wednesday, 18 - 19 August 2015
 
Jewish Spirit of Jerusalem
Wednesday 2 September 2015
 
AACI Continuing Education -Study Vacation #152 - Much to See in the Western Galilee - Wait List Only
October 12-15, 2015
 
Shabbat Galilee Experience
Thursday to Sunday 26 - 29 November 2015
 
AACI’s 14 Night  Cruise - Wonders of the Mediterranean
October 06-20, 2015
Our Amazing Ports of Call
Florence, Tuscany, Rome,
Naples, Sicily, Malta, Agios Nikolaos & Chania
 
Florence: Uffizi, Michelangelo's David, the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Gates of Paradise. Tuscany: Breathtaking rolling hills, quaint villas to charm. Rome: The Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, the Forum-all dripping in rich history. Pompeii: full of mysteries. Sicily’s mesmerizing charm.  Malta: sail into one of the most stunning port in Europe and Greece:  enchanting islands, one after the other*.
 
Scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Yosef Wolicki
Rabbi Yosef Wolicki, an alumnus of Yeshiva University, with a degree in Psychology from McGill University, was a congregational rabbi and educator in the U.S., Canada and Israel, for 39 years. He also worked as a psychologist at Shaare Zedek Hospital, and currently is one of the most popular lectures at the OU Center.
 
Trip Includes:
  • 14 Nights, Full board
  • Lectures and Land Tours in English with a Jewish flavor.
  • Supervised Kashrut and Religious Services
  • Fully Escorted by AACI Staff.
  • Scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Yosef Wolicki
  • Port Charges, Taxes and Security Fees.
  • Round Trip Bus Transport from Central points in Israel to Haifa
  • All Tiprs and land tours (bus drivers, guides, staff), dining room and cabins taff
  • Wine/beer or soft drink at dinner
  • Cruise Booklet and Jacket
  • Pre-cruise Orientation.
*ALL INCLUSIVE CRUISE PRICE LIST                                      CURRENCY CONVERTER
 
Cabin Category Deck Euro Price Per Person in a Double Cabin Euro Single Cabin
A
INSIDE DECK 2
2071
2678
B
INSIDE DECK 3
2139
2814
C
OUTSIDE DECK 2
2139
2814
D
INSIDE DECK 4
2265
3066
E
OUTSIDE DECK 3
2265
3066
F
INSIDE DECK 5 & 6
2342
3220
G
OUTSIDE DECK 4
2458
3452
H
OUTSIDE DECK 5
2715
3966
I (*sold out)
SUITE DECK 5 , *6 & 7
2907
4250
J / SOLD OUT
DELUXE SUITE DECK 5
2999
4434
 
 
Add Euro 50 per person for Non-AACI Members
 
*The program and itinerary is subject to change without notice and minimum participation required. Please note that land tours are not final and some tours may include strenuous walking.
*Price does not inlcude insruance or personal expenses.
*Prices are subject to change due to fuel increases or brochure price fluctuation.
 
 
For more information, please call Carole Kremer at AACI: 02-5600910 ckremer@aaci.org.il
For reservations, please call Frumie Horowitz at Ophir Tours: 03-5269511 frumie_h@ophirtours.co.il
 
China In-depth
Hong Kong, Guilin, Shanghai, Xian, Beijing
Oct 25 - Nov 08, 2015
14 Days of touring!
China’s textured and ancient history seamlessly melds into a fascinating, modern country, brimming with breathtaking sights.  This in-depth tour will open up this vast and wondrous country to the traveler-and will leave no stone unturned.
 
We will explore the major cities of Hong Kong, Guilin, Beijing, Shanghai and Xian.  In Hong Kong we will visit the Aberdeen Fishing Market and its floating stalls. In Beijing we'll stand in the midst of Tiananmen Square and have a walking tour through the Forbidden City and of course climb the Great Wall of China. In Xian we will view the Terra Cotta Warriors.  We will fly to Shanghai where we discover old quarters, stroll along the Grand Colonial Waterfront Promenade, the Bund and the Jewish Quarter and see a breathtaking acrobatic performance. The highlight of our extensive trip is Guilin and its environs. Guilin’s natural beauty will leave us breathless and its history will astound us. In Guilin we will explore the Reed Flute Cave and Elephant Trunk Hill, in Yangshuo we will view the spectacular Impression Show, enjoy a cruise on the Li River and so much more
 
Day 1 Sunday, Oct 25: 
Depart for Hong Kong – we leave Israel on our EL AL evening flight to Hong Kong at 20:50
 
Day 2: Monday, Oct 26: 
Arrival in Hong Kong at 13:55. Meet our local guide at the airport and embark on a scenic tour of Hong Kong. En route to hotel we will view The Man Mo Temple, which is a picturesque tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo), Nathan Road-formerly known as Golden Road, and the great many impressive and sleek skyscrapers that make up this world financial center.
After arrival at the hotel, get familiar with the local atmosphere and rest up before our welcome dinner. Dinner at local kosher restaurant.
 
Day 3: Tuesday: Oct 27:
Breakfast at the hotel. Spend a full day exploring this wondrous city. We will start our day visiting Victoria Peak, the tallest mountain on Hong Kong Island. Because of its height, it offers spectacular view of the city and surrounding islands. In order to reach the mountain, we will take the Peak Tram-enjoyed by both locals and tourists. From there we continue to Ohel Leah synagogue. The Hong Kong Jewish Community was formally established in the 1850s in premises leased by the Sassoon family. The Ohel Leah Synagogue has been in continuous use since its completion with the exception of a short period during World War II when Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese. The synagogue is built in a colonial style and incorporates elements from the Edwardian free classical-style. The polished Aberdeen granite columns, central elevated bimah enclosed by carved wood balustrades on three sides, and heavy, rich wood benches are reflective of Baghdadi and Sephardic heritage. After a tour of the synagogue and an opportunity to learn about the Jewish community, we will continue to Aberdeen. Aberdeen is famous to not only tourists but also Hong Kong locals for its floating village and floating seafood restaurants located in the Aberdeen Harbour.
After our sightseeing filled day we will drive to a local Kosher restaurant for dinner and a night tour of the city.
 
Day 4: Wednesday, Oct 28:
Breakfast in the hotel and morning flight to Guilin. Located in south China, Guilin and its environs is considered to be the pearl of China's thriving tourist industry on account of the natural beauty and historic treasures. The stunning landscape in which the city is situated has a kind of magic that is all its own. The strangely shaped hills, with the verdant vegetation ranging from bamboos to conifers together with crystal clear waters and wonderful caves make the city an appealing destination. It is also an important cultural city with a history of more than 2,000 years. However, adventures in Guilin City will have to wait, as upon arrival, we will drive to Yangshuo, which is a gateway to the beautiful scenery of the region, specifically the karst mountains, formed by a unique geological process. We will enjoy a cruise on the peaceful Li River, a perfect place to view the unique karst rock structures. After our cruise and lunch, we will drive to Fuli Town, one of the few preserved ancient towns in Guilin. Locals still keep their traditional way of living in old stone houses, boat fishing and making rice wine.
At night we will view the amazing Yangshuo Impression Show, which is the world largest natural theater which utilizes the waters of the Li River as its stage, with twelve mist shrouded hills and the heavens as its backdrop.
Overnight in Guilin with dinner at hotel.
 
Day 5: Thursday, Oct 29: 
Breakfast in the hotel. Today we explore the county of Longsheng in Guilin County. Famous for its rice terraces and hot springs, it is also home to widely diverse cultural minorities, all with their own flavor and flair. Once we arrive, we will visit various charming villages which preserve and display age old traditions including Yingshui Dong Village, where the Dong people prospered, Jinzhu Zhuang Village, the home of the Zhuang people, which also boasts the best views of the rice terraces. We will also visit two villages of the Yao people, Baimian Yao Village and Huangluo Yao Village, and experience their culture.
Drive back to Guilin for dinner at the hotel.
 
Day 6: Friday, Oct 30:
Today is a day to explore the city of Guilin. We start with the Reed Flute Cave, a natural phenomena of limestone rock lit up by multicolored lights. We then continue on to Elephant Trunk Hill, a hill nicknamed such because of its appearance of an elephant drinking water. Lastly-before we end off the day, we stop at a Pearl factory to shop and learn about this elegant stone.
We will then return to the hotel prepare for Shabbat, and enjoy a delicious Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
 
Day 7: Saturday, Oct 31:
Breakfast at the hotel.  Shabbat Services, followed by Kiddush and lunch.  After lunch we will take an optional walking tour of the city.
Evening: evening tour including a cruise on the four lakes of Guilin and a view of the two illuminated pagodas-one named the Sun and the other appropriately named the Moon.
 
Day 8: Sunday, Nov 01:
Early afternoon flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival we will have an introductory tour of Shanghai, including the Yu Garden, a prime example of a Chinese Garden and the Chenghuang Miao Bazaar, whose center is a world famous temple.
After check-in at the hotel, we transfer for dinner at Chabad house in Shanghai and finish the night with a cruise in the harbor over the neon lit Huangpu River, with a spectacular view of the Shanghai skyline.
 
Day 9: Monday, Nov 02:
Breakfast in the hotel. Morning tour to Jewish Shanghai: the former home of Shanghai's Jewish community, the Hongkou Ghetto and nearby, the former Ohel-Moishe Synagogue. See the Memorial to Stateless Refugees within the ghetto and visit Ohel Rachel Synagogue, also built by the Sassoon family. Drive through the French Concession, where many of Shanghai's fine Jewish estates were once located. Within the French Concession, visit the Arts and Crafts Institute, a historic home and former estate of one of Shanghai's officials. See some of the local crafts designed and created here. Then visit the Sir Elie Kadoorie Mansion (the Marble Mansion), today a Children's Palace, to watch gifted children dance, sing, and play traditional Chinese instruments.  Return to your hotel.  Dinner at the Chabad restaurant Shanghai. Evening: Spectacular Acrobatic Show
 
Day 10: Tuesday, Nov 03:
Breakfast box on our early morning flight to Xian. Upon arrival Excursion to the world famous Terra Cotta Warrior Museum, including special visit to panorama movie, Pit1, Pit2, Pit3 and the Bronze Chariot. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. Given time, we will take a glimpse of the warrior duplication site where molds are created to show the original way of creating them.  In the afternoon we will visit Muslim Street and museum which is a fantastic place to wander around. All shops and restaurants in the street are operated by Muslims. The stalls line the narrow alleys selling almost everything. If you are good at bargaining, you can get some amazing buys.  Dinner will be in the hotel with a delicious kosher fish dinner.  After dinner we will attend our evening show the Tang Dynasty Costume Show.
 
Day 11: Wednesday, Nov 04: Breakfast in the hotel.   Morning visit to The Shaanxi History Museum, regarded as “the pearl of ancient dynasties and house of Chinese treasures”, gives a miniature overview of the thousands of years of Chinese history and the splendid ancient cultures of olden times. Stop at a Ming Furniture Center. Representing the zenith of Chinese furniture, Ming furniture is treasured for its precious wood, comfortable design, simple decoration and superb craftsmanship.. 
Afternoon flight to Beijing. En route to hotel drive to the Olympic Site for a breathtaking view of Bird Nest Stadium and the inspiring Water Cubic Stadium from outside. Get familiar with the local atmosphere and rest up before our dinner. 
Dinner at Chabad House.
 
Day 12: Thursday, Nov 05:  Breakfast in the hotel. Departure by deluxe coach to the Great Wall initially built in 221 BC by the first emperor of China as a defense against nomadic tribes and has been renowned as one of the 7 wonders of the world. It extends over 10000 kilometers in the northern part of China from the eastern Pacific Ocean to the western Gobi Desert. Visit the Jade Friendship Store while enjoying the magnificent work done by elite Chinese jade experts on the spot.  Later in the day, visit the Ming Tombs and learn about Chinese Feng Shui as mostly reflected by the layout of the Ming Dynasty Tombs.
Dinner at the Chabad House followed by the amazing Golden Mask performance.
 
Day 13: Friday, Nov 06: Morning tour to the Temple of Heaven and traditional Chinese Park. The Temple is the sacred praying site for Chinese emperors (1420-1911) to pray for a good harvest. Visit the largest city square in the world-Tiananmen Square, which can hold as many as 3 million people. We proceed through the Tiananmen Rostrum to the imperial enclosure - the famed Forbidden City, also named the Palace Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. It houses more than 9999 rooms.  Five of the rooms had 24 emperors living successively inside them from 1420 until 1911 both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Climb up the Scenery Hill and have a bird’s eye view of the modern Beijing City as well as the glistening Forbidden City spread out in front of you.  Stop for traditional Chinese foot massage and lecture on Chinese medicine and treatment.  Hotel rest before Shabbat with the Beijing Jewish Community at Chabad.  Evening: Shabbat with Chabad of Beijing.
 
Day 14: Shabbat, Nov 07:  
Breakfast at the hotel.  Shabbat Services, followed by Kiddush and lunch at the Chabad House.  After lunch we will take an optional walking tour of the unique Flower Market featuring beautiful Asian plants and flowers. Walk back to hotel for Shabbat rest.  Mincha followed by Seudah Shlishit and Maariv.
Evening: visit to the exotic Food Market and Wangfujing Street.
This evening enjoy the daring Kung Fu Show
Day 15: Sunday, Nov 08:  
Visit the Summer Palace, an imperial garden which is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value. Explore the Pearl Market and learn to how to find the best quality pearls and various pearl products which has been part of the Chinese culture.  Visit the Tibetan style Lamasery housing the world largest single white sandal tree Buddhist carving.  Then take an exciting tour of Beijing’s Htongs (old neighborhoods) on a private and exciting Rickshaw ride. 
After dinner evening departure from Beijing at with EL AL at 22:00 back to Israel arriving at 03:10am.
 

Price: AACI members $5185 per person in a double room        CURRENCY CONVERTER
Non members $5235 per person in a dbl. room
Single room supplement: $865

 
This trip includes:
  • Round trip air from Israel with EL AL
  • Domestic flights in China
  • Full board kosher meals
  • Aberdeen Cruise
  • Yangshuo Impression Show
  • Golden Mask Performance
  • Visit in Xian to the Terra Cotta Soldiers
  • Tang Dynasty Costume Show
  • Tour of Jewish Shanghai
  • Full day tour to Zhouzhuang, famed Watertown
  • Acrobatic Show
  • All Tips: driver, local guide & Israeli tour leader
  • Israeli Tour Leader
  • AACI escort
Flight Schedule:
  • Oct 25 departure 20:50 from Tel Aviv arrival at 13:55 Hong Kong
  • Nov 08 departure 22:00 from Beijing arrival at 03:10 Tel Aviv
Price Includes:
  • Flights on EL AL  from Israel
  • 4 domestic flights Hong Kong/Guilin; Guilin/Shanghai; Shanghai/Xian; Xian/Beijing
  • 13 night’s good 4 star  hotel accommodation- as mentioned or similar     
  • Hong Kong 2 nights Regal Oriental Hotel
    Guilin 4 nights Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
    Shanghai 2 nights Grand Mercure Baolong Hotel
    Beijing 5 nights Metro Park Lido
    Xian 1 nights Titan Times Hotel
                       
  • Kosher Meals: daily breakfasts in hotels + lunch boxes.  Dinners in Beijing and Shanghai at kosher restaurants. Freshly prepared  vegetarian / fish dinner at hotel in Xian and Guilin and specially prepared Chinese banquet dinner
  • Transportation in air conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees   
  • Israeli English speaking tour leader
  • Porterage at hotels and all tips
  • 5 varied evening Chinese shows
  • AACI staff escort   
Not included:
  • Chinese Visa
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in included
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary.
 
Payment:
Deposit of $400 per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by September 10, 2015
 
Cancellation:
Cancellation from time of registration until September 09, 2015: $250 per person
Cancellation between September 10-September 30, 2015: 50% of total package
Cancellation from October 01 to day of departure: 100%
 
 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE OUR WEB SITE-WWW.AACI.ORG.IL
FOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL FRUMIE HOROWITZ AT OPHIR TOURS: 03-526-9511
 
AACI Delux Kosher Prague - 4 days of touring
November 16-19  2015
 
The City of a Thousand Spires has seen it all.
 
 
Day 1, Monday Nov 16 arrive in Prague
We will meet at Ben Gurion airport for our flight to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.  After landing, we will meet our bus and tour guide for a tour of the city. We will enjoy a walking tour of Vaclav Square, founded by Charles IV in 1348.  Then, continue towards the old city surrounded by walls and fortifications. This lovely area has been declared a world heritage site. We will view the Powder Gate, the old town square, the "clock square", the famous astronomical clock and the Church of Tyne. We will continue towards the Vltava River, the longest river in the Czech Republic, followed by a leisurely cruise on the river. Dinner at a local kosher restaurant. All nights at the 5* Deluxe Jalta Hotel.
 
Day 2, Tuesday Nov 17, after a Kosher breakfast at the hotel, we will visit Prague Castle which has been the seat of Czech princes, kings, and also presidents in the modern history of the state, since the end of the 9th century. The tour comprises all courtyards, leads around the St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert Cathedrals and the Old Royal Palace to Jiřské Square, from where it continues to the Golden Lane and to Opyš. We will walk across the Charles Bridge which represents the interesting history of this oldest preserved connecting line between both Prague embankments. Special attention will be given not only to its beautiful sculptural decoration, but also to the Old Town and Lesser Quarter bridge towers.  Dinner at a local kosher restaurant followed by a performance at the Black Theater (a theatrical performance style characterized by the use of black box theatre augmented by black light illusion)
.
Day 3, Wednesday Nov 18, after a kosher breakfast, we will tour The Jewish Quarter which is part of Prague's Old Town and forms a self-contained area that can be easily covered on foot. The district was named Josefov after emperor Josef II and was added to Prague's historical center in 1850. Prague's Jewish population has lived in this area for centuries and was nearly wiped out during the war. We will visit the Jewish Cemetery and a number of synagogues, Maisel, the Pinkas Synagogue that serves as a memorial to the victims of the holocaust with almost 80,000 names inscribed on its walls and the astonishing Spanish Synagogue. All of the synagogues have been beautifully restored and house priceless exhibits collected throughout the past. Visit to Kafka’s House. Your walk will end on Old Town Square. Dinner at a local kosher restaurant.
 
Day 4, Thursday Nov 19, after a kosher breakfast, Depart Prague for Lidice, the Czech town destroyed by Hitler, and visit the extraordinary new multi-media museum and children's monument. Travel to Terezin to visit what the Nazis called the "Model Concentration Camp" Tour the fortress and the recently discovered Holocaust era secret synagogue of the Danish Jews. Dinner at a local kosher restaurant. Then we depart for our return flight.
 
Price: AACI members
Euro 1415 per person in a double room                     CURRENCY CONVERTER
 Non members Euro 1465 per person in a double room  
 Single room supplement: Euro160 
                                         
This deluxe trip includes:
  • Direct flights from Israel
  • 3 nights @ the deluxe Jalta hotel 5 stars
  • 3 kosher breakfast plus lunch  sandwich preparations 
  • 4 dinners in a local kosher restaurant
  • All airport transfers in Prague
  • Tickets for the famous Black Theater
  • Afternoon River Cruise on the Vltava River
  • All sightseeing as indicated including entrances
  • Accent on Jewish History
  • Tips for local guides & drivers and Israeli tour leader
  • Israeli Tour Leader
  • AACI escort
Price does not include
  • Any items of personal nature
  • Insurance
Minimum number of participants required
Itinerary is subject to change without notice
Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals
 
PAYMENT:
Deposit of 200 Euro per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by October 16, 2015
 
CANCELATION:
Cancellation from time of registration until October 15, 2015: 100 Euro per person
Cancellation between October 16 - November 01, 2015: 50% of total package
Cancellation from November 02 to day of departure: 100%
 
TOUR ORIENTATION: There will be an orientation session for all participants on Sunday, November 8th at the AACI-Dr. Max & Gianna Glassman Family Center in Jerusalem at 17:30
 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE OUR WEB SITE-WWW.AACI.ORG.ILFOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL FRUMIE HOROWITZ AT OPHIR TOURS: 03-526-9511EMAIL: FRUMIE_H@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
AACI - Secrets of Sri Lanka
November 23- December 3, 2015
Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, rolling surf, fun finds, famous tea and flavorful spices describe Sri Lanka.  Our kosher and friendly group will explore the essential sites of Sri Lanka, while discovering the secrets of this exotic country.
 
Visit Sigiriya, a dramatic fortress and palace site which is by far the most important historical site in Sri Lanka. Tour Polonnaruwa, the royal ancient city with hundreds of ancient structures – tombs and temples, statues and stupas . En route to Kandy, stop to experience the plentiful spices and tea that make the island famous. In Kandy, visit the Tooth Relic Temple and shop for unique Sri Lankan goods. Spend Shabbat with the local community in Colombo, and experience this fast paced central city.
 
Stop in Galle, a testament to the islands European past, where an impressive fort still stands. Visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery to see the great work being done to preserve this abused species.
On to Beruwala, with pristine beaches, which also includes a trip to the Madu River for a boat ride, the best way to experience the sites and sounds of this eco system. Join a Safari Tour in Yala, and get a chance to see leopards, water buffalo, elephants and sloth bears in their natural habitat. And last but not least, we will get a chance to spend time with what Sri Lanka is most know for, its elephants!
 
Monday November 23:  Depart Tel Aviv at 21:20 via Istanbul to Colombo
 
Tuesday November 24: Arrive Colombo at 15:10-“Ayubowan”
On arrival you will get your first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality, a local representative will welcome us at the Airport and we will immediately make our journey to the city of Habarana, about a three hour drive away.
After check in and a delicious kosher dinner, we will rest up at our beautiful hotel for the busy and exciting days ahead!
Dinner and Overnight at the Cinnamon Lodge Hotel.
 
Wednesday November 25: Sigiriya-Dambula-Polonnaruwa
After breakfast, we drive through golden paddy fields and lush greenery to arrive at Sigiriya, the magnificent 5th Century fortress.  It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the fortress. On its summit are the foundations of what was once a great and sumptuous palace and gardens complete with swimming pool. 
 
After our morning tour of the ancient palace, we will visit the Dambulla Cave Temple which first came to use as a refuge for King Valagambahu in the 1st century BC. Its rock ceiling is one large sweep of colorful frescoes, some of which dates back to over 2,000 years. The frescoes depict Buddhist mythology and the tales of the Buddha's previous births. The temple has the largest number of Buddha statues all housed in one place, including a 14 meter long colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock.
 
After a stop for lunch, we continue on to explore Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s royal medieval capital. It remained Sri Lanka’s capital until the late 13th century, but became increasingly susceptible to Chola invasions and became lost to the jungle once more as the capital drifted south-west. Today, the ancient city’s ruins remain in good shape, and is a fascinating site to visit. The most impressive site are the ancient sculptures of Lord Buddha at the Gal Viahara cut into granite stone dating back to the middle of the 12th century.
Dinner and Overnight at the Cinnamon Lodge Hotel.
 
Thursday November 26:  Dambulla – kandy 
After breakfast we bid farwell to this ancient region, and continue our journey towards the lush hill city of Kandy. En route, we stop at the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. First conceived as a Queen’s garden in the 14th century and a Kandyan Prince’s residence in the 18th century the gardens were formally opened to the public in 1821. Walking around these tranquil, immaculately-designed lawns, borders, pavilions and plant houses, you could easily think you are in England, except for the extraordinary diversity of tropical plants, including a wide variety of orchids.
 
We then continue towards Kandy, and get acquainted with the city.  Kandy is the second largest city after Colombo, and is considered its cultural capital. We will sped the afternoon visiting famous sites such as the Tooth Relic Temple, where the Bhuddas tooth is rumored to be found and Lake Drive, which surrounds Kandy’s central lake and provides wonderful views. We will continue to browse the markets of Kandy, which contain unique treasures of Sri Lanka, including gems and bathik (silk screen cloth).
 
After our busy day, we will have the opportunity to witness a colorful cultural Sri Lankan dance performance, which shows us a glimpse into the unique culture of the island.
Dinner and Overnight at Earls Regency Kandy.  
 
Friday November 27: Kandy-Colombo
After breakfast and check out, we will drive to the Mawanella Spice Gardens which are among the best on the island. Sri Lanka is famous for its spices, and the Spice Gardens is a lovely place to stroll in fragrant greenery and learn about nutmeg, pepper vines, clove trees and curry, cinnamon and the precious cardamom, a relative of ginger.
 
After our tour, we will continue to Colombo, the capital of the island. Due to its large harbor and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. It was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815, and its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948.
We will check into the hotel and prepare for Shabbat with Chabad of Colombo.
Dinner at Chabad House and Overnight at Cinnamon Grand Colombo.
 
 Shabbat November 28 – Colombo
After Shabbat morning Tefillah and lunch at Chabad, we will enjoy an afternoon walking tour of Colombo, leaving ample time for a Shabbat rest!
Dinner at Chabad House and Overnight at Cinnamon Grand Colombo.
 
Sunday November 29    Colombo-Beruwala
After breakfast and checkout, we bid farewell to Colombo, for now, and make our way to Beruwala, Sri Lanka’s stunning resort destination! On our way we will stop at Galle, which is a not to be missed destination in the south. It's at once endlessly exotic, bursting with the scent of spices and salty winds, and yet also, with its wonderful collection of Dutch-colonial buildings, a town of great beauty. We will tour the fort that has withstood time as a powerful monument to the Portuguese and Dutch history of Sri Lanka.
After steeping into history, we will visit something a little more light, turtles! We will take an hour drive towards the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, where we learn about fascinating sea turtles, who are in danger of extinction. This local conservation project, aims to repopulate the turtle population on the island by encouraging more births. We will be able to see these turtles hatch and then make their way back to sea.
We then arrive at Beruwala for check in at the hotel.
Dinner in hotel and Overnight at Cinnamon Bey Beruwela.
 
Monday November 30: Beruwala
Its time to explore the beautiful environs of Beruwala. We will start our day with a visit to the moon stone mine. Sri Lanka is famous for its gems, one of which is the moonstone. At Meetiyagoda you can see how the stones are actually mined. The miners climb down a 10-metre-deep shaft on a frame made of strong coconut wood. A machine pumps out water, but all the digging is done by hand. The buckets of soil that are wound regularly to the surface yield around 50-100 rough moonstones a day, though not all of them are saleable quality.
 
The small adjoining factory cuts, polishes and sets the stones into glamorous Jewellery.
We then continue slightly north to enjoy a boat road on the wetlands of the Maduganga River. The estuary of the Madu Ganga river is a complex coastal ecosystem of mangroves and islands. It may be one of the last remaining tracts of pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka.
 
A boat trip is a wonderful way of seeing some of the hundreds of species of plants and animals – monkeys eat fruit in the trees, a water monitor lizard glides slowly through the water, and cormorants, egrets and kingfishers wait patiently on the banks, eyeing the water for prey. There are around 64 islands in the river and lagoon, from a tiny speck housing a deserted shrine to one housing 250 families connected to the mainland with a very long footbridge. The main occupations of the local inhabitants are producing cinnamon and fishing.
Dinner in hotel and Overnight at Cinnamon Bey Beruwela.
 
Tuesday December 01: Yala
Today we have an early start to make our way to a Safari Jeep Tour!
We will drive to Yala in order to arrive early afternoon to take a four hour jeep ride in this magical national park. Yala (Ruhuna) National Park is situated in the Arid Zone of Sri Lanka’s South East region.  The Park covers an area of 151,778 hectares. Yala’s historical significance dates back to 500 B.C and evidence shows that the park was inhabited in the past. 

Being in the Arid Zone Yala receives an annual rainfall of less than 1,000 mm. The rest of the year remains dry with the period from July to September showing severe drought conditions.  Mean temperature is around 27 C..  Yala National Park is comprised of several major habitat including dunes, scrub forest, riverine forests, rocky out-crops, secondary forests and coastal lagoons with mangrove forests.  This diverse collection of vegetation has resulted in many species of animals and birds who call Yala National Park their home.
 
After visiting the homes of many animals and birds, we make the return journey to Beruwala for a well earned rest.
Dinner in hotel and Overnight at Cinnamon Bey Beruwela.
 
Wednesday December 02:  Beruwala-Colombo
After a relaxed morning in Beruwala, we drive to Colombo for our departure. On the way, well take in a panoramic tour of the city, including Fort, the business district of Colombo, and Sea Street. After a farewell kosher dinner, we make our way to the airport for our flight to Istanbul at 21:20
 
 
Price: AACI members $3,375 per person in a double                              CURRENCY CONVERTER
Non- AACI members $3,425 per person in a double
Single supplement $760
Flight Schedule:
  • TK 789 23NOV DEPART TEL AVIV:  2120 ARRIVE ISTANBUL: 2340    
  • TK 730 24NOV DEPART ISTANBUL:  0110 ARRIVE COLOMBO: 1510 
  • TK 731 02DEC DEPART COLOMBO: 2120 ARRIVE ISTANBUL: 0530  (03DEC)
  • TK 784 03DEC DEPART ISTANBUL: 0645 ARRIVE TEL AVIV: 0845 
Price Includes:
  • Flights on Turkish Airlines  from Israel
  • 8 night’s 5 star delux hotel accommodation- as mentioned or similar                  
  • Kosher Meals: daily breakfasts in hotels + lunch boxes +freshly delivered kosher dinners.
  • Transportation in air conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees   
  • Israeli English speaking tour leader
  • Porterage at hotels and all tips
  • AACI staff escort   
Not included:
  • Sri Lankan Visa
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned as included
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary.
Payment:   Deposit of $400 per person at time of reservation.
                   Final payment due by October 11, 2015
 
Cancellation:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until October 11, 2015: $250 per person
  • Cancellation between October 12-October 25 2015: 50% of total package
  • Cancellation from October 26  to day of departure: 100%
 
For reservations and information please call Ophir Tours
Frumie Horowitz 03-526-9511 or email frumie_h@ophirtours.co.il
 
Kosher Travel & Cruises 2016
Barcelona & Surroundings
January 04-07, 2016
You’d be hard-pressed to find a European city that offers more to please as many disparate tastes as Barcelona. The capital of Catalonia, a northern province of Spain, Barcelona has two mountains, eclectic museums and a medieval Gothic quarter that may be the most fascinating in Europe. Mind-blowing Modernista architecture of the iconic Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi dots it like jewels.
Added to this is a day trip to the province of Girona, the perfect complement to Barcelona. Girona caps an experience that reflects Spain’s wide variety of moods and destinations. The artist Salvador Dalí grew up here, in Figueres, and lived much of his life near the fishing village of Port Lligat
 
Trip Itinerary
Day 1, January 04-Monday Israel to Barcelona
Early meeting at Ben Gurion Airport for our EL AL flight departing at 06:25 and arriving in Barcelona at 10:15.  We will be met at the airport and whisked off for our panoramic tour of Barcelona, including a cable car ride to the top of Montjuich which grants fantastic views of the city and provides a great introduction to Barcelona. 
Time to take a break for lunch, followed by checking into our hotel.  This afternoon, after a short rest after our busy day, we enjoy dinner and then see Barcelona by night.
Day 2, January 05- Tuesday Full day Girona and Figueras
After breakfast at our hotel we drive to Girona, a Medieval Catalan city, visiting one of the oldest and most intact Jewish quarters in all of Europe, 100 kilometers north of Barcelona. The "Call" - Girona's Jewish Community- existed from the 9th century to the latter years of the 15th century. Moreover it was one of the most important centers of Kabbalistic learning in all of Europe.
 
Our walking tour through the narrow cobblestone lanes, high stonewalls and step streets of the Call de Girona, allows visitors entrée to private courtyards and gardens. The tour starts at Bonastruc ça Porta, an institute of Jewish learning built around the old Synagogue on Carrer de la Força, the main artery of the medieval quarter which has remained amazingly intact over the centuries.
 
Next we will visit the Museu d'Història dels Jueus (Jewish History Museum), which has developed a map of the maze-like streets and hosts small exhibits on Carrer de la Força. Containing the most accurate information about medieval Jewish communities in Spain, particularly those in Catalonia, the museum's exhibits provide a picture of daily life in the quarter, Jewish traditions and the region's most influential “calls”. The Hebrew lapidary (tombstone) collection is considered to be one of the finest in the world.
 
We continue on to Figueras and the Dali Museum.  The Dalí Theatre-Museum, the largest surrealistic object in the world, occupies the building of the former Municipal Theatre, a 19th century construction which was destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. On its ruins, Dalí decided to create his museum.
We return to Barcelona for a late dinner and a well deserved rest.

Day 3, January 06: Wednesday Full-day tour of Barcelona
After breakfast at our hotel we will set off on a visit to the Gothic Quarter.  A stroll through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter brings to light the early Roman city of Barcino and the medieval town with its palazzos, mansions and Gothic churches. This is the style that defines “the heart of Barcelona”: a neighborhood where the splendor of the historic past coexists with the vibrancy of the present.

The centre of the Roman city, today’s Gothic Quarter, was marked by the point where the two main streets, the Cardo and Decumanus, converged. Today the Carrer del Bisbe and Carrer Llibreteria stand on this site. Nearby, we can still see the remains of the Roman temple of Augustus Its maze of narrow streets and squares is steeped in the city’s past and present.  Here, in the Gothic Quarter, we find the City Hall and the seat of the Catalan Government and the Palau de la Generalitat.  Right in the middle of this Barcelona neighborhood, is the old Jewish Quarter, the Call Jueu, with its endless narrow streets, where some remains of the ancient synagogue still survive.
In the late afternoon we visit the Picasso Museum.  The Picasso Museum in Barcelona is a key reference for understanding the formative years of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. The genius of the young artist is revealed through the 4,249 works that make up the permanent collection. Furthermore, the Museu Picasso, opened in 1963, also reveals his deep relationship with Barcelona: an intimate, solid relationship that was shaped in his adolescence and youth, and continued until his death.
 
After dinner this evening we will enjoy a Flamenco Show

Day 4, January 7: Thursday Full day tour Barcelona
After breakfast we visit the Poble Espanol, Spanish Village, which is a selection of full-scale replicas of buildings from different parts of the Peninsula.  It was conceived for visitors to enjoy an open-air Spanish architectural museum while strolling around its squares, streets and gardens. The Poble Espanyol was built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition as the pavilion dedicated to art. Right from the start, it was conceived as a real “village” in the heart of a city. The aim was to give an idea of what might be an “ideal model” of an Iberian village that would bring together all the characteristics of all peninsular villages.

After lunch we will view Sagrada Familia from the outside, the best-known symbol of the city and Gaudí’s most ambitious project, considered to be unique in the world. Part of this structure has been declared World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. After we will proceed to Güell Park, one of the magical spots in the city where Gaudi let his imagination run wild. As well as being a UNESCO World Heritage, it has also been declared a Historical-Artistic Monument of National Interest. In the afternoon we will have a chance to see the Casa Milà, from the outside, popularly known as ‘La Pedrera’, which is a most unusual building, constructed between 1906 and 1912 by the architect Antoni Gaudi (1852–1926) and declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1984. Today it is the headquarters of Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera and houses a cultural center that is a reference point in Barcelona for the range of activities it organizes and the different spaces for exhibitions and other public uses it contains.
 
After farewell dinner we will say “Adios” to beautiful Barcelona as we take our EL AL flight home to Israel, departing at 22:25 and arriving in Ben Gurion at 03:45 January 8th. 
 
Price: AACI members 1470 Euro per person in a double                                           Currency Converter
Non- AACI members 1520 Euro per person in a double
Single supplement 235 Euro
 
Flight Schedule:
  • LY 393 04JAN DEPART TEL AVIV:  0625 ARRIVE BARCELONA: 1015    
  • LY 392 07JAN DEPART BARCELONA: 2225 ARRIVE TEL AVIV: 0345 08JAN
Price Includes:
  • Flights on ELAL  from Israel
  • 3 night’s 5 star  hotel accommodation
  • Kosher Meals: daily breakfasts in hotels + lunch boxes + kosher dinners.
  • Transportation in air conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees   
  • Israeli English speaking tour leader
  • Porterage at hotels and all tips
  • AACI staff escort   
Not included:
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned as included
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary.
 
Payment:
Deposit of 200 Euro per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by December 03, 2015
 
Cancellation:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until December 03, 2015: 80 Euro per person
  • Cancellation between December 03-Decemer 19 2015: 50% of total package
  • Cancellation from December 20 to day of departure: 100%           
For reservations and information please call Ophir Tours
Frumie Horowitz 03-526-9511 or email frumie_h@ophirtours.co.il
 
 
AACI Kosher Lapland Adventure
February 01-07 2016
Highlights:
  • dog sleighing with Huskies
  • Arctic ice breaker with plunge in the water (optional)!
  • snowmobiling – day & night trips
  • northern lights
  • visit the artic circle
  • over night in Arctic Snow Hotel
Magical Lapland is an area in northern Finland Sweden Russia and Norway. It is most likely that Lapland does not resemble anything else on earth.
You are going on an adventure where you will see landscapes and places that you have never seen before. You will return with white photographs of snowy hills and rare photos of the famous northern light – the Aurora Borealis. You will ride snowmobiles though breathtaking landscapes, you will sail on a real ice breaker and visit the ice palace.  You will take a crash course in Husky dog sleighs and ice fishing and sleep comfortably (one night only!) in a snow hotel room.   This will be a trip to another world, a journey of a lifetime, and a place so unique you will remember it forever.
 
Day 1-February 1-Monday
Welcome to Lapland! A Lapland local guide will welcome us at the airport in Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland and winter paradise! We immediately transfer straight to the safari houses where you will be equipped with all safari gear that you will need for a warm and fun time(thermal overalls, shoes, socks, gloves & caps). Continue by bus to the hotel for a welcome dinner.
 
Dinner buffet in the hotel and AACI group orientation
 
Day 2-February 2-Tuesday
After a delicious breakfast, Continue by bus to Vaattunki nature area, where local lumberjacks still live and work.
Vaattunki is a great example of natural unspoiled Arctic forest. We will transfer by coach to the husky farm where hundreds of huskies greet us with their howling and yapping. These friendly husky dog teams are anxious to take us for a safari in the surrounding wilderness. After a short training session, we set out for an unforgettable journey, which will give us a glimpse into the old Lappi way of life (take notice of their working tongues).. On return enjoy a hot drink, as there is nothing better then a hot drink after a cold journey!
Continuing to a reindeer farm where we will have a chance to ride the reindeer sledges for a short while. We then hear from a reindeer shepherd about his everyday life, reindeer and their special habits.
Dinner buffet at the hotel
After dinner, we will have a special AACI exclusive evening snowmobile ride. The lights of our snowmobiles will light up the magical arctic forest, and the moon will guide our way. As this night ride grants us an unmatched opportunity for stargazing, we will plan on the snowmobile ride based on the predicted  appearance of the Northern Lights.
 
Day 3-February 3-Wednesday
After breakfast we have an hour ride to Kemi. Departure to the harbor and board the Sempo ice-breaking cruise ship.  We sail out into the frozen bay. The ship will stop in the bay to allow you to walk on the ice or for the heroes among to you jump into the icy waters! The ship's crew will hand out special suits to provide floatation and resistance to moisture for this activity.
We will continue to Ounsavaara to see a private ski jump show from the highest ski jump in Lapland!
Dinner buffet at the hotel
 
Day 4-February 4-Thursday
After breakfast we begin a journey to the area of Posio to visit the “frozen falls” in Korouoma. A short walk through a beautiful winter paradise brings us to the frozen falls, and not to be missed site!
After lunch we continue to the world’s Northernmost Wildlife Park Ranua Zoo. There are about 55 species of Northern and Arctic animals and birds living in their natural habitat. The zoo is set up among the forest, and will take a leisurely walk along well-tended paths. Many of the arctic animals are most active in winter and snow provides a good background for watching them. You will see the few tricks of the Polar bears and meet the speaking black raven. We then take a quick stop the the Fazer chocolate factory to buy a few sweets (kosher).
At night, we will have the opportunity to see a hockey game, a very fitting sport for the arctic!
Dinner buffet at the hotel
 
Day 5-February 5-Friday
After breakfast we continue to our snowmobile safari!  Before we start out we get a briefing on the use of snowmobiles.  At the end of the training we practice what we learned in our thermal clothing and helmet, riding two on a snowmobile.   Our journey will take us through deep snow at the foot of mountains and river ice. Travel about 10 km to a fishing camp on a frozen river and experience how the local people called "Lapps" live in this land.   Learn to catch fish on a frozen river with a special drill make a hole in thick ice and throw your stick into frozen water.
Return to hotel to prepare for a restful and warm Shabbat.
Friday night dinner Tefillah and Dinner at hotel
 
Day 6-February 6-Shabbat
After Kiddush and Tefillah, we will take a walking tour to the Arktikum museum. The Artikum exhibitions lead guests on an adventure to Finnish Lapland and the Arctic region. The review of the history of Finnish Lapland spans from Rovaniemi to Upper Lapland and from prehistory to about the 1970s. The Arctic region is examined in light of the Arctic research of today and the future. The exhibitions provide a comprehensive section of the history and culture of Lapland as well as of Arctic knowledge.
Return to hotel for an early “seudah shlishit.” After Havdallah, we move to one of Lapland’s famous snow hotels!! This AACI exclusive adventure is a once in a life time experience. This hotel, which is rebuilt anew each season, will provide us with the proper gear to sleep warmly in sub zero temperatures.
 
Day 7-February 7-Sunday
After breakfast back we are driven out to the nearby wilderness for some snowshoeing. After a brief lesson (its very easy!) we continue Eskimo style to the Arctic village, located directly on the arctic circle. We then return to the hotel for a farewell lunch, and are transferred to the airport for the flight back to Tel Aviv.
 
PRICE PER PERSON IN A DOUBLE:  AACI MEMBERS-2920 Euro            Currency Converter
AACI NON MEMBERS-2970 Euro
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT-260 Euro
 
Important Facts:
  • Special insurance is needed for winter sports activities
  • Snowmobile drivers and dog sled drivers must be 18 years old with valid driver's      license.  Riding two people per snowmobile and dog sled.
  • Important to bring sunglasses, sunscreen and appropriate clothing such as:
  • Warm socks, wool gloves, boots, scarf, woolen hat, tracksuit clothing, wool or any comfortable clothing for use under the thermal clothing you get there.
Included in the price:
  • International air fare and all relevant taxes.
  • 5 nights accommodation at 4 star hotel.
  • 1 night accommodation at Artic Snow Hotel Rovaniemi
  • Fresh and delicious Kosher breakfast and dinner with arrangements for  making sandwiches for lunch
  • Transportation in heated coach as per itinerary  
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees    
  • Israeli English-speaking tour leader
  • Porterage at hotels and tips for drivers and guides
  • AACI staff escort
Not included in the price:
  • Activities during free time
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Additional payment for single usage of snowmobile (must be reserved in advance)
Minimum number of participants required
Itinerary is subject to change without notice.  Weather dictates much of our activity in Lapland and we can not be held responsible for alterations to the program.
Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals
 
Payment:
Deposit of 300Euro per person at time of reservation. Final payment due by December 15, 2015
 
Cancelation:
Cancellation from time of registration until December 15, 2015: 120 Euro per person
Cancellation between December 16-January 01 2016: 320 Euro per person
Cancellation between January 02-January 23  2016: 520 Euro per person
Cancellation from January 24-to day of departure: 100%
 
For reservation and information call Frumie at Ophir Tours 03-526-9511
 
AACI goals are to support the successful klitah (absorption) of new olim while providing a variety of social and professional programs that enhance the lives of Israel's English speaking community.  The AACI Travel Experience generates much needed income for our programs. We hope you feel pride in knowing a small portion of your travel fare goes to be used for a wonderful purpose.
AACI Yard Sale!
Friday, September 4th, 2015
 
AACI Memorial Ceremony
Sunday, September 20, 2015
 
AACI Travel Program 2015/16    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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