Kosher Travel & Cruises 2015
 
More trips to be announced. Keep visiting this site for updates
 
AACI Kosher Moscow & St. Petersburg
May 31 - June 11
 
June 7 - June 14
 
 
October 6 - 20
 
October 25 - November 8
 
AACI Delux Kosher Prague
November 16-19  2015
 
AACI Kosher Moscow & St. Petersburg
May 31-June 11, 2015
 

Visit Moscow and St. Petersburg the two cities that define Russia’s past, present and future

Moscow is the economic mega-center for one sixth of the planet in a country that encompasses more than 120 ethnic groups and nationalities. This passionate and vibrant metropolis boasts an eccentric mélange of traditional Russian architecture and post-Soviet quirkiness.   Discordantly-youthful while steeped in history, Moscow is a study in culture-clash and tradition.
 
One of the world’s most beautiful cities, St. Petersburg has it all including art, striking architecture and exciting nightlife; this is in addition to the robust history and rich cultural traditions that have inspired much of world’s greatest literature, music, and visual art. Romance abounds in this magical city of White Nights, opera, ballet and cutting-edge adventure.   St. Petersburg charms and entices everybody.
 
 
Tour Highlights:
  •  In Moscow: Choral Synagogue, Red Square, Manege Square, St Basil Cathedral, Kremlin & Armory Chamber, Tretyakov Gallery & The Metro
  • Entrance to the Diamond Fund in the Kremlin to see the Crown Jewels
  • High-speed Sapsan train, from Moscow to St. Petersburg
  •  In St Petersburg: Choral Synagogue, Peter & Paul Fortress, Peterhof by Hydrofoil, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Summer Gardens & Yusupov Palace
  • Two visits to the Hermitage
  • Cruise along the canals of St. Petersburg
  • St. Petersburg by night with the Bridge Opening
  • Folklore show at the Nikolaevsky Palace in St. Petersburg
DAY 1, Sunday, May 31: Israel / Moscow
Early departure from Ben Gurion by Aeroflot at 01:05am arrival in Moscow 05:00am
 
Welcome to Moscow
On arrival we will be met by our local guide and start our tour. We begin with Victory Park which was only completed in the mid-nineties, and is something of a last gasp for the Soviet tradition of monumental triumphal art. Located on and around the Poklonnaya Gora, the hill where Napoleon waited in vain to be given the keys to the city when his troops surrounded Moscow in 1812, the park is set in an area steeped in Russian military history. We then proceed to the Old Choral Synagogue. This synagogue recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. It is a very impressive building, constructed by renowned Moscow architect Roman Klein. This synagogue was the only one that continued to operate throughout the Soviet period. 
 
One of the most interesting sites in Moscow is located deep beneath the surface. On Stalin’s order, the Moscow Subway was built to display the advantages of socialism. Today the Soviet Union is gone, but the beautiful underground city is still active and carries millions of passengers each day.
 
The Moscow Subway was constructed not only to streamline the city's transportation, but also to celebrate the accomplishments of the Soviets. The entire subway comprises works of socialist realism, making passengers feel as though they are entering various underground palaces, not merely riding the subway to work. Apart from its immense cultural value, Moscow's subway is a highly efficient transportation system that carries three million passengers daily and spans the entire city in a star-like fashion. Interestingly, the subway can also serve as a nuclear shelter in case of war.
 
Afternoon check-in to our hotel followed by a short rest and dinner.  After dinner we will go on a night tour of Moscow.
 
DAY 2, Monday, June1: Moscow Today we will go on one of the most interesting tours in the world as we explore Moscow's amazing sites. We will visit the famous Red Square and go inside St. Basil’s Cathedral, which was built by Ivan the Terrible in the 15th century.
Our next stop is beside the Kremlin Walls. After an extensive tour of Moscow’s highlights and  spending time in the middle of the world-famous Red Square, we will proceed to the St. Basil's Cathedral (the colorful church that stands along the Red Square) and then on to the Kremlin.
 
A visitor unsteeped in Russia's history would not guess that the beautiful basilicas and edifices comprising the Kremlin were once part of a royal fortress shielding Moscow from centuries of fierce Mongol invasions.  The Kremlin is so beautiful that Stalin himself did not dare to disturb this crowning treasure, which astounds with an eclectic mixture of playful colors and architectural bravado and eerier sternness of structure and function in the form of Lenin's Mausoleum.
 
The Kremlin of Moscow is one of the most recognizable symbols of Russia and, as you will experience yourself, its interior is stupendous. Half of its area is reserved for the government and the other half is open to the public. We will explore the Kremlin with our Moscow guide who will tell you many interesting tales about events that took place inside the walls of the Kremlin since 1147. 
 
After strolling inside the Kremlin walls we will proceed to the highlight of the Kremlin grounds - the Armory Chamber museum exhibiting the most unique and precious artifacts from different times in Russian history. This is where you have a chance to look at the famous Faberge Eggs and Catherine the Great’s Imperial dresses, giving you the feeling of traveling back in time.
 
 
DAY 3, Tuesday, June 2: Moscow
Moscow's most famous collection of art and one of the world's top galleries is the Tretyakov Picture Gallery. It began as the private collection of a wealthy Muscovite merchant, Tretyakov, who lived in the 19th century and donated his collection to the city. The State Tretyakov Gallery possesses a unique collection of Russian art which includes masterpieces which span a period of a thousand years. 
 
In the afternoon, we will visit the Museum of Russian Jewish History, the first Jewish museum in Moscow, which, after a long interval, was reopened on May 18, 2011. On display are rare documents, photographs and pictures dating back to the 18th century. You will learn about traditional Jewish professions and crafts, and about their relationship with the government before and after the Revolution. Several rooms are devoted to the life of the Jewish community in Soviet times. The museum was founded by Sergey Ustinov, vice-president of the Russian Jewish Congress. Unfortunately the museum doesn't have enough of room to accommodate all its exhibits (only 1000 items are on display; more than 3000 exhibits are kept in storage).
 
Day 4, Wednesday, June 3: Moscow to St. Petersburg
After free time in the morning for some shopping, we will depart from Moscow by high-speed Sapsan train and travel to St. Petersburg.
  
Welcome to St. Petersburg, Russia’s most beautiful city! St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia until the Revolution of 1917, but remains Russia's most dynamic and amazing city. With the canals of Venice, the palaces of Paris, and the churches of Rome, you will not be disappointed by its beauty and culture.  Our driver will be waiting for us at the train station and will take us to the Grand Choral Synagogue. Consecrated in 1893 by the gracious patronage of Lily and Edmond Safra, this Moorish-style masterpiece of architecture has recently been restored to its former glory, and now contains a thriving Jewish day school. We will then enjoy a peek into the world of Jewish St. Petersburg
Boat Ride on Rivers and Canals of St Petersburg: To visit St. Petersburg without sailing along its rivers and canals means not having seen "the Venice of the North"! Starting our trip from the very heart of the city - Admiralteyskaya Embankment – we will enter the Neva water area viewing one of the historical city sights, Strelka of Vasilievsky Island, famous for its Rastrelli Columns. We will admire the panorama of the majestic Hermitage and Peter and Paul Fortress, continue along the Moyka River under the widest bridge of St. Petersburg,  the Blue Bridge, enjoy the magnificent sight of St. Isaac's Cathedral, turn to the Fontanka River and the Kryukov Canal, catch a glimpse of the Mariinsky Theater,  and return back to the moorage. Having seen the main historical sights of the Russian Northern Capital you will at the same time have the most romantic trip you could imagine!
 
DAY 5, Thursday, June 4: St. Petersburg
The culmination of the world’s best capitals, St. Petersburg is the crown jewel of travel destinations.  Our guide will take us to the Peter and Paul Fortress and St Isaac's Cathedral. In the afternoon, you will have the chance to explore the city on your own.
 
Peter and Paul Fortress was designed to defend the city from naval attacks, but was used as a political prison for dissidents of the Tsarist regime and as a museum during the Soviet era. The fortress now stands as the tomb for the Russian Imperial family.
 
St Isaac's Cathedral is one of the most impressive cathedrals in Europe. Because of its rich decorations, gigantic golden cupolas, and sprawling observation deck, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in St. Petersburg.
 
During this city tour we will also visit St. Isaac's Square where we will see the Mariinsky Theater, the Hermitage, the Winter Palace, the Palace Square, the Spit of Vasilievskiy Island, the Bronze Horseman Statue, Peter's Log Cabin, Cruiser Aurora, Smolny Palace, the Nevsky Prospect, the Square of Arts
 
DAY 6, Friday, June 5: St. Petersburg
The Hermitage
Today we have our first of two visits to the Hermitage Museum, which is to St. Petersburg what Kremlin is to Moscow. St Petersburg has dozens of beautiful palaces, but the Winter Palace stands above them all. First of all, it has one of the best collections of art in the world. Secondly, this collection is located in the very building where the Russian emperors lived. It is here that they rose to power and it is as if from these walls that they ruled 1/5 of the world's territories. It was also here that the Bolsheviks overthrew their reign. The Bolsheviks were tempted to destroy the palace, the symbol of tsars, but its artistic value was so immense that they transformed it into a museum.  They say that if you were to spend just three minutes by each of the exhibits in the Hermitage, it would take three years to see everything.
 
 
DAY 7, Shabbat, June 6: St. Petersburg
On Shabbat if you wish you can attend services at the lovely Choral Synagogue. After Shabbat lunch, we will go on a walking tour of the area.
 
DAY 8, Sunday, June 7: St. Petersburg
Our second guided excursion to the Hermitage. The collection of the State Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artifacts of world culture. Among them are paintings, graphic works, sculptures and works of applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material.
 
The main architectural ensemble of the Hermitage situated in the center of St Petersburg consists of the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the Russian emperors, the buildings of the Small, Old (Great) and New Hermitages, the Hermitage Theater and the Auxiliary House. The museum complex also includes the Menshikov Palace and the Eastern Wing of the General Staff building, the Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Center and the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory.
 
DAY 9, Monday, June 8: St. Petersburg-Pushkin-Pavlovsk-St. Petersburg
Catherine's Palace was a gift from Peter the Great to his wife Catherine, whom he loved very much, ironically he build the palace on the other side of the city. Catherine's Palace is located in the town of Pushkin (also known as Tsarskoe Selo). We will experience the wonder of the Summer Palace, where gold and marble statutes adorn the beaming sea entrance from the cold stormy waters of the Baltic to this sun-drenched gold-dripped masterpiece. Enter the Amber Room, a beautiful room built of pure amber that disappeared during the German occupation in World War II but is now restored to its original magnificence.
 
The park and palace of Pavlovsk deserve as much attention as Catherine’s Palace. The park is designed as a classic English landscape garden, an idealized landscape filled with picturesque pieces of classical architecture. It features elements of different European parks of the 18th century that Paul I and his wife had seen when traveling incognito through Europe. Like the English landscape garden, it took much of its inspiration from the romanticized landscape paintings of Hubert Robert and twelve of his paintings are now displayed in the gallery of Pavlovsk.
 
DAY 10, Tuesday, June 9: Peterhof
Today we will venture to the outskirts of St. Petersburg via hydrofoil to visit Peterhof Palace, the summer residence of Russia’s royalty. Stroll in the vast Lower Park with 176 glorious fountains of various forms and styles, numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes, including the famous Samson Fountain. Visit magnificent, beige and white Grand Summer Palace, lavishly decorated with the two white pavilions with gilded cupolas. While walking through its lavish parks and elegant rooms, you can easily imagine that you have been transported to Versailles.
 
DAY 11, Wednesday, June 10: The Yusupov Palace / St. Petersburg -Israel
 
The Yusupov Palace located on Moika Embankment is one of the most beautiful examples of classicism style constructions in Saint Petersburg. Decorated with six-column portico, the Palace delights with a harmony of proportions and silhouette elegancy. It is best known as the Palace on the Moika River where Grigory Rasputin was murdered in 1916. Grigory Rasputin was one of the most controversial figures in Russian history. After the demise of the royal family to which he himself had greatly contributed, he was on the run. Prince Felix Yusupov lured Rasputin to the Palace and killed him. Nowadays, the cellar where the dramatic events took place houses the exhibition “Grigory Rasputin: Pages of Life and Death”. The visitors can see the wax figures of Rasputin and plotters as well as other interesting exhibits.
 
DAY 12, Thursday, June 11: St. Petersburg -Israel
In the morning we bid Russia a farewell and transfer to the airport for our return flight home with Aeroflot at 08:10 on the morning of June 11 Thursday, arriving home in Israel at 12:35.
The high-speed Sapsan train Modern and fast, the Sapsan train departs and arrives to the city center and is, perhaps, the most convenient way to travel between Russia's two capitals. Named after the mythical Russian firebird, the Sapsan trains travel at a top speed of 200km/hr. German engineers from Siemens unveiled this traveling marvel in 2009, offering to the world the smoothness of an airport tram with the speed of a commercial jet in the neat package of a stable train. It is fast without being too fast, never being uncomfortable in its pace. It takes 4 hours to travel from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
 
Price: AACI members $4141 per person in a double room
Non- AACI members $4216 per person in a double room
Single supplement $1170   
                                          
Price Includes:
  • Flights on Aeroflot airlines  from Israel
  • 3 night’s deluxe hotel in Moscow- Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya
  • 7 nights deluxe hotel in St. Petersburg- Domina Prestige
  • Meals: Full board, breakfast and dinner daily with provisions for making sandwiches for lunch.   
  • Transportation in air-conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees   
  • Tour leader from Israel
  • Porterage of one bag per person at hotels and train
  • AACI staff escort   
Not included:
  • Visa fee for Russia
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in ‘Price Includes’
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary. Minimum number of participants needed for this tour to operate.
 
Payment:
  • Deposit of $500 per person at time of reservation.
  • Final payment due by March 10, 2015
Cancellation:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until March 10, 2015 : $100 per person
  • Cancellation between March 10 – May 3 : 50% of total package
  • Less then 28 days prior to departure: 100%
 
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
 
AACI’s Kosher Greek Islands Extravaganza Cruise  (7 nights)
June 7-14, 2015
4 Amazing Ports of Call
 
Athens, Volos, Mykonos, & Santorini
Will be sailing on the wonderful “Golden Iris" a hotel at sea, enjoying delicious, freshly prepared, Kosher meals (3+) daily, entertainment offered throughout the day, Jacuzzi, gym, a casino, Duty Free shopping, and more.  You will enjoy the company of a warm and diverse English-speaking group from Israel and around and the world with days at sea where you can relax with new and old friends. Our scenic land tours with rich Jewish history are enjoyable to all.
Land tours include the following:
We
Historical Athens, the capital and largest city of Greece where we will visit the Acropolis museum and Jewish Museum of Greece. Volos, from where we will travel the town of Kalambaka, where we find the stunning Meteora cliffs and their “suspended” monasteries. Captivating Mykonos with her alluring blue sea and hypnotic white buildings. And last but not least, Idyllic Santorini with picturesque villages and beautiful beaches. 
 
Scholar-in-residence, Dr. Ari Greenspan
Dr. Greenspan is a mohel, shochet and sofer, and has worked for more than 30 years collecting unusual Jewish traditions from far-fung Jewish communities. He is a contriubtor to Mishpacha magazine, writes extensively for other journals, and has lectured all around the world. Dr. Greenspan has been producing commercial Judaic art for 25 years and is a US trained dentist, with a practice in Jerusalem. He is co-founder of the Ptil Tekhelet Association and is an expert on exotic kosher animals.
 
Price Includes:
  • 7 Nights, Full board + Midnight Snacks (Kosher Cuisine Freshly Prepared) and more!
  • Lectures and Land Tours in English with a Jewish flavor. 
  • Supervised Kashrut and Religious Services
  • Fully Escorted by AACI Staff.
  • Scholar-in-residence: Dr. Ari Greenspan
  • All Tips; land tours (Bus Drivers, Guides, Staff), Dining Room and Cabin Staff.
  • All Port Charges, Taxes and Security Fees.
  • Round Trip Bus Transport from Central points in Israel to Haifa.
  • Pre-cruise Orientation.
*ALL INCLUSIVE CRUISE PRICE LIST
 
CABIN CATEGORY 
DECK

EURO PRICE PER PERSON IN A DOUBLE CABIN

EURO
SINGLE CABIN

A
INSIDE DECK 2
1268
1682
B
INSIDE DECK 3
1312
1770
C
OUTSIDE DECK 2
1312
1770
D
INSIDE DECK 4
1393
1932
E
OUTSIDE DECK 3
1393
1932
F
INSIDE DECK 5 & 6
1442
2030
G
OUTSIDE DECK 4
1517
2180
H
OUTSIDE DECK 5
1643
2432
I
SUITE DECK 5 , 6 & 7
1705
2556
J
DELUXE SUITE DECK 5
1765
2676

(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 some land tours may include strenuous walking.  Price does not include Insurance 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
 
Pric
*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
 
Jewish Heritage tour of Central Europe/Slovakia (7 days of touring)
August 31 – September 06 2015
 
General cultural touring will be woven into the Jewish touring, bringing the rich culture of this beautiful region to life. In Bratislava, visit the synagogue, as well as museums and other Jewish cultural sites including the grave of the great Chatam Sofer and the holocaust memorial site. Explore the Bratislava Castle perched on a scenic hilltop with views of the Danube and the old city.
 
Sail to Vienna, and visit the Jewish quarter, the Schonbrunn palace and then sail back through the beautiful Danube to Bratislava. Take a break from urban life to travel to the Low Tatra mountains, and visit Banská Štiavnica, a UNESCO world heritage site, known for its mining and view its synagogue and meet with a community leader. Continue to Banska Bystrica to visit the mass grave where famous Israeli parachutists Haviva Reik and Raphael Riess are buried. Relax before Shabbat at the spa town of Piestany and enjoy spa treatments and hot springs.
 
Day 1 Monday Aug 31 - Bratislava
After arrival at 10:35 to Bratislava, we will meet our bus at the airport and immediately begin our explorations. We will tour the Old Center of the city including the Bratislava castle- The castle, on a hill above the old town, dominates the city of Bratislava. It features in the first written reference to the city, and the area was populated as early as the late Stone Age. In the 16th century, King Ferdinand ordered the rebuilding of the castle in the Renaissance style, while in the 17th century, when the castle became the seat of the provincial chief, it was rebuilt in the baroque style. Since independence, the castle has served as a representative venue for the Slovak Parliament and houses collections of the Slovak National Museum.   
 
From there we will continue to the Jewish quarter and visit the small moving Jewish museum housed in The Heydukova Street Synagogue. The museum exhibition is installed in the synagogue's disused women's gallery and includes key items from the Judaica collection of the Bratislava Jewish community as well as other objects – some of them associated with the Holocaust – donated by individual community members.
We will then continue to explore the rest of the city including the main square, promenade and Holocaust Memorial.
Check in to the hotel.  Dinner at the Hotel.
 
Day 2 Tuesday Sept 01 - Vienna
We will start the morning with an hour ride to the stately city of Vienna, the capital of Austria. Once there we will learn about the Jewish life and heritage in Vienna through the years. We will visit the Jewish Museum of Vienna at Palais Eskeles. Besides its extensive collection of Viennese Judaica, the Museum tells the story of Viennese Jewry and its impact on the development of Vienna. You will then walk through the narrow streets to visit the Judenplatz which was the town square of the Jewish Community of Vienna in the Middle Ages.  Jews began settling Vienna in 1150, and medieval Jewish traditions and presence thrived here until the pogrom of 1421, when most of the community were either murdered or imprisoned. Today, the square is dominated by the new Holocaust Memorial; and several Jewish organizations have returned to the surrounding buildings including a branch of the Jewish Museum.
 
We will then continue onto the The Hundertwasserhaus, an expressionist landmark in Austria which is an apartment house  built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and architect Joseph Krawina.
After dinner at a kosher restaurant we will cruise the Danube back to Bratislava and see the river sites at night.
Dinner in a local kosher restaurant in Vienna.  Return by Danube Cruise to Bratislava.
 
 
Day 3 Wednesday Sept 02 - Low Tatras,  Banska Bystrica, Banská Štiavnica
After breakfast we will drive east to the Low Tatras. The Tatras are a mountain range of the Inner Western Carpathians in central Slovakia. There we will visit Banská Štiavnica, an old mining town whose old city is a UNESCO declared historical site. Over the centuries, the old medieval mining center grew into a town with Renaissance palaces, 16th-century churches, elegant squares and castles. As Banská Štiavnica was an important silver mining town, Jews were barred from living here until the ban on Jewish residence in mining towns was lifted in 1859. The Jews of Banská Štiavnica, who belonged to the Neolog movement, were prosperous and managed to integrate well into the town's German-speaking middleclass society. We will visit the synagogue, built in 1893, which has recently been restored. We will also visit the Jewish cemetery, which has recently undergone restoration, and occupies a beautiful location on a hillside above town.
We will then drive to Banska Bystrica where we will visit a mass grave from WWII where Haviva Reik and Raphael Weiss, Israeli parachutists are buried. There we will hear about their stories and their heroism.
After some free time in the center of town, we will drive back to Bratislava for dinner.
Dinner tonight at the hotel
 
Day 4 Thursday Sept 03 - Vienna
In the morning we will take a morning scenic cruise to Vienna for another day of exploring. Today’s tour will include major historical sites that were not seen during our first visit. We will start with a tour of the Old City and see the Hofburg Palace which is the former imperial palace of Vienna. Part of this stately palace forms the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. Built in the 13th century, the palace has housed some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history, including monarchs of the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was the principal imperial winter residence, as Schönbrunn Palace was their summer residence. From there we continue to Maria Theresa Platz, which is flanked by magnicificent buildings. We will see city hall, the Parliament building, and stop by the grandiose Opera House. The highlight of our day will be the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace. This Baroque summer residence of the Hapsburgs, known as the “Versailles of Austria,” greets us with an opulent and impressive interior, including the magnificent ceremonial rooms in the central part of the palace.
Dinner in a local kosher restaurant then we return by bus to Bratislava
 
Day 5 Friday Sept 04 - Piestany
Today will be a relaxing spa day. We will leave after breakfast to the spa town of Piestany. There we will arrive at “Spa Island” located between the two branches of the Vah River. There we will visit thermal springs and relax by their waters. We will also enjoy two short spa treatments at the world famous Piestany Spa Hotel.
 
After our spa morning and afternoon, we will travel back to Bratislava to prepare for Shabbat.
We will then bring in Shabbat together at the Hydukova Street synagogue, the only remaining active synagogue in the city.
Shabbat Dinner at the hotel
 
Day 6 Shabbat Sept 05 - Bratislava
Celebrate Shabbat together at the Hydukova Street Synagogue, then return to the hotel for a festive Shabbat lunch.
Spend the afternoon relaxing and strolling in the neighborhoods of Bratislava.
After Shabbat and dinner, we will have an optional night tour of the city.
 
Day 7 Sunday Sept 06-Bratislava
We will spend Sunday like the locals and stroll along the Danube promenade for our last vista of the city.
Towards mid morning we arrive at the grave of the Chatam Sofer. The Chatam Sofer Memorial in Bratislava is a unique Jewish heritage site, it is the sole remaining part of the centuries-old Jewish cemetery that was destroyed in 1943 when the nearby tunnel was constructed. Only the most important section, with 23 graves surrounding the Chatam Sofer’s tomb, was preserved as an underground compound. In 2000-2002, the whole site was redeveloped and the gravestones were restored. The architect Martin Kvasnica designed a striking new complex that adheres to the strict requirements of halakhah as well as to the highest standards of contemporary architecture.
 
After some free time to shop and stroll-we will have a farewell dinner then make our back to the airport for a late night flight.
 
Price: AACI members
Euro1949 per person in a double room
 Non member’s euro 1999 per person in a dbl. room  
Single room supplement: Euro 405
Minimum travelers required  
Included in the price for this tour:
  • Chartered Flights
  • 6 nights at the 4star Superior Crowne Plaza Hotel
  • Full board
  • All airport transfers in Bratislava
  • Tour the Jewish quarter in Bratislava and Vienna
  • Cruise to and from Bratislava to/from Vienna on the Danube
  • Imperial Palace (Hofburg)
  • Spanish Riding School show
  • Schonbrunn Palace
  • Full day tour of Tatra mountain range
  • Visit to Piesteny including 2 spa treatments
  • Tips for local guides & drivers and Israeli tour leader
  • Israeli Tour Leader
  • AACI escort
Flight Schedule:
  • Aug 31 departure 08:00 from Tel Aviv arrival at 10:35 to Bratislava
  • Sep 06 departure 23:59 from Bratislava arrival at 04:30 to Tel Aviv
Not included in the price:
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not mentioned in above itinerary
Cancellation Policy:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until July 29, 2015- euro75 per person
  • July 30- Aug 10, 2015 – euro 375 per person
  • Aug 11 until day of departure- 100%
  Passports must be valid until at least February 2016
  Please send a photo copy of your passport with application form
 
  Minimum number of participants required. Itinerary is subject to change without notice
  Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals.
 
 
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’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: stunning breathtaking 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
 
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
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
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
 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 Monday, November 9th 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 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.
 
    
5th Annual Childrens & Teens Art Exhibition 2015
 
AACI July 4th/Canada Day
Thurs, July 2nd 2015
 
AACI Travel Program 2015    
 
 
 
 
 
 
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