Religious Tours

Religious Tours

For many, traveling abroad is a spiritual experience visiting magnificent cathedrals, ancient temples and other historic religious sites can have a profound effect on anyone that encounters them. Increasingly, though, Americans are planning international vacations specifically designed to explore their religion and deepen their faith.

In response, escorted travel companies have introduced specific itineraries that focus on the Holy Land, biblical sites, Catholic cathedrals and Italian shrines. Globus, a pioneer in escorted travel since 1928, has emerged a leader in worldwide faith-based travel as well. The company established a religious travel division in 2004. It has steadily increased its religious vacation offerings and now boasts dozens of departure dates throughout the year.

In 2007, Globus unveiled the findings of an extensive study about the U.S. market for international religious vacations. Here are just a few highlights from the Globus Religious Travel Study, conducted by Menlo Consulting Group, Inc.:

  • One-third of all international travelers are likely to take a religious vacation in the future.
  • One in 10 international pleasure travelers have already been abroad on a faith-based vacation.
  • More than 40 percent of all American international pleasure travelers have at least some desire to get in touch with their religious heritage while traveling.
  • Half of all religious travelers are Protestant, and one-quarter are Roman Catholic.More than two-thirds of religious travelers say they are active in their church, temple or synagogue.
  • Israel tops the list (35 percent) of countries that travelers have already visited on a faith-driven trip, followed by Italy (12 percent) and Greece (11 percent).
  • Israel is the most cited (54 percent) desirable destination for religious trips. Italy (41 percent) is also a top contender of desirable destinations, along with England (28 percent).
What to Expect on a Religious Tour

Faith-based tours aren't all religion, all of the time. On a one- to two-week itinerary, you can expect several sightseeing visits to spiritual sites, accompanied by expert commentary from your tour director or local guides. But you'll also enjoy traditional sightseeing, as well, such as a tour of Cairo's Great Pyramids, a scenic Rhine River cruise or a drive around Ireland's Ring of Kerry.

You'll also enjoy plenty of free time for exploration on your own. Stops for shopping at popular markets may be included, and you'll probably enjoy at least one festive dinner with entertainment on your tour. Carefully review the day-by-day itinerary, as well as What's Included, so you'll know exactly what to expect each day of your tour.

Often on tours catering to Catholic denominations, it's not unusual to find a priest among your fellow travelers. Time can be carved out for short daily Masses. Otherwise, your tour director will know what times Masses are held at the various churches and shrines you'll visit.

On tours catering to Jewish travelers, activities are curtailed during the Sabbath from sundown on Friday evening through sundown on Saturday. At mealtime, care is taken to offer at least one dish that does not mix meat and milk; pork and shellfish are generally not served.

Naturally, other travelers on your faith-based trip likely have similar spiritual interests. That can lead to many interesting conversations over group meals, during sightseeing visits and while you're traveling together by motorcoach. Many travelers cite the fellowship and new friends they make on religious trips as one of the highlights of their vacation.

Religious Tours Operators

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Cosmos Tours

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Tour Itinerary Days Operator Quality Style Starts Ends Price
Holy Land Discovery - Faith-based Travel - Catholic Itinerary 201908CosmosEscortedTel AvivJerusalem$1,399
Holy Land Discovery With Jordan - Faith-based Travel 201911CosmosEscortedTel AvivAmman$2,029
Biblical Israel - Faith-based Travel 202008CosmosEscortedTel AvivJerusalem$1,499
Biblical Israel With Jordan - Faith-based Travel - Protestant Itinerary 202011CosmosEscortedTel AvivAmman$2,199
Holy Land Discovery - Faith-based Travel 202008CosmosEscortedTel AvivJerusalem$1,429
Pilgrimage To Lourdes - Faith-based Travel 202006CosmosEscortedLourdesLourdes$1,099
Fátima, Lourdes & Shrines of Spain – Faith-Based Travel 202012CosmosEscortedLisbonBarcelona$1,599
Holy Land Discovery with Jordan - Faith-Based Travel – Catholic Itinerary 202011CosmosEscortedTel AvivAmman$2,099
Holy Land Discovery with Jordan - Faith-Based Travel – Catholic Itinerary 202111CosmosEscortedTel AvivAmman$2,199
Holy Land Discovery - Faith-Based Travel – Catholic Itinerary 202108CosmosEscortedTel AvivBeit Shean$1,459
Pilgrimage to Lourdes - Faith-Based Travel 202106CosmosEscortedLourdesLourdes$1,119
Biblical Israel - Faith-Based Travel – Protestant Itinerary 202108CosmosEscortedTel AvivJerusalem$1,529
Biblical Israel with Jordan - Faith-Based Travel – Protestant Itinerary 202111CosmosEscortedTel AvivAmman$2,299
Fátima, Lourdes & Shrines of Spain – Faith-Based Travel 202112CosmosEscortedLisbonBarcelona$1,649
Shrines of Italy - Faith-Based Travel 202014CosmosEscortedMilanRome$2,349
Shrines of Northern Italy & Rome - Faith-Based Travel 202009CosmosEscortedMilanRome$1,599
Spiritual Highlights of Iberia, Lourdes & Italy - Faith-Based Travel 202020CosmosEscortedLisbonRome$3,029
Spiritual Highlights of Italy – Faith-Based Travel 202009CosmosEscortedRomeRome$1,399
Shrines of Alpine Europe with Oberammergau–Faith–Based Travel 202007CosmosEscortedZurichVienna$1,809

Costsaver Tours

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Tour Itinerary Days Operator Quality Style Starts Ends Price
Jewels of Italy with Oberammergau Summer 202010CostsaverEscortedRomeMunich$2,425
Imperial Highlights with Oberammergau Summer 202011CostsaverEscortedMunichMunich$2,175
European Experience with Oberammergau Summer 202014CostsaverEscortedLondonLondon$3,295

Globus Tours

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Tour Itinerary Days Operator Quality Style Starts Ends Price
Grand Catholic Italy With Oberammergau 202013GlobusEscortedRomeMunich$3,989
German Highlights With Oberammergau 202012GlobusEscortedFrankfurtFrankfurt$4,329
Imperial Splendors With Oberammergau 202012GlobusEscortedMunichMunich$4,039
The Best Of Switzerland With Oberammergau 202012GlobusEscortedZurichMunich$4,939
Journey Through The Holy Land With Jordan - Faith-based Travel 202014GlobusEscortedTel AvivDead Sea$3,652
Journey Through The Holy Land - Faith-based Travel 202009GlobusEscortedTel AvivJerusalem$2,542
Top of Switzerland with Oberammergau 202009GlobusEscortedZurichMunich$4,399
Spectacular Switzerland with Oberammergau 202012GlobusEscortedZurichMunich$5,109
The European Reformation with Oberammergau–Faith–Based Travel 202011GlobusEscortedBerlinMunich$3,919
Catholic Central Europe with Oberammergau–Faith–Based Travel 202009GlobusEscortedMunichFrankfurt$3,159
The Best of Austria & Switzerland with Oberammergau 202014GlobusEscortedViennaMunich$5,279
Grand Catholic Italy – Faith-Based Travel 202010GlobusEscortedRomePadua$2,431
Footsteps of Apostle Paul – Faith-Based Travel 202010GlobusTour & CruiseAthensAthens$2,349
The European Reformation – Faith-Based Travel 202011GlobusEscortedBerlinMunich$2,496
Journey Through the Holy Land - Faith-Based Travel 202109GlobusEscortedTel AvivJerusalem$2,555
Journey Through the Holy Land with Jordan - Faith-Based Travel 202114GlobusEscortedTel AvivDead Sea$3,935

Insight Vacations Tours

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Tour Itinerary Days Operator Quality Style Starts Ends Price
Easy Pace Italy with Oberammergau (Summer 2020)13Insight VacationsEscortedRomeMunich$4,875
Best of Germany with Oberammergau (Summer 2020)10Insight VacationsEscortedBerlinFrankfurt$3,575
Country Roads of Bavaria, Switzerland & Austria with Oberammergau (Summer 2020)11Insight VacationsEscortedMunichZurich$4,595

Mayflower Tours

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Tour Itinerary Days Operator Quality Style Starts Ends Price
Danube Delights River Cruise during Oktoberfest 202011MayflowerRiver CruiseMunichBudapest$4,599

SITA World Tours

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Tour Itinerary Days Operator Quality Style Starts Ends Price
Spiritual Footsteps of Jordan09SITA WorldGuided/HostedAmmanAmman$3,095
Living Waters, A Catholic Journey07SITA WorldGuided/HostedTel AvivTel Aviv$1,995
Holyland (Sunday Departure)08SITA WorldEscortedTel AvivTel Aviv$2,150

Tauck Tours

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Tour Itinerary Days Operator Quality Style Starts Ends Price
Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna & Prague – Honoring the Jewish Heritage14TauckEscortedWarsawPrague$7,490
The Blue Danube featuring Oberammergau - Eastbound 202013TauckRiver CruiseMunichBudapest$8,390

Trafalgar Tours

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Tour Itinerary Days Operator Quality Style Starts Ends Price
Spiritual England Summer 202007TrafalgarEscortedLondonLondon$2,156
Holy Italian Pilgrimage Summer 202011TrafalgarEscortedRomeVenice$2,876
Days of Devotion Summer 202012TrafalgarEscortedBarcelonaLisbon$2,295
Martin Luther Reformation Summer 202010TrafalgarEscortedBerlinFrankfurt$2,138
Pilgrimage to Poland Summer 202008TrafalgarEscortedWarsawKrakow$1,643
Sacred Ireland Summer 202009TrafalgarEscortedShannonDublin$2,138
Steps of St Paul with 3Day Cruise Extension Superior Summer 202010TrafalgarTour & CruiseAthensAthens$3,629
Steps of St Paul Summer 202007TrafalgarEscortedAthensAthens$1,995

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