Israel and Jorden May, 2023

We are scheduled to go to Israel and Jordan on May 9th. We are getting extremely concerned about the escalation of violence. We called Tauck last week and they said they are "monitoring the situation". Has anyone else reached out to Tauck regarding this tour? Does not seem like things will be stable anytime soon.


  • BernRich- we leave for the Israel/ Jordan tour in two weeks (April 22) and have the same concern as you do for your later trip.
    We too called Tauck and received the same monitoring response. Tonight in the news- the Al Aqsa was featured on an attack and it is one of our stops for day 7!
    Any advice or info from the forum community would be appreciated.
    We are seasoned travelers and have lived all over the world. However this is our first Tauck tour and the lack of any communication initiated from them is surprising. (Even if their message was to wait and see TBD)

  • We have taken many tours with Tauck and returned from this tour on Monday night. Our tour director and the others who lead the tour are all very experienced. The local guides are some of the most excellent guides we have ever had, and in fact are American born but have lived in Jerusalem for decades. They have plans in place to avoid any problems and communicate with each other. The day we went to the Temple Mount was quieter than usual, but there is very strict security and you have to go through metal detectors, so if any weapons are used, it will be from the soldiers and security there who are extremely visible. The tour director and local guides mentioned that when they see the soldiers looking very relaxed, it is a very good sign that things are good. Also, remember it is Ramadan and Easter right now and Tauck avoids those dates for tours.
    Even though the news while we were there showed protests in Israel, we only saw one fairly thin crowd of protesters blocking jte highway on our way out of Tel Aviv. The traffic diverted and we lost about a half hour of the journey. One night in Jerusalem, there was a protest literally just down the road from our hotel and we never even heard a thing.
    While indeed, looking at the TV and the Temple Mount last night, it was exactly where we were just a week ago. Clearly Tauck would avoid going there if there were signs of any trouble. We went early morning and most of these protests occur when people have finished work in the evening or on their holy days, Thursday evening, Friday, Saturday depending on the religion. Right now it is Ramadan and things are always more tense especially when it clashes with Easter and especially the Temple Mount which is so sacred to both Muslim and Christian faiths.
    The Western Wall also has tight security and metal detectors.
    We were split into two groups while in Jerusalem with a guide each. The tour director stood in the wings wherever we were, monitoring both us and other people, he looked like Secret service and I joked with him that it made me feel really important..
    You are in Jerusalem for four days, so it would be very easy to switch plans around. Jerusalem is a very special place and we just loved it there, this immediately became one of our favorite tours.
    The Tauck manager who has just recently taken over overseeing tours for that part of the world was on our tour so she could answer specific questions when guests call in about the tour, you might want to call Tauck and ask to speak to her, she is called Diane and very nice.
    Tauck really cannot give you any firm answers, every world situation changes from day to day, we have been in several parts of the world when TV shows violence, the last place was Hong Kong when everyone at home said don’t go and it was fine and we saw no signs of trouble. . The TD again was very experienced and we had had him on another tour, so we knew we were in good hands.
    You can always cancel. Just remember we live in one of the most violent countries in the world where people shoot each other randomly or have a personal beef and take it out on innocent children. The rest of us have to carry on about our daily lives and don’t in to have hopes and dreams about our futures, our loved ones and our country.
    One of our life long dreams is to travel. We now feel that we have learned so much about the region and the religions. Just yesterday we were doing yard work when our new neighbors came home, Muslims, and of course my husband could not help himself to say Ramadan Kareem and of course they were most impressed!

  • So appreciate your response British. Thank you! It was informative and reassuring. We are in total agreement with your observations re:gun threats at home and media coverage. We will wait to hear if there are any changes to the itinerary as it sounds like the TD is on top of things.
    Again- our thanks for your knowledgeable response.

  • Goat24. I posted a review just a few days ago under the title Israel and Jordan, what we learned.

  • edited April 7

  • It looks like they need to break out weedwackers, bushhogs and Roundup at Jerash! :D

  • Great pictures British !

  • Great trip summary and pictures. I love the Stars and Bucks Photo. LOL. What do you use to secure your Smart Phone around your neck?

  • Travel Maven - There were a few Starbucks knock off places.

  • Great Photos British- and yes I printed off your trip review from the other thread. Thank you!

  • Great photos and very informative update. I have the same Stars and Bucks photos from Bethlehem!

  • We are on the April 23rd trip, arriving a day early April 22. The news just flashed that one killed, five tourists rammed/injured at the beachfront area in Tel Aviv where our hotel is apparently. Tauck has no response yet? If this continues I am sure the group I am traveling with will want to cancel. I hope Tauck contacts the April 23 group ASAp with their thoughts. They are not easy to contact and get a response. Surprising since we are long time Tauck travelers and have loved every trip and Tauck in general. If the itinerary changes from the sites that are so important to experience, then what?

  • REBlauer-
    We are also on the April 23rd trip and share the same concerns. These particular sites are why all are taking this trip. Let’s continue to monitor the situation. We have registered with the US embassy’s STEP program for Israel and as of now there is no escalated advisory.

  • Goat24. We’ve done the same re STEP and have Israeli friends advising us. One said go- it’s more dangerous in the USA. The other said cancel until it perhaps calms down after the next Netanyahu vote sometime this summer. Somehow I doubt that vote will calm anything down. One friend going with me is ready to cancel. We’re not ready to cancel yet but hoping that Tauck st least updates us by end of next week. I’d hate to postpone yet again for the 4th time but I’d hate to be there and not fully experience the totality of the itinerary. Hoping that it all works out and we have a great experience.

  • I feel for you all. It was our third try for the trip. I still think it’s too early for Tauck to decide for a April 23rd tour. If they do cancel, at least you will have no trouble being reimbursement and Tauc k will generously let you use the insulation for another trip.
    I thought people would have canceled from our tour, but we had a full tour apart from a couple who contracted Covid the day before, their friends still traveled. I was hoping we might get a small group for the price of classic trip but I was wrong.

  • edited April 7

    I thought I read someone wanted to know about my phone lanyard. I got my first one for my iPhone 7 but when I changed my phone to the larger size iPhone 14 with more cameras lenses, it would not fit. I searched for a larger one of the same brand but was unsuccessful and had to get a different type. It is quite a tight fit but my husband had the smaller iPhone 14 and his fits well. I ended up putting the neck band of the old one on the new one because that came with a lanyard like one of the Tauck whispers and it was not as comfortable. Anyway, Amazon, very cheap. Whatever you choose, be sure the check it is the correct style for the number of lenses on your phone.

  • British, thanks. I was the one asking about the Lanyard. I guess Amazon has everything. I think it's a good idea when out and about. I have a tendency to drop things, so this would supply a bit of extra security.

  • I got one of the lanyards on Amazon for our Kenya & Tanzania trip and loved having it as you didn't have to keep searching for your phone in pockets or bags. Good purchase for cheap dollars.

  • We are booked on the April 30 tour and this latest attack using a vehicle that killed one and injured several tourists in Tel Aviv today is very worrisome. The attack took place not too far from the hotel we will be staying at. The expectation is that the tension at the Temple Mount will recede after the Holy days are over and hopefully the rocket attacks will cease too. However, “terror by vehicle” could take place anywhere. That is scary !
    Fingers crossed that this violence stops.

  • I do appreciate everyone’s comments. Agree that once Easter weekend is over, things may calm down. Would really appreciate Tauck just acknowledging the current issues and concerns by then, even if it is not a definitive answer, it would be comforting.

  • We have been in this situation with several tours and now realize that it is not practical for Tauck to keep issuing ‘warnings’ because they go everywhere and there are all kinds of potentially dangerous situations going on around the world. Say they canceled your tour now and then next week everything calmed down, you would be really disappointed. They know exactly what is going on because they have a whole network of staff dedicated to overseeing world situations. Having just come back from this tour, I can tell you we never felt unsafe even though the news would have people think otherwise. This past winter, we had people worried about all the snow the news showed our area was getting and yet we have’s had any snow! I have some British relatives afraid to visit because they are afraid of getting shot.

  • British, Thank you for all your informative posts. We are from Phila. area and are taking a non-stop from Newark for Tour starting 4/30 (provided not cancelled) You had mentioned in another post (post trip) that you walked upwards of 8 miles per day 😳 This is a little concerning as tour has listed as “ 3 — Active components such as hiking, bicycling and walking longer distances may be included, and hills and/or uneven terrain may be encountered on several days. Guests should be able to walk two to three miles and stand for long periods of time with no difficulty.” I find that doable but 8 miles is a stretch. Kudos to you & Mr. British for all those steps and miles 🤩

  • You will definitely be doing more than three miles a day especially in Jerusalem. I thought I said 6 miles a day. Tauck mentions bicycles, there are no bicycles. Their descriptions are so generic. We looked at our steps on our phone about three days, they were 14, 15 and 17000 steps and the our Tour Director mentioned one day is definitely 6 miles. Jerusalem has the most steps and as you walk through the Souk/market, there is a long stretch of those wide ascending steps. There is just no way around this, you have to walk them to get to the heart of the city, see the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall etc as just an example. Several people said it should be a 4. The only tour I have been on that I would class a 4 is the trek to the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda which I found rough because it was at 8 to 10,000 feet and pretty fast paced. We do not find the walking difficult on the Israel tour, but then we walk four or five miles most days at home. Another thing in our favor was that the weather was cool and I always find it so much easier to walk when you don’t have to deal with the heat. If you are concerned you have a couple of weeks to practice walking, what about the five mile trail at Valley Forge?

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