General Information and Terms and Conditions
- Serving International Travelers for Over 85 Years
- Hotel Reservations & Packages throughout the Holy Land & Middle East
- Excursions & Local Sightseeing for Catholic and Protestant Pilgrims & Individuals
- Incentive and Convention Arrangements
- Guides Services in All Major Languages
- Buses & Limousines With Licensed Drivers
We only offer land arrangements within the Holy Land. Assistance with airline tickets is solely on request.
General Information for Agents & Travel Organizers
The information below aims to familiarize you with the tourism industry in the Holy Land, Jordan and Egypt, on which our operations and quotes are based, so that you can better assist your clients preparing to visit the area. If you need additional information or clarification, please contact us.
Note: Although we do our best to keep the information up to date, changes can sometimes be made without notice and we therefore cannot be responsible for any mistakes or changes to the information below.
Hotel Accommodations: Most hotels provide twin beds in twin and double rooms. For double rooms, the two beds are usually pushed together. Triple rooms generally consist of a fold-up bed added to the room, which limits space in the room; clients should be aware of this. Availability in quadruple rooms is very limited. Single rooms are generally smaller than twin-bedded rooms, and are subject to availability as well as a supplement.
Check-in at the hotels is usually at 2 p.m. Early check-in is only upon availability and is not guaranteed. Most Jewish hotels only allow check-in after Shabbat is over, that is, after sunset or at 7 p.m. on Saturdays, and during Jewish Holidays as well. Check-out is usually between 9 a.m. and noon.
Wi-Fi: Most major hotels have free Wi-Fi access in the lobby or in the rooms.
Air Conditioning & Heating: Most hotels have only one set of pipes for heating and air conditioning, which means that they cannot provide heating and air conditioning at the same time. Hotels do a switchover from air conditioning to heat in the fall and from heat to air conditioning in the spring, a major operation that takes 2-3 days to complete. Groups often find there is a problem of lack of air conditioning or heat around the time of the switchover, so we recommend they be informed of this situation. Only a few 5-star and deluxe hotels have a dual piping system and can provide both air conditioning and heat simultaneously.
Electricity: The power supply is single phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pin holes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, travel irons and other small appliances may need both transformers and adaptor plugs.
Valuables & Personal Items: Most hotels offer safety deposit box facilities for safekeeping valuables. Valuables and personal items are the guests’ responsibility at all times.
Tips to Waiters, Bellboys & Chambermaids: While all tips are included for hotel services on our tours, we recommend extra tipping at your discretion.
Please note that telephone calls, mini bar items, and extras from hotels are generally expensive.
We are proud of the long-term relationship we enjoy with the numerous hotels and religious institutions with which we regularly do business.
Please note that a quotation is not a confirmation. Once we get the go-ahead from you we start the hotel booking process. The high season for travelling to this region is from March to May, as well as October and November, and demand for hotel accommodations during these periods can sometimes exceed hotel availability. It is possible that the hotels requested or specified may not be available, so we recommend that you plan your tour several months in advance. Please do not assume any confirmation of hotels until we specifically advise you. You should also check with us from time to time for the progress of your booking.
Our tour prices are based on costs, charges, rates, tariffs, levies and exchange rates, all of which are subject to change. No surcharges regarding cost or currency fluctuations will be made to the tour price once a deposit is received. During high season some hotels may ask us to pay them a non-refundable deposit 30 days to two months in advance, which will be applied to you.
The following are not included: Visa fees, personal travel insurance, laundry, beverages and items not on the regular menu of the meals included, optional sightseeing tours, and all expenses of a purely personal nature.
Payment Terms & Conditions
A deposit of 50% is required one month before arrival, with the balance due two weeks prior to the arrival of the group. Payments must be made by wire or bank draft. Credit cards are not accepted. If full payment is not received 30 days prior to arrival, GGC has the right to cancel the reservation. GGC will not be responsible for lost reservations. If a guest cancels and there is a room charge for the cancellation (such as a double or twin room to a single room, or triple to double or twin), charges for the upgrade or change will the responsibility of the remaining party.
Our prices are per person and based on two persons sharing a twin-bedded room with private bath or shower. Single rooms are generally smaller than twin-bedded rooms, and are subject to availability as well as a supplement. They should be requested at the time of booking.
Unlike other travel agents, GGC always accommodates clients in centrally located hotels to maximize sightseeing time. We also strive to consistently deliver the best available hotels in every city on your itinerary. We pre-register hotel rooms, so rooms are always ready at check-in.
Breakfast is always served “buffet style”. Guests help themselves to the wide variety of foods available, with plentiful tea or coffee. The tour guide usually joins the group at breakfast and informs them of what time the bus will leave the hotel. Punctuality is essential at all times. The daily tour is tightly scheduled and delays could mean missing something special and important.
Lunch is most of the time at guests’ own discretion, unless requested otherwise. We recommend not eating from market stalls – except fruit, which can be peeled. The tour guide will recommend suitable eating places.
Dinner is served at the hotel in the evening after the opportunity to shower, change clothes, or a short rest, except for special dinners. Tea and coffee is not usually served with meals. There is a bar in the hotels for all kinds of refreshments – including tea and coffee.
End of Day: At the end of each day, a meeting room is available for the group to take time to review, reflect on the day’s activity, pray and prepare for the next day’s itinerary.
Sightseeing tours and entrance fees to places visited are included per the itinerary selected. Tours are under the direction of licensed local guides as indicated. During holidays, some churches, museums, and archaeological sites may be closed or unavailable for visits. GGC reserves the right to vary the sequence of sightseeing and/or to re-route or substitute the sightseeing. In either case, the itinerary content will be maintained.
We own modern air-conditioned Mercedes buses and are fully licensed by the Ministry of Transportation. In the Holy Land, we base our prices for a small group of 10 to 15 people on a small 19-seater coach and a 50-53 seater coach for a group of 16 or more people. Our price is per bus load. You will need two buses if the group size is over 52, split in two buses with 26 people in each bus.
We offer free Wi-Fi Internet service on our buses. We also include “Whispers” to our guests for their convenience.
Cancellation Policy for Groups and FIT’s
The following charges will apply when notice of cancellation is given after a booking is confirmed. Additional cancellation charges may apply depending upon the cancellation terms of the hotels during high season.
- Up to 31 days prior to arrival: No penalty, deposit refundable
- 15 to 30 days prior to arrival: 50% of the tour cost
- 7 to 14 days prior to arrival: 75% of the tour cost
- 7 days and less/no show: 100% not refundable
Luggage: Due to limited capacity on our buses, we cannot guarantee that more than one suitcase will be allowed on board. Carry-on luggage is restricted to one piece per person. Please note that carry-ons with wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment or under a coach seat. GGC is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen baggage.
Minors & Travelers with Special Needs or Disabilities: Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult who will be responsible for their safety and supervision while they’re travelling to the Holy Land.
GGC does not guarantee the ability of any accommodation, activity provider or facilities included in its programs to meet the needs of disabled clients or those with special needs. Tour members must advise GGC in advance of any physical, medical or special needs and verify that special needs can be met. Depending on the terms and conditions and our travel provider, and their ability to accommodate those needs, a client’s reservation may be refunded, canceled or modified if those special needs cannot be met.
Tips to the Guide and Driver
We recommend the following tipping guidelines for groups and individual tourists:
- For a small group of 5-9 passengers: $12.00 per person per day for the guide and $8.00 per person per day for the driver
- For a group of 10-19 passengers: $10.00 p.p. /day for the guide and $8.00 p.p. / day for the driver
- For a group of 20 passengers or more: $5.00 p.p. /day for the guide and $3.00 p.p. /day for the driver
Individual Tourists (FIT’s)
- For a party of 3-5 passengers: $20.00 p.p. /day for the guide and $15.00 p.p. /day for the driver
- For a party of 5-7 passengers: $15.00 p.p. /day for the guide and $13.00 p.p. /day for the driver
Country Entry & Exit Requirements: Israel
Passport & Visa
All travellers entering Israel need a passport valid for 6 months after their trip return date and may require visas. It is imperative for GGC to receive a complete passport manifest at least one month in advance.
U.S., Canadian and European passport holders do not need visas when visiting Israel. Travellers from Malaysia, Indonesia and other Islamic countries, however, require tourist visas for groups of 10 people or more. Visas are issued by the Ministry of Interior and will take at least 15 working days to process. The visa fee is paid to the Ministry of Interior and is non-refundable if refused. GGC is not responsible for any visa application rejected by the Israeli Ministry of Interior.
On arrival in Israel, visitors undergo a security check and are asked to present their valid passport before continuing to the baggage area and customs control.
Important note for tourists continuing from Israel to Arab countries: It is recommended that you ask that an Israeli stamp not appear on your passport. You must notify the clerk of your request before your passport is stamped. Since 2008, visitors to Israel no longer need an entry stamp. If you do want an Israeli stamp on your passport, you must fill out form 17L, and that form will be stamped by passport control upon entry/exit. The form will not be collected when you exit the airport as it is necessary for the collection of tax refunds and proof of legal entry.
Departure from Israel: Airport Check-in
Check in begins three hours before departure at the airline ticket counter. Under no circumstance should check-in be later than one hour prior to departure. Late check-in will result in passengers not being allowed to travel.
Israel Departure Taxes
Taxes are in Israeli Shekel “NIS” and subject to exchange rate fluctuations:
- Allenby Bridge: Approx. $50.00 (about NIS 175 per person)
- Sheik Hussein, Taba or Arava borders: Approx. $30.00 (about NIS 107.00 per person)
Country Entry & Exit Requirements: Jordan & Egypt
Passport & Visa – Jordan
A valid passport with 6 months’ remaining validity and a visa are required for visitors. Please check with the Jordanian government for information; visas are typically valid for 30 days.
Jordan’s exit tax at land borders is currently JD8 .00 per visitor (approx. US $12.00). The exit tax is payable for a stay of 2 nights or more in Jordan.
Passport & Visa – Egypt
A valid passport with 6 months’ remaining validity and a visa are required for visitors. Citizens of Australia, Canada, the EU, UK and U.S. have the option of obtaining their tourist visa when arriving at the airport in Cairo. Visas are usually valid for three months and their cost varies according to nationality.
General Travel Information
Currency: The currency is the New Israel Shekel (NIS) or shekel(s) for short. There are 100 agorot in each shekel. Bank notes are in denominations of NIS 20, 50, 100, and 200; coins are in denominations of NIS10, NIS5, NIS2 NIS1 and 50 and 10 agorot.
Changing Money: Unlimited sums of local and foreign money may be brought into Israel as cash, travelers’ checks, credit cards or State of Israel bonds. Foreign currency of all kinds can be exchanged at the airport, banks, post offices, most hotels or licensed exchange agencies in large cities. A passport is required when exchanging travelers’ checks. The rates vary from place to place and banks charge a commission. It is recommended to carry a small amount of U.S. dollars, since many shops take payment in dollars.
Cash Withdrawal: Holders of international credit cards can withdraw local or foreign currency at banks which accept their credit cards. There are ATM machines outside most banks.
Shopping: Shopping can be great fun in the Holy Land and can be done either the Oriental way by bargaining the price, or the cosmopolitan way by paying a fixed price. Before purchasing anything, however, travellers should know what they are looking for, have a general idea of the price, and how much they want to pay for something. If unsure, tourists should just walk away. It is also prudent to never enter a market store alone. Businesses close on one of the last three days of the week, depending on the owner’s religion: Friday for Moslems, Saturday for Jews, and Sunday for Christians.
VAT Refund: Some stores offer this service. GGC does not assume responsibility for any problem concerning VAT refunds.
Water: Tap water in the area is generally safe to drink. However, since all water contains bacteria that vary from country to country, travellers sometimes get upset stomachs from bacteria that they are not used to. We therefore recommend drinking from bottled water.
Weather: Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April-October) and generally mild winters (November-March), with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and the center of the country, with much less rain in the Negev Desert.
Regional conditions vary considerably, with humid summers and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately cold winters in the hilly regions; hot dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round semi-desert conditions in the Negev. Weather extremes can range from occasional winter snowfall in the mountain regions to periodic oppressively hot dry winds that send temperatures soaring, particularly in spring and autumn.
For weather conditions in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tiberias, the Dead Sea, Amman, Petra and Cairo, visit www.weather.com or www.accuweather.com
Health & Safety for Travellers
Health: Travellers to the Holy Land should not be worried about local health facilities and treatment if they become ill. Israel has internationally recognized medical facilities across the country and some of the best hospitals in the world. Please note that every hotel also has a house doctor on call, if necessary.
Medications: Travellers should make sure they take any special medications they need with them. However, it is possible to purchase over-the-counter medications and first aid equipment from chemists in Jerusalem, Tiberias and Amman.
Travel Risks: Although most travel to international destinations is completed without incident, travel to certain areas may involve greater risk than others. Tourists should consult their government’s website for travel warnings for the country or countries they plan to visit.
Visitors to the Holy Land assume sole responsibility for their own safety at any destination to which they travel. GGC does not guarantee personal safety at any time, and assumes no responsibility for gathering and/or disseminating information relating to risks associated with visitors’ destinations.
Travel insurance is recommended and can be purchased through travel agents or insurance companies. GGC will in no way be liable to any person or entity whatsoever for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, compensatory, consequential, or punitive damages related to insurance coverage purchased.
Responsibility Clause: The passenger contract issued by the transportation company shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation company and the passenger. Additional expenses incurred as a result of a delay, change of schedules, illness, weather, strikes, hostilities, quarantine, government requisition of hotel space or any other reason beyond the control of GGC or travel agent shall be borne by the passenger. GGC reserves the right to substitute hotels of similar category if necessary and to alter itineraries. The deposit certifies that the above terms and conditions are agreed to.
Limitation of liability: The airlines, hotels, and other suppliers (jointly: “travel suppliers”) providing travel or other services sold by GGC are independent contractors and not agents or employees of GGC. GGC and/or their cooperating selling agents and/or their travel suppliers offer these tours for sale only on the express understanding that they themselves do not perform or in any way assume liability for the performance of the individual components, transfers, hotels, flights, car, buses, etc. of these tours and act only to combine these components into a single unit of sale for the convenience of the general public. To the extent permitted by law, GGC does not assume liability for any injury, damage, death, loss, accident or delay due to an act or omission of a travel supplier, including, without limitation, an act of negligence or the default of a travel supplier. To the extent permitted by law, no responsibilities are accepted for any damage and/or delay due to force majeure, sickness, pilferage, labor disputes, bankruptcy, machinery breakdown, and other similar events.