The Elvis Presley Holy Land Tour of Israel in May explores his love of gospel… (Elvis Presley Enterprises )
Gospel music isn't necessariiy the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Elvis Presley. But he did win three Grammys for spiritual recordings and often used gospel groups as back-up singers in his live shows. Now three gospel singers who performed with him -- Joe Moscheo and Terry Blackwood of the Elvis Imperials and Bill Baize -- will come along as featured guests on the Elvis Presley Holy Land Tour of Israel.
Elvis Presley Enterprises partnered with Israel Theme Tours to offer fans a May 2013 tour that begins with a flight from New York City to Tel Aviv. The trip isn't led by anyone dressing up or singing like Elvis; in fact, it's a classic tour of the area.
Highlights include stops at the ancient port of Caesarea, Mount Carmel, the Golan Heights, Nazareth, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and a cruise on the Sea of Galilee. Participants also have the option of being baptized in the Jordan River for an extra $10 per person, for robe and certificate.
And one of the hottest stops? Dinner at the Elvis inn (yes, there's a statue of him) in the town of Abu Ghosh, a bit of mini-Graceland in the Middle East.
How to book: The trip is limited to 100 people, and tickets go on sale 9 a.m. PDT today (Wednesday). Reservations may be made by phone with a $300 deposit plus 2% fee via credit card, or by filling out an online registration form and mailing a check or money order.
Dates: The tour runs May 12-21, 2013.
Price: $3,995 per person, double occupancy. It includes round-trip airfare between New York City and Tel Aviv, airport transfers, four-star hotel stays, breakfast and dinner daily, tour bus, guide, entrance fees and more. Airfare to and from New York City is extra.
Contact: Elvis Presley Holy Land Tour, (877) 999-8868, Ext. 415
[For the record, 1:10 p.m. March 28: An earlier version of this post included an incorrect date for the tour. The correct date is May 12-21, 2013.]