BEST OF ISRAEL OVERLAND HAIFA TO ASHDOD
This absolutely amazing 2-day adventure fully showcases the mesmerizing sights and heritage of this truly extraordinary country. The memories of your time spent immersing yourself in the cultural environment and sounds of this captivating land will no doubt remain with you long after you have left its borders.
Departing the port of Haifa, you will have a scenic drive into the Judean Hills en route to Jerusalem. The capital of Israel, Jerusalem is famous for its timeless beauty and was once considered the center of the world. Your tour will begin with a stop at the Mount of Olives. From this viewpoint high above the city, you will have the opportunity to see all of the city spread in front of you. The sight is breathtaking.
Next, you will start you walking tour of the Old City. Entering via the Jaffa Gate, your walk will take you past some of the most sacred sites in religious history. Your route will flank the colorful bazaar, and pass by the Christian Quarter, part of the Via Dolorosa and the golden-topped Dome of the Rock, the third-holiest site in Islam. You will then view the famous Western, or Wailing Wall, the holiest site in the Jewish world. A visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is also included. Perched on Golgotha Hill, the church marks the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
Your morning finishes up with a visit to the Davidson Center, offering a rare opportunity to explore and study the most significant archaeological site in the country by means of exhibitions and illustrations describing Jerusalem's main episodes. The center serves as an extension of the Archaeological Park, highlighting its main features. Here, you'll be invited to take a 60-minute excursion through Second-Temple-period Jerusalem. During your visit you'll be able to interactively explore the Herodian Temple Mount reconstruction using a supercomputer.
Leaving the Old City, it is time for lunch in Jerusalem at a local restaurant. After lunch, proceed through the Judean Hills to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, located on the desert rim. Upon arrival, you will visit the renowned Church of the Nativity, built over a grotto that is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
Back on your coach you will drive to your hotel where you will have some leisure time before dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, depart for a sightseeing drive through the streets of Jerusalem. You will pass by some important landmarks, including the Hebrew University, the Israel Museum, the Shrine of the Book, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament), the State Supreme High Court and the illuminated Old City walls- an unforgettable site.
Starting your day with a buffet breakfast at the hotel, depart for a fly by drive through Jerusalem city one more time before arriving at the Israel Museum grounds. Upon arrival, you will see the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. You will also stop by the extremely-detailed scale model of ancient Jerusalem from the time of the Second Temple. The model was made using the same materials that were used during the times of the original construction, including marble, stone, wood, copper and iron. Completed in 1969, the model is continuously updated based on the latest archaeological findings.
It is now time to leave Jerusalem and drive towards Tel- Aviv to view two of Israel's major must-sees. Your adventure begins with a panoramic drive through Tel Aviv. It's a beachside metropolis of modern tower blocks and skyscrapers that's grown out of Old Jaffa. You'll pass the Tel Aviv Art Museum and the Habimah National Theatre as well as the Yitzhak Rabin's memorial which was erected on the site of his assassination. Next take a drive down Rothschild Boulevard - the new city's centrepiece - to admire the Bauhaus buildings that boosted Tel Aviv into the UNESCO heritage hall of fame. Next, you will pass by the Tel Aviv art museum, the Golda Meir Museum, and the Tel Aviv court Premises. You will then have some free time in the Neve Tzedek renovated train station as well as the colourful market nearby. Your guide will wait in the meeting place next to bus.
Lunch will be at an oriental restaurant before you start your tour of Old Jaffa - one of the oldest cities in the world. You'll drive through the pretty harbour where Jaffa oranges were once loaded onto boats to be shipped all over the world and check out the ancient walled quarter. Then, have your camera ready for a photo stop at Jaffa's observation point, overlooking the 'white city' of Tel Aviv.
Before driving back to the ship at Ashdod port, you will have free time to explore a little of Jaffa's art galleries, the Old port place or perhaps sit and relax in one of the cafés you find there.
Please Note: Times are subject to change and your guide will update you as you go. This tour includes extensive walking, and is only recommended for guests in good physical condition. This tour is NOT wheelchair accessible. Please be reminded in religious locations to have shoulders and knees covered. Order of the visits may vary.
Overland Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The timings indicated are only approximate, and are given here for general reference purposes and are subject to change.
Ship arrives or is already in Haifa (depending on your cruise itinerary)
7:00am Drive to Jerusalem. The drive is approximately a 2-2.5 hours. Restrooms
are not available on the tour coaches and no comfort stop is scheduled.
Please utilize the ship's facilities prior to departure.
9:30am Drive to Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the Old City
10:00am Drive to the Old City
10:30am Walking tour of the Old City. There is a considerable amount of walking
during this portion of the tour, at times on uneven ground. While passing
through the Old Town it is imperative to always follow your guide as this
is also a bazaar which is quite busy. There are steps to negotiate at the
Church. No bare shoulders are permitted and knees must be covered. There
are no extra fees for the use of photo or video cameras.
12:30pm Visit the Davidson Center
1:15pm Drive to lunch
1:30pm Lunch at a local restaurant
2:30pm Drive to Bethlehem
3:00pm Visit the Church + 30 minute shopping stop
5:00pm Drive to your hotel in Jerusalem
5:15pm Check in and free time
7:30pm Drive to dinner
9:00pm Panoramic night tour of Jerusalem
10:00pm Back to the hotel
Over night at your hotel in Jerusalem
Early morning breakfast at the hotel and check-out
8:00am Fly by drive through Jerusalem landmarks heading to the Israel Museum
where you will see the Shrine of the Book and the Model of Jerusalem
9:30am Drive to Tel Aviv
10:30am Fly by drive in the White City - a chance to see all landmarks
11:30am Free time in Tel-Aviv
12:30pm Drive to Jaffa for lunch
12:45pm Lunch in Old Jaffa at an Oriental Restaurant
1:45pm A guided tour of Jaffa as well as 40 minutes of free time
3:15pm Drive back to Ashdod
5:00pm Arrive back at the ship
Average temperatures: 19 to 29C (66-84F). It can get quite hot during the day. Please remember to stay hydrated and wear light, loose clothing.
What to Bring: sunscreen, comfortable, non-slip walking shoes and change of clothing including a light jacket in case of rain.
Currency: The current official currency of Israel is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS)
US$ 1 = approx. NIS 3.93
Electricity: The Israeli 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, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers and adaptor plugs.
Luggage: One overnight bag per person
Documents and Visa Requirements: All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they enter the country and check visa regulations with the Israeli Consulate in their country of residence.
One-night stay at a 5* hotel in Jerusalem - David Citadel or similar
We will only source different hotels in unforeseen situations. If similar hotels are required they will be of equal ratings and standards.
One-night stay at a 5* Hotel in Jerusalem.
One breakfast, two lunches and one dinner - includes bottled water and juice.
All transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees as per program.
All meals and drinks not specified above, gratuities to drivers and tour director and other personal items such as hotel incidentals.
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing; hats; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.
BEST OF ISRAEL OVERLAND
Price: $699.00 per guest based on double occupancy.
BEST OF ISRAEL OVERLAND (CONCIERGE) (Concierge-Level Suites and Above Only)
Price: $664.00 per guest based on double occupancy.