The five best Holy land cruises

The five best Holy land cruises

A cruise to the religious sites of the Holy Land is a must-do trip of a lifetime for many

The Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East is the cradle of three of the world’s major religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. This has meant that for centuries the region has been the destination for millions of people on their own personal pilgrimages, wanting the opportunity to see some of the renowned religious sights in the world.

But what type of Holy Land cruise itineraries are available? We’ve rounded up some of our favourite Holy Land sailings below to give you an example of how your clients can best see this fascinating area.

Seabourn

Ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn is offering the chance to see the Holy Land in the most sumptuous style possible. Departing Piraeus (Athens) on November 3, 2021, Seabourn Encore heads east on an exotic 18-day sailing that will take in Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

In Israel, guests will be treated to stops at both Haifa and Ashdod.

Shore excursions from Haifa include the Nazareth Highlights & The Sea of Galilee tour which features a visit to the Church of the Annunciation, constructed on the site where Mary lived, and the Church of St Joseph, built where Joseph’s carpentry workshop is thought to have stood.

From Ashdod, stand-out tours include Leisurely Jerusalem, featuring a stroll through Gethsemane, the garden of olive trees where Jesus is said to have been arrested.

Holy Land & Arabian Gems, prices from £7,299 per person

Tui

Tui’s vessel Marella Discover 2 sails an eight-day itinerary that leaves Limassol (Cyprus) on November 3, 2021, and includes two full days in Ashdod (Israel).

While docked in Ashdod, guests can enjoy trips to holy sites, including Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth and Galilee, where highlights include historic churches, prayer walls and biblical museums.

Popular excursions on this adult-only cruise include an all-day tour of Jerusalem & Bethlehem, featuring key holy sites, including the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Wailing Wall (pictured), and the Church of the Nativity, built on the same site as the stable where Mary gave birth to Jesus.

The all-inclusive cruise also includes stops in Turkey and Crete.

Ancient Affair, prices from £1200 per person

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Celebrity Cruises

Departing from Piraeus (Athens), this seven-night round-trip cruise departs September 11, 2021 and includes two days in Israel with stops in Haifa and Ashdod.

Shore excursions in Israel include a two-day Grand Israel tour of religious and historical sites, which gives guests plenty of time to get beneath the skin of the destination.

While docked in Ashdod, there are half- and full-day tours of Jerusalem and Bethlehem with visits to the Western Wall and Church of the Nativity.

From Haifa, guests can tour Nazareth and Galilee on a range of half and full-day tours. Other ports of call include the sun-splashed Greek Islands of Mykonos and Crete.

Greek Islands & Israel, prices from £1,379 per person  

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

All-inclusive cruise line Regent Seven Seas is offering a 14-night tour of sacred lands and picturesque canals, including three days in the port of Haifa for the city of Jerusalem.

The line’s unique offering means that all shore excursions are included in the price, which for destination-heavy itineraries like this one, is a huge bonus. There are a staggering 35 small and large-group excursions to choose from, catering to all fitness levels. Explore Galilee, the Jordan River, and the Mount of the Beautitudes, or head to Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home.

Departing June 5, 2022, other ports of call include Limassol (Cyprus), Rhodes (Greece), Ephesus and Istanbul (Turkey), Kavala, Mykonos and Santorini (Greece), Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Venice (Italy).

Jerusalem (Haifa) to Venice, prices from £9,309 per person.

Royal Caribbean

This superb-value 12-night cruise features three days in Israel with two days docked in Jerusalem and one day in Haifa.

Departing Rome on October 19, 2022, this round-trip cruise will be showcasing Royal Caribbean’s huge Odyssey of the Seas, where guests can expect to be wowed by a two-level pool deck with four whirlpools, and an activity space with bumper cars and a FlowRider surf simulator.

Other cruise highlights include stops in Santorini and Rhodes (Greece), and Limassol (Cyprus).

Holy Land Cruise, prices from £1,439 per person.

 

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