Ashdod is the main cruise port serving Jerusalem and attracts a melting pot of cultural and religious entities. Filled with ancient ruins, holy sites, historic areas, museums, and more, Ashdod is a wonderful place to visit during a cruise. Whether you’re into learning about religion and culture, history, or nature, this port city is nothing short of your dream come true! Plus, there are enough parks and beaches between Ashdod and Jerusalem to provide you with the typical “vacationing experience” as you take everything in! Plus, you’ll discover a wonderful selection of cuisine that reflects Israel’s very diverse atmosphere. Salads, falafel, hummus, and shawarma are just some examples of the delicious local cuisine you can try. Since Ashdod is located about an hour away from Jerusalem, it is advisable to book excursions via your cruise line, or plan to take a taxi into the city.
Many cruise lines offer cruises that include Ashdod in their itineraries; however, Celestyal Cruises is the only cruise line that currently features cruises from Ashdod. Being an all-inclusive cruise line, Celestyal is perfect if you’re looking for a Mediterranean cruise filled with value. Their onboard atmosphere focuses heavily on Greek customs, making it a very cultural cruising experience as well! Their ocean liner Celestyal Crystal will bring you from Ashdod to the Eastern Mediterranean, calling upon ports such as Limassol, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Athens, Alexandria, and Port Said. A great time to visit Ashdod is anytime, as the weather tends to stay pleasant year-round!
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Ashdod. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Ashdod. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Ashdod:
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Ashdod, along with a brief description:
♦ Jerusalem’s Old City
Religious sites are the main attraction of any stop in Jerusalem, as it is also often called “The Holy Land.” If you’re looking to experience the best religious sites, then Jerusalem’s Old Town is not one you want to miss. Since the Old Town is very large, it is generally divided into the Jewish Quarter, Christian Quarter, Arab Quarter and Armenian Quarter. Among the many holy sites, you can experience the Western Wall, Dome of the Rock (accessible to Muslim tourists only), Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and more. The Jewish Quarter is so spectacular that it’s worth its own exploration. Throughout the Old City, you can find souvenir shops and restaurants. Guided tours are available (highly recommend) and if you choose to explore on your own, maps are available.
Ashdod is filled with many interesting museums! If you’re looking to broaden your perspective of the world before heading to Jerusalem, museums are a great place to begin. The Museum of Philistine Culture is one of Ashdod’s most popular museums, featuring interactive cultural exhibits (for example, you can try on clothes such as the ones worn by old-world Philistines, or try their local cuisine). Art lovers cannot miss the Ashdod Museum of Art, which houses 12 galleries of spectacular international works of art. If you want to stop by some museums in Jerusalem, among the best ones are The Israel Museum (containing the Dead Sea Scrolls), Yad Vashem, Bible Lands Museum, and the Museum for Islamic Art.
♦ The Dead Sea
While spending time in Jerusalem, you’ll have the opportunity to tour (and even swim in) the Dead Sea! There is a great number of guided Dead Sea tours that leave from Jerusalem every day. Some tours also combine other attractions, making for great full-day experiences. Of course, you can also visit yourself and spend time on its many public beaches. The Dead Sea is famous for its numerous healing properties and the fact that you can naturally float in the water! Plus, there are many other attractions located within close proximity, such as the ancient fortress Masada (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and Ein Gedi National Park.
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