• Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Cruises to Haifa (Tel Aviv)

149 Reviews
Haifa (Photo:Phish Photography/Shutterstock)

About Haifa (Tel Aviv)

There's a popular Israeli saying: "Haifa works, Jerusalem prays, and Tel Aviv plays." This is not strictly fair to Haifa, the country's third-largest city. While it's home to Israel's biggest and busiest port and has an undeniably bustling, businesslike air, there's also a real resort feel about the place. The center sprawls over the steep, lush face of Mount Carmel, the waterfront is lined with wide, sandy beaches, and the restaurants are famous throughout Israel.

Unlike Tel Aviv, which is relatively secular, and Jerusalem, which is deeply religious, Haifa is a multicultural community of six faiths living side by side. In addition to Jews, Christians and Muslims, Ahmedi and Druze people live there, and the town is the world center for the Baha'i faith, a belief system that fittingly believes in all the messengers of God and a unifying vision of the nature and purpose of life. Haifa's skyline is peppered with minarets and church spires, and the beautiful Baha'i Gardens -- a great swath of manicured green cascading down the hillside -- is the city's most famous landmark.

What's good about Haifa as a port of call is that it's more of a gateway to the rolling hills of Galilee and its associated biblical sights to the east -- as well as Akko, directly across the sparkling bay, with its magnificent Crusader city -- than a destination in its own right. Other highlights in the region include Mount Hermon and the Golan Heights (where Israel, Syria and Jordan connect). If you're after a relaxing day, head for Haifa's southern beaches.

Although Haifa is compact as a port, it's as hilly as San Francisco, so get those walking shoes ready. Shops and restaurants tend to be in clusters -- malls are big there -- but if you do want to discover street life, you can't beat the restored German Templar Colony at the foot of the Baha'i Gardens. It forms a continuous avenue from the stepped gardens through the restored 19th-century mansions -- now shops, bars and restaurants -- to the sea.

  • More about Haifa (Tel Aviv)

  • Why go to Haifa (Tel Aviv)?

  • Haifa (Tel Aviv) Cruise Port Facilities?

Loading...

We found you 313 cruises

Loading...
Loading...
Norwegian Jade
Norwegian Jade

9 Night
Europe - Greek Isles & Eastern MedDetails

1,979 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Mar 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Norwegian Gem
Norwegian Gem

12 Night
Europe - Med Egypt & Greek IslesDetails

2,526 Reviews
Leaving:Istanbul
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Norwegian Jade
Norwegian Jade

7 Night
Europe - Greek Isles & Eastern MedDetails

1,979 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Rhapsody of the Seas
Rhapsody of the Seas

17 Night
Transatlantic CruiseDetails

1,485 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Apr 29, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Sponsored

Azamara Cruises Best Offer Yet

  • Save 40% and receive a $300 Onboard Credit
  • Access to hard-to-reach ports larger ships can’t
  • Enriching cultural programs and local events
  • Relaxed itineraries with more late nights and overnights

Azamara Club Cruises

14 Night
Holy Land & Ancient KingdomsDetails

211 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 1, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Holy Land & Ancient KingdomsDetails

1,045 Reviews
Leaving:Trieste
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jun 11, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

9 Night
Europe - Greek Isles & Eastern MedDetails

1,979 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

11 Night
Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
May 7, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

12 Night
Holy Land CruiseDetails

75 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite

11 Night
Holy Land & Ancient KingdomsDetails

1,045 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Aug 7, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

10 Night
Europe - Med Egypt & Greek IslesDetails

2,526 Reviews
Leaving:Istanbul
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 1, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

12 Night
Eastern MediterraneanDetails

4,252 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

132 Night
132 Night World CruiseDetails

378 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 6, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

11 Night
Eastern MediterraneanDetails

4,252 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

18 Night
Europe - Med Egypt & Greek IslesDetails

1,979 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Feb 13, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

More about Haifa (Tel Aviv)

Why go to Haifa (Tel Aviv)?

Pros:

Haifa's Baha'i Gardens are a must-see attraction and offer an excellent view of the city

Cons:

Beaches are small and limited, and subsequently tend to feel overcrowded

Bottom Line:

Lush landscapes, stunning views and historic landmarks come together in this Middle Eastern gem

Haifa (Tel Aviv) Cruise Port Facilities?

The cruise and ferry terminal at the port includes a seating area, an expansive duty-free shop, a souvenir shop and a cafe. You can walk from there through the German Templar Colony to the base of the Baha'i Gardens, the Carmelit cable car and the nearest beach.

Good to Know?

Petty crime is rare in Israel, but you should, nonetheless, look after valuables -- especially on the beach. There is an ongoing threat of terrorist attacks, but you'll find people going about their daily lives, apparently undeterred. Depending on the security situation, keep an eye out for public demonstrations (stay away from these), and remain vigilant at all times. If you want to travel to the West Bank (for example, to Bethlehem), you will need a passport to get through the Israeli checkpoints, which can be time-consuming.

Getting Around?

Trains are cheap and efficient if you want to travel independently to Akko (30 minutes) or Tel Aviv (75 minutes). Haifa itself is easy to navigate, either by using the Carmelit or a taxi. On foot, it's a challenge because of the steep hills; pedestrian routes cut through the hairpin bends via stone staircases, but you'll need a map.

Taxis are metered and can be hailed on the streets. They wait outside the port if a ship is in. If you can't find one around town, head to one of the big hotels, where they often gather. Round up the fare when you pay; a large tip is not expected.

If you want to go farther afield independently -- to Jerusalem, for example -- it can be done by train. But beware that you have to change, and there would be a certain amount of stress involved in getting back to the ship in time. Because the main jumping-off point for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is Ashdod, farther south, fewer tours to these cities are offered from Haifa, but they're easy enough to arrange. Cruise lines will tailor-make tours to either city, using a private car and guide; distances are short in Israel, so pretty much anywhere north of Jerusalem is doable.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the New Israeli Shekel or NIS. (See www.xe.com for current exchange rates.) Credit and debit cards are widely accepted. Traveler's checks are an increasingly rare phenomenon, but they can be cashed in all major banks. Banks are normally open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday to Thursday. On Monday and Thursday, they're also open from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Fridays and the eve of Jewish holidays, hours are limited to 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Language?

Hebrew is the official language, along with Arabic (although in Haifa you'll hear less Arabic than in Jerusalem). English is the language of business, and most people speak it extremely well -- young people often with a strong American (versus British) influence. It's polite to learn a few words of Hebrew, if only for greeting people (shalom) and saying thank you (todah).

Where You're Docked?

Haifa port is right in the center of the city, an easy walk from the main sights. The railway station is next door, with direct trains north to Akko or, if you're feeling ambitious and have time, south to Tel Aviv. The cute little subway, the Carmelit, runs straight up the hill (the base station is a couple of blocks from the port) to Carmel Center, the main shopping and restaurant area.


Haifa (Tel Aviv) Cruise Reviews
The city itself was great and we docked right in Haifa so you could just walk off. We had an over-night here. Saw many areas and had booked well in advance with non-ship tour providers. Passengers needed to go througRead More
User Avatar
vivace91
We chose the Caesarea and Jaffa excursion and it was nice.Read More
User Avatar
kirkandmimi
When in Ashdod we also went to Jaffa and Cesare. In Haifa : Mount of Beatitudes, Lake of Tiberiade and Nazareth. Read More
User Avatar
Franpi
Nice to be in the country, and experience a bit of the humble environment Read More
User Avatar
Hairmimi

Related Cruises

Cruises to Newport

Cruises to Newport

250 Reviews
Cruises to Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

Cruises to Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

223 Reviews
Cruises to Riga

Cruises to Riga

85 Reviews
Cruises to Santiago (Valparaiso)

Cruises to Santiago (Valparaiso)

123 Reviews
Cruises to Berlin

Cruises to Berlin

230 Reviews
Cruises to Punta Arenas

Cruises to Punta Arenas

184 Reviews
Cruises to Adelaide

Cruises to Adelaide

99 Reviews
Cruises to Falmouth

Cruises to Falmouth

1,552 Reviews
Cruises to Honfleur

Cruises to Honfleur

58 Reviews
Cruises to Koh Samui

Cruises to Koh Samui

126 Reviews
Cruises to Perth (Fremantle)

Cruises to Perth (Fremantle)

101 Reviews
Cruises to Saint-Malo

Cruises to Saint-Malo

14 Reviews
Cruises to Walvis Bay

Cruises to Walvis Bay

6 Reviews
Cruises to Bimini

Cruises to Bimini

205 Reviews
Cruises to Punta del Este

Cruises to Punta del Este

50 Reviews
Cruises to Salerno

Cruises to Salerno

57 Reviews
Cruises to Townsville

Cruises to Townsville

Cruises to Cinque Terre

Cruises to Cinque Terre

348 Reviews
Cruises to Skagen

Cruises to Skagen

95 Reviews
Cruises to Argostoli (Kefalonia)

Cruises to Argostoli (Kefalonia)

139 Reviews
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.
About UsCruise DestinationsFirst Time CruisersFind A Cruise

Share your feedback

International Sites

© 1995—2023, The Independent Traveler, Inc.

  • Privacy and Cookies Statement

  • Terms of Use

  • Site Map

  • Cookie Consent