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Cruises to Jerusalem

Jerusalem (Ashdod) (Photo:John Theodor/Shutterstock)

About Jerusalem

Jerusalem fits a microcosm of the whole world into less than 50 square miles. Black-hatted Jews in long trench coats walk the streets of religious neighborhoods in hot desert weather; Israeli Arabs reverently approach the Dome of the Rock to offer prayers; devout Christians make pilgrimages to the places Jesus once inhabited; and immigrants from America, Ethiopia and the former Soviet republics form their own enclaves throughout the city's seven hills. Remnants of disparate historical eras are piled, one on top of the other, in an archaeologist's dream world -- ancient sites meet Roman ruins alongside reminders of modern Israel's tumultuous past. And, in the midst of these holy and historic areas, Israelis go to work, shop, eat out and hang out like citizens of any other city.

Most cruise travelers come to Jerusalem to see the religious sites of the Old City. Hectic, don't-waste-a-minute tours rush visitors to the Western Wall, Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and then on to Bethlehem or one of Israel's famous museums (the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial or Israel Museum, home to the Dead Sea Scrolls). And, of course, a stop at a market or souvenir shop is a must. Unless you book an overnight tour with a private guide (many ships call in Haifa the day before or after, allowing for overnight stays in Israel) and plan your own itinerary, you will likely feel overwhelmed -- it's simply impossible to see everything at a leisurely pace in one day.

Part of the problem is that Jerusalem is located inland, so cruise ships must call at the Port of Ashdod, more than an hour's drive from the city -- and that's without the inevitable traffic delays.

Despite the hassle, it's well worth the long day to see the holy places of three important religions, including the remains of the Jewish Second Temple, the site of Jesus' crucifixion and the spot where Mohammed ascended to heaven. Repeat visitors can opt for a more leisurely day, enjoying the shops and cafe culture at the Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall, haggling in the souk or shuk or visiting a number of first-rate museums. From Ashdod, alternate destinations include the beachside playground and cultural capital that is Tel Aviv, the dramatic yet melancholy ruins at Masada and the resorts by the Dead Sea.

One final note -- even as cruise travelers eagerly book Eastern Mediterranean cruises to see the Holy Land, many continue to be concerned about safety. Yes, terrorist attacks and other violence occur in Israel but, because of this, security measures are extensive and effective. Armed guards are plentiful, your bags will be searched and you may be diverted from areas where tensions are high. Don't let fear prevent you from enjoying this incredible city, which truly can offer something for everyone. Just get a good night's sleep, put on your most comfortable walking shoes, charge the camera batteries and be prepared to be wowed by a city that has rightly claimed more than its fair share of space in the history books.


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  • 22 Night
    Cruise to Jerusalem

    Leaving:
    Dubai
    Visiting:
    Abu Dhabi, Aqaba ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    22 Night Cruise to Jerusalem (Ashdod) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Dubai
    • Day 2
      Abu Dhabi
    • Day 3
      Abu Dhabi
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 11
      Safaga
    • Day 12
      Safaga
    • Day 13
      Suez Canal
    • Day 14
      Suez Canal
    • Day 15
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 16
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 17
      Limassol
    • Day 18
      Rhodes
    • Day 19
      Kusadasi
    • Day 20
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Naples
    • Day 23
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Dawn - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Tons of dining, bars and activities keep everyone entertained; refurb is modern, not tacky

    Cons

    Less-than-perfect ship has confusing layout and occasional maintenance issues

    Bottom Line

    Enthusiastic crowd has a fun time onboard, despite upcharges and an older ship

    Reviews

    Norwegian Dawn Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Dawn is a ship you love despite its flaws. Built in 2002 as the third ship in the Nor...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Nancy62262
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    First time I couldn't wait to get off the ship! Horrible!
    Read More
    Red E 4 Crusin
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    First Time Norwegian Cruiser - was a bit disappointed !
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Jerusalem

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Crete, Jerusalem ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Jerusalem (Ashdod) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Crete (Heraklion)
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 5
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 6
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 7
      Limassol
    • Day 8
      Alanya
    • Day 9
      Rhodes
    • Day 10
      Kusadasi
    • Day 11
      Tenedos (Bozcaada)
    • Day 12
      Istanbul
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Mykonos
    • Day 15
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Star - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Refurbs have kept original Freestyle ship modern

    Cons

    Constant upcharges may turn some cruisers off

    Bottom Line

    Star provides some of Norwegian's most popular features, on a smaller ship

    Reviews

    Norwegian Star Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Star underwent a refurbishment in summer 2018 during which it received the Sky Hi...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Freyward_Cruiser
    Sail Date Feb 2019
    Bucket List Panama Canal Cruise
    Read More
    wvacations
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    NCL Cost Cutting At All Time High
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Jerusalem

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Kusadasi, Patmos ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Jerusalem (Ashdod) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Kusadasi
    • Day 2
      Patmos
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 5
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 6
      Limassol
    • Day 7
      Santorini
    • Day 8
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Pearl - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Plenty of dining, nightlife and family options to easily accommodate short sailings

    Cons

    Unless you're onboard for a theme charter, evening entertainment might feel a bit dated

    Bottom Line

    Whether you're just taking a long weekend or sailing with superstars, Norwegian Pearl is a cheerful ship to call home

    Reviews

    Norwegian Pearl Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Pearl is a fantastically fun ship from its imaginative decor (blown-up photos of wild...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    hsmcruise
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Nervous cruiser in midst of covid 19
    Read More
    Where2gonext?
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Great ship and great staff
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 10 Night
    Cruise to Jerusalem

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Kusadasi, Istanbul ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    10 Night Cruise to Jerusalem (Ashdod) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Kusadasi
    • Day 3
      Istanbul
    • Day 4
      Istanbul
    • Day 5
      Patmos
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 8
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 9
      Limassol
    • Day 10
      Rhodes
    • Day 11
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Spirit - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Lively ship that's been continually updated and refreshed.

    Cons

    Activities on smaller ship more limited than on line's larger vessels.

    Bottom Line

    Excellent value for the high quality of food, service and itineraries

    Reviews

    Norwegian Spirit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.0
    Dining4.5
    Service5.0
    Value4.5

    The 2,016-passenger Norwegian Spirit debuted in 1998 so you won't find a rock climbing wall, bo...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    SkyeFlyer
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Great Spirit Service Team and Renovation Despite Unfortunate Pandemic Impact
    Read More
    mertziek
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    First Spirit Cruise after drydock - BIG MISTAKE!
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 116 Night
    Cruise to Jerusalem

    Leaving:
    Los Angeles
    Visiting:
    Honolulu, Kauai ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Crystal Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    116 Night Cruise to Jerusalem (Ashdod) Route (Crystal Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Los Angeles
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Honolulu
    • Day 8
      Kauai
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Nuku'alofa
    • Day 18
      Cruising
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 20
      Auckland
    • Day 21
      Auckland
    • Day 22
      Tauranga
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Picton
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 28
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 29
      Eden (Australia)
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Melbourne
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      Adelaide
    • Day 34
      Cruising
    • Day 35
      Cruising
    • Day 36
      Cruising
    • Day 37
      Busselton
    • Day 38
      Perth (Fremantle)
    • Day 39
      Cruising
    • Day 40
      Exmouth
    • Day 41
      Cruising
    • Day 42
      Cruising
    • Day 43
      Bali
    • Day 44
      Bali
    • Day 45
      Cruising
    • Day 46
      Singapore
    • Day 47
      Singapore
    • Day 48
      Cruising
    • Day 49
      Cruising
    • Day 50
      Cruising
    • Day 51
      Colombo
    • Day 52
      Cruising
    • Day 53
      Male
    • Day 54
      Cruising
    • Day 55
      Cruising
    • Day 56
      Mumbai (Bombay)
    • Day 57
      Mumbai (Bombay)
    • Day 58
      Cruising
    • Day 59
      Cruising
    • Day 60
      Salalah
    • Day 61
      Cruising
    • Day 62
      Cruising
    • Day 63
      Cruising
    • Day 64
      Luxor
    • Day 65
      Luxor
    • Day 66
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 67
      Cruising
    • Day 68
      Cruising
    • Day 69
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 70
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 71
      Limassol
    • Day 72
      Rhodes
    • Day 73
      Cruising
    • Day 74
      Istanbul
    • Day 75
      Istanbul
    • Day 76
      Nessebur
    • Day 77
      Odessa
    • Day 78
      Constanta
    • Day 79
      Cruising
    • Day 80
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 81
      Katakolon (Olympia)
    • Day 82
      Taormina (Messina)
    • Day 83
      Sorrento
    • Day 84
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 85
      Florence (Livorno)
    • Day 86
      Monaco (Monte Carlo)
    • Day 87
      Monaco (Monte Carlo)
    • Day 88
      Cruising
    • Day 89
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 90
      Gibraltar
    • Day 91
      Cruising
    • Day 92
      Cruising
    • Day 93
      Ponta Delgada
    • Day 94
      Cruising
    • Day 95
      Cruising
    • Day 96
      Cruising
    • Day 97
      Cruising
    • Day 98
      Hamilton
    • Day 99
      Cruising
    • Day 100
      Cruising
    • Day 101
      Miami
    • Day 102
      Key West
    • Day 103
      Cruising
    • Day 104
      Cruising
    • Day 105
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 106
      Cruising
    • Day 107
      Cruising
    • Day 108
      Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
    • Day 109
      Cruising
    • Day 110
      Acajutla
    • Day 111
      Puerto Madero
    • Day 112
      Huatulco
    • Day 113
      Cruising
    • Day 114
      Puerto Vallarta
    • Day 115
      Cruising
    • Day 116
      Cruising
    • Day 117
      Los Angeles
    Ship Details

    Crystal Serenity - Crystal Cruises

    Pros

    Extensive enrichment and entertainment, inclusive fares, top-notch service.

    Cons

    Can feel clubby with many older, repeat passengers.

    Bottom Line

    You'll be pampered but never bored on luxury's largest ship.

    Reviews

    Crystal Serenity Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    5.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    The 980-passenger Crystal Serenity takes the best of big-ship cruising and the best of luxury t...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    alwaysonaship
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    We Jumped Ship In Cabo!
    Read More
    CruiserFromMaine
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    We had a great cruise on the Serenity
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.