Israel, that thin slice of land, 500 kilometers long by 140 kilometers wide, has a fascinating variety of landscapes, climates, and history. Jerusalem is one of the oldest & holiest cities in the world. It is holy for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. For those that don’t enjoy land journeys, it is now easier than ever to discover The Holy Land right off a ship. The sailings generally take place in April/May & September/October. Here is your opportunity to visit Israel on a luxury cruise ship, hassle-free. In addition to cruising, you can add my “Specially Designed Israel Package”, which will make your journey to the Holy Land your most memorable one ever!
Here are just a few sights you will be able to explore:
Jerusalem’s Old City and its walls (A UNESCO Site)
At the wall in Jerusalem
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. It is surrounded by a small western segment of the wall and because it is closest to the Temple Mount it is the place where Jews turn during prayer. Fewer places give the sense of the time of Jesus like the Southern Steps excavations of the Temple Mount. This 200-foot wide flight of stairs represents both the original and restored steps from the Second Temple period. Christianity has its roots in the faith of the ancient Hebrews. By land or sea, a visit to Israel will be meaningful, regardless of your religious affiliation.
The Fortress of Masada (A UNESCO Site)
Masada – The Fortress
Situated on an isolated rock plateau in the southeast of Israel, Masada overlookes the Dead Sea. Masada is a place of gaunt and majestic beauty. The regional climate and its remoteness have helped to preserve the remains of its extraordinary story. Next to Jerusalem, it is the most popular destination for tourists.
Visitors are able to either walk up the snake path or take a cable car to the fortress. Then, you can relax at the Lowest Point on Earth, the Dead Sea, some 450 kilometers below and smother some of that mineral-rich Dead Sea mud on yourself and float on your back in the warm, salty sea.
Yad Vashem (the Holocaust museum)
Yad Vashem is a somber place but is important for Jews and Christians alike to get a deeper understanding of Israel. Located on the Western outskirts of Jerusalem, this is Israel’s memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Extending over 45 acres, this is a large complex of museums, monuments, and exhibition halls with major archives, a library, and other resource centers. Be prepared to be deeply moved.
And So Much More…
Visit Tel Aviv, the white city, and its Bauhaus-style modernist buildings.
Visit the Carmel Market and practice your bargaining skills amongst the amazing colors aromatic smells. Watch the sunset over the Mediterranean, while sipping your favorite drink at a seaside café.
Marvel over Haifa’s Bahai Gardens located in the heart of Haifa (UNESCO site). These magical terraces must be one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Try to imagine a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel.
Visit Safed in the upper Galilee, one of the holy Jewish cities, which provides some bewitching views of the Golan. The archaeological site of Capernaum is where Jesus lived, preached, and gathered the first of his disciples. The beautiful remains of a fourth-century synagogue are the most prominent ruins here, while the modern church on the site is built over the remnants of a Byzantine church and the ruins of the House of St. Peter.
And Now Some Words About The Food!
A visit to Israel wouldn’t be complete without tasting some of its foods. The king of Israeli food, although originally from Egypt, is falafel. Falafel is a delicious mix of chickpeas, and/or fava beans, and spices made into little balls and then put into the pita, and served with freshly cut salads, hummus, tahini sauce, and pickled vegetables to make for a delightful lunch.
If falafel is the king, the prince is definitely hummus. Originally Lebanese, hummus is a dip or spread made of crushed chickpeas and mixed with tahini sauce, lemon, olive oil, salt, and garlic.
Shawarma is another delightful and popular street food. Typically it is served in slices of turkey, chicken, or lamb, which are usually shaved off a huge slab of meat rotating (vertically) on a big spit, and is similar in style to the Turkish doner kebab and eaten in much the same way as falafel.