This amazing 2-day adventure fully showcases the mesmerizing sights and extraordinary heritage of Israel. The memories of your time spent immersing yourself in the cultural environment and sounds of this captivating land will no doubt remain with you long after you have left its borders. Explore the heart of the Holy Land by visiting many of the most hallowed religious areas, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the Dead Sea and Nazareth.
This overnight program is conducted in a minibus holding no more than 10 guests and a driver and guide in each vehicle.
Departing the port of Ashdod, you will have a scenic drive to Jerusalem crossing Israel’s low land and up the Judean Mountains. The capital of Israel, Jerusalem is famous for its timeless beauty and was once considered the center of the world. Note: Eat a hearty breakfast on board before departing.
Your visit to Jerusalem will start with a stop at Mount Scopus. From this vantage point high above the city, you will have the opportunity to see the breathtaking view of the entire city spread out in front of you.
Next you will visit the Garden of Gethsemane. According to the gospels, it was here in these olive groves that Jesus and his disciples prayed together on the night before he was arrested. You will also have time to visit the Church of the Agony, also Known as the Church of All Nations, which displays a mosaic depicting the betrayal of Jesus by Judas.
After a short drive you’ll start your voyage back in history. With your guide you will now start your walk through the Old City via the Dung Gate. You will visit the Western Wall which early European visitors nicknamed the "Wailing Wall" as it where Jews gathered to mourn the destruction of their temple by the Romans in 70AD. Revered as the sole remnant of the 2nd Temple, the massive Western Wall is actually part of the Temple Mount foundation erected by Herod the Great. The Wall is the most sacred Jewish shrine in world.
Coming out of the Jewish Quarter and crossing the Muslim Quarter you will follow part of the route of the Via Dolorosa (The Way of Cross). This ancient cobbled road runs between the supposed location of Jesus' trail by Pontius Pilate and the site of his crucifixion. This route will lead you to the Hill of Golgotha and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The church is believed to enshrine the sites of Christ's crucifixion, entombment and resurrection.
The 12th century church is shared by several Christian denominations. Steep steps lead to the second level where a shrine is situated in Calvary or Golgotha. Explore this huge church and experience the unique atmosphere of this place created by pilgrims from all over the world. Note: expect crowds and possible delays here.
Re-join your minibus at the Jaffa Gate and you will be driven to your lunch venue.
After lunch, you’ll head south through the Judean Hills to the city of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, located on the desert rim. Here you will visit the Church of the Nativity with a local guide. Built by the Roman Emperor Constantine in 339AD, this church is a UNESCO world heritage site and is built above a cave where the birth of Jesus is believed to have taken place. It is an important place of pilgrimage in the Christian faith. After your visit you will be given some time to browse through the various craft shops that can be found in this area.
Back on your minibus you will drive back to Jerusalem for a panoramic drive through the city. You will pass by some important landmarks including the Hebrew University, the Israel Museum, the Shrine of the Book, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), the State Supreme High Court and the illuminated Old City walls- definitely an unforgettable site.
Check in to your hotel where the remainder of the evening is at your leisure and dinner is on your own.
After a enjoying an Israeli buffet breakfast at your hotel, check out and proceed across the Judean Desert to one of the wonders off the world, the Dead Sea.
At more than 400m (1280 feet) below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. The mineral laden water is undrinkable and supports no life. You will visit a leading resort on its shore and experience a classic moment for travelers to the Holy Land: a “Floating Experience”. The saltwater keeps even non-swimmers afloat.
Situated on the northern part of the Dead Sea, not far from Jericho, this beach offers the ultimate opportunity, to experience floating in the salty water along with using the famous mineral mud that you can find naturally on the sea floor.
After leaving the Dead Sea, drive along the Jordan Valley to your lunch venue located in a restaurant by the Sea of Galilee.
After lunch, visit Yardenit, the baptismal site on the banks of the Jordan River. Here a short visit will be made to the Baptism site and the many souvenir stalls.
Next, enjoy a scenic drive from the Sea of Galilee up to the Lower Galilee Hills. Pass the Village of Canna, where Jesus is believed to have performed his first miracle, changing water into wine at the wedding. Finally, you will reach Nazareth - the childhood home of Jesus Christ.
Visit the Church of Annunciation and the Church of St. Joseph, before re-joining your minibus for the drive to the port of Haifa where you will re-embark the ship.
Please note: Light-weight clothing, caps and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. When visiting the religious sites conservative attire is required. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. Order of sites visited may vary. Swimming in the Dead Sea is optional. Please bring or wear your swimsuit under your clothing if you wish to swim. Also bring a towel or you can rent one for $4 USD per person (price subject to change). Changing facilities are provided.
Land Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. All program details and the timings indicated below are approximate, given here for general reference purposes and subject to change. Final itineraries with the most up to date details will be provided by the Shore Excursion Team after you have boarded the ship. Please review your final itinerary carefully for any amendments.
6:30am Disembark in Ashdod and meet your guide and driver
7:00am Drive to Jerusalem. The drive is approximately 1.5 hours.
NOTE: A restroom stop is not scheduled until you reach Jerusalem.
8:30am Stop at Mount Scopus for a panoramic view over the Old City
9:00am Drive to the Garden of Gethsemane and visit to the Church or the Agony
10:00am Walking tour of the Old City
1:00pm Drive to the lunch venue
1:30pm Buffet lunch
2:30pm Drive to Bethlehem
3:00pm Visit Bethlehem including the Church of the Nativity and shopping opportunity
5:00pm Return to Jerusalem
5:30pm Panoramic drive of Jerusalem
6:15pm Check in at your hotel
Remainder of the evening at leisure, dinner on own
Overnight at the Prima Kings or similar hotel
7:00am Buffet breakfast at your hotel
8:00am Drive to the Dead Sea
9:00am Optional swim in the Dead Sea – Kalia Beach
11:00am Drive to lunch venue
1:00pm Buffet lunch
2:00pm Drive to Nazareth
3:00pm Visit Nazareth including the Church of Annunciations and St. Joseph Church
5:00pm Drive to Haifa
6:00pm Approximate time of arrival at the port of Haifa to re-board the ship
- The hot season lasts from the end of May to the beginning of October with an average daily high temperature above 79°F.
- The cool season lasts from the beginning of December to the beginning of March with an average daily high temperature at or below 59°F.
- On average, the warmest months are July and August with an average maximum temperature of 28°C (82°F).
- The coldest month is January with an average maximum temperature of 11°C (51°F).
- The months of January, February, March and December have a high chance of precipitation.
What to Bring:
comfortable, non-slip walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, light loose clothing, a towel and swimsuit, umbrella or light jacket in case of rain
The current official currency of Israel is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). Credit cards are widely accepted.
The Israeli power supply is single-phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pinholes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers and adaptor plugs.
Documents and Visa Requirements:
All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they enter the country. Please check Visa regulations with the Israeli Consulate in your country of residence for your nationality.
*We will only substitute a hotel in unforeseen situations. If a hotel is substituted, it will be similar and with equal ratings and standards and guests will be notified in advance. If guests are not notified of any changes before departure, then the hotel listed in this program will be used.
Program Includes for guests:
- One-night stay in Jerusalem at the Prima Kings Hotel – Classic Room (maximum 2 guests per room)
- One breakfast included tea, coffee or juice and two lunches including mineral water and 1 glass of wine per person
- Light grab and go snack on the minibus – Day 1
- All transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees as per program
One room is included in the per person single or double cost of this program and will be assigned for any bookings up to 2 guests regardless of cabin size on the ship. If additional bedding or rooms are required for this program, please contact Norwegian Cruise Line in advance of travel to request and price accordingly. Requests must be received at least 65 days before departure and confirmations will be based on availability at the time of request.
Program Excludes for guests:
- Any meals and drinks not specified above
- Gratuities to driver and guide
- Hotel incidentals including room service, laundry, telephone calls and mini bar
- Any other discounts or promos offered by NCL including but not limited to Latitude and Free at Sea discounts
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies, and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing, hats, sunglasses, and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.
All land programs are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Programs falling under the minimum number of required participants are subject to cancellation. Pricing listed is also subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases for transportation, land arrangements or currency fluctuations. Not combinable with any other discounts or promos including but not limited to Latitude and Free at Sea discounts.
Once purchased, pricing is guaranteed and not subject to change. Mid-cruise overland programs must be purchased no later than 60 days prior to your sail date. Cancellations made within 60 days or less prior to the sail date are subject to 100% cancellation penalty.