“Holy Land Cruises” are the most special part of the group of Middle East cruises to Israel and Egypt tours deals. Discover ancient cultures and some of the most impressive and magnificent architectural sites in the world! Visiting important Christian, Islamic and Jewish spots and religious sites are among shore excursions and tours’ highlights. This review article is integrated with Christian Cruises, our hub for Theme Cruises and Suez Canal Cruises.
The Middle East features so many topographical contrasts- from vast deserts to lush valleys – this is one of the perfect destinations to become an adventurer! On some Middle East cruises you will be also transiting the Suez Canal (from Mediterranean to Red Sea, or the reverse).
Middle East / Holy Land Cruises to Israel and Egypt
Part of the “Middle East Cruises” group, Holy Land cruise tours deals may also include visiting Eastern Mediterranean ports in Greece or Turkey. When you have to fly a long distance for your Holy Land or Middle East cruise, better arrive at the departure port one or two days in advance, and you will have time to rest. Get oriented before you board the ship- most lines offer pre-cruise packages with hotel stays, and even guided city tours.
Holy Land voyages are derivative of Eastern Mediterranean itinerary group, but “Holy Land Cruises” always visit Israel and Egypt – calling on ports of Haifa and/or Ashdod in Israel, and Alexandria or Port Said in Egypt. A cruise ship vacation to Holy Land will promise a rich in history voyage and much adventure. The today’s fate of Jerusalem is at the center of Middle East unrest. But in spite of all religious fighting and political maneuvering you will find the Holy Land cruise being an unmatched destination itself. This is a very special itinerary and an unique combination of history, climate, natural beauty, and meaning. After you visit Jerusalem, you will be changed forever. The Holy Land is a history destination, it will both educate and fascinate you.
While sailing on Holy Land cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, guests are able to see some of the most beautiful and historically most special countries in the world! These Mediterranean voyages will not only take you to Holy Land’s territories (Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza). On Holy Land cruises as itinerary you will have the opportunity to see all major Mediterranean countries – Italy and Greece. Many routes also include visiting Cyprus in combination with Turkey and some of the most popular of the Greek Islands. See the Holy City of Jerusalem, the Pyramids of Giza, the Roman Colosseum and Parthenon, all while spending your fun exciting days at sea. The lines’ onboard enrichment programs provide quality learning experiences from highly educated guest lecturers.
Get to know our offers for the “Lands of the Bible”- “Holy Land Cruises”, with various departure points and lines to choose from. Travel aboard Holland America, Celebrity or Princess cruise lines ships, or the smaller but so popular for this destination Oceania- all of them offering an affordable luxury travel deals. MSC and Costa Cruises’ Holy Land voyages are some of the cheapest on the market. Or sail aboard Azamara, Seabourn or Regent for a boutique style, intimate atmosphere.
A Holy Land cruise vacation will reveal the charms of both modern and ancient world. Whilst these are not the traditional cruising call ports, Holy Land itineraries offer the unique chance to experience something different- just read and choose!
Holy Land Cruise Tours Itinerary Information and Highlights
Holy Land Cruise Tours
- Rome, Italy. The eternal Rome has something for everyone’s taste- stunning architecture, ancient history, lots of art galleries and shops. Visit one of the many marvels in this extraordinary city, stroll its beautiful streets, enjoy the delicious Italian food.
- Alexandria, Egypt. Another spot with so much ancient history to discover! The catacombs and Pompey’s Pillar hold secrets of a different era. Visit the impressive fort, join for an excursion/tour to Cairo and see the Pyramids. Or enjoy a relaxing day on the beach! There is plenty of choice.
- Ephesus, Turkey. Ephesus is well-known for the Temple of Artemis, which is one of the seven wonders of the world and popular tourist destination. Add to this the opportunity for snorkeling or lazing on the beach is nearby. For the thrill seekers- try the Kusadasi’s “Adaland” AquaPark.
Additional itinerary information – a list of feature Mediterranean ports on cruises to Holy Land, with local coach transfers to the pertaining city:
- Haifa is the port for Jerusalem, Israel
- Ashdod is the port for Tel Aviv, Israel
- Alexandria and Port Said are cruise ports for Cairo, Egypt
- Piraeus is the port for Athens, Greece
- Ephesus is the port for Kusadasi, Turkey
- Other visited ports for this destination are: in Cyprus (Limassol), in Turkey (Antalya, Alanya or Marmaris), and also the Greek Islands (Patmos, Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos).
- The most popular and convenient Mediterranean cruise ports of departure to Holy Land are Rome (Chitavecchia port transfer), Athens (from the Piraeus port) and Istanbul. Sometimes (although rarely) Holy Land itineraries may start also from Venice, and UK (Southampton roundtrip). The longest itineraries start from Florida ports (Miami or Fort Lauderdale mostly) combining the pilgrimage voyage to Holy Land with a Transatlantic crossing.
Holy Land Cruise Itinerary Maps
|Cruises to Holy Land from Rome, Italy||Cruises to Holy Land from Athens, Greece|
|Cruises to Holy Land from Istanbul, Turkey||Holy Land Cruises from Southampton, UK|
Israel cruise tours to Holy Land
|Holy Land tours itinerary 1||Holy Land tours itinerary 2
Some of the feature things you should do on your Holy Lad cruise ship vacation is to roam the streets of Alexandria with its lovely epoque buildings, visit Kom ash-Shuqqafa Catacombs, enjoy a trip to the pyramids in Cairo. Visit the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and the 12th century Holy Sepulchre Church, which is believed to be Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection site. Float in the Dead Sea for the perfect ending of each of the “feeling special” Middle East cruises to Israel and Egypt.
Holy Land Significance
- The description “Holy Land” as a distinct geographic area which encompasses the Palestinian territories, modern-day Israel, Jordan, and parts of Syria.
- “Holy Land” is the term that in Judaism refers to the Israel Land. Non-Jews and Jews traditionally refer to this area as Palestine- “The Holy Land, or Palestine, with the Ancient Kingdoms of Judah and Israel in which the twelve Tribes have been distinguished.
- The term is used also by Christians and Muslims alike to refer to the area between Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, i.e. it includes modern Palestine and Israel.
- The Holy Land significance stems partially from Jerusalem’s religious significance- the holiest to Judaism city, the site of Jesus’s ministry. Because of the holiness of this land to Christianity, it was a part of the motives for Crusades against the Muslim Suljuq Turks- European Christians wanted to win Holy Land back. After defeating the Arabs, they had taken it over- Muslim Arabs in turn, had taken control from Christian Byzantine Empire.
- Many Holy Land religious sites have been pilgrimage and tour destinations for a long time and adherents of Abrahamic religions- Christians, Jews, Muslims, have often visited them. Pilgrims who visit this sites on group guided tours to Holy Land want to connect personally to Holy Land, touch and see the physical manifestations of faith; to confirm their beliefs with collective excitement.
- Regarded as the holiest cities of Judaism, are the Four Holy Cities in Israel: Hebron, Tzfat, Tiberias, and Jerusalem (considered especially significant as the site of Temple). Jerusalem is Mount Moriah, according to Jewish tradition this is the location of binding of Isaac. In the Hebrew Bible it is mentioned about Jerusalem 669 times.
- Christians consider the Land of Israel holy because they associate it with the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. All Christians regard Jesus as the Savior (Messiah). According to the Bible, the Holy Land territories are the land of the Jews, God’s people. Christian books (including Bible’s editions) often had Holy Land maps, considered to be Samaria, Galilee, Judea.
And this is what the wise Wikipedia guys have to say on the subject of Holy Land and the world’s major religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
Holy Land Cruises 2014 Israel and Egypt tours
The following table includes all major lines cruises to Israel and Egypt leaving from UK (P&O, Thomson), Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, Costa, MSC, AIDA. Very special and definitely not cheap are the Holy Land cruise tours offers by luxury lines ships – in this list are Oceania, Azamara, Regent, SilverSea, and Seabourn.
All Holy Land cruise 2014 deals below are part of the ships’ officially announced sailing programs. It means, you can book cruise deals by visiting the line’s official website. Since cruise lines websites are listed in each ship’s “itinerary-schedule-position” page at ShipCruise.org, simply follow our ship links from the table.
|2014 departures dates||ship / line (internal links to the ship’s schedule and current position)||length/itinerary|
||Holland America – ms Prinsendam||
||Costa Deliziosa||12-day Eastern Mediterranean from Savona or Rome (Italy, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Egypt) to Savona or Rome|
|Sep 20; Oct 01, 12, 23; Nov 03, 14||Costa Pacifica||12-day Turkey, Greece, Israel, Egypt from Savona|
|Dec 13||Costa Voyager||17-day Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Egypt from Trieste to Sharm El Sheikh|
|Apr 15||Silver Whisper||16-day from Muscat, and Oman to Istanbul|
|Oct 27||Silver Wind||10-day Italy & Greece from Rome to Athens|
|Oct 22||Silver Spirit||14-day Mediterranean, Athens to Rome|
|Nov 04||Silver Cloud||12-day Holy Land from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome|
|May 10||Azamara Cruises – Journey||10-day Holy Land, Eastern Mediterranean from Piraeus, Athens|
|Oct 21||Azamara Cruises – Quest||12-day St.Paul Voyage from Rome to Athens|
|Apr 17||AIDAaura||20-day Aida Specials from Cochin to Antalya|
|Apr 18||P and O – Adonia, World Cruise 2014 segments||
|Oct 25||P and O – Aurora||21-day from UK to Cyprus, Malta, Holy Land (departing from Southampton, England)|
|Jan 07, 13, 29; Feb 04, 26; Mar 20||MSC Cruises – Fantasia||11-day Eastern Mediterranean from Civitavecchia/Rome or Genoa|
|Apr 22; May 03, 14, 25; Jun 05, 16, 27; Jul 08, 19, 30; Aug 10, 21; Sep 01, 12, 23; Oct 15, 26; Nov 06||MSC Cruises – Lirica||11-day Italy, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Greece from Genoa or Rome|
||Oceania - Nautica||
||Oceania - Riviera||
|Jun 15||Oceania -Insignia||10-day from Istanbul to Athens/Piraeus, themed “Historic Holy Lands”|
||Regent – Seven Seas Mariner||
||Regent – Seven Seas Voyager||
|Apr 05||Voyages to Antiquity - mv Aegean Odyssey (themed ”The View Of Jerusalem”)||28-day from Piraeus (Athens) to Istanbul (book at the line’s website)|
||Thomson Holidays - Thomson Spirit||
|May 08, 22; Jun 12, 26; Sep 04, 18; Oct 01||Thomson Holidays – Thomson Celebration||8-day from Marmaris, Turkey, themed ”Egypt and the Holy Land”|
|Apr 22||Seabourn Sojourn||World Voyage (from Sydney, LA, Singapore, Mumbai or Hong Kong to Venice)|
|Oct 13, 23||Mein Schiff 2||10-day “Nacht Mittelmeer mit Israel” from Antalya|
|Oct 28||ms Europa 2||9-day from Beirut/Lebanon to Athens/Piraeus|
|Oct 04, 25||Celebrity Silhouette||14-day from Rome (Mediterranean fly cruise to Holy Land)|
|Oct 29||Celebrity Constellation||11-day from Istanbul to Rome (Civitavecchia)|
||Ocean Princess||themed “Holy Land & Mediterranean”
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