Haifa

Although Haifa is only the third largest city in Israel, it is certainly the prettiest with exceptional scenery throughout.  You’ll find Haifa nestled beautifully between the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Carmel for extraordinary views from the moment you arrive.  This superb port of call offers so much to see and do it will be difficult to decide where to head to first so be sure to have a plan of action before you arrive.  Options for sightseeing from here include the Holy Land, the Sea of Galilee and the stunning mountain fortress of Masada. 

You may wish to stay within Haifa itself and if this is the case then you are also in for a treat.  The spectacular sightseeing opportunities often commence with a trip to the top of the mountain for outstanding views.  Get here by cable car and capture the most incredible photographs on your way up.  Alternatively you can visit the Carmel Nature Reserve renowned for its immersive beauty and enchanting year round greenery.  There’s even the Louis Promenade and the Gan ha’Em where the captivating scenery continues. 

Cultural explorers will love the range of magnificent museums dotted around the city especially the excellent National Maritime Museum here.  Art lovers will also relish a visit to the Haifa Museum of Art. 

Excursions with all cruise operators here are usually excellent and one of the most popular is always the chance to take in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  As one of the most sacred sites, the Holy Land is an incredibly exciting place to visit especially when combined with the Church of the Nativity and the Western Wall.  To get here you will enjoy a scenic drive through the old city before arriving.  The Church of Nativity is often the first stop on route and you will have the chance to explore this special attraction.  Inside you will discover mesmerising mosaic symbols that point out the countries that contributed to the construction of the Church and you will also witness the site at which Judas betrayed Christ. 

The Western Wall is the most sacred Jewish shrine in Jerusalem itself and a must see when visiting this area.  From here you will experience truly breath taking sights including the Stations of the Cross and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. 

An excursion to the Holy Land is usually a full day experience and therefore requires comfortable clothing and footwear.  If you are wishing to experience the Grotto then please make sure you check if this is included in your excursion as many operators will not provide this. 

For a relaxing yet thoroughly enjoyable day of exploration, head for the sacred sights of The Galilee.  This is the location where Jesus was baptised and spent the majority of his younger years.  From here you have a range of options available to you to explore.  The Church of Multiplication is often a huge attraction and many passengers wish to see the place where Christ performed his miracle with 2 fish and 5 loaves.  The miracle is depicted through a wonderfully presented mosaic floor that never fails to wow travelling guests. 

Along the river you will come across another sacred location. You will discover the place in which Jesus was immersed in the River Jordan waters by John the Baptist.  A further short drive away is the fascinating Nazareth and from here you have the distinct opportunity to take in the Basilica of the Annunciation, the largest Church in the entire Middle East.  Not only is this site phenomenal in itself to view but it is also believed to be significant in being the location where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary.

Another thrilling opportunity when docking at the port of Haifa is the chance to visit the extravagant site of Masada whilst continuing onwards and taking in an experience of the Dead Sea.  Your journey towards Masada will offer you the chance to witness the marvellous scenery of the Judean Desert. 

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth and at an unbelievable 1276 feet below sea level, this awe inspiring sight is truly amazing.  The water is completely undrinkable and will support no life whatsoever.  Here you have the chance to try the most common popular attraction of taking a float in the Dead Sea, a classic experience that although common, is still highly appealing and never ceases to astound. 

One important consideration for visiting Masada and the Dead Sea is that the transfer between here and the port of Haifa is approximately 3 hours.  The excursion is incredibly entertaining and a superb experience but the journey time can make it a long day and this should be considered when planning your day


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