Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
happy trailer

Cruise Critic member in Israel, happy to answer questions

Recommended Posts

31 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

A limited access highway is one where you can only enter or exit at specific spots. I’m not sure what they call them in the UK. There is nothing that limits who can use them; the limitations are points of ingress and egress. 
 

As an aside, my current rental contract, with Cal-Auto, charges a 52.65 NIS handling fee for driving on toll roads. There is nothing in this contract that limits where I can drive. 

 

28 minutes ago, happy trailer said:

Living here 20 years, and I had to google ‘limited access roads’ to find out what the heck they were.  Absolutely nothing political about them- a limited access road is the same all over the world:  It’s simply an inter-city highway which doesn’t have a lot of entry/exit points (therefore limiting access to the highway).  The only affect they will have on your plans is traffic during rush hours, or congestion due to an accident.  Keep in mind though that highway exits in Israel can be spaced very far apart, and you often don’t get much notice about an upcoming exit, so if you miss your exit you may have to travel quite a distance in order to get back on route.

 

 

As simple as that :classic_rolleyes:

Many thanks.

 

Yes, here in the UK there are sections of roads - mainly motorways - with a fair distance, mebbe as much as 20 miles, between some intersections or on/off ramps.

But those road sections don't have a name -  I guess because the distances between access points vary so widely. 

And I've never come across the term elsewhere in the world.

Yes, always a risk of getting trapped behind an accident or whatever with no opportunity to turn round.

But sensible map-reading and the sat-nav (GPS) will at least avoid going way past a destination.

 

And many thanks, happy trailer, for your follow-up post.

Just the sort of suggestions we were hoping for :classic_smile:

 

JB :classic_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, John Bull said:

And many thanks, happy trailer, for your follow-up post.

Just the sort of suggestions we were hoping for :classic_smile:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

My pleasure.  Happy to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, happy trailer said:

If you are into ancient Roman cities, you may want to visit Zippori which about half an hour inland from Akko. 

I found the mosaics at Zippori to be incredible when I saw them a number of years ago. I hadn’t heard of the site before, and I was quite amazed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another suggestion for your trip:  

 

Since you’ve been to the Sea of Galilee, consider spending the overnight in Safad (Tzfat), especially if you’ve not been there before.

 

It’s a city of mystics, artists, hippies (and also regular people), filled with loads to see, as well as a variety of fun shopping and eating and sleeping opportunities.  Note that if you have mobility issues Safad can be challenging because it’s on a mountaintop with some steep inclines to maneuver as you explore.  Gorgeous views on the ride there and all around, making for a lovely drive.  

 

Another advantage to staying in Safad instead of nearer the Sea of Galilee is that it would fit in with a return to the ship via the coastal road instead of having to deal with Jerusalem traffic.  While I consider parts of the Jordan Valley Road (Rt90) to be absolutely breathtaking, taking it means you will need to drive through the Jerusalem area (there is a way to avoid that by going to Ashdod via the Dead Sea, but that would be a very long drive), and right now there is a huge amount of road construction in and around Jerusalem causing delays throughout the city and especially for several miles at the exit to Highway 1.  Your GPS could help you avoid some of that traffic, but at some point, unless you manage to be passing through the area during the very brief sweet spot between rush hours, you will likely be crawling for at least 30 minutes, and possibly over an hour.

 

Of course, you could still stay near the Sea of Galilee and return via the coastal road, but unless you have a compelling reason to stay there, or you have already been to Safad, I highly recommend considering a stay in the Safad area.

 

(For a tiny country, Israel offers a lot of great choices 😁!)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/1/2019 at 6:15 AM, jlajr said:

If you choose to hire a guide, I recommend Gary Kamen, a good friend of mine. Please tell him that I recommended him to you.

 

If you are on your own, depending on your mobility, I recommend:

  • Walking from the ship to the Baha'i Gardens via the German Colony, to the right/west of Gate 5, where you will likely exit the port. I've enjoyed visiting the Haifa City Museum there.
  • Walking around the neighborhoods to the left/southeast of Gate 5, on both sides of the main street passing through the area (Derech Ha'atsmaut - Independence Road). For example, if you like brewpubs or just want reference points, look up Libira (colloquially, "I have beer") or Ma'ayan Habira (The Beer Spring).
  • Taking the recently-renovated Carmelit funicular from Paris Square up to Masada station and walking along Masada street, and then taking it all the way up to HaCarmel Center (Merkaz HaCarmel). At HaCarmel Center, there are pubs, cafes, restaurants, and hotels, along with great views down into "the lower city" aka downtown and across the bay to the north. The station is also close to the Baha'i Gardens upper entrance, if you want to go up first and then back down through the gardens to the German Colony.

I forget whether the admins allow this, but if you'd like to read about and see photos of other places in Haifa I've enjoyed visiting, click here (it's my public, not-for-profit Google Photos album of a recent short trip to Haifa).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RE HAIFA.     
Thanks for the info.  Do you need cash to purchase the funicular tickets or can a credit card be used?  Do you know the cost (Seniors).  Also opening times for the gardens.  Are the areas you suggest safe for two people on their own.  Any other suggestions would be welcome.

Very Many Thanks.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Faival said:

RE HAIFA.     
Thanks for the info.  Do you need cash to purchase the funicular tickets or can a credit card be used?  Do you know the cost (Seniors).  Also opening times for the gardens.  Are the areas you suggest safe for two people on their own.  Any other suggestions would be welcome.

Very Many Thanks.

 

 

I don't know about whether you can pay for the Carmelit with a credit card. Last time I was there, it had just re-opened, and it was free. I recommend going to its English website (http://www.carmelithaifa.com/).

Similarly, for opening times for The Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa, I recommend going to https://www.ganbahai.org.il/en/haifa/.

I consider all areas I suggested safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/1/2019 at 3:05 PM, gnome12 said:

I found the mosaics at Zippori to be incredible when I saw them a number of years ago. I hadn’t heard of the site before, and I was quite amazed. 

 

I am so glad you mentioned this, as I was just peeking through this thread in hopes of learning more about Zippori before signing on to an excursion there. Can you say more about it? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Unibok said:

 

I am so glad you mentioned this, as I was just peeking through this thread in hopes of learning more about Zippori before signing on to an excursion there. Can you say more about it? 

It is also known as Sepphoris.

 

From Wikipedia "In Late Antiquity, it was believed to be the birthplace of Mary, mother of Jesus, and the village where Saints Anna and Joachim are often said to have resided, where today a 5th-century basilica is excavated at the site honoring the birth of Mary.[7] Notable structures at the site include a Roman theater, two early Christian churches, a Crusader fort renovated by Zahir al-Umar in the 18th century, and over sixty different mosaics dating from the third to the sixth century CE.[8][9]"

 

I found the mosaics to be among the best I have ever seen anywhere.

 

There is a lot of information on the web if you Google either Zippori or Sepphoris.

Edited by gnome12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

It is also known as Sepphoris.

 

From Wikipedia "In Late Antiquity, it was believed to be the birthplace of Mary, mother of Jesus, and the village where Saints Anna and Joachim are often said to have resided, where today a 5th-century basilica is excavated at the site honoring the birth of Mary.[7] Notable structures at the site include a Roman theater, two early Christian churches, a Crusader fort renovated by Zahir al-Umar in the 18th century, and over sixty different mosaics dating from the third to the sixth century CE.[8][9]"

 

I found the mosaics to be among the best I have ever seen anywhere.

 

There is a lot of information on the web if you Google either Zippori or Sepphoris.

 

Fantastic! Thank you so much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add to the confusion, my 2 cents about JR's plan for 2 days from Ashdod.

First - it seems "too ambitious" - even for such a small country like Israel. Too much driving, too little time for visiting.

Route nr. 2 is fine (for most parts). Caesarea is well worth a detour. Rosh Hanikra and its grottos (mentioned before) are  lovely. 

I don't know how come that nobody mentioned Agamon Hahula (please, google it ☺️). At this time of the year it is   most impressive - something which you would seldom (never?) see anywhere else in the world (except maybe Africa?). If you are into Nature - especially birds - don't miss the sunset tour. Amazing !

All this on 2 conditions - that it's not during the Hanukka holidays here - and not on weekend. Than it will be much too crowded with "the natives". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add to the confusion, my 2 cents about JR's plan for 2 days from Ashdod.

First - it seems "too ambitious" - even for such a small country like Israel. Too much driving, too little time for visiting.

 

JB’s interest was as much or even more for the drive as the sites, so while I agree 1000% that his plans were very ambitious, there certainly are many options for lovely and unforgettable drives which are doable within his short timeframe.

 

Route nr. 2 is fine (for most parts). Caesarea is well worth a detour. Rosh Hanikra and its grottos (mentioned before) are  lovely. 

 

I don't know how come that nobody mentioned Agamon Hahula (please, google it ☺️). At this time of the year it is   most impressive - something which you would seldom (never?) see anywhere else in the world (except maybe Africa?). If you are into Nature - especially birds - don't miss the sunset tour. Amazing !

 

Positively, absolutely agree (and slapping my head for not mentioning it, although I seem to remember thinking of it!)!  A HUGE MUST for birders, and very highly recommended for everyone!  

 

All this on 2 conditions - that it's not during the Hanukka holidays here - and not on weekend. Than it will be much too crowded with "the natives". 

 

👍👍👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 Days in Israel 

We are landing in Ashood on April 20 and and leaving from Haifa on April 22 late in day.

Interested in seeing as much a we can in that peiod.

1) Are you aware of any open jaw tours that operate and hit most of the highlights? I can aways put togeater 3 ship tours but I think there must be better options for seeing more with less bus time.

2) What would you be sure to do with that time line.

Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2020 at 1:44 AM, jtslattery said:

3 Days in Israel 

We are landing in Ashood on April 20 and and leaving from Haifa on April 22 late in day.

Interested in seeing as much a we can in that peiod.

1) Are you aware of any open jaw tours that operate and hit most of the highlights? I can aways put togeater 3 ship tours but I think there must be better options for seeing more with less bus time.

2) What would you be sure to do with that time line.

Thank you

I recommend:

  • Looking through this topic's earlier posts.
  • Contacting GaryTheGuide (https://www.garytheguide.com/), if you would like a personalized tour. Gary is a good friend of mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/7/2019 at 4:52 AM, happy trailer said:

 

 

 

👍👍👍

I would like a local's advice---how would one use public transportation (train/bus) to travel from Haifa Port to Jerusalem?

Our cruise ship arrives 6am April 1 and departs 9pm April 2, so  there is plenty of time for the trip---thinking of either staying overnight in Jerusalem or returning late April 1.  We  have been to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Dead Sea, and Galilee before on tours- we enjoyed the tours, but there was so much more I would like to see in Jerusalem. We would like the freedom to visit on our own time.  Is it feasible for a tourist to attempt this?  If so, what is the easiest itinerary to take- station names, etc.

Any help would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, floridafolks said:

I would like a local's advice---how would one use public transportation (train/bus) to travel from Haifa Port to Jerusalem?

Our cruise ship arrives 6am April 1 and departs 9pm April 2, so  there is plenty of time for the trip---thinking of either staying overnight in Jerusalem or returning late April 1.  We  have been to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Dead Sea, and Galilee before on tours- we enjoyed the tours, but there was so much more I would like to see in Jerusalem. We would like the freedom to visit on our own time.  Is it feasible for a tourist to attempt this?  If so, what is the easiest itinerary to take- station names, etc.

Any help would be appreciated.

Stay overnight in Jerusalem due to the time (about 2.5 hours each way) required for travel.

 

Take the train from Merkaz HaShmona Station, which is just outside port terminal, directly to Tel Aviv HaHagana Station.  From there take the direct train to Jerusalem Yitzhak Navon Station.  

Timetables: https://www.rail.co.il/en

 

From Yitzah Navon Station either take the light rail, walk, or take a taxi to your destination.

The trip is very easy for a tourist.  Enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unlike others with overnight stops, I have one port day in Eilat late April. Ship offers 2 tours to Jerusalem. Very similar itinerary except one flies one way and returns by bus. The other is bus both ways. both are 13 or 14 hours long.  I am intrigued with the busing in order to see the landscape, but thinking the flight may give more time in Jerusalem (description states flight and airport process is about 2 hours). My worry is if flight is going to Jerusalem and bus is return, leaving Jerusalem at 5 or 6 pm won't allow enough time to see the landscape.

Can you make any recommendation either way?

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, my wife would really like to visit the holy land. My sister said she would go If we could do it using a cruise. My wife would agree to a cruise if we could do several excursions there. Any recommendations as to Cruise Lines or packages? My wife had cancer and is doing well now. She would like to go there to give the lord thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, epixx said:

Stay overnight in Jerusalem due to the time (about 2.5 hours each way) required for travel.

 

Take the train from Merkaz HaShmona Station, which is just outside port terminal, directly to Tel Aviv HaHagana Station.  From there take the direct train to Jerusalem Yitzhak Navon Station.  

Timetables: https://www.rail.co.il/en

 

From Yitzah Navon Station either take the light rail, walk, or take a taxi to your destination.

The trip is very easy for a tourist.  Enjoy.

There is also a longer, slower, arguably more-scenic line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem's Malha neighborhood (stations at the biblical zoo and close to the mall and stadiums there), through a couple of valleys (Sorek and Refai'm), but it does require switching trains in Beit Shemesh. You could do it in one direction, just to experience the ride through the valleys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, mef_57 said:

Unlike others with overnight stops, I have one port day in Eilat late April. Ship offers 2 tours to Jerusalem. Very similar itinerary except one flies one way and returns by bus. The other is bus both ways. both are 13 or 14 hours long.  I am intrigued with the busing in order to see the landscape, but thinking the flight may give more time in Jerusalem (description states flight and airport process is about 2 hours). My worry is if flight is going to Jerusalem and bus is return, leaving Jerusalem at 5 or 6 pm won't allow enough time to see the landscape.

Can you make any recommendation either way?

Thank you.

I personally don't think flying would take significantly less time than the bus. Ben Gurion Airport is about 50 km (30 miles) from Jerusalem, and there can be heavy traffic on either of the two highways. On the other hand, I sometimes fly between TLV and Eilat because I enjoy the experience, seeing the landscape that way, as you mentioned. As far as I'm concerned, the flights are great (and relatively inexpensive) flightseeing tours, with the flight path usually over Jerusalem and the Old City; the Arava (the valley between Israel and Jordan); and the Dead Sea. Breathtaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, lolama12 said:

Hi, my wife would really like to visit the holy land. My sister said she would go If we could do it using a cruise. My wife would agree to a cruise if we could do several excursions there. Any recommendations as to Cruise Lines or packages? My wife had cancer and is doing well now. She would like to go there to give the lord thanks!

A repositioning cruise might stop in both Eilat and Haifa/Ashdod, giving you the opportunity for multiple excursions. As mentioned in a previous post, it is even possible to get an excursion to Jerusalem from Eilat. As far as I know, most cruises to Israel stop for one or two days; sometimes they stop in Haifa and Ashdod (or vice versa), allowing passengers to overnight in Jerusalem or somewhere else and meet back up with the ship in the other port. I don't remember seeing cruises with stays longer than one overnight in any Israeli port, although there could be expedition cruises that do so.
As far as lines offering cruises to Israel, I recommend looking at pages on the Cruise Critic website that provide this information. For example, for cruises to Jerusalem (Ashdod), https://www.cruisecritic.com/cruiseto/cruiseitineraries.cfm?portofcall=470.

Digging a little further, I see Azamara is offering a nine-night Israel Intensive Voyage departing from Athens on April 14, 2020, returning to Athens, that includes overnight stays in both Haifa and Ashdod, for a total of four days in Israel.

Edited by jlajr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, jlajr said:

I personally don't think flying would take significantly less time than the bus. Ben Gurion Airport is about 50 km (30 miles) from Jerusalem, and there can be heavy traffic on either of the two highways. On the other hand, I sometimes fly between TLV and Eilat because I enjoy the experience, seeing the landscape that way, as you mentioned. As far as I'm concerned, the flights are great (and relatively inexpensive) flightseeing tours, with the flight path usually over Jerusalem and the Old City; the Arava (the valley between Israel and Jordan); and the Dead Sea. Breathtaking.

Thank you for the insight. I did wonder whether flight would be much less time, and didn't take into consideration the traffic. Good point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/24/2009 at 6:36 PM, happy trailer said:

Hi everyone,

 

I wanted to introduce myself and let you know I'd be happy to answer questions you have about Israel and visiting Israel. (I'm not a travel agent nor am I associated with any agent, I'm just a smiling resident happy to help out.)

 

I moved to Israel from New Jersey almost 10 years ago, and live in a Jerusalem suburb. [i'm about to take my first cruise- to the Mexican Riviera :-).]

 

I'll try to check this board a couple of times a week, and while I'm sure I don't have the answers to all your questions, I'll be happy to answer those I can.

 

Israel is a beautiful country, and I'm sure you're going to love every moment of it!

I have been to your wonderful country with its friendly people and historic places.

 

My wife has not been to Israel and we are planning a trip next Feb or Mar that will include Jordan as well.  

I am looking at going to Massada, which I have always wanted to see, since I am an ancient history buff.

Tours that I see will visit Haifa, Tiberius, Galilee and perhaps the Golan Heights.  What would you suggest is a must see for the north?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...