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Everything posted by jlajr

  1. I recommend notifying the cruise line / excursion operator. There's plenty of non-spicy and gluten-free food available in Israel - for example, plain humous and plain tehina - but that lunch might not include any without a special request.
  2. Assuming the ship docks at the cruise ship terminal at the Port of Haifa, the Haifa-Akko ferry departs from the same gate (5) as the terminal. For more information, including the schedule, see http://www.malkatakko.co.il/קו-השייט-עכו-חיפה. It's in Hebrew, but if you are using Chrome, you should be able to use Google Translate. The Akko train station is about a 20-minute walk or a short bus / taxi ride away away from the Old City walls: https://goo.gl/maps/mkE3kaXPtzxYYujL7.
  3. There is very good public transportation from the Port of Haifa, if you want to go that route. You could go up to Acre, for example, by train - although the station is not right next to the Old City. Similarly, there is a train station in Binyamina, about a 15-20 minute drive from Caesarea. The question then becomes, how to get there and back. Taxi or maybe bus. Google Maps is almost always accurate regarding public transportation, in my experience. Then, the question becomes, how much time do you have. On the other hand, I can recommend a good friend of mine who is a tour guide - https://ww
  4. In one day, from either port would be difficult using public transportation; maybe renting a car would work. Over two days, depending on the ship's docking/departing schedule, you could look into Masada tours offered by, for example, Abraham Hostels/Tours or Egged Tours. If trying to do it in one day, you would likely be at Masada in the middle of the day. There is very little shade on top of the mountain. During the summer, it could be uncomfortably hot for you. While there is a visitors center on the east side of the site - which could take longer to get to/from - sometimes they do close t
  5. That's a tough one, mef_57. The first thought that came to my mind is renting a car, but I don't know if any rental car offices in Haifa are open on Saturdays. Maybe, just maybe, you could take the train to Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday, rent the car from and return it there, and then take a shared taxi from the airport back to Haifa on Saturday. All in all, it might be easier and might not cost that much more to hire a guide/private/small group tour. Or, you might want to "nag" MSC into offering a tour to Jerusalem.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. I disagree. The map shows you driving south from Beit She'an toward Jericho and then west into Jerusalem. Without getting into a whole geopolitical discussion, those roads and highways are on what was the Jordanian side of the Green Line. If you don't go into Jericho itself and follow the roads and highways that are under Israeli control, you might not have any issues with a rental car - but I'm not sure. I recommend checking with the rental car company whether you are allowed to drive on Highway 90 from Beit She'an to the Dead Sea and on Highway 1 from the Dead Sea to Jerusalem. I
  13. A few items regarding Passover in Israel: The evening before the first day, the first day (until sunset), the evening before the seventh day, and the seventh day (until sunset) are national holidays. As such, (almost all) public transportation does not operate. Kosher restaurants and many supermarket chains are closed. In 2020, that would be Wednesday evening, April 8; Thursday, April 9; Tuesday evening, April 14; and Wednesday, April 15. So, this does not affect your particular visit. During Passover, many restaurants, hotels, and stores do not serve or sell anything leaven
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