Port formalities in Ashdod and Haifa?

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#1
BC, Canada
898 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
We'll be visiting Israel with Celebrity next month - two nights docked at Ashdod and one at Haifa. What's the process for passing through immigration, customs and security before meeting our small-group tour guide?
We'll be coming back to the ship each night.
#2
Israel
78 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by cheffip
We'll be visiting Israel with Celebrity next month - two nights docked at Ashdod and one at Haifa. What's the process for passing through immigration, customs and security before meeting our small-group tour guide?
We'll be coming back to the ship each night.
The immigration process will take place on your ship prior to your arrival. Israeli officials will embark your ship in Europe and along the sea day before Ashdod you will be called for the "face control interview".
Not like other port, in israel you are required to carry your passport with you along all your staying in Israel. Therefor the ship will return to you your passport before the interview and you'll get also a "landing card" which you'll have to carry in your passport. This is actually your visa to Israel. Israel is not stamping passport anymore (so if you'll want to visit places that does not like us, there will be no trace of your visit to Israel in your passport!!).
at the end of day 3, in Haifa, the ship will collect back your passport.
The only process you will have to go through when getting off the ship in both ports will be the security check.
it is a short, very efficient process, that takes minutes only.
In both ports your guide and transportation will wait for you at the exit of the passengers terminal.
You can get back to the ship anytime you want and also get off. While staying overnight in Ashdod you can leave the ship or return even in the middle of the night... However, take into consideration that in Ashdod the terminal is in the port and you can't walk to the exit of the port. Your tour will return you back to the terminal, but if you want to do it independently you will have to use either the ship shuttle or an authorised taxi.
#3
90,254 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I want to note that it is not always the same.

While often the immigration is done face to face prior to arrival we have seen it done this way and also we have seen it done at the port.

Also I have seen it when shortly after you arrive you are off the ship and other times where you waited an hour or more.

A lot of this depends on events at the time of your arrival.

Keith
#4
Israel
78 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Keith1010
I want to note that it is not always the same.

While often the immigration is done face to face prior to arrival we have seen it done this way and also we have seen it done at the port.

Also I have seen it when shortly after you arrive you are off the ship and other times where you waited an hour or more.

A lot of this depends on events at the time of your arrival.

Keith
The OP is coming on Celebrity Silhouette or Constellation. These are over 1,500 passengers ships. This process is always done when big ships are involved, unless the ship is coming from the south from the Gulf.
In this case both ships are coming from Europe so you can expect what I wrote.
You can get off the ship at the moment the ship get the clearance. Some companies are trying to prevent the independents passengers to get off before the ship's excursions leave, however they cannot do that, and no one can stop a passenger who want to get off the ship once the ship is cleared!
When immigration is done on ship the clearance process of the ship is very quick.
#5
90,254 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by TaliaBT
The OP is coming on Celebrity Silhouette or Constellation. These are over 1,500 passengers ships. This process is always done when big ships are involved, unless the ship is coming from the south from the Gulf.
In this case both ships are coming from Europe so you can expect what I wrote.
You can get off the ship at the moment the ship get the clearance. Some companies are trying to prevent the independents passengers to get off before the ship's excursions leave, however they cannot do that, and no one can stop a passenger who want to get off the ship once the ship is cleared!
When immigration is done on ship the clearance process of the ship is very quick.
I have been on ships arriving to Ashdod when we were cleared on the ship but we still had to wait for quite awhile due to security issues at the port.

If there is a security issue at the time for arrival the process is not so quick. That was our experience on one of our visits.

Another time it was very quick.

Things are not always the same as we all know. World events play a role in this including security issues within countries and that includes Israel.

Keith
#6
90,254 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I would add the cruise line we sail does not give priority to those who take their own excursions.

The issue I posted about was related to port security.

And the ship was not cleared as soon as we arrived even though all the passengers and crew went through their interviews.

Keith
#7
BC, Canada
898 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Thanks to you both. I'm concluding from your comments that Israel has a well established system and we'll probably have immigration clearance on one of our two sea days before arrival. As Keith notes, local events could cause a delay at the port. I believe we're the only major ship in port Oct 3-5 so that may help. Is security at the port itself something like an airport? I'll have my camera bag of course and my daily medication with me.
#8
90,254 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
cheffip, it's not as tight as an airport but they are pretty strict. For example at Ashdod they don't want you taking any photographs of the port.

Wishing you a wonderful time.

Israel is such a beautiful country. It is amazing how nice they made it. For example, you will pass by areas that are forests but that came to be because they planted millions of trees.

Keith
#9
BC, Canada
898 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Keith1010
cheffip, it's not as tight as an airport but they are pretty strict. For example at Ashdod they don't want you taking any photographs of the port.

Wishing you a wonderful time.

Israel is such a beautiful country. It is amazing how nice they made it. For example, you will pass by areas that are forests but that came to be because they planted millions of trees.

Keith
Thanks Keith. First time there for us and really looking forward to it. - Phil