Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Crazy planning mom

Jerusalem, Dead Sea and Masada in 1 long day

Recommended Posts

Our cruise will be in Ashdod until 11pm.

Is it possible to go to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Dead  Sea and Masada in 1 day?  Obviously, you wouldn't have much time in any 1 place.  Also recommendations for private tours/ tour companies  for Jewish oriented tours?

Edited by Crazy planning mom
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fear that's too much in a day, because you'll achieve little in the evening. :classic_sad:

 

We rented a car in Ashdod & drove across the Negev to Masada.  

IMHO Masada isn't worth just seeing it from the road, you go up to the fortress in a gondola, it's pretty interesting & historic but more importantly the bird's-eye view from up there, looking down on the desert, the salt flats & the Dead Sea, is truly mind-blowing.

Somewhere to bathe in the Dead Sea just a few miles further along. Again it's nothing much to see from the road, it's just a large lake. But swimming / floating in it is what it's all about.

From there we drove to Jerusalem, getting to our overnite hotel there just before dusk.

We visited the walled city that evening, but there was little to see in the evening

We toured the walled city next morning on a free walking tour, had some free time then back to the ship in Ashdod for a sailaway about 6pm.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Edited by John Bull

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with JB - I would focus on one or the other as I feel that you are attempting to cram too much into a single day. Travel time alone would eat up a good portion of your day.

I have visited Ashdod but not via cruise ship. The drive from Ashdod to Jerusalem takes a little over an hour. The old city of Jerusalem is fascinating and there is much to see in addition to the wall. We spent  6 days in Jerusalem - 2 days in the old city itself & in addition to visiting the wailing wall, we booked the Western Walls Tunnel tour - it was very interesting. 

https://english.thekotel.org/western_wall_sites/western_wall_tunnels/

We also spent the better part of a day at Yad Vashem - I highly recommend a visit if one is Jewish and/or has an interest in the holocaust.

The drive from Jerusalem to Masada is about 2 hours and there is little to see from the base of Masada unless you actually take the gondola up to the Masada fortification. We loved our tour of Masada - a film is shown prior to beginning your exploration of the site. As JB stated, the views from atop Masada overlooking the Dead Sea are amazing. From Masada, we drove to Kalia beach and spent the remainder of the day swimming (er, floating) in the Dead Sea. Interesting to see the bathers slather on the "therapeudic" mud - also a bar at this particular beach (and you can score a camel ride is you are so inclined).

Edited by dogs4fun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The drive from Haifa to Masada is approximately 3 hours - it is doable. Is the long drive to/from Masada worth it in your estimation? Only you can decide. If you decide on Masada from Haifa, I would recommend an early start in the morning.

The Bah'ai Gardens in Haifa are stunning, BTW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's always the option of doing what we did, and overnite ashore.

That would give you a lot more time & flexibility.

Something like .......

Drive Ashdod to Masada & Dead Sea, then hotel in Jerusalem.

Next day, the morning in Jerusalem & in the afternoon a two-hour drive to Haifa.

 

But you'd be taking one risk that we didn't. 

Our ship was in Ashdod for both days.

But you'd be relying on your ship sailing from Ashdod to Haifa while you're in the land of nod ashore, and  for a variety of reasons there's a risk of a ship not making it to the subsequent port. However, because Ashdod is in RPG range of the Gaza the main risk is not porting in Ashdod - tensions are nowhere near as high in the north, and porting at Haifa is much more reliable. 

That's a risk you'd need to bear in mind, and you'd need a Plan B. Where do you port after Haifa?

 

You'd also need to check with your cruise line whether they'd have any objections.

 

JB :classic_smile:    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Crazy planning mom said:

So, maybe, I should follow JB's plan and stay over in Jerusalem and meet back with the ship back in Haifa.

 

 

Hmmm, you're a quicker typist than me. :classic_wink:

Yes, it's worth considering.

 

But don't under-estimate the risk.

We've overnited ashore in a number of places, but in each case our ship remained in the same port.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JB , where did you rent the car in Ashod ? 

Will be in Ashod in Oct 2019 

Was thinking renting a car to hang out at a resort at the Dead Sea for a day 

already been to Masada 

Mark 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Airbalancer said:

JB , where did you rent the car in Ashod ? 

Will be in Ashod in Oct 2019 

Was thinking renting a car to hang out at a resort at the Dead Sea for a day 

already been to Masada 

Mark 

 

Hi, Mark,

 

It wasn't us who actually rented the car - a US couple had arranged the rental and sought a couple to share via the cruise RollCall.

I don't recall which agency, but it was one of the dozen biggest world-wide

We took the free port bus to the port gate (it's a secure port), where we took a cab to the agency. Cab ride was mebbe 10 minutes.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Share this post


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

 

Hi, Mark,

 

It wasn't us who actually rented the car - a US couple had arranged the rental and sought a couple to share via the cruise RollCall.

I don't recall which agency, but it was one of the dozen biggest world-wide

We took the free port bus to the port gate (it's a secure port), where we took a cab to the agency. Cab ride was mebbe 10 minutes.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Thank you 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be on the Explorer of the seas for overnight in Ashdod and one whole day in Haifa. Want to see Jeruselum yYad Vadshem Masada iNd dead seas. Any reasonsabke tour guides. Oh yeah Shabbas starts at the end of my second day at jersulum

 

tia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, pamrose228 said:

I will be on the Explorer of the seas for overnight in Ashdod and one whole day in Haifa. Want to see Jeruselum yYad Vadshem Masada iNd dead seas. Any reasonsabke tour guides. Oh yeah Shabbas starts at the end of my second day at jersulum

 

tia

Define reasonable. 

Private tour + transportation in Israel is min 600$US per day.

You should do Jerusalem on Thursday and Masada and the Dead Sea on Friday.

Yad Vashem is opened Thursday until 20:00.

Try a guide called Moti. He is a DE in TripAdvisor:

www.travel- israel.info

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, TaliaBT said:

Define reasonable. 

Private tour + transportation in Israel is min 600$US per day.

You should do Jerusalem on Thursday and Masada and the Dead Sea on Friday.

Yad Vashem is opened Thursday until 20:00.

Try a guide called Moti. He is a DE in TripAdvisor:

www.travel- israel.info

 

Is this $600 for two people or a small group? If for two people way too rich for me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, pamrose228 said:

I will be on the Explorer of the seas for overnight in Ashdod and one whole day in Haifa. Want to see Jeruselum yYad Vadshem Masada iNd dead seas. Any reasonsabke tour guides. Oh yeah Shabbas starts at the end of my second day at jersulum

 

tia

Israel is expensive - what do you consider reasonable?

Some sites in Jerusalem are easy to DIY - for example, you can utilize the tram (light rail) to visit Yad Vashem (rent an audio guide at Yad Vashem) & many other sights. Public transportation shuts down for Shabbat from 30 minutes to 2 hours before sundown (depending on which mode of transportation you choose to utilize).

https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Jerusalem/Yad-Vashem

Edited by dogs4fun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 2014 we stopped at the same ports and used Guided Isreal Tours for trip on all 3 days , it was about $120 USD a person , tour had a max of 16

i enjoyed the trip

GTI puts the tours together 

 

 

Share this post


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

In 2014 we stopped at the same ports and used Guided Isreal Tours for trip on all 3 days , it was about $120 USD a person , tour had a max of 16

i enjoyed the trip

GTI puts the tours together 

 

 

This sounds more my speed. On shipmate I found three tours

 

2 from Jerusalem

Jerusalem and Jewish Heritage... goes to Yad Vashem, Israeli museum, Knesset and Holy City In 10 to 11 hours

 

Day 2 Dead Sea and Masada also a 10 to 11 hour tour

 

Day 3 from Haifa Golan Heights , Safed and a kibbutz 

All three between 100 and 130 per excursion 

 

How do they sound?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, pamrose228 said:

This sounds more my speed. On shipmate I found three tours

 

2 from Jerusalem

Jerusalem and Jewish Heritage... goes to Yad Vashem, Israeli museum, Knesset and Holy City In 10 to 11 hours

 

Day 2 Dead Sea and Masada also a 10 to 11 hour tour

 

Day 3 from Haifa Golan Heights , Safed and a kibbutz 

All three between 100 and 130 per excursion 

 

How do they sound?

What is Shipmate ? 

I can only comment on tour by Guided Israel Tours

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, pamrose228 said:

This sounds more my speed. On shipmate I found three tours

 

2 from Jerusalem

Jerusalem and Jewish Heritage... goes to Yad Vashem, Israeli museum, Knesset and Holy City In 10 to 11 hours

 

Day 2 Dead Sea and Masada also a 10 to 11 hour tour

 

Day 3 from Haifa Golan Heights , Safed and a kibbutz 

All three between 100 and 130 per excursion 

 

How do they sound?

The price sound very reasonable and the itineraries seem to hit the places that you wish to visit.

Regarding shipmate - are you using the ShipMate app? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2019 at 10:18 AM, dogs4fun said:

The price sound very reasonable and the itineraries seem to hit the places that you wish to visit.

Regarding shipmate - are you using the ShipMate app? 

Yes and I dislike it emmensely.  No tour company listed just pay us $1300 for a van of 10.  Nope.

I have written to GTI, he seems to have similar tours at similar prices.  Will let my roll call know the details.  But I fear most of the pax on my cruise are Christian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, pamrose228 said:

Yes and I dislike it emmensely.  No tour company listed just pay us $1300 for a van of 10.  Nope.

I have written to GTI, he seems to have similar tours at similar prices.  Will let my roll call know the details.  But I fear most of the pax on my cruise are Christian.

Hmmm ... I had wondered about this company (Shipmate - I have no experience with it) as I could find no online reviews.

Israel tours are usually based on the number of people in a group. Jerusalem is wonderful and Yad Vashem is, IMHO, an absolute must see. Not sure that many others that don't share a common Jewish heritage would be very interested in visiting the Knesset or the Israeli Museum. But almost everyone would want to visit the Old City. So, perhaps if you are willing to compromise, you could form a Jerusalem group that visits the Old City and Yad Vashem.

I can't imagine anyone not wanting to visit Masada - it is amazing! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did end up signing up for private tours with GT and am planning to stay over nite in Jerusalem.   It's more money this way but this is a once in a lifetime trip for us.  PamRose228, what sailing are you on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Crazy planning mom said:

I did end up signing up for private tours with GT and am planning to stay over nite in Jerusalem.   It's more money this way but this is a once in a lifetime trip for us.  PamRose228, what sailing are you on?

Once in a lifetime trip 😂

That what I thought in 2014 when we went 

we heading there again this fall 😉

Mark 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Crazy planning mom said:

I did end up signing up for private tours with GT and am planning to stay over nite in Jerusalem.   It's more money this way but this is a once in a lifetime trip for us.  PamRose228, what sailing are you on?

Explorer of the Seas October 2020

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
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards
      • Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo invites you to #CrewUpWithWomen
      • 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...