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Essential Collection

Best of Jerusalem and Bethlehem

Access from: Haifa


Key info

  • Tour ID: 25607
  • Duration: ​11 hours
  • Pick up point: ​Haifa port
  • Activity level: Active

Top highlights

  • ​Garden of Gethsemane
  • The Wailing Wall
  • La Via Dolorosa
  • Nativity Church
  • The Old City of Jerusalem

From $116.80pp

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Date and Duration
2 Adults
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Key info

  • Tour ID: 25607
  • Duration: ​11 hours
  • Pick up point: ​Haifa port
  • Activity level: Active

Top highlights

  • ​Garden of Gethsemane
  • The Wailing Wall
  • La Via Dolorosa
  • Nativity Church
  • The Old City of Jerusalem

Itinerary

This tour commences around 8am, or if your cruise ship is porting later then we will re-schedule the tours to suit your cruise porting times.



Basic Itinerary:

- Depart from the Port
- Drive towards the City of Jerusalem for approximately 1 hour
- Drive past the Judean Hills
- Stop at the top of Mount of Olives for a Panoramic View of the Old City
- Drive to the Garden of Gathsemanie
- Drive to Jaffa Gate
- Walking tour of the Old City to the Church of Holy Sepulcher.
- Continue on to Bethlehem
- Free time to get some lunch (at your own expsense)
- Move on to the Church of Nativity
- Free time for shopping
- Return to the Port

THIS TOUR WILL BE A MAXIMUM OF 48 PASSENGERS AVERAGING AROUND 15 PASSENGERS

You will be met at the port of Haifa by one of our Cruising Excursions' representatives who will show you to your transportation.  En route, your Tour Guide will inform you of the history behind the different sites you are going to visit, with a more detailed description and guided tour upon arrival at the site.

Meet your professional tour guide on the pier in Haifa and drive to Jerusalem, home to some of the most sacred sites in the Holy Land.

En route, your Tour Guide will inform you of the history behind the different sites you are going to visit, with a more detailed description and guided tour upon arrival at the site. 

On your arrival in Jerusalem, you will have a chance to take photos on top of the Mount of Olives.  You will visit the nearby Church of All Nations, also known as the Basilica (or Church) of the Agony, and the Garden of Gethsemane. The Basilica, which is Roman Catholic, was consecrated in 1924 and is decorated with mosaics donated by each of the countries that also contributed to construction of the Basilica itself. The altar enshrines a section of bedrock, known as the Rock of Agony, where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. The current church rests on the foundations of two earlier ones, a 12th century chapel and a 4th century basilica. The garden of Gethsemane is the site where Jesus prayed, and his disciples slept on the night of his betrayal and arrest. According to the Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, Gethsemane is the garden where the Virgin Mary died before her assumption on Mount Zion.  From there, you will be given time for lunch or lunch will be in Bethlehem.

Enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Dung Gate to see the Western Wall, which is actually part of the supporting wall of the Temple Mount. The only part of the wall that has not been hidden by construction, the Western Wall has remained intact since the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D. The Second Temple, which was built in 517 B.C, was a replacement for the First Temple. The First Temple, which was conceived by King David, was constructed by King Solomon in 950 B. C.

The Western Wall has become the most sacred spot in Jewish religious and national consciousness and tradition by virtue of its proximity to the Temple, home to the Holy of Holies, and from which, according to numerous sources, the Divine Presence never departed. It has become a centre of mourning over the destruction of the Temple and Israel's exile, and a place of communion for the memory of Israel's former glory and the hope for its restoration.

You will leave the Western Wall Plaza and follow the Via Dolorosa. The Via Dolorosa winds through a maze of narrow alleys in the Muslim Quarter offering you a fascinating variety of shops and stalls where one can purchase anything from mixed nuts and spices, to different kinds of sweets and pastries, vegetables and falafel, along with souvenirs, ceramics and oriental jewels and cloths. The Via Dolorosa represents a series of events in the life of Jesus from the time he was condemned to death through the third time he fell on his way to his crucifixion.

You will walk to the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The remaining five Stations of the Cross are found in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (also called the Church of the Resurrection). Believed by most Christians to sit on the Hill of Calvary (Golgotha) where the New Testament says that Jesus was crucified, the church is said to also contain the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre) and resurrected.  Note: The wait to enter the Sepulchre itself can be 4 hours or more, this is not included in this tour.  After your visit to the church, you will return to your transportation outside the Old City.

From Jerusalem, you will travel to the town of Bethlehem, a trip made by the magi (Wise men) many years ago. 

Bethlehem is part of the Palestinian Authority. Some of our guides in Israel, who are Israelis, are not allowed to escort tourists into Bethlehem. If that is the case, then for the Bethlehem portion of your tour, you will have a local Palestinian guide (at no additional charge). If you are traveling in any vehicle smaller than a coach, you may also need to change vehicles for the Bethlehem portion of the tour. A mandatory stop at a gift shop in the Palestinian Authority area is required as part of this visit. Purchasing is not required. 

While in Bethlehem, you will visit the Church of the Nativity, possibly the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. The structure is built over a grotto that tradition marks as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth and is considered sacred by followers of both Christianity and Islam.  The current Basilica was rebuilt in 565 A. D. under the order of Emperor Justinian I. The compound surrounding the Basilica has been expanded over the years. Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian Apostolic authorities administer the church jointly. The structure is actually a combination of two churches, with the Grotto of the Nativity, where Jesus is said to have been born, underneath.  Note: As wait times to enter the grotto can be more than 3 hours long, a visit to the grotto is not included in this tour.  After your visit to the Bethlehem, you will return to the port.

Note: Expect crowds and traffic at these sites. The tour itinerary may be altered in an attempt to avoid foreseen delays. All sites mentioned in the tour will be visited. Tour times are approximate due to crowds and traffic. Modest dress is requiring, shoulders must be covered, and legs must be covered below the knee. This applies to men and women.

The Old City of Jerusalem, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, is a walled area located within the modern city of Jerusalem. The Old City is home to several sites of religious importance including the Temple Mount and its Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. The current walls date back to the 1500s; there are 11 gates into the Old City although only 7 are currently open. Bethlehem is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world though the size of the community has shrunk in recent years due to emigration. Bethlehem is the birthplace of King David and where he was anointed by the prophet Samuel. The tomb of the Biblical Matriarch Rachel, wife of Jacob, is located to the north of Bethlehem.

  • Full details

    Key info

    • Tour ID: 25607
    • Duration: ​11 hours
    • Pick up point: ​Haifa port
    • Activity level: Active

    Top highlights

    • ​Garden of Gethsemane
    • The Wailing Wall
    • La Via Dolorosa
    • Nativity Church
    • The Old City of Jerusalem

    Itinerary

    This tour commences around 8am, or if your cruise ship is porting later then we will re-schedule the tours to suit your cruise porting times.



    Basic Itinerary:

    - Depart from the Port
    - Drive towards the City of Jerusalem for approximately 1 hour
    - Drive past the Judean Hills
    - Stop at the top of Mount of Olives for a Panoramic View of the Old City
    - Drive to the Garden of Gathsemanie
    - Drive to Jaffa Gate
    - Walking tour of the Old City to the Church of Holy Sepulcher.
    - Continue on to Bethlehem
    - Free time to get some lunch (at your own expsense)
    - Move on to the Church of Nativity
    - Free time for shopping
    - Return to the Port

    THIS TOUR WILL BE A MAXIMUM OF 48 PASSENGERS AVERAGING AROUND 15 PASSENGERS

    You will be met at the port of Haifa by one of our Cruising Excursions' representatives who will show you to your transportation.  En route, your Tour Guide will inform you of the history behind the different sites you are going to visit, with a more detailed description and guided tour upon arrival at the site.

    Meet your professional tour guide on the pier in Haifa and drive to Jerusalem, home to some of the most sacred sites in the Holy Land.

    En route, your Tour Guide will inform you of the history behind the different sites you are going to visit, with a more detailed description and guided tour upon arrival at the site. 

    On your arrival in Jerusalem, you will have a chance to take photos on top of the Mount of Olives.  You will visit the nearby Church of All Nations, also known as the Basilica (or Church) of the Agony, and the Garden of Gethsemane. The Basilica, which is Roman Catholic, was consecrated in 1924 and is decorated with mosaics donated by each of the countries that also contributed to construction of the Basilica itself. The altar enshrines a section of bedrock, known as the Rock of Agony, where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. The current church rests on the foundations of two earlier ones, a 12th century chapel and a 4th century basilica. The garden of Gethsemane is the site where Jesus prayed, and his disciples slept on the night of his betrayal and arrest. According to the Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, Gethsemane is the garden where the Virgin Mary died before her assumption on Mount Zion.  From there, you will be given time for lunch or lunch will be in Bethlehem.

    Enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Dung Gate to see the Western Wall, which is actually part of the supporting wall of the Temple Mount. The only part of the wall that has not been hidden by construction, the Western Wall has remained intact since the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D. The Second Temple, which was built in 517 B.C, was a replacement for the First Temple. The First Temple, which was conceived by King David, was constructed by King Solomon in 950 B. C.

    The Western Wall has become the most sacred spot in Jewish religious and national consciousness and tradition by virtue of its proximity to the Temple, home to the Holy of Holies, and from which, according to numerous sources, the Divine Presence never departed. It has become a centre of mourning over the destruction of the Temple and Israel's exile, and a place of communion for the memory of Israel's former glory and the hope for its restoration.

    You will leave the Western Wall Plaza and follow the Via Dolorosa. The Via Dolorosa winds through a maze of narrow alleys in the Muslim Quarter offering you a fascinating variety of shops and stalls where one can purchase anything from mixed nuts and spices, to different kinds of sweets and pastries, vegetables and falafel, along with souvenirs, ceramics and oriental jewels and cloths. The Via Dolorosa represents a series of events in the life of Jesus from the time he was condemned to death through the third time he fell on his way to his crucifixion.

    You will walk to the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

    The remaining five Stations of the Cross are found in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (also called the Church of the Resurrection). Believed by most Christians to sit on the Hill of Calvary (Golgotha) where the New Testament says that Jesus was crucified, the church is said to also contain the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre) and resurrected.  Note: The wait to enter the Sepulchre itself can be 4 hours or more, this is not included in this tour.  After your visit to the church, you will return to your transportation outside the Old City.

    From Jerusalem, you will travel to the town of Bethlehem, a trip made by the magi (Wise men) many years ago. 

    Bethlehem is part of the Palestinian Authority. Some of our guides in Israel, who are Israelis, are not allowed to escort tourists into Bethlehem. If that is the case, then for the Bethlehem portion of your tour, you will have a local Palestinian guide (at no additional charge). If you are traveling in any vehicle smaller than a coach, you may also need to change vehicles for the Bethlehem portion of the tour. A mandatory stop at a gift shop in the Palestinian Authority area is required as part of this visit. Purchasing is not required. 

    While in Bethlehem, you will visit the Church of the Nativity, possibly the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. The structure is built over a grotto that tradition marks as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth and is considered sacred by followers of both Christianity and Islam.  The current Basilica was rebuilt in 565 A. D. under the order of Emperor Justinian I. The compound surrounding the Basilica has been expanded over the years. Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian Apostolic authorities administer the church jointly. The structure is actually a combination of two churches, with the Grotto of the Nativity, where Jesus is said to have been born, underneath.  Note: As wait times to enter the grotto can be more than 3 hours long, a visit to the grotto is not included in this tour.  After your visit to the Bethlehem, you will return to the port.

    Note: Expect crowds and traffic at these sites. The tour itinerary may be altered in an attempt to avoid foreseen delays. All sites mentioned in the tour will be visited. Tour times are approximate due to crowds and traffic. Modest dress is requiring, shoulders must be covered, and legs must be covered below the knee. This applies to men and women.

    The Old City of Jerusalem, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, is a walled area located within the modern city of Jerusalem. The Old City is home to several sites of religious importance including the Temple Mount and its Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. The current walls date back to the 1500s; there are 11 gates into the Old City although only 7 are currently open. Bethlehem is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world though the size of the community has shrunk in recent years due to emigration. Bethlehem is the birthplace of King David and where he was anointed by the prophet Samuel. The tomb of the Biblical Matriarch Rachel, wife of Jacob, is located to the north of Bethlehem.

  • Essential information

    Included in this tour

    • Air-conditioned transportation
    • English speaking professional tour guide in Jerusalem and Bethlehem
    • Entrance fees are included within the tour price (except where stated otherwise)
    ​There is a lot of walking involved with this tour, so please ensure you wear comfortable footwear.
    If you have walking difficulties this tour will not be suitable for you. Although you may be able to stay on the bus, the sites will not be visible from here.
    In order to reserve this tour, your cruise ship must have ported by 7am. This tour can only be completed if the tour starts at 8am from the port. If your ship ports later, you will not be able to see both Jerusalem and Bethlehem as there will not be enough time.
    Visiting Bethlehem involves crossing the border between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israeli guides do not enter this area. You will be met by a local Palestinian guide at the border; they will guide you to Manger Square and the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem.
    Tourists should be made aware that there is no extra charge for the visit to Bethlehem, however, gratuity to the guide is expected and the participants will be required to visit a local souvenir shop in Bethlehem, but not obligated to purchase anything.
    Expect crowds and traffic at these popular sites and the tour itinerary may be altered in an attempt to avoid foreseen delays. All sites mentioned in the tour will be visited but tour times are approximate due to crowds and traffic.
    Modest dress is required - shoulders must be covered, and legs must be covered below the knee. This applies to both men and women.
    ACTIVITY LEVEL: 4
    Activity Level Scale:strong
    1 - Easy goin
    2 - Light Walking
    3 - Walking up to 2km which may involve steps and Inclines
    4 - Quite Strenuous with walking, steps and Inclines
    5 - Hard Physical Activity

    Joining instructions

    ​Clients will be met at the arrival hall on the second floor. Most cruise ships will dock next to the arrivals hall. Your professional tour guide will be holding a sign showing 'Cruising Excursions' on it.
    Please make sure that you bring your passport with you. During the tour, you will cross from Israel into Palestinian-controlled territory and you must have your passport with you.
  • Haifa Information

    Some attractions you may choose to visit include

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