Holy Land Cruises

By ,   November 25, 2015 ,   Themed Cruises

This is CruiseMapper's list of "Holy Land Cruises", providing information on major lines' scheduled itineraries. Cruises to Holy Land are the most special group of Middle East cruises visiting ports in Israel and Egypt. Deals are generally inclusive of religious (Christian-themed) tours.

On these unique voyages passengers discover ancient cultures and some of the most impressive and magnificent architectural sites in the world. Holy Land tours feature visiting important Christian, Islamic and Jewish religious sites included as signature destinations in all themed shore excursions in the Middle East region. This review article is integrated with Christian Cruises, our hub for Theme Cruises and Suez Canal Cruises.

Middle East / Holy Land Cruises to Israel and Egypt

The Middle East features so many topographical contrasts- from vast deserts to lush valleys - this is one of the perfect destinations to become an adventurer! On some Middle East cruises you will be also transiting the Suez Canal (from Mediterranean to Red Sea, or the reverse).Holy Land Cruises to Israel and Egypt - CruiseMapper

Part of the "Middle East Cruises" group, Holy Land cruise tours deals may also include visiting Eastern Mediterranean ports in Greece or Turkey. When you have to fly a long distance for your Holy Land or Middle East cruise, better arrive at the departure port one or two days in advance, and you will have time to rest. Get oriented before you board the ship- most lines offer pre-cruise packages with hotel stays, and even guided city tours.

Holy Land voyages are derivative of Eastern Mediterranean itinerary group, but "Holy Land Cruises" always visit Israel and Egypt - calling on ports of Haifa and/or Ashdod in Israel, and Alexandria or Port Said in Egypt. A cruise ship vacation to Holy Land will promise a rich in history voyage and much adventure. The today's fate of Jerusalem is at the center of Middle East unrest. But in spite of all religious fighting and political maneuvering you will find the Holy Land cruise being an unmatched destination itself. This is a very special itinerary and an unique combination of history, climate, natural beauty, and meaning. After you visit Jerusalem, you will be changed forever. The Holy Land is a history destination, it will both educate and fascinate you.

While sailing on Holy Land cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, guests are able to see some of the most beautiful and historically most special countries in the world! These Mediterranean voyages will not only take you to Holy Land's territories (Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza). On Holy Land cruises as itinerary you will have the opportunity to see all major Mediterranean countries - Italy and Greece. Many routes also include visiting Cyprus in combination with Turkey and some of the most popular of the Greek Islands. See the Holy City of Jerusalem, the Pyramids of Giza, the Roman Colosseum and Parthenon, all while spending your fun exciting days at sea. The lines' onboard enrichment programs provide quality learning experiences from highly educated guest lecturers.

Get to know our offers for the "Lands of the Bible"- "Holy Land Cruises", with various departure points and lines to choose from. Travel aboard Holland America, Celebrity or Princess cruise lines ships, or the smaller but so popular for this destination Oceania Cruises ships. All of them offer affordable luxury cruise travel deals. MSC and Costa Cruises' Holy Land voyages are some of the cheapest on the market. Sailing aboard Azamara, Crystal, Seabourn or Regent ships offers a boutique style and more intimate cruising with all-inclusive luxury deals - and some of the highest rates on the market.

Holy Land cruise vacations reveal the charms of both modern and ancient world. Whilst these are not the traditional cruising call ports, Holy Land itineraries offer the unique chance to experience something different- just read and choose!

Holy Land Cruise Tours

The following map shows the cities and main religious sites visited on a classic Holy Land cruise tour.

Holy Land cruise tour map (ports, sites)

  • Rome, Italy. The eternal Rome has something for everyone’s taste- stunning architecture, ancient history, lots of art galleries and shops. Visit one of the many marvels in this extraordinary city, stroll its beautiful streets, enjoy the delicious Italian food.
  • Alexandria, Egypt. Another spot with so much ancient history to discover! The catacombs and Pompey’s Pillar hold secrets of a different era. Visit the impressive fort, join for an excursion/tour to Cairo and see the Pyramids. Or enjoy a relaxing day on the beach! There is plenty of choice.
  • Athens, Greece. A centre for the philosophy, arts and learning, home of Aristotle's Lyceum and Plato's Academy, widely referred to as the birthplace of democracy and cradle of Western civilization.
  • Ephesus, Turkey. Ephesus is well-known for the Temple of Artemis, which is one of the seven wonders of the world and popular tourist destination. Add to this the opportunity for snorkeling or lazing on the beach is nearby. For the thrill seekers- try the Kusadasi's "Adaland" AquaPark.
  • Jerusalem. One of the oldest cities in the whole world, is considered holy to the Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital. Israel's primary governmental institutions are maintained there, but neither claim is recognized internationally.
  • Tel Aviv, Israel. In 2003 the "White City" was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it comprises the largest concentration of Bauhaus buildings in the world. Tel Aviv is also known as an economic and technological hub, home to Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, research centers and corporate offices.

Additional itinerary information - a list of feature Mediterranean ports on cruises to Holy Land, with local coach transfers to the pertaining city:

  • Haifa is the port for Jerusalem, Israel
  • Ashdod is the port for Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Alexandria and Port Said are cruise ports for Cairo, Egypt
  • Piraeus is the port for Athens, Greece
  • Ephesus is the port for Kusadasi, Turkey
  • Other visited ports for this destination are: in Cyprus (Limassol), in Turkey (Antalya, Alanya or Marmaris), and also the Greek Islands (Patmos, Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos).
  • The most popular and convenient Mediterranean cruise ports of departure to Holy Land are Rome (Chitavecchia port transfer), Athens (from the Piraeus port) and Istanbul. Sometimes (although rarely) Holy Land itineraries may start also from Venice, and UK (Southampton roundtrip). The longest itineraries start from Florida ports (Miami or Fort Lauderdale mostly) combining the pilgrimage voyage to Holy Land with a Transatlantic crossing.

"Holy Land Cruise" Itinerary Maps

The following maps show Holy Land cruise itineraries leaving out of:

  • Port Civitavecchia (Rome, Italy)Holy Land Cruise to Israel from Rome Italy itinerary
  • Port Piraeus (Athens, Greece)Holy Land Cruise to Israel from Athens Greece itinerary
  • Port Istanbul (Turkey)Holy Land Cruise to Israel from Istanbul Turkey itinerary
  • Port Southampton (England UK)Holy Land Cruise to Israel from UK (Southampton) itinerary

Next are shown itinerary maps of Israel cruise tours to Holy Land.Israel cruise tours to Holy Land (itinerary maps)

Holy Land's Significance

  • The description "Holy Land" as a distinct geographic area which encompasses the Palestinian territories, modern-day Israel, Jordan, and parts of Syria.
  • "Holy Land" is the term that in Judaism refers to the Israel Land. Non-Jews and Jews traditionally refer to this area as Palestine- "The Holy Land, or Palestine, with the Ancient Kingdoms of Judah and Israel in which the twelve Tribes have been distinguished.
  • The term is used also by Christians and Muslims alike to refer to the area between Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, i.e. it includes modern Palestine and Israel.
  • The Holy Land significance stems partially from Jerusalem's religious significance- the holiest to Judaism city, the site of Jesus's ministry. Because of the holiness of this land to Christianity, it was a part of the motives for Crusades against the Muslim Suljuq Turks- European Christians wanted to win Holy Land back. After defeating the Arabs, they had taken it over- Muslim Arabs in turn, had taken control from Christian Byzantine Empire.
  • Many Holy Land religious sites have been pilgrimage and tour destinations for a long time and adherents of Abrahamic religions- Christians, Jews, Muslims, have often visited them. Pilgrims who visit this sites on group guided tours to Holy Land want to connect personally to Holy Land, touch and see the physical manifestations of faith; to confirm their beliefs with collective excitement.
  • Regarded as the holiest cities of Judaism, are the Four Holy Cities in Israel: Hebron, Tzfat, Tiberias, and Jerusalem (considered especially significant as the site of Temple). Jerusalem is Mount Moriah, according to Jewish tradition this is the location of binding of Isaac. In the Hebrew Bible it is mentioned about Jerusalem 669 times.
  • Christians consider the Land of Israel holy because they associate it with the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. All Christians regard Jesus as the Savior (Messiah). According to the Bible, the Holy Land territories are the land of the Jews, God's people. Christian books (including Bible's editions) often had Holy Land maps, considered to be Samaria, Galilee, Judea.

And this is what the wise Wikipedia guys have to say on the subject of Holy Land and the world's major religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

Holy Land Cruises 2017-2018-2019-2020 schedule

Holy Land Cruises to Israel and Egypt - CruiseMapper Note: In the following table, all links are CruiseMapper (internal). They lead to the ship's cruise itinerary schedule where you can compare all dates and prices per person).

lines / ships (CruiseMapper internal links)

  • departures dates / itinerary

Regent Seven Seas / Seven Seas Mariner

  1. 2020, Apr 8 (21-days from Abu Dhabi to Rome)
  2. 2020, Apr 16 (20-days from Abu Dhabi to Rome)

Regent Seven Seas / Seven Seas Navigator

  1. 2019, Apr 9 (20-days from Dubai to Rome)

Regent Seven Seas / Seven Seas Voyager

  1. 2017, Oct 15; 2018, Oct 17 (12-days from Athens (Piraeus) to Rome)
  2. 2018, May 12 (20-days from Dubai to Rome)
  3. 2018, Oct 17 (12-days from Athens (Piraeus) to Rome)
  4. 2019, Apr 16 (10-days from Rome to Haifa; 18-days to Piraeus)
  5. 2019, Sept 26 (12-days from Athens (Piraeus) to Rome)
  6. 2019, Oct 26 (21-days from Barcelona to Dubai)
  7. 2020, Mar 27 (40-days from Bangkok to Rome)
  8. 2020, Apr 16 (20-days from Abu Dhabi to Rome)

Royal Caribbean / Mariner Of The Seas 

  1. 2018, Apr 22 (15-days from Dubai to Barcelona)

Celebrity Cruises / Celebrity Constellation

  1. 2017, Oct 19 (12-days Rome to Athens)
  2. 2017, Oct 31 (12-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)
  3. 2018, Oct 7; Oct 30 (12-days round-trip from Rome)

Celebrity Cruises / Celebrity Infinity

  1. 2019, Sept 17 (12-days Rome to Athens)
  2. 2019, Sept 29 (12-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)

Celebrity Cruises / Celebrity Silhouette

  1. 2017, Sep 29; Oct 23 (12-days roundtrip from Rome)

Cruise and Maritime Voyages / Columbus

  1. 2019, Apr 3 (32-days from Singapore to London)

Cunard / Queen Mary 2

  1. 2019, Jan 10 (19-days from Southampton to Dubai)

Holland America / ms Prinsendam

  1. 2017, Oct 5 (28-days from Barcelona to Rome)
  2. 2017, Oct 19 (30-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Fort Lauderdale, Florida; 14-days to Rome)
  3. 2018, Sept 30 (14-days round-trip from Rome)
  4. 2019, Oct 19 (14-days round-trip from Rome)

Marella Cruises / Marella Discovery

  1. 2019, Apr 18 (15-days from Muscat to Corfu)
  2. 2019, Apr 25 (8-days from Aqaba to Corfu)

MSC Cruises / MSC Lirica

  1. 2019, May 24, Aug 9 (12-days round-trip from Venice)
  2. 2019, May 25, Aug 10 (12-days round-trip from Bari)
  3. 2019, Jun 5, Jul 19, Aug 21, Sept 1, Sept 12, Sept 23, Oct 4, Oct 15, Oct 26, Nov 6 (11-days round-trip from Venice)
  4. 2019, Jun 6, Jul 20, Aug 22, Sept 2, Sept 13, Sept 24, Oct 5, Oct 16, Oct 27 (11-days round-trip from Bari)
  5. 2019, Jul 30 (10-days round-trip from Venice)
  6. 2019, Jul 31 (10-days round-trip from Bari)
  7. 2019, Nov 7 (10-days from Bari to Venice)

Oceania Cruises / Oceania Insignia

  1. 2019, Jan 11 (158-days from New York to London)
  2. 2019, May 13 (22-days from Dubai to Rome)

Oceania Cruises / Oceania Nautica

  1. 2017, Oct 16 (21-days from Barcelona to Dubai)
  2. 2018, Apr 29 (28-days from Mumbai to Rome)
  3. 2018, Nov 16 (20-days from Athens to Dubai)
  4. 2019, Apr 27 (21-days from Dubai to Barcelona)

Oceania Cruises / Oceania Marina

  1. 2017, Nov 7 (14-days from Rome To Barcelona)
  2. 2019, Oct 6 (12-days from Barcelona to Piraeus (Athens)

Oceania Cruises / Oceania Riviera

  1. 2018, Jul 12 (10-days round-trip from Piraeus (Athens)
  2. 2019, Jul 14 (12-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome, 19-days to Barcelona)

Oceania Cruises / Oceania Sirena

  1. 2018, Aug 19 (12-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)

Seabourn / Seabourn Encore

  1. 2017, Oct 4 (21-days from Rome to Dubai)
  2. 2018, Apr 22 (19-days from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens)
  3. 2018, Oct 20 (19-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Dubai, 37-days to Singapore)
  4. 2019, May 8 (18-days from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens), 25-days to La Valletta)

Seabourn / Seabourn Ovation

  1. 2018, Nov 14 (20-days from Athens to Dubai)
  2. 2019, Apr 7 (20-days from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens)

Silversea / Silver Spirit

  1. 2019, Oct 25 (16-days from Athens to Dubai)

Silversea / Silver Shadow

  1. 2019, Oct 22 (11-days round-trip from Piraeus (Athens)

TUI Cruises / Mein Schiff 1

  1. 2017, Sept 21; Oct 11 (10-days roundtrip from Antalya)

TUI Cruises / Mein Schiff 3

  1. 2018, Oct 22 (10-days round-trip from Iraklion)
  2. 2019, Apr 27 (10-days round-trip from Iraklion)

TUI Cruises / Mein Schiff 5

  1. 2019, Sept 24 (10-days round-trip from Iraklion)

AIDA Cruises / AIDAaura

  1. 2017, Oct 26 (23-days from Iraklion to Port Louis, Mauritius)

AIDA Cruises / AIDAblu

  1. 2018, Nov 4 (16-days from Iraklion to Mahe, Seychelles, 23-days to Port Louis, Mauritius)
  2. 2019, Mar 12 (17-days from Mahe to Iraklion)

AIDA Cruises / AIDAstella

  1. 2018, Apr 6 (20-days from Dubai to  Palma De Mallorca)

AIDA Cruises / AIDAvita

  1. 2019, Mar 31 (16-days from Dubai to Iraklion)

Azamara Cruises / Azamara Journey

  1. 2017, Oct 17 (11-days roundtrip from Piraeus (Athens)
  2. 2018, Apr 26 (17-days from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens)

Azamara Cruises / Azamara Pursuit

  1. 2019, Sept 4 (10-days roundtrip from Piraeus (Athens)

Azamara Cruises / Azamara Quest 

  1. 2018, Oct 13 (18-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Dubai)

Phoenix Reisen / Amadea

  1. 2017, Nov 7 (17-days from Venice to Nice)

P&O Cruises / Arcadia

  1. 2019, Mar 29 (18-days from Dubai to Southampton)

Crystal Cruises / Crystal Serenity

  1. 2018, Apr 26 (20-days from Dubai to Rome)
  2. 2018, Sept 9 (14-days roundtrip from Rome)
  3. 2019, Oct 10 (13-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)

Crystal Cruises / Crystal Symphony

  1. 2017, Nov 4 (18-days from Rome to Dubai)

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / ms Europa

  1. 2018, Apr 17 (13-days from Limassol to Piraeus (Athens)

Thomson Cruises / Thomson Spirit

  1. 2017, Nov 8 (7-days round-trip from Limassol)

Viking Cruises / Viking Jupiter

  1. 2019, Mar 23 (15-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)

Viking Cruises / Viking Orion

  1. 2018, Aug 19 (21-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Mumbai)

Viking Cruises / Viking Sky

  1. 2018, Nov 4 (15-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)
  2. 2019, Nov 6 (15-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)
  3. 2019, Nov 20 (15-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)

Viking Cruises / Viking Star

  1. 2017, Oct 26; Nov 23 (15-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)
  2. 2017, Nov 9 (15-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)
  3. 2019, Oct 31 (15-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)