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Holy Land Cruises

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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 the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, or the reverse).

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. 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 a unique combination of history, climate, natural beauty, and meaning. After you visit Jerusalem, you will be changed forever. The Holy Land is a historic destination, it will both educate and fascinate you.

Holy Land Cruises to Israel and Egypt - CruiseMapper

Eastern Mediterranean cruising to Holy Land allows travelers to see some of the most historically important countries! These Mediterranean voyages will not only take you to Holy Land's territories (Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza). Holy Land cruise itineraries also include the scenic Mediterranean countries Italy and Greece, some include Cyprus in combination with Turkey and the Greek Islands. Among the main tourist attractions are Jerusalem, Pyramids of Giza, Roman Colosseum, and Parthenon. The company's onboard enrichment program provides quality learning experiences from professional 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 the modern and ancient worlds. 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 choices.
  • 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 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 (Civitavecchia 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)

In December 2019-January 2020, the ship Celestyal Crystal (Celestyal Cruises) included in its 7-day "3 Continents" (Holy Land) itinerary also two Egyptian ports.

Date / TimePort
02 Dec 21:00    Departing from Piraeus-Athens, Greece
04 Dec - 09:00    Alexandria, Egypt
04 Dec 20:00 - 22:00    Port Said, Egypt
05 Dec 08:00 - 22:00    Ashdod-Jerusalem, Israel
06 Dec 11:00 - 18:00    Limassol, Cyprus
07 Dec 12:00 - 20:00    Rhodes Island, Greece
08 Dec 07:00 - 19:30    Kusadasi, Turkey
09 Dec 09:00    Arriving in Piraeus-Athens, Greece

For the Christmas holidays (December 2

Holy Land's Significance

  • The description "Holy Land" as a distinct geographic area that 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 the 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 of the 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 these sites on a 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 the 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 2019-2020-2021 schedule

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).

Holy Land Cruises to Israel and Egypt - CruiseMapper

Cruise companiesShips, departures dates, itineraries

RSSC Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Seven Seas Explorer

  1. 2020, Nov 6 (22-days from Barcelona to Dubai, 76-days to Auckland)

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)
  3. 2021, Jan 5 (117-days World Cruise from Miami FL to Barcelona)
  4. 2021, Feb 26 (56-days from Sydney to Istanbul)
  5. 2021, Apr 3 (20-days from Dubai to Istanbul, 30-days to Barcelona)

Seven Seas Navigator

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

Seven Seas Splendor

  1. 2020, May 28 (19-days round-trip from Barcelona)
  2. 2020, Jun 4 (12-days from Rome to Barcelona)

Seven Seas Voyager

  1. 2019, Apr 16 (10-days from Rome to Haifa; 18-days to Piraeus)
  2. 2019, Sept 26 (12-days from Athens (Piraeus) to Rome)
  3. 2019, Oct 26 (21-days from Barcelona to Dubai)
  4. 2020, Mar 27 (40-days from Bangkok to Rome)
  5. 2020, Apr 16 (20-days from Abu Dhabi to Rome)
  6. 2020, May 11 (24-days from Venice to Athens (Piraeus)
  7. 2020, May 23 (12-days from Haifa to Athens (Piraeus), 22-days to Venice)
  8. 2020, Oct 8 (12-days from Athens (Piraeus) to Barcelona)

Royal Caribbean

Explorer Of The Seas

  1. 2020, Oct 25 (12-days round-trip from Rome)

Jewel Of The Seas

  1. 2019, Oct 30, Nov 11 (12-days round-trip from Rome)
  2. 2020, Nov 2, Nov 14 (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 Reflection

  1. 2020, Sept 26, Oct 8 (12-days round-trip from Rome)

Celestyal Cruises

Celestyal Crystal

  1. 2019, Dec 2, Dec 9, Dec 16, Dec 23, Dec 30 (7-days round-trip from Piraeus)
  2. 2020, Feb 29, Mar 7, Mar 14, Mar 21, Mar 28, Oct 31, Nov 7, Nov 14, Nov 21, Nov 28, Dec 5, Dec 12, Dec 19, Dec 26)

CMV - Cruise and Maritime Voyages

Columbus

  1. 2019, Apr 3 (32-days from Singapore to London)
  2. 2020, Jan 6 (120-days round-trip from London UK)
  3. 2020, Jan 7 (120-days round-trip from Amsterdam)
  4. 2020, Feb 19 (76-days from Auckland NZ to London, 77-days to Amsterdam)
  5. 2020, Feb 25 (70-days from Sydney to London, 71-days to Amsterdam)
  6. 2020, Mar 23 (43-days from Hong Kong to London, 44-days to Amsterdam)
  7. 2020, Apr 3 (32-days from Singapore to London, 33-days to Amsterdam)

Marco Polo

  1. 2020, Jan 5 (78-days round-trip from Cork, Ireland)
  2. 2020, Jan 6 (78-days round-trip from Bristol UK)

CMV Vasco da Gama

  1. 2019, Apr 24 (45-days from Singapore to London UK, 46-days to Amsterdam)
  2. 2020, Feb 12 (71-days from Fremantle to London UK)
  3. 2020, Feb 24 (59-days from Singapore to London UK)
  4. 2020, Mar 9 (46-days from Singapore to London UK)

Costa Cruises

Costa Diadema

  1. 2019, Oct 27 (27-days from Marseille to Dubai)
  2. 2019, Oct 28 (26-days from Barcelona to Dubai)
  3. 2019, Nov 2 (20-days from Savona to Dubai)
  4. 2019, Nov 3 (19-days from Rome to Dubai)

Cunard

Queen Mary 2

  1. 2019, Jan 10 (19-days from Southampton to Dubai)
  2. 2020, Jan 3 (27-days from New York City to Dubai, 46-days to Hong Kong, 113-days round-trip from NYC)
  3. 2020, Jan 10 (34-days from Southampton to Singapore, 39-days to Hong Kong, 56-days to Sydney, 64-days to Fremantle, 99-days round-trip from Southampton UK)

Fred Olsen

Boudicca

  1. 2020, Feb 6 (28-days from Colombo to Limassol)
  2. 2020, Feb 20 (14-days from Dubai to Limassol, 28-days to Porto)
  3. 2020, Oct 3 (168-days round-trip from Dover)

Holland America

ms Rotterdam

  1. 2019, Oct 5 (28-days from Amsterdam to Rome)
  2. 2019, Oct 19 (14-days round-trip from Rome, 32-days to Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

ms Veendam

  1. 2020, Sept 8 (28-days round-trip from Venice)
  2. 2020, Sept 22 (14-days round-trip from Venice, 28-days from Venice to Rome)

Marella Cruises (Thomson)

Marella Celebration

  1. 2020, Mar 25, Apr 1, Apr 15 (7-days round-trip from Limassol)

Marella Discovery

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

Marella Dream

  1. 2019, Dec 2, Dec 9, Dec 16, Dec 23 (7-days round-trip from Piraeus, Greece)
  2. 2019, Nov 13, Nov 20, Nov 27, Dec 4, Dec 11, Dec 18, Dec 25 (7-days round-trip from Limassol, Cyprus)

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, Oct 28 (12/24-days round-trip from Venice)
  8. 2019, Oct 29 (12-days round-trip from Bari)
  9. 2019, Nov 7 (10-days from Bari to Venice)

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Jade

  1. 2020, Nov 7 (21-days from Rome to Dubai)

Norwegian Spirit

  1. 2019, Dec 2 (13-days round-trip from Rome)
  2. 2020, Jan 3 (13-days round-trip from Rome)
  3. 2020, Feb 10 (21-days from Rome to Dubai)

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 Nautica

  1. 2019, Apr 27 (21-days from Dubai to Barcelona)
  2. 2019, Nov 7 (30-days from Venice to Dubai)
  3. 2019, Nov 17 (20-days from Rome to Dubai)
  4. 2020, May 1 (38-days from Singapore to Rome)
  5. 2020, May 19 (20-days from Dubai to Rome)
  6. 2020, Nov 16 (20-days from Piraeus to Dubai)

Oceania Marina

  1. 2019, Oct 6 (12-days from Barcelona to Piraeus (Athens)

Oceania Riviera

  1. 2019, Jul 14 (12-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome, 19-days to Barcelona)
  2. 2020, Sept 20 (14-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)

Oceania Sirena

  1. 2020, May 25 (12-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome, 24-days to Barcelona)

Phoenix Reisen

Artania

  1. 2020, Nov 13 (14-days round-trip from Venice)

Pullmantur

Pullmantur Horizon

  1. 2019, Sept 1 (7-days round-trip from Piraeus)

Saga Cruises

Saga Sapphire

  1. 2020, May 6 (33-days round-trip from Southampton UK)

Seabourn Cruises

Seabourn Encore

  1. 2019, May 8 (18-days from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens), 25-days to La Valletta)
  2. 2019, Oct 14 (26-days from Rome to Dubai)
  3. 2019, Oct 21 (19-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Dubai, 37-days to Singapore)
  4. 2020, Apr 17 (36-days from Singapore to Piraeus (Athens)
  5. 2020, May 5 (18-days from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens)

Seabourn Ovation

  1. 2019, Apr 7 (20-days from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens)
  2. 2019, Nov 6 (26-days from La Valletta to Dubai, 45-days to Singapore)
  3. 2019, Nov 13 (19-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Dubai, 38-days to Singapore, 52-days to Hong Kong)
  4. 2020, Feb 29 (56-days from Hong Kong to Piraeus (Athens)
  5. 2020, Mar 14 (42-days from Singapore to Piraeus (Athens)
  6. 2020, Apr 5 (20-days from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens)

Silversea Cruises

Silver Spirit

  1. 2019, Oct 25 (16-days from Athens to Dubai)
  2. 2020, Mar 15 (26-days from Mumbai to Athens)
  3. 2020, Mar 25 (16-days from Dubai to Athens)
  4. 2020, Oct 29 (24-days from Athens to Dubai)
  5. 2020, Nov 5 (17-days from Athens to Dubai)

Silver Shadow

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

TUI Cruises

Mein Schiff 3

  1. 2019, Apr 27 (10-days round-trip from Iraklion)

Mein Schiff 5

  1. 2019, Sept 24 (10-days round-trip from Iraklion)
  2. 2020, Apr 18 (8-days round-trip from Iraklion)

Mein Schiff 6

  1. 2020, Sept 29 (10-days round-trip from Iraklion)

Mein Schiff Herz

  1. 2020, May 1, Jun 26, Aug 21 (14-days from La Valletta to Iraklion)
  2. 2020, May 8, Jul 3, Aug 28 (7-days round-trip from Iraklion, 14-days to La Valletta)

AIDA Cruises

AIDAblu

  1. 2019, Mar 12 (17-days from Mahe to Iraklion)
  2. 2019, Oct 27 (23-days from Venice to Mahe)
  3. 2019, Nov 3 (16-days from Iraklion to Mahe 23-days to Port Louis)
  4. 2020, Mar 3 (24-days from Port Louis to Iraklion)
  5. 2020, Mar 10 (17-days from Mahe to Iraklion)

AIDAvita

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

Azamara Cruises

Azamara Journey

  1. 2020, Oct 21 (10-days roundtrip from Piraeus (Athens)

Azamara Pursuit

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

Azamara Quest

  1. 2020, Apr 19 (9-days roundtrip from Piraeus (Athens)

P&O Cruises UK

Arcadia

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

Oceana

  1. 2020, Feb 22 (40-days from Dubai to La Valletta)
  2. 2020, Mar 3 (30-days from Dubai to La Valletta)
  3. 2020, Mar 17 (16-days from Dubai to La Valletta)
  4. 2020, Mar 18 (15-days from Dubai to La Valletta)

Princess Cruises

Island Princess

  1. 2020, Oct 15 (63-days from Southampton UK to Singapore)
  2. 2020, Oct 27 (51-days from Southampton UK to Singapore)
  3. 2020, Nov 6 (14-days round-trip from Rome, 30-day from Rome to Dubai, 41-day from Rome to Singapore)

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Serenity

  1. 2019, Oct 10 (13-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)

Crystal Symphony

  1. 2020, Sept 20 (33-days roundtrip from Piraeus (Athens), 49-days to Dubai)
  2. 2020, Sept 27 (26-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)
  3. 2020, Oct 11 (12-days from Barcelona to Piraeus (Athens), 28-days to Dubai)
  4. 2021, Sept 28 (13-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)

Crystal Esprit

  • In October-December 2019, the Crystal Esprit yacht is deployed in the Red Sea to operate on 7-11-day itineraries (combinable into B2Bs / back-to-back cruises). The Red Sea cruise program featured overnights in UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and visits to Sir Bani Yas Island, Mina Salman (Bahrain), Doha (Qatar), Sokhna (Egypt / Giza pyramids tour), Eilat (Israel), Muscat (Oman). Prices started from USD 900 per person per day.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

ms Europa

  1. 2019, Nov 8 (8-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Limassol)

Viking Ocean

Viking Jupiter

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

Viking Sky

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

Viking Star

  1. 2019, Oct 31 (15-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)

Viking Sea

  1. 2019, Nov 11 (15-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)
  2. 2020, Oct 28 (15-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)
  3. 2020, Nov 11 (15-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)
  4. 2020, Dec 9 (15-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)
  5. 2021, Feb 6 (15-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)

Viking Sun

  1. 2020, Oct 24 (15-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)
  2. 2020, Nov 7 (15-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Rome)
  3. 2020, Dec 14 (161-days World Cruise from Miami FL to London UK)
  4. 2021, Jan 4 (140-days World Cruise from Los Angeles CA to London UK).