Holy Land Cruises

   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 2020-2021-2022 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. 2021, Jan 5 (117-days World Cruise from Miami FL to Barcelona)
  2. 2021, Feb 26 (56-days from Sydney to Istanbul)
  3. 2021, Apr 3 (20-days from Dubai to Istanbul, 30-days to Barcelona)
  4. 2021, Sept 27 (19-days from Monte Carlo to Venice, 26-days to Rome (Civitavecchia)
  5. 2021, Oct 4 (12-days from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Venice)

Seven Seas Navigator

  1. -

Seven Seas Splendor

  1. -

Seven Seas Voyager

  1. 2021, May 18 (10-days from Istanbul to Jerusalem (Haifa)
  2. 2021, Aug 29 (15-days from Barcelona to Athens (Piraeus)
  3. 2021, Oct 3 (20-days from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Abu Dhabi UAE)

Royal Caribbean

Explorer Of The Seas

  1. -

Jewel Of The Seas

  1. 2020, Nov 2, Nov 14 (12-days round-trip from Rome)

Odyssey Of The Seas

  1. 2021, May 9, Sept 7, Sept 19 (12-days round-trip from Civitavecchia (Rome)

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Infinity

  1. -

Celebrity Reflection

  1. 2021, Sept 16, Sept 28, Oct 10 (12-days round-trip from Civitavecchia (Rome)

Celestyal Cruises

Celestyal Crystal

  1. 2020, Nov 7, Nov 14, Nov 21, Nov 28, Dec 5, Dec 12, Dec 19, Dec 26)

Costa Cruises

Costa Diadema

  1. 2021, Dec 3 (14-days round-trip from Barcelona)
  2. 2021, Dec 4 (14-days round-trip from Marseille)
  3. 2021, Dec 5 (14-days round-trip from Savona)

Costa Luminosa

  1. 2021, Nov 22 (31-days round-trip from Savona)
  2. 2021, Nov 23 (31-days round-trip from Civitavecchia (Rome)
  3. 2021, Nov 25 (31-days round-trip from Marseille)
  4. 2021, Nov 26 (31-days round-trip from Barcelona)

Costa Pacifica

  1. 2021, Nov 24 (23-days/24-days from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Dubai)
  2. 2021, Nov 26 (21-days/22-days from Marseille to Dubai)
  3. 2021, Nov 27 (20-days/21-days from Barcelona to Dubai)
  4. 2021, Nov 28 (19-days/20-days from Savona to Dubai)


Queen Mary 2

  1. -

Holland America

ms Westerdam

  1. 2021, May 14 (24-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Venice)
  2. 2021, May 26 (12-days round-trip from Venice)
  3. 2021, May 26 (24-days from Venice to Piraeus (Athens)

Marella Cruises (Thomson)

Marella Celebration

  1. -

Marella Discovery

  1. -

Marella Dream

  1. -

MSC Cruises

MSC Fantasia

  1. 2021, Apr 8 (21-days from Doha to Genoa)
  2. 2021, Apr 10 (19-days from Dubai to Genoa)
  3. 2021, Apr 12 (16-days from Abu Dhabi to Civitavecchia (Rome)
  4. 2021, Apr 12 (16-days from Abu Dhabi to Genoa)

MSC Poesia

  1. 2021, Oct 7 (7-days from Barcelona to Haifa)
  2. 2021, Oct 8 (11-days round-trip from Genoa, 10-days from Genoa to Rome)
  3. 2021, Nov 20, Dec 1 (11-days round-trip from Civitavecchia (Rome)
  4. 2021, Nov 10, Nov 21, Dec 2 (11-days round-trip from Genoa)

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Jade

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

Norwegian Pearl

  1. 2021, May 2, May 9, May 16, Oct 24 (7-days round-trip from Piraeus (Athens)

Norwegian Spirit

  1. -

Norwegian Getaway

  1. 2021, Nov 14 (10-days round-trip from Piraeus (Athens)

Oceania Cruises

Oceania Insignia

  1. -

Oceania Nautica

  1. 2020, Nov 16 (20-days from Piraeus to Dubai)
  2. 2021, May 19 (38-days from Singapore to Civitavecchia (Rome)
  3. 2021, June 6 ( 20-days from Dubai to Civitavecchia (Rome)
  4. 2021, Aug 26 (24-days from Istanbul to Civitavecchia (Rome)
  5. 2021, Sept 5 (14-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Civitavecchia (Rome), 21-days to Barcelona)
  6. 2021, Nov 2 (30-days from Piraeus to Dubai)
  7. 2021, Nov 12 (20-days from Istanbul to Dubai)

Oceania Marina

  1. -

Oceania Riviera

  1. 2021, Jul 18 (12-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Istanbul)

Oceania Sirena

  1. 2021, Mar 10 (22-days from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens)

Phoenix Reisen


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

Seabourn Cruises

Seabourn Encore

  1.  2021, Oct 23 (29-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Dubai)
  2.  2021, Nov 3 (18-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Dubai, 35-days to Singapore)

Seabourn Ovation

  1. 2021, Jul 24 (21-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Haifa)
  2. 2021, Jul 31 (14-days from Venice to Haifa)
  3. 2021, Jul 31 (14-days from Venice to Haifa)
  4. 2021, Jul 31 (21-days from Venice to Piraeus (Athens)
  5. 2021, Aug 7 (7-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Haifa, 14-days to Piraeus (Athens), 21-days to Venice)
  6. 2021, Oct 16 (25-days from Istanbul to Dubai)
  7. 2021, Oct 23 (18-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Dubai, 36-days to Singapore)


SeaDream II

  1. 2021, May 18, Oct 9 (11-days round-trip from Piraeus (Athens)

Silversea Cruises

Silver Spirit

  1. 2020, Nov 5 (17-days from Athens to Dubai)
  2. 2021, Mar 27 (17-days Mumbai to Athens (Piraeus)

Silver Shadow

  1. -

Silver Whisper

  1. 2021, Apr 8 (32-days from Singapore to Athens (Piraeus)
  2. 2021, Apr 23 (17-days from Mumbai to Athens (Piraeus)

TUI Cruises

Mein Schiff 3

  1. -

Mein Schiff 5

  1. 2021, Oct 17 (14-days from La Valletta to Antalya)
  2. 2021, Oct 24 (7-days, 14-days round-trip from  Antalya, Turkey)

Mein Schiff 6

  1. -

Mein Schiff Herz

  1. 2021, Apr 16, Apr 23, Jun 11, Jun 18, Aug 6, Aug 13, Oct 1, Oct 8 (14-days round-trip from Iraklion, Greece)
  2. 2021, Apr 23, Jun 18, Aug 13, Oct 8 (7-days round-trip from Iraklion, Greece)

AIDA Cruises


  1. 2021, Nov 5 (18-days from Iraklion to Mahe, Seychelles, 25-days to Port Louis, Mauritius)


  1. 2021, Apr 30 (14-days round-trip from Iraklion, Greece)
  2. 2021, May 7, May 21, Jun 4, Jun 18, Jul 2, Jul 16, Jul 30, Aug 13, Aug 27, Sept 10, Sept 24 (7-days round-trip from Iraklion, Greece)
  3. 2021, May 7, May 14, May 21, May 28, Jun 4, Jun 11, Jun 18, Jun 25, Jul 2, Jul 9, Jul 16, Jul 23, Jul 30, Aug 6, Aug 13, Aug 20, Aug 27, Sept 3, Sept 10, Sept 17, Sept 24 (14-days round-trip from Iraklion, Greece)
  4. 2021, Oct 1 (22-days from Iraklion to Dubai)
  5. 2021, Oct 8 (15-days from Iraklion to Dubai)


  1. 2021, Oct 23 (41-days from Kiel to Dubai)
  2. 2021, Nov 5 (22-days from Palma De Mallorca to Dubai, 27-days to Abu Dhabi)
  3. 2021, Nov 6 (20-days/21-days from Palma De Mallorca to Dubai)


  1. -

Azamara Cruises

Azamara Journey

  1. -

Azamara Pursuit

  1. 2021, Oct 27 (10-days round-trip from Piraeus (Athens)
  2. 2021, Nov 6 (15-days from Piraeus (Athens) to Civitavecchia (Rome)

Azamara Quest

  1. -

P&O Cruises UK



  1. -

Princess Cruises

Island Princess

  1. 2021, Oct 19 (26-days from Southampton to Civitavecchia (Rome)
  2. 2021, Oct 31 (14-days round-trip from Civitavecchia (Rome)
  3. 2021, Nov 14 (14-days round-trip from Rome, 28-days from Rome to Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Serenity

  1. -

Crystal Symphony

  1. 2021, Sept 21 (20-days from Marseille to Piraeus (Athens)
  2. 2021, Sept 28 (13-days from Rome to Piraeus (Athens)

Crystal Esprit

  1. -

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

ms Europa

  1. 2021, Apr 26 (13-days from Limassol (Cyprus) to Civitavecchia (Rome)

Windstar Cruises

Star Legend

  1. 2021, May 1, Oct 25 (10-days round-trip from Piraeus (Athens)
  2. 2021, Oct 25 (18-days from Piraeus to Barcelona)


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