Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Celebrity Silhouette and other cruisers: Ashdod Port and Cruise Ships - Opportunities

We realize that there have been some recent discussions on Cruise Critic about the Ashdod port dockings for cruise ships during the 4 days you are able to tour Israel.

MarkZtours has come up with what we feel is the ideal solution during the period Ashdod port is not used. Our trademark approach is to develop with you, exclusive shore excursions that are unique, exciting, customized and very reasonably priced. We strive to provide you with outstanding service and an amazing experience in Israel.

We have recently opened a center of operation in the north of Israel near Haifa. We are using a marvelous Druze Transport company out of the nearby town of Daliat HaCarmel and are working with fantastic people and receiving outstanding service. We still have full serve out of Ashdod.

What we are recommending is a three day package:

Day One out of Haifa Port: Galilee/Golan - featuring the archaeological site at Zippori, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee (varying depending on Jewish and/or Christian orientation), the Golan Heights with possible visits to Druze village, views of Israel Syria border - the Valley of Tears sight of major tank battle in Yom Kippur war.

Day Two out of Haifa port (if not docking in Ashdod) Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. We recommend driving directly to Masada then bathing in the Dead Sea, driving back to Jerusalem with a late afternoon early evening tour of the Old City.

Day Three also out of Haifa port but also available from Ashdod - visit to the famous and amazing archaelogical sites of Caesarea Maritima and Megiddo and a later afternoon visit to Jaffa and Tel Aviv.

If you are interested in a memorable "Druze Experience" in the north, you have come to the right place. We have developed wonderful visiting opportunities in the Druze community of Daliat HaCarmel. I use a Druze transport company out of Daliat HaCarmel about 30 minutes from Haifa. We have great drivers and wonderful vans. The Abu Anter Restaurant offers delicious, traditional Druze meals at reasonable prices.

I just finished a two day tour for passengers from the Celebrity Silhouette. The first day was a tour of the Galilee and Golan highlighting visits to Zippori archeological site, the holy city of Zefat, the Druze village of Migdal Shams where we enjoyed Knafe a special desert, viewpoints along the Israel/Syria border and more. Day two (the ship changed program and did not sail to Ashdod port) we took the group to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea - a long and exhilarating day.

Our rates are exceptionally competitive compared to other tour companies and the land excursions offered by your ship. We know the market. Also, we pride ourselves on customizing our tours to the unique needs of each group. We also give great attention to health, safety and security concerns to assure all goes well on our tours.

A day tour to the Galilee including the "Druze Experience" is $900 USD - total cost shared by our guests (e.g. 9 guests would pay $100 each plus entry fees where applicable.) The very comfortable van we use holds 12 guests plus driver and guide. We can customize the visit for Jewish and/or Christian orientation. We can substitute the Golan for Akko or other sites in the Galilee. There are other creative options as well depending on your interest.

With the issue of cruise ships not docking in Ashdod port, we have just developed a most innovative solution to the Jerusalem and Dead Sea portion of the tour on the second day.

We recommend driving directly to Masada then bathing in the Dead Sea then going back to Jerusalem ending up with a later afternoon/early evening visit to the Old City. We just completed our first such tour with amazing success. Again, we are flexible on this itinerary and will work with you to make the tour a dream come true. Cost is $1,100 USD (e.g. 11 passengers would pay $100 USD each plus entry fees where applicable.)

If you are interested, please write soon if interested. We already have received inquires from other passengers on the Silhouette October docking.

What our guests are saying: Review YMCA 3 Arches Hotel

We recently had the honor to guide a fantastic mom and son who came off their docked ship in Haifa for a two day tour of the Galilee, Golan, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. We recommended that they stay overnight in Jerusalem at the 3 Arches Hotel in the Jerusalem International YMCA. The mom's very nice review is below. Please not that MarkZtours has an exclusive agreement for a fantastic discount at the 3 Arches not available anywhere else - 400 New Israeli Shekels (approximately $125 USD per room per night.)


The review:

30 Jul 2011 TonsMom
My son and I stayed here overnight during our 11-day Holyland cruise. We had booked a private tour for the two-day stop and this allowed us to get the most out of our two days in Israel. I highly recommend Mark Zober for the private tour (markztours@gmail.com). He and his wife Marilyn gave us the insider's view of Israel in a very short amount of time.

The hotel is located across the street from the famous King David Hotel and is near the old city in Jerusalem. If you have a chance walk across the street and check out the insides of the King David hotel. Many famous people have stayed at the King David and there is much history to see in the hotel itself.

Take a tour of the Jerusalem Y as well. The arches leading to the lobby are noteworthy and a ride in the elevator up to the top of the Y tower for sweeping photos of Jerusalem is a must. We were on a high floor overlooking King David Street and it was wonderful to wake up in the morning to see the roof tops of surrounding Jerusalem. The hotel has a buffet breakfast and weather permitting a courtyard in the front of the hotel where you can eat breakfast. The choice of breakfast foods was more than adequate.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

THE LAND OF ISRAEL CHRONOLOGY by Mark Zober and Marilyn Farber

(Early Years are Approximate)

BCE (Before the Commen Era)

< 4,500 Stone Age
10,000 People living on the Carmel
8,000 Agriculture
7,000 Wall built at Jericho
5,800 Appearance of clay pottery.

4,500 Chaolcolith (Copper Age)
3,500 People living on the Golan Heights
3,200 Canaanite Period (Bronze Age)
3,000 First cities
2,000 First city states
1,482 Thutmose III (Assyrian) conquers Meggido
1,217 “Israel” appears on the Merneptah Stele

1,200-1,050 Judges Period (Iron Age I)
1,025 Samuel last judge and Saul first king
1,004 David becomes King of Israel

965 Israelite Period (Iron Age 2-3)
Solomon becomes king (builds First Temple)
928 Split of the United Monarchy
722 Northern 10 tribes destroyed by Assyrians
586 First Temple Destroyed by the Babylonians

586-332 Persian Period
538 Edict of Cyrus (Jews allowed to return)
515 2nd Temple completed;
445 Return of Ezra and Nehemiah

332-167 Hellenistic Period -- Alexander the Great captures Land of Israel
198 Antiochus (Seleucids- Greeks in Syria) defeats the Ptolemies (Greeks in Egypt) and rules Palestine
169 Antiochus plunders the Temple
168 Maccabees revolt and defeat the Greeks

167-67 Hasmonean Period -- beginning of period of Jewish kings ruling Judaea
64 Pompey (Roman) conquers Land of Israel

63-334 CE Roman Period
37-4 Rule of Herod the Great
~4 Birth of Jesus

CE (Common Era)

~33 Crucifixion of Jesus;
66-73 The Great Revolt (by the Jews against the Romans
70 Fall of Jerusalem and destruction of 2nd Temple
73 Fall of Masada
132-135 Bar Kochba's Revolt (last Jewish revolt against Rome)
220 Yehuda HaNassi compiles the Mishna in Zippori;

324-638 Byzantine Period -- Roman Empire accepts Christianity under Emperor Constantine
Roman Empire moves capitol to Byzantine (Constantinople—in Turkey today)
325 Queen Helene (mother of Constantine) visits Jerusalem
335 Holy Sepulcher built
368 Jerusalem Talmud compiled in Tiberias

[b 570-d 632 Mohammed born in Mecca]

614 Persian Period – mass destruction of Churches in “Israel”

638 Early Muslim Period --Jerusalem ruled by Muslims
640 Muslims conquer Caesarea Maritima
660 Rule of the Umayyad Dynasty
691 Dome of the Rock is built
705 Al Aqsa Mosque is build
730 Rule of the Abassid Dynasty
970 Rule of the Fatimid Dynasty

1099-1291 Crusader Period –
1099 First Crusade
1146 2nd Crusade
1187 Saladin defeats Crusaders at Horns of Hattin (near Tiberius)
1191 3rd Crusade
1228 6th Crusade

1250-1517 Mamluk Period (former Egyptian vassels) – begin rule in Egypt
1291 Mamluks (Sultan Baibars) expel the Crusaders

1517-1917 Ottoman Period -- Sultan Selim I captures Land of Israel

1540 Suliman builds the walls of Jerusalem;
1720 Dahar-el-Omar conquers the North
1775 Ahmed al-Jazzar Pasha rules Akko
1799 Napolean invasion
1831 Ibahim Pasha (Egypt) conquest
1860 Jews begin to build communities outside the walls of the ‘Old City” of Jerusalem
1882 1st Aliyah (Immigration to Israel
1898 Theodore Herzl (father of Zionism-- b. 1860 d. 1904--visits Palestine)
1904 2nd Aliyah

1917-1948 British Mandate
1919 3rd Aliyah
1921 Jaffa riots
1929 Palestinian riots
1936-39 Arab rebellion
1945-48 Jewish illegal immigration by ships (Aliyah Bet)
Nov 29, 1947 UN votes to partition Palestine into 2 states, with Jerusalem becoming international
1947-1949 Arabs reject plan and war for ownership of Palestine begins

May 15, 1948 State of Israel established –fighting with 7 Arab states begins – War of Independence

1956, 1967, 1973 I srael-Arab wars --the Sinai War, the Six Day’s War, the Yom Kippur War

From Haifa Port: Late Summer Tour of Galilee and Golan- Jewish orientation

Your tour guides: Mark Zober and Marilyn Farber – mobile phones MZ (054) 590-0223
MF (054) 533-1945

On a Sunday

8:30 AM Pick up at Haifa Port

9:30 Visit Zippori National Park: The city of Zippori (Sepphoris), described by the first century CE Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius, as "the ornament of all Galilee," is located on a hill in the Lower Galilee, midway between the Mediterranean and Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), with abundant spring water and a fertile valley around it.

12:00 Noon Visit Safed: Located at an elevation of 900 metres (2,953 ft), Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters. Since the sixteenth century, Safed has been considered one of Judaism's Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias; since that time, the city has remained a center of Kabbalah, also known as Jewish mysticism.

Due to its beautiful setting surrounded by pine forests and its mild climate, Safed has become a summer holiday resort frequented by Israelis and foreign visitors alike.

3:00 PM Vist Gamla: Known sometimes as the "Masada of the North," Gamla is most famous for its strong defense against the Romans in the Jewish Revolt in 66 A.D.  The site is bordered on all sides by deep wadis of the Golan Heights 

4:30 PM Peace Vista: Wonderful overview of Sea of Galilee

5:30 PM Tiberias Marina Promenade : Tiberias is a city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee (also called the Kinneret), Lower Galilee, Israel. Established in 20 CE, it was named in honour of the emperor Tiberius.
Tiberias has been venerated in Judaism since the middle of the 2nd century CE and since the 16th century has been considered one of Judaism's Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem,  Hebron and Safed.[4] In the 2nd-10th centuries, Tiberias was the largest Jewish city in the Galilee and the political and religious hub of the Jews of Palestine. According to Christian tradition, Jesus performed several miracles in the Tiberias district, making it an important pilgrimage site for devout Christians. Tiberias has historically been known for its hot springs, believed to cure skin and other ailments, for thousands of years.

7:00 PM Return to Haifa Port

Depending on time and interest - also go to Har Bental to overlook and bunkers and stop at Capernaum and or Mt. of Beatitudes...even for Jewish oriented tour.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sahara - Wonderful Restaurant at Nein near Mt. Tabor

If you are driving in the Galilee, you will have one prominent geographic landmark - Mt. Tabor - popular stop for Christian tourist - Mt. Tabor is the traditional location of jesus' Transfiguration. Those crossing into Israel from Beit Shean heading for Mt. Tabor will find the village of Nein along the way. Hungary? Shahara is a wonderful restaurant suitable for large groups.

The Review below comes from the Jerusalem Post.

Sahara in the Galilee
08/19/2011 16:59

A northern restaurant offers an authentic and delicious meal, as well as traditional hospitality

While driving in the North looking for a place to eat, there is no need to get lost in forgotten alleys of some industrial park or find yourself at a dead end after following your GPS instructions.

No need to dry the rivers of sweat down your back, either. If you find yourself in the area of Afula wondering where you can get a decent meal, Sahara may be just what you were hoping for. Located near a gas station on the road leading north from Afula, you can’t miss this impressive building – and you shouldn’t.

Built where an old khan once stood, the decor of the restaurant follows the fashion that was common in the area 150 years ago.

The stone used in the rebuilding was carefully collected by the owner from nearby villages. Keeping old traditions doesn’t end there. The cuisine is based on that of the Zuabi tribe, who arrived in that area from the Iraqi-Syrian border more than 200 years ago.

Before the meal, you can sit in the lounge that is set in the shade.

Lemonade or coffee is served by the attentive staff while you relax.

Opened in 1999, Sahara offers a cuisine known as Syrian-Shami, which is characterized by slow-cooking methods, use of local fresh produce and special seasoning mixtures. Cooking and baking are done in the wooden ovens (the tabun) or on the charcoal grill. There is no use of electric or gas stoves.

Freshly squeezed orange juice and water are served at your table before you even have a chance to look at the menu. The salads that follow are all fresh and crispy. We chose cauliflower in tehina sauce, which was very good; humous (also good); Moroccan carrot, chopped vegetables, peppers in garlic and green tehina, complemented by warm pita freshly out of the tabun outside. But don’t stuff yourself with the salads and bread because the meat and fish dishes cooked in the tabun or on the grill here are not to be missed.

We chose the muhmar, a whole baby chicken in sumac, stuffed with bulgur, onions, ground lamb and pine nuts, baked in the tabun (NIS 55). The chicken was good but a little dry. The best dish of the meal was stuffed lamb neck, a dish served in many restaurants now, but here it had that extra something that made it superb. Hard to say if it was the quality of the meat, which was very good, the stuffing (rice and pine nuts) or the seasoning, but it was simply perfect. On the side we tasted the fricky, a green wheat salad and tabun-baked potatoes.

Another specialty at Sahara is lamb baked in the tabun over rice and yogurt sauce (NIS 95).

The finale was served on the vast porch overlooking the valley towards the Carmel Mountains and Nazareth.

Thousands of twinkling lights and a soft breeze allowed us to relax and enjoy the Oriental sweets; knaffe, baklava, watermelon and strong coffee.

Hillal Zuabi, one of the owners of the restaurant, is very proud of his place. He says all their suppliers are chosen very carefully and attain the standards of the chef of the Jordanian royal family, who created and designed the menu when he was in Israel a few years back.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Not kosher
At the crossroad near the Nien village,
between Afula and Kfar Tabor
Tel: (04) 642-5959
An average meal costs NIS 80 –
NIS 110 per person.

Tour the Galilee and Golan Heights from the Haifa Port

The Christian focused itinerary and the Jewish oriented route. You can travel with your own private party or you can join the semi-private or small group tours. Regardless of which option you choose, you will be picked up right from the port and safely returned back to the port in time for departure.

On the Christian Northern Israel tour you can experience for yourself the historic locations and stunning scenery of the places where Jesus lived, preached and performed his miracles.

Enjoy a picturesque drive from Haifa to the top of Mount Carmel for a panoramic view over the Haifa bay and the famous Baha'i Gardens. Next, travel along the plains of Armageddon to Nazareth - the place where Jesus spent his early years.

In Nazareth, explore the amazing Basilica of the Annunciation, one of Christianity's most revered shrines and largest church in the Middle East. A remarkable 170-foot- high cupola that rises high above the upper church adds to the Basilica's grandeur and allows the interior to be illuminated with natural light.

Next, travel through Cana, the place where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine. Then onwards to Tabgha, the site of the miracle of loaves and fish. Visit the beautiful Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached the famous Sermon on the Mount. Traveling on, visit Capernaum, located on the beautiful shores of the Sea of Galilee, considered the center of Jesus' ministry while he was living in this area. During your visit, you will see the ruins of an ancient synagogue where an impressive mosaic floor was recently discovered.

Continuing along the panoramic seashore you will arrive to the Yardenit baptismal site where the River Jordan separates from the Sea of Galilee. In this naturally scenic and symbolic setting, pilgrims from around the world come to perform baptismal ceremonies. On your relaxing ride back to the pier in Haifa, you will view Mount Tabor, the traditional site of the Transfiguration where Jesus appeared to his disciples in radiant light while speaking with Moses and Elijah.

On this day trip you will see Nazareth, Cana, Tabgha, Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Sea of Galilee, Yardenit Baptismal Site, and the Haifa Bay and Baha'i Gardens.

Start with a vist to the "Gem of the North" Zippori. The home Yehuda HaNessi who compiled the Mishna, This capital of the north over the last 2000 years has amazing Roman mosaics including the "Madonna of the North," a fantastic ancient synagogue. Next its onwards to the Jewish city of Safed (Tsfat in Hebrew) to visit historical

It is also possible to visit Jerusalem from the port of Haifa but if you will also be docking in Ashdod it is recommended to visit Jerusalem from Ashdod to reduce the drive times to and from the port.

We keep receiving great feedback for these shore excursions!

To get a price and itinerary via email and to check availability write us a note a markztours@gmail.com or skype mark at mzober.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cruising on Royal Caribbean Line to Israel: Ashdod and Haifa Port:We have a customized, cost effective, tour for you

Shalom, if your are cruising on Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Sea or any of the other ships docking in Ashdod and/or Haifa ports you will want to read this post.

Is suggest you contact me as soon as possible as I am getting booked up for the full eastern Caribbean cruise season.

Thank you very much for contacting me.

With the eastern Mediterranean cruise season in full swing, I am specializing in customized, private small group tours from Ashdod and Haifa ports: Focus - the Galilee and Golan, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

What is working best is for those of you looking for a acost effective, customized, private, reliable alternative to the land excursions offered by your cruise ship is for the interested cruise passenger to form a group of up to 10 participants using Cruise Critic or other method and work directly with a licensed Israeli tour guide to design the desired itinerary.

I am already booked for many small group land excursions this later summer and fall of 2011. I do have some open days remaining.

I am also working with couples who want a private tours as well.

The tour itineraries from Haifa port typically start with a view of the Baha'I Gardens and Terrace in Haifa and then onto the Galilee - most like to stop in the archaeological site of Zippori, then onto the Sea of Galilee and the Golan (Gamla Nature reserve is popular.) Other popular sites in the north are Akko, Zefat, the Hula Nature Reserve and visits to wineries on the Golan Heights at in Zichron Ya'acov on Mt. Carmel.

The orientation/theme of each tour depends on if the group is Jewish, christian or mixed.

For those of you who want something very unique and a special treat, I suggest a stop over at the Druze village of Daliat HaCarmel - a short drive from Haifa in the Camel Mountains. I strongly recommend a "Druze Experience" in the home - to eat at Nurah's Kitchen. We can top for Druze coffee and very special dessert - Kehteief. Or even better, enjoy a full lavish Druze lunch or dinner. Incidentally, our outstanding drivers, Rabiah and Zakhi live in Daliat - assuring a real cultural treat.

At Ashdod port, there are two very popular tour destinations - Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

The popular Jerusalem tour starts with a view of the Old City from the Mount of Olives, a visit to the Old City's 4 quarters, the Davidson Archeologiical Park or City of David, Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) and Mt. Herzl (National Cemetery).

The favorite Dead Sea trip features going up on the cable car to Masada, a hike in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, visit to the Qumran archeological site where the Jewish Essene scribes wrote the Dead Sea scrolls and placed them in the caves nearby. We end the day bathing in the Dead Sea.

Let me know if you are interesting in a private, customized and cost effective tour from either or both Haifa and Ashdod ports and we can begin to turn your dream tour into reality at a reasonable price.



What guests are saying:

Ashdod; the gateway for visiting Jerusalem, what more can be said. Wanting to see the Holy City and simultaneously do some other unique activities I opted for a private excursion with Mark Zober (markztours@gmail.com). I will highly recommend this option as there is so little time and so much to see to include making your way through the thousands of tourists and crowded streets. It is the only way to see Jerusalem unless you have at least a week to spare. I highly recommend Mark to anyone wanting to see Jerusalem - he is very well educated, very reasonable, and is flexible and organized. Mark will customize any excursion to your needs. Besides the four main Jerusalem quarters, I asked Mark to have us do the City of David to include all the three underground tunnels. These tunnels were just recently discovered it was a great experience but be ready for some heavy duty walking. I limited my group to a total of only 10 people; maneuver the throngs of tourists staying small is wise. Jerusalem is an amazing city filled with so much history that one day is not enough; however Mark packed in as much as humanly possible for one day

Mark Alan Zober, Ph.D.
Licensed Israel Tour Guide
Past President, Jerusalem Rotary Club (District 2490)
465/5 Eliezer Kashani Street
East Talpiot
Jerusalem ISRAEL
972-54-590-0223 Home/Office Jerusalem
972-8-684-3401 Home/Office Ashkelon
BLOG http://tourguides0607.blogspot.com/
SKYPEID mzober


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Land excursions from Ashdod and Haifa Ports

The best Mediterranean cruises today stop at Ashdod and Haifa ports giving passengers a wonderful opportunity to visit Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the Galilee and Golan Heights as well as the Sea of Galilee. As frequent cruisers ourselves, we like to hire local private guides whenever possible. With the information available today, it is also possible to do some self guiding that works out well. While we are professional guides and do love to private private tours out of Ashdod and Haifa ports, we will offer suggestions for self-guiding whenever possible.

In the scenario below, where the first port is Haifa for two days, we recommend one day of self guiding in Haifa. Excellent public transportation including buses, taxis, a railway station and the Carmelit funicular are within easy walking distance of the port.

Below is a recommended combination of self guiding (one day in Haifa) and three days of touring the Galilee, Golan, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea areas.

Please do contact us with your questions to Mark and Marilyn markztours@gmail.com. We are on Skype at ID mzober and on mobile: Mark 972-54-590-0223.

Day One (Haifa Port) On your own.

It is quite easy to explore the city by public transport.

The Haifa Port located in the old center of the Namal/Harbor area. While the area is a bit run down, it is within walking distance of the German Colony at the foot of the Bahá'í Gardens, close to the Carmelit (funicular) up to the Carmel area of Haifa (trendy) and a short walk to the Louis Promenade view point of the Bahá'í Gardens from above.

25 yards from the entrance to the Carmelit on #1 Meginim St. is the Abu Yusef restaurant – gets positive reviews and frequented by locals – featuring maza assorted Middle East salads (humus, tehina, tabooli) and grilled fish and meat.

Day Two: Tour of the Galilee- Here there is the need to make some decisions based on preference and time constraints.

There are some fabulous sites in the area. If youur tour will be Jewish oriented. The listed sites and we should discuss and finalize.

Zippori National Park – Zippori was the central town of the Galilee during the Hasmonean, Roman, Muslim and Crusader periods. It was the home of Yehuda HaNesi who compiled the Mishna and the Sanhedrin (Jewish central religious authority).

Zefat – One of the 4 holy cities in Judaism ( Jerusalem, Hebron, Zefat and Tiberias). Important synagogues and artist quartere

Gamla National Park on the Golan Heights (the Masada of the north) is also a vulture reserve.

Akko – the Old City is not primarily a Jewish site – more Crusader and Ottoman – but has important Jewish significance as a Ottoman and later British prison held first the head of the Bahai faith and then was the place were many young Jewish martyrs held by the British were imprisoned, some were hung and escaped.

Tiberias – this a major Jewish community from @300-900 CE was the last place were the Sanhedrin was located.

For Christian oriented tours, you will need to consider Nazareth, Cana, sailing on the Sea of Galilee, visiting the 2000 year old "Jesus Boat" at Kibbutz Ginosar, Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitude, Tabghe (Church of the Fish and Loaves), Kursi and other sites with Christian magnificence (e.g. baptismal experience at Yardenit).

Third Day – Jerusalem – pick up Ashdod Port

Here there are essential things to do and some variations based on preferences and time.

Mt. of Olives overview looking west to the Old City
Walk through the 4 quarters (Armenian, Jewish, Christian and Muslim)
Lunch Middle Eastern after Abu Shukri restaurant in the Old City.
The Western Wall – plus Western Wall Tunnel Tour
Davidson Archaeological Park featuring the the story of Jerusalem revolt of 70 CE and the crushing defeat at the hands of the Romans.

Then we have other options:

The City of David archeological site with the possible palace of King David and King Hezekiah's and the Canaanite Tunnels. This is only for those who like a bit of strenuous walking – but worth it!

Those who like museums can consider the Israel Museum, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.

Fourth Day – Dead Sea Region

Drive from Ashdod to the Dead Sea – on to Masada- going up on the cable car. I also suggest visitig the museum at Masada as a fabulous introduction to the site.

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve for a 1 ½ hour relatively easy walk observing wildlife (hyrax and ibex) along the way.

Qumran – the home of the Essene Torah scribes and caves where the Dead Sea scrolls where located.

Ending up bathing in the Dead Sea at Kalya Beach and

Back to Ashdod Port and bon voyage.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Quality Tours in Israel: Land Excursions from Ashdod and Haifa Ports in August, September and October

Dear Fellow Cruisers,

My wife, Marilyn Farber, and I are both experienced, licensed Israeli tour guides. We realize that the summer/fall 2011 Mediterranean cruise season includes wonderful opportunities to visit Israel with port stops in Ashdod and Haifa.

We are also avid cruisers and enjoy putting together private land excursions when we travel. So we understand you desire to customize your tour and make it cost effective.

Ashdod Port is the gateway to Jerusalem: 1 hour to Jerusalem and 1 1/2 hours to the Dead Sea. For those of you who are docking in Ashdod for two days, many of our guests choice too sleep in Jerusalem to get a very early start for the Dead Sea after a full day touring Jerusalem. [We recommend nice hotels at @$125 USD for a room and breakfast.]

Haifa Port is the gateway to the Galilee and Golan Heights. A one day tour would start with a view from above of the magnificient Bahai Gardens and and Terrace then on to the Galilee and Golan - this can be a Christian pilgrimage oriented trip, Jewish Experience, archeological focus - as you wish. some guest wish to visit Tel Aviv-Jaffa - another great scenic, historic and cultural treat.

The idea "group" is one or two couples - we use a qualified chauffeur with large, air conditioned taxi. The less intimate but more cost effective option is a group of up to 10 persons in an air conditioned mini van- again with qualified chauffeur. Both options cost a total per group of $800 USD for the day (not including entry fees, meals and shoppiring.)

Our method of operation is to get your initial inquiry, ideally with a wish list of sites and experiences you desire. We then work together to customize the experience to your wishes.

We have a first come, first serve policy. We do get multiple requests from each cruise ship. If we are already booked, we will refer you to another outstanding licensed guide. So, please try to make your inquiries early - 2 to 3 months in adance is most effective. We do make it a priority to guide guests who want to join us for multi-day tours (e.g. Ashdod Port day one Jerusalem, day two Dead Sea).

Bon voyage!!!

Looking forward to hearing from you - my email is markztours@gmail.com, telephone/mobile number 972-54-590-0223 and Skype Id mzober.

Christian Holy Land Tour Sample

Sample Christian Pilgrimage Tour

Arrive Sunday October xx

Departure Sunday October xx+10 days

Tiberias Hotel 2 nights Ariston Hotel
Daniel Carmel Boat 054. 6864247
Panorama hotel Ras el Amud 4 nights


Sunday October day 1
Airport Pick up eta
Smile 0576526555
Check in Ariston Hotel
Breakfast and wake up call
Mount of Beatitudes
1:00 pm Boat ride Daniel Carmel Ginosar
Galilee Experience 046723620
Overnight Ariston Hotel

Monday October day 2
Caesarea Philippi Banias
Overnight Ariston Hotel

Tuesday October day 3
Checkout Ariston Hotel
Muchraka Mount Carmel
Haifa Promsnade Bahai gardens
Caesarea Maritima and Aquaduct
Check in Panorama Hotel Dinner

Wednesday October day 4
Mount of Olives
Garden of Gethsemane
Peter en Gallucantu
Last Supper Room
Western Wall
Jewish Quarter
Christian Quarter
Overnight Panorama Hotel

Thusday October day 5
8:45 am Confirmed Yad Vashem
Israel Museum
Dead Sea Scrolls Second Yemple Model
Overnight Panorama hotel

Saturday October day 6
Checkout Inbar Arad Hotel
Temple Mount
Via dolorosa
Garden Tomb 5:00 pm
Check in Holyland East Hotel

Friday October day 7
Check out panorama hotel
Dead Sea
Checkin Inbar Arsd Hotel 089973303

Sunday October day 8
Checkout Holyland Hotel
Free day

After lunch.......late checkout
Ella valley
Beit Shemesh
Depart Ben Gurion

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