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.

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