Ashdod Port, Israel's new economic gate, provides passengers of cruise ships and tourism, a new and modern terminal, among the most advanced in the world.
The Port offers the passenger organized air-conditioned shuttle service from the parking lot to the passenger terminal, and upon return from the trip, the shuttle takes the passenger back to the parking lot. Upon boarding the shuttle, the passenger is required to present to the security person his passport and a confirmation of his cruise order. Entry into the port by private vehicles is prohibited.
Be aware the sometimes port officials at the gate can be very "difficult" and only seem to favor certain taxi companies, resulting in heavy "surcharges".
For the convenience of the passengers there are two duty-free shops offering a wide variety of products attractively priced. Access to the shops is after passport control.
The center of town is not within walking distance, about 4 km away.
Printable map to take along on the cruise.
Watch a destination video.
The city is a young one, re-founded 50 years ago and grown dramatically during the last two decades. It is well planned and maintained, and its beaches and south regions are very beautiful. It regularly finds itself in highest places in rankings of the most beautiful/well-designed cities in Israel.
Modern Ashdod is known for its diverse population, with each wave of Jewish immigration represented. Jews from former Soviet Union makes up roughly a third of total 235,000 residents.
The majority of cruise travelers take shore excursions or private tours that provide transportation from Ashdod to Jerusalem. If you're set on touring on your own, you can take the ship's shuttle to the main port gate, where you can catch a cab directly to Jerusalem. Due to time constraints, the first option is recommended.
When a cruise ship docks most times the shore agent arranges for a shuttle bus that runs throughout the day. It may not run often, but is available all day.
The taxi company (only one or two companies are allowed to enter the gates) will have taxis on the dock when the passengers start leaving the ship. They have a clearly marked and centrally placed sign listing their prices for taxi service anywhere in the country as well as their prices for the driver staying with you for more than just the driving, or for example being with you and at your disposal all day.
You do not have to hire one of their taxis to stay with you all day. You can either take any taxi you want back to the port gates or get the phone number of the company and then call them when you need to return to the port. If you are staying in Ashdod, this is probably your best bet.
Taxi fares. (2012)
You can easily visit Tel Aviv and Jaffa on your own via train. Just take the ship's shuttle to the center of Ashdod, where you will find the train station. The train takes less than one hour to Tel Aviv
At Jerusalem's heart is the Old City, which is surrounded by a wall and divided into four quarters - Jewish, Armenian, Christian, and Muslim. Inside the walls are the important holy sites of the three major religions: the Western Wall, which is holy to the Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. The Western Wall plaza is visited by millions of worshipers. Here, at the base of the massive wall that is a remnant of the Holy Temple, prayers are offered and notes containing heartfelt wishes are wedged between the crevices.
Tel Aviv, often called "the city that never stops," was the first modern Jewish city built in Israel and is the country's economic and cultural center. It is a lively, active city with entertainment, culture and art, festivals, and a rich nightlife.
Eating out in Israel is expensive especially if you dine at a sit-down restaurant. You can enjoy any meal at any outdoor cafe, the food is always good and inexpensive. Sit down restaurant lunch can go for about $30 for lunch and $50 for dinner. Your best bet is to use credit cards, you usually get a better rate. Also, you can use American dollars, most places will take dollars. Buses are cheap and taxis not too bad. Any gift items or clothing are usually much higher than in the USA.
New Israeli Shekel (NIS)
There are many ATMs around Israel that are all connected to European and American banking systems.
During the past year, many food chains, municipalities and academic centers have made wireless internet access available for free. In general, places you will find free wireless internet access all around Israel are: All Mc. Donalds' branches, some Burger King branches, ‘Aroma' coffee shops, ‘The Coffee bean and Tea Leaf' coffee shops, ‘Arcaffe' coffee shops, ‘Tal Bagels' branches, Jerusalem city center, Even Gvirol st. in Tel-Aviv and some academic institutes.
National Israeli holidays / Chagim are generally all Jewish Holidays, plus the addition of Independence day. Following is a list of all Jewish Holidays, and Vacation days in Israel.
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