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Ashdod port to Jerusalem

Huddersfield
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Ashdod port to Jerusalem

We arrive at Ashdod port on the Thomson Spirit cruise ship on Thursday 17th April and would like a brief visit to Jerusalem old city - we don't mind walking and are not of a nervous disposition but would like some ideas of the various ways to get from the port as directly as possible to near the main sites in the old city and obviously have the facility to get back to the port later that same day.

Thanks

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1. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

Would you consider hiring a guide? The cost of a driving guide runs about $400 USD a day. Moti Dagan and Jeff Abel are spoken of very well on this forum.

Douglas Duckett

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2. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

Hi There HuddersfieldTourist. Am I right in that you actually have 2 days in Israel on your cruise? Do you intend to go back to the ship on the night in between, or would you consider sleeping over in Jerusalem on that night?

Also, does your cruise offer an on-shore trip to Jerusalem? If so, it might not be such a bad idea.

With answers to the above, we can surely give you some good advice.

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Huddersfield
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3. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

Thanks for the two replies - yes the cruise does offer a one day cruise at about UK £65 which is about US $ 120 each and it is a full day and will no doubt include a shared guide. We just thought it may be better to go by bus or shared taxi to see some of the sights. Thanks for the offer of a guide at $400 which had there been more of us would have been a better proposition for us. We would want to return to the ship on the same day even though the ship is in the port overnight but do not want an exhaustive detailed tour just a quick look at the main sights.That's why we thought if we could make our own way there we could see what we wished and then return to the ship. The ship tour is about 11 or 12 hours and will no doubt include a stop for a meal and some shopping neither of which interest us and the time at each location on the trip may be more or less than what we would choose. Thanks

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4. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

OK, so your cruise offers an off-shore day trip to Jerusalem at about $120 each. That's $240, and it probably doesn't include lunch, which you would need to eat anyway some time during the day.

The easiest way for you to get to Jerusalem and back is by Taxi - all Israeli taxis have a fixed price for the routes between 2 cities, so you need to check that with the driver before he drives off (it's 238 shekels each way, at the moment, between 6:00 and 19:00, after 19:00 it's 287 shekels) that works out at between $130 and $150 round trip(depending on what time you get the taxi back).

Doing your own tour of Jerusalem in 1 day is definitely do-able, but you need to be very organized, and have a list of all the things you want to see, together with their opening times, and an approximation of how long you want to stay at each one. Consider also taking a 1/2 day tour of the old city.

If you want help with your 1-day itinerary, throw some ideas together and put them up as a post here on the forum, and we'll let you know if it makes sense or can be improved.

Try to get hold of a detailed itinerary of your cruise's tour - if you don't know whether it's a good tour, you can post the itinerary here, and we'll let you know. And once you see what they are doing, and add in the fact that it probably includes guides and getting from place to place, you may find out that it's pretty much the same as doing it on your own.

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5. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

I'd agree with all that.

The half-day walking tour that Debi refers to is the Four Quarters walking tour of the Old City. It is a great overview, and is offered every day at 11:00 a.m. by Zion Walking Tours just inside the Jaffa Gate to the Old City. You would probably be able to get to Jerusalem easily by that hour.

But I think Debi is right -- let us check your itinerary, but the cruise tour may be a decent bet given your time limitations.

Douglas Duckett

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Huddersfield
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6. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

Thanks again both of you for taking the time to respond. We do not have a detailed itinerary of the Cruise tour as all it says is Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Wailing/Western Wall, Garden of Gethsemane Church Of All Nations Jerusalem Art and Diamond Centre The Knesset The Museum of Israel and The Shrine of the Book.

Not mentioned at all The Dome of The Rock,Mount of Olives Garden Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper or Via Dorosa which may well or may well not be included.

But there is a chance that the tour calls briefly at Bethlehem !

We would only want to spend a few minutes at each location to soak up a bit of the atmosphere and to get a flavour of each rather than spend any prolonged period at each.

As for lunch we would skip that meal completely as we will eat a big breakfast which added to the amount we will have already eaten on the ship will probably see us through for a few weeks rather than a few hours ! We will just take some water along etc

Should you have any suggestions or things I have nmentioned that are not " must sees" or well off the beaten track please let me know - thanks again.

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7. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

The tour the cruise is offering so packed that you could only pass by those places and see nothing. If you want to go on your own you should take a taxi to the Old City in Jerusalem and do a tour there. Take a map of the Old City, mark what interest you, make a route thru and do it. You could see 4-5 sites the most, spending about 45 minutes at each place, and 15 minutes walking from one site to the other. Ashdod to jerusalem is about 1 hour by taxi, and 1 hour back. That will fill the day. Most of the sites are free so it will cost only the taxi. Another possibility is to get to Jerusalem for the Zion Walking Tour. This will give you a good idea of the place with explanations. After that you could go back to 1-2 of the most impressing sites to you and go back to Ashdod.

You could use public transport. Bus no. 448 goes from Ashdod central bus station to Jerusalm central bus station. The trip take 80-85 minutes. You need to get the the central bus station by bus in both cities. I guess the trip will take at least 2.5 each way. It will be cheap - 41 shekels per person

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8. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

I'd take the cab, and then take Shoshi's suggestion of the Zion Walking Tours plus some extra time at sites you want to see more of. One good place to visit more might be Burnt House and the Herodian Quarters in the Jewish Quarter. Very good look at First Century Jerusalem and life in the Upper City before the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Or you could grab a cab to see the First Century Jerusalem model and the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum before heading back to Ashdod (most of the Museum is closed for renovations).

Enjoy your visit!

Douglas Duckett

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9. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

I prefer Douglas' route but with a twist:

1. Take the taxi from Ashdod to Jerusalem (you don't have so much time, so don't waste sightseeing time on buses), and have it take you to Jaffa Gate.

2. Go on the Zion Tours tour of the old city (Tour #1 on http://zionwt.dsites1.co.il/HTMLs/article_en.aspx?C2015=840&BSP=822&BSS21=840&BSCP=822).

3. Next, take a taxi to Yad Vashem (about 15-20 minutes taxi ride) - plan to stay about 1.5 hours.

4. From there, take a taxi (about 10-15 minutes) to the Israel Museum , and see the Model of the Temple and the Shrine of the Book (not more than 1 hour for the two). The Museum closes at 17:00, so you should plan to get there by 16:00.

5. Lastly, walk from the Museum (or take a taxi if you are tired) to the Mahane Yehuda Shuk / Open market. It's about a 15 minute walk. You'll be ending off with a sense of the atmosphere, especially since it is particularly busy on Thursday afternoons/early evenings. You can get yourselves something to nibble on for the way back to Ashdod.

6. Then depending on the time, how tired you are, and/or how adventurous you are - either pick up a taxi back to Ashdod, or get a taxi (5 minutes) to the central bus station, and take the bus back to Ashdod (and then taxi from the Ashdod bus station back to the port). The bus takes about 1 hour 20 minutes (as Shoshi mentioned), and is 18 shekels each. Since you will not really be in a rush to get back, it might be a fun thing to experience. The bus you should take is the 448 at 18:15, 19:00 or 20:00.

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10. Re: Ashdod port to Jerusalem

Very good "twists" to the plan!

Douglas Duckett