Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel
Information Not Currently Available
2 days/1 night
Day 1 (L/D)
Leave Ashdod port and drive to Masada Fortress, located in the Judean Desert and looming high above the Dead Sea’s desolated landscape. In King Herod’s days Masada was a luxurious refuge complete with magnificent palaces and excavated rock cisterns to provide water supplies.
Around AD 73, after a prolonged Roman siege, nearly 1,000 members of the Jewish faith took their own lives rather than face a future of slavery. A cable car will take you to the summit for a walk around the site of this last stand. Among the fascinating landmarks are the casement wall, the Northern palace, the synagogue, cisterns, the Western palace and the Roman ramp. Back down on the desert floor, you will drive to a hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea to enjoy a buffet lunch in the lowest place on the surface of our planet. After lunch you'll have the opportunity to take an "unsinkable" swim in the extremely salty, mineral rich water of the Dead Sea. In the late afternoon, you will drive south to the Arava Border Crossing and enter Jordan. Your coach will take you to your hotel near Petra in time for dinner at the hotel.
Dinner and Overnight at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel (or similar) after an exciting and memorable day.
Day 2 (B/L)
After an early breakfast and hotel check-out, spend the morning hours exploring the magnificent site of Petra—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The early hours of the day are the ideal time to see Petra, when the red rock displays its most vibrant colors. At the entrance, horses are available for the 10-minute walk to the Siq Canyon. The imposing and beautiful Siq is, in itself, one of the main attractions in Petra—it is a narrow passageway deeply incised into the rock and the walk through it takes about 30 minutes. The effort is rewarded by that awe-inspiring moment of first setting foot in Petra. Petra is an archeological, anthropological and geological phenomenon, with a history as colorful as the sandstone rock from which it was carved. The walk among the buildings and ruins is made easy by the endless sights and fascinating facts revealed along the way. Leaving Petra before noon, you will stop for a buffet lunch at a local restaurant; then, drive north to the Sheikh Hussein/Jordan River Border Crossing. An Israeli guide and coach will be waiting to transfer you to Haifa Port and your ship.
There is a strenuous walk into and out of the Petra site along an inclined path that includes slippery and unpaved surfaces, suitably only for participants who are physically fit. It is approximately a half-mile walk (each way) from the entrance to the site to the beginning of the Siq (canyon). From there, participants must walk five to six miles (each way) through the canyon all the way to the ruins. Temperatures are high -- easily 105° at Petra. Please realistically assess your physical fitness and ability prior to booking, as the walking is uphill and over unpaved, rough walking tracks with steps. Shade is limited; please dress accordingly. Bring water and a hat, and wear sunscreen. While there are a limited number of carriages, camels and donkeys available at Petra for transportation (at your own expense), they are strictly on a first-come, first-served basis and their use is in no way encouraged as they are not insured. If you choose to take the horse-drawn carriage, you do so at your own risk and there will be no narration during the bumpy ride that ends at the Treasury building. Your carriage driver will schedule a meeting time with you in front of the Treasury Building for the return ride. Expect delays; 20 minutes late is not considered late in Jordan. Guests wishing to arrange for a carriage ride must do so directly with their guide and pay the guide, not the carriage driver. Not suitable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Even if you engage a carriage or service animal, you must still travel on foot over uneven and inclined terrain in order to completely view the site. No guest is obliged to stay with the guided tour; guests who they feel they cannot continue (taking into consideration the return walk) can leave the group and return to the entrance on their own.
Important: It is solely each guest's responsibility to obtain (before traveling) any visas, vaccinations or tourist cards that are required for participating in Overland Adventures or Overnights, unless noted otherwise in the description. Please be aware that you may need a visa for any and/or all countries that you will depart from and travel through as part of your Overland Adventure or Overnight, and for the country in which you will re-join the ship. Your travel agent can assist you with your visa needs. If you require further assistance, Holland America Line's preferred visa service is CIBTvisas. US and Canadian citizens can reach them by phone or email:
US citizens: 866 788 1100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian citizens: 866 935 8472 or email email@example.com
CIBTvisas phone numbers and email addresses for Dutch, German, Australian, United Kingdom, Belgian, Singapore, Spanish, Swiss and French citizens can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website, in the Cruise Preparation area. Applications and additional information can be downloaded from the CIBTvisas website at https://CIBTvisas.com/hollandamerica. You must advise CIBTvisas of your Overland Adventures or Overnights, as the visa requirements for these vacation enhancements may vary from those required for your cruise.
and Canadian guests departures of this overland adventure, visas for Jordan will be obtained by the tour operator one week prior to the tour and guests do not need to obtain visas in advance.