Acre, Haifa new ports of call for local cruise liner
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Acre, Haifa new ports of call for local cruise liner

Looking to boost tourism, 200-passenger ship to offer short jaunts between Israeli cities

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Inaugurating the new pleasure cruise ship line between Acre and Haifa, launched by the Ministry of Tourism, and which will run twice a day, seven days a week (Courtesy Itamar Grinberg)
Inaugurating the new pleasure cruise ship line between Acre and Haifa, launched by the Ministry of Tourism, and which will run twice a day, seven days a week (Courtesy Itamar Grinberg)

Looking for the perfect cruise? There’s no need to travel far. A new cruise line will be sailing between Acre and Haifa, offering 45-minute rides with views of the Carmel Mountains, downtown Haifa, the coastline and Acre’s colorful fishing port.

The pleasure cruises were inaugurated earlier this week, and will be sailing the Mediterranean Sea from now through Passover 2017.

It’s a first of its kind in Israel, initiated by the Ministry of Tourism, which worked with the municipalities of Haifa and Acre and the Old Acre Development Company to develop the cruise line.

The ministry invested around NIS 11 million (around $2.8 million) in upgrading the two ports, with the aim of attracting tourists who want to travel between the two destinations, taking in the sites and activities in both places.

The ship, with capacity for 200 people, will run seven days a week, twice a day (at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Acre, and at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Haifa), with extra trips scheduled for the busy Sukkot period. A one-way trip costs NIS 30, and round-trip tickets will cost NIS 50 per person. No advance reservations are necessary to purchase tickets for the ship.

The inauguration of the cruise line was held alongside the refurbished Bustan Gardens in Acre, a renovated Ottoman-era fruit orchard that was part of the Palace of Pasha Al-Jazaar, the governor of northern Israel during the late 1700s. The palace, which was used as an underground prison during the Ottoman and the British Mandate periods, is used as a museum commemorating that later period of history.

The gardens include an area for events, a 300-seat amphitheater as well as fruit trees that date back to the original orchard.

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