Ashdod is Israel’s largest seaport and a popular stop for cruise ships from lines like Azamara, Celebrity, Silversea, and Oceania. Strategically located along the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Ashdod Cruise Terminal is the gateway to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the Holy Land.
The most popular day trip destination from Ashdod is Jerusalem, 44 miles (71 kilometers) east, which is about a 1-hour drive. Shore excursions typically take in the highlights of the holy city, including the Temple Mount, Western Wall (Wailing Wall), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Many tours also combine a tour of Jerusalem with nearby Bethlehem, where sacred sites include the Church of the Nativity, the Milk Grotto, and Manger Square; or a visit to the Dead Sea coast to float in the mineral-rich waters. The beachfront metropolis of Tel Aviv is also easy to visit on a half- or full-day tour, located just 30 minutes north of the port. In Ashdod itself, the main attraction is the archaeological site of Givat Yonah (Hill of Jonah).
Things to Know Before You Go
- Shore excursions typically include port pickup and drop-off.
- Modest dress is required to visit many of the holy sites, so be sure to pack accordingly.
- Direct trains run from Ashdod to Tel Aviv, while buses connect the port with Jerusalem.
- Taxis are available from outside the cruise terminal.
How to Get to Ashdod from the Port of Ashdod
Ashdod is located around 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the cruise terminals and walking is prohibited in the port area, so you must take a taxi or catch one of the shuttle buses. The most convenient way to reach Tel Aviv or Jerusalem is to visit as part of a guided shore excursion.
The official currency is the new Israeli shekel (NIS). Arabic and Hebrew are the official languages, but English is widely spoken, especially around the main tourist areas. The passenger area at Ashdod cruise terminal has a cafeteria, two duty-free shops, and a currency exchange counter.