Shore Excursions for a Religious Experience
If you’re interested in exploring faith through travel, it’s surprisingly easy to do via cruise ship. Many cruise itineraries sail close to holy sites, with shore excursions that can help you learn more about your own faith or other religious traditions.
A place that is sacred to the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths is the city of Jerusalem, Israel. Located about an hour’s drive from the port of Ashdod, Jerusalem’s walled Old City contains the Way of Grief, leading to the Church of the Holy Selpuchre, which many believe to be the place where Jesus was crucified and buried; Temple Mount, which Jews regard as the place God chose as the resting place of the Divine Presence and Muslims believe is the place where Mohammed ascended to heaven; the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine; and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
While Jerusalem is an obvious choice for a religious shore excursion, you can find such opportunities in more unexpected places, too. If your eastern Mediterranean cruise includes Athens, you can take an excursion to Mars’ Hill, where the Apostle Paul delivered his famous Aeropagus sermon. In Vlora, Albania, an excursion to the city center includes the Mosque of Muradije, which dates from the 15th century. You may also be able to visit Kus-Baba, a religious place built but the Muslim Bektashi sect.
In Venice, some excursions include a tour of a medieval Jewish Ghetto that lies along the Canneragio Canal. When the ghetto was created in 1516, Jews were confined to the area from sunset to dawn. While only a few Jewish families live there today, the ethnic flavor of the neighborhood survives.
Wherever your next cruise may take you, there’s likely to be an opportunity for a religious shore excursion, whether a full-day tour of sacred sites or a visit to a house of worship as part of a broader tour. To find out more, talk with Cruise Holidays.