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Israel’s Port Of Haifa Makes A Splash Among The Tourism IndustryWith Its First-Ever Seatrade Cruise Award Nomination

Israel’s Largest Port Emerges as One of the Most Globally Exciting and Fastest-Growing Cruise Destinations

For the first time in its seafaring history, the Port of Haifa, the largest of Israel’s three major international seaports, which also includes the Port of Ashdod and the Port of Eilat, has been nominated for a prestigious Seatrade Cruise Award in the category of “Destination of the Year.”

“We’re incredibly honored to be nominated for a Seatrade Cruise Award as Destination of the Year,” said Israel’s Commissioner of Tourism to North America Eyal Carlin. “We have expanded operations tenfold with 30 cruise brands making Haifa a port of call, including Seabourn, Viking and Celebrity Cruises, along with 10 brands choosing Haifa as their homeport.”

Carlin went on to say that major luxury brands, such as Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection and Windstar Cruises will also make calls to the Port of Haifa this year.

After reviewing hundreds of entries, a panel of judges selected the Port of Haifa as one of three nominees for the world’s top destination for cruising. Winners will be announced at the annual awards gala taking place in Hamburg, Germany, next month. Among the many factors that made the Port of Haifa a destination standout included its rapid increase of post-pandemic passengers during 2022 which included an influx of more than 360,000 passengers. It’s projected that 2023 will see a significant increase with an estimated 622,000 passengers either embarking from Haifa or visiting as a port of call – a projected 71% spike over last year.

“Now that Haifa has been recognized as one of the world’s top three cruise destinations, I feel confident that Israel’s stakeholders will be advocates of the industry as we continue to make strides in this tourism sect,” said Zohar Rom, head of tourism and cruises at Haifa Port Company. “As we continue to grow and expand within the cruise industry, I wish to express my gratitude to our cruise line partners responsible for ferrying tens of thousands of passengers aboard hundreds of ships this year helping to shine a spotlight on the beauty of Haifa and its environs.” 

The nomination comes on the heels of a recent announcement that the Port of Haifa will soon enhance its facilities by building the first purpose-built cruise terminal in Israel making it poised to become a major Mediterranean cruise hub. The terminal’s design not only pays homage to Israel’s history and culture, but the expansion will also create a sustainable footprint once complete. The new terminal also allows for two turnaround ships to be docked simultaneously. The recent completion of a 600-space parking lot is part of the infrastructure needed to support the new terminal and its 80-acre waterfront area that will be populated with restaurants, bars and leisurely pursuits. 

For more information on Israel’s cruise industry and the redevelopment and expansion of the Port of Haifa, visit www.goisrael.com.