Travel

AACI’s Glatt Kosher, Jewish Heritage Mediterranean Cruise   

Visiting: Italy, France Spain, Portugal
October 31 – November 10, 2024

Join AACI on this wonderful experience sailing on the magnificent Costa Favolosa with a Jewish flavor, smells, languages, personalities, delicious, freshly made Glatt Kosher food and two magical Shabbatot overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.  Enjoy fascinating lectures with our scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Ken Spiro. This cruise is an opportunity to make new friends, get acquainted with old ones and take-home memories of places visited before returning to our beautiful homeland.

Thursday, October 31 – Arrival to Milan and transfer to ship in Savona.

Friday, November 2 – MARSEILLE
Marseille, a port city in southern France, has been a crossroads of immigration and trade since its founding by the Greeks circa 600 B.C. At its heart is the Vieux-Port (Old Port), where fishmongers sell their catch along the boat-lined quay. Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde is a Romanesque-Byzantine church. Modern landmarks include Le Corbusier’s influential Cité Radieuse complex and Zaha Hadid’s CMA CGM Tower.

We begin our day with a bus tour into the countryside visiting Marseille. Our first stop is a visit to The Great Synagogue of Marseille (French: Grande synagogue de Marseille, on Rue Breteuil in the 6th arrondissement), has been classed as a historical monument since 2007. The previous synagogue on the Rue Grignan was in disrepair and too small, thus a campaign began in 1855 to raise money for a new site. The design by the architect Nathan Salomon was approved in 1860 and the building completed in 1864. The synagogue takes the basilica form more commonly associated with ancient Greece and Rome, and churches. It is built in the Romano-Byzantine style, and takes influence from the Synagogue de Nazareth, completed in Paris in 1852. A pulpit and an organ – both also associated more with Christian buildings than Jewish ones – feature inside, and the mix of Western and Oriental designs was chosen to reflect the diversity of the worshippers.  After this visit, enjoy a comprehensive tour of Marseille on the special tourist train.
Thereafter, we return to the ship to prepare for a relaxing Shabbat at sea.

Sunday, November 3 – THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR
Welcome to Gibraltar, one of the most famous places in the world and linked to numerous legends. Historically the Mediterranean ended here and with it the world. We will visit the Upper Rock Nature Reserve which stands on top of the Rock where you will feel as if you were on top of the world!  Europe is at your feet. Africa fills one horizon, while the gates to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic are on either side.  The journey to the top of the Rock rewards you with a truly breath-taking view. From a height of 1400 feet (426m) you will see the African coastline, where the waters of the Atlantic meet the Mediterranean, Spain’s Costa del Sol, and a panoramic view of the city far below, the quays, marinas, and bays.

We will also meet the Jews of Gibraltar. Gibraltar is home to about 800 Jews. With a longstanding historical presence on the peninsula, the Jews of Gibraltar constitute one of the largest religious minorities in the British colonial territory. Largely Sephardic, Gibraltarian Jewry has contributed significantly to the cultural and political well-being of the island.

Monday, November 4 – LISBON
Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles. Walking is the best way to get to know Lisbon’s aromas and soul.

We begin our experience with a visit to the contrasting Alfama quarter (the oldest in the city) and Baixa (the downtown area with the imposing Comercio and Rossio squares). In Alfama we will explore the tiny squares and alleys, whitewashed houses with tile panels and wrought-iron balconies adorned with flowers.

We will also visit The Lisbon Synagogue (formally, the Synagogue Shaaré Tikvah; Hebrew: תקווה שערי lit. ‘Gates of Hope’).  This historical synagogue is situated in the civil parish of Santo António, in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal.

Tuesday, November 5 – CADIZ

Today our 2-hour guided visit begins in the main San Juan de Dios Square, where the Town Hall is located. We will visit the beautiful Synagogue in Cadiz followed by a visit to medieval Cadiz to explore the center of ancient Cadiz, a city where a rich cultural, architectural, and culinary heritage has been created over a number of distinct historical eras.

Visit the ancient Roman neighborhood known as the Pópulo, reconstructed over the ages. You’ll find buildings from the Phoenician period, the Roman theater, the 18th-century New Cathedral and its museum, and the walled quarter of Almohad origin.

Learn about the history of Cadiz as you walk along its streets and through its squares. Enter the New Cathedral to admire its Baroque and Neoclassical styles and the mythical defensive wall known as the Gates of Earth.

Cádiz is an ancient port city in the Andalucia region of southwestern Spain. The home of the Spanish Navy, the port boomed in the 16th-century as a base for exploration and trade. It has more than 100 watchtowers, including the iconic Torre Tavira, which was traditionally used for spotting ships. On the waterfront is the domed, 18th-century Cádiz Cathedral, featuring baroque and neoclassical elements.

Cadiz is not only a bridge between Europe and Africa but also a gateway to the New World.  It is laid on a long promontory.   We will discover this ancient city, reliving its history and enjoying its architectural wonders. The Synagogue of Cadiz is a historic synagogue located in the southwestern part of the city. Built in the 14th century, this is an important structure that sheds light on the history of Jews in Spain. The presence of Jews in Spain began in 711 when Muslims conquered Spain. Tragically, in 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain expelled the Jews thus the Synagogue of Cadiz was also abandoned. Today, the Synagogue of Cadiz is preserved as an important monument to the history and heritage of Jews in Spain. The synagogue was built in 1357 and is one of the oldest synagogues still standing in Spain.

Wednesday, November 6 – MALAGA / GRANADA

Upon our arrival in Malaga, we will board a bus to Granada to visit the Alhambra and explore the secrets of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Enter the Palace of Charles V and see the artwork and artifacts housed within this Renaissance-era building. Finally, wander through the tranquil gardens of the Generalife estate amongst the sounds of the many fountains.

Granada is a city in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s known for grand examples of medieval architecture dating to the Moorish occupation, especially the Alhambra. This sprawling hilltop fortress complex encompasses royal palaces, serene patios, and reflecting pools from the Nasrid dynasty, as well as the fountains and orchards of the Generalife gardens.

Granada’s splendor was at its peak in the eleventh century, when Samuel ha-Nagid and his son Joseph oversaw the kingdom. The large Jewish population exceeded 5000 and reached 20000 by the eve of expulsion.  In Granada’s center, Calle Pavaneras, the modern statues of Yehuda ibn Tibbon and the Talmudist and poet Samuel ibn Negrella remind us of the city’s Jewish past. When visiting the Alhambra, it is worth remembering that the Ambassadors’ Room was where the catholic monarchs signed the edict expelling Spain’s Jews on 31 March 1492.  Judería was destroyed by order of the Catholic monarchs.

Friday, November 8 – VALENCIA
Valencia is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third-most populated municipality in Spain, with 807,693 inhabitants (2023). It is the capital of the province of the same name. The wider urban area comprising the neighboring municipalities has a population of around 1.6 million, constituting one of the major urban areas on the European side of the Mediterranean Sea. It is in eastern Spain, on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula at the Gulf of Valencia, north of the Albufeira freshwater lagoon.

Today, we will take a walk around the part of the city not too far from Valencia Cathedral where Sinanoga Menor is located.  During the Medieval period Valencia was home to the biggest Jewish population in the Iberian Peninsula.  This was under the Moorish reign after the time of the Christian Reconquest in 1238.  The Jewish population flourished and made almost 10% of the population of Valencia.  The Jews typically worked as tax collectors, administration officials and craftsmen.  By 1244 the Jews were granted the Eastern quarter of the city, roughly where the stunning Santa Catalina Church stands today.  The huge El Ingles Corte shopping center stands on the site of the Jewish Cemetery.   The Jewish population were taxed highly and gradually during the reign of King Peter III more restrictions were enforced.  Finally in 1391 Christians revolted against the Jewish Quarter in what became known as the ” Massacre of 1391 “.  Almost everything pertaining to Judaism was destroyed. The Sinanoga Menor looks superb despite its age.  It has an ancient façade and is very photogenic which adds to the joy of walking around this part of the city.  It is also easy to locate along Carrer De La Creu.

Sunday, November 10 – SAVONA/MILAN
Savona is a seaport and community in the west part of the northern Italian region of Liguria, capital of the Province of Savona, in the Riviera di Ponente on the Mediterranean Sea. Savona is the main center of the Italian Riviera.  One of the most celebrated former inhabitants of Savona was the navigator Christopher Columbus, who farmed land in the area while chronicling his journeys. ‘Columbus’s house’, a cottage situated in the Savona hills, lay between vegetable crops and fruit trees. It is one of several residences in Liguria associated with Columbus.

We will say farewell to the Costa Favolosa after making sandwiches for lunch and will visit different sites in Milan. We will have a light dinner before we head to Milan airport.

Itinerary and times are subject to change

Prices ($)

Cabin Categories Interior External Balcony (category 1) Balcony (category 2) Balcony (category 3)
Double Cabin per person $3,850 $4,550 $4,900 $5,020 $5,730
Single Cabin $5,000 $5,830 $6,370 $6,480 $7,130

Price includes:
*
Kosher cruise for 9 nights
*Glatt Kosher From Lunch on October 31, until dinner Sunday Nov 10, 2024 (Return flight to Israel)Full board Sandwiches on land excursion days
*Afternoon treats and sweets on board ship
*Port Taxes & charges
*AACI scholar, Rabbi Ken Spiro
*Transfers from airport to ship on October 31, 2024
*All entrance fees as per itinerary.

Not included in Price:
*Flights
*Transfers for non-group flights
*Drinks or drink packages
*Visas if needed
*Insurance
*Cruise Tips
*Anything not written in “prices include”.

Drinks or drink packages
*Visas if needed
*Insurance
*Anything not written in “prices include”.

Kashrut:
Glatt Kosher food prepared freshly onboard, by the best chefs on the sea. Cholov Yisroel, Pat Yisroel and Bishul Yisroel. On board Mashgichim who are responsible for the kosher kitchen.  New porcelain dishes and utensils. Onboard Sefer Torah.

Payment Policy
Registration- until June 23, 2024 – 30% – $500 non refundable pp
June 24, 2024 –August 16, 024 second payment -60%
Balance due- August 21, 2024 100%

Cancellation Policy
From June 24-July 28, 2024 – 30%
From July 29 , 2024 -August 25 , 2024 – 50%
From August 25, September 23, 2024-75%
From September 24, 2024- full cancellation

Note: Itinerary and times are subject to change

Click here to register

For more details: contact Carole 972-2-5661181 ext. 205 email: info@aaci.org.il