Heritage Cruises Through Europe

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Heritage Cruises through Europe
Visit Jerusalem's Western Wall, or "Wailing Wall," on a religious heritage cruise.

It’s one thing to research your ancestors, but it’s another experience entirely to walk in their very footsteps. Your clients can do just that with the following heritage cruises that will take them on a journey to explore their religious backgrounds.

AMAWaterways offers two such itineraries—the 11-night Legendary Danube Jewish Heritage, from Prague to Budapest, and the 13-night Blue Danube Discovery Jewish Heritage, from Budapest to Prague. On both itineraries, clients will spend two nights in Prague, where they step right into history with a tour of Josefov, the former Jewish ghetto that is now one of the largest Jewish museums in the world, and the Jewish Cemetary in Zizkov. As they cruise along the Danube, voyagers will journey through the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Hungary, stopping at a host of Jewish heritage sites including the Regensburg Synagogue in Germany or the House of Terror in Hungary. On a lighter note, they’ll also visit Fisherman’s Wharf in Budapest and Parliament House in Austria.

The Legendary Danube Jewish Heritage cruise departs July 22 and is priced from $3,489 pp dbl, cruise- and land-only. The Blue Danube Discovery Jewish Heritage cruise departs Aug. 2, Oct. 14 and 25 and is priced from $3,749 pp dbl, cruise- and land-only. For more information, visit amawaterways.com.

Princess Cruises, meanwhile, offers a 12-day Holy Land itinerary through the Mediterranean from Venice to Athens, visiting Ravenna, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Patmos, Greece; Haifa and Ashdod, Israel; Alexandria, Cairo and Giza, Egypt; and Ephesus, Turkey. On this cruise, your clients will have the chance to visit the site where John the Baptist immersed Jesus in the River Jordan; walk along the Via Dolorosa—also known as the “Way of Sorrows,” a cobbled path that Jesus walked as he carried his cross to Golgotha, where he was sentenced; visit the House of the Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St. John. All of these, of course, are in addition to many more incredible sites, including the Pyramids of Giza, the old Olympic Stadium and Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Rates start at $1,295 pp dbl. Additional 24-day Grand Holy Land, Holy Land & Black Sea and Holy Land & Mediterannean itineraries are also available from $4,299 pp dbl. For more information, call (866) 335-6379 or visit princess.com.

Crystal Cruises, too, offers activities and excursions based on ports of call that explore both Christian and Jewish history. New Christian-focused Crystal Adventures that have been introduced for the current season include:

• Visit the 18th century, Russian-style Flakstad Church in Leknes, Norway

• Pilgrimage to Bosnia to see Apparition Hill, where visions of Virgin Mary have often been reported

• Assist Pio Monte della Misericordia, a 400-year-old charity brotherhood in Sorrento,Italy

• Explore Santiago de Compostela, the largest Romanesque church in Spain, and view the city from the church’s rooftop