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Old 05-03-2015, 12:19   #1
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Visit to Israel

My boat is in the Med and Iíll be spending this summer and the next visiting various areas. I seem to recall seeing some pretty discouraging comments from boaters about the experiences they had visiting or attempting to visit marinas in Israel. Can any of you share first-hand experiences with me about this?
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:43   #2
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Re: Visit to Israel

A few of the participants that are currently on the Red Sea Sailing Safari are planning to visit Israel when we exit the Suez Canal in April. I'll point them to this thread and see if I can get them to share their experiences.

Watch this space!
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:47   #3
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Re: Visit to Israel

no problems visiting,unless you are Palestinian................

expect to be approached by a gunboat about 12 miles offshore,and called up continuously on the vhf when closing the coast.

when arriving the security police will board your vessel and give it a through search and swab down,also interview all the crew individually.

customs and immigration straightforward

quite expensive compared to the rest of the med.

otherwise friendly people,and lots of nice girls,who are very liberated............
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Old 13-03-2015, 11:46   #4
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Re: Visit to Israel

Okay. So it looks like its time for me to write a blog about sailing to Israel, marinas, clearance procedures etc. Because there is a lot of rumours and confusion about as far as I can see

First off let me explain that there are 5 marinas along the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Most of them are full with waiting lists for long stays. Visitor berths are available in all of them but you will need to book ahead by email or phone to make sure you get a space. This is especially true for Haifa, Herzilya, Tel Aviv and Jaffa. Ashdod and Ashkelon have more berths available but are filling up fast too.

If I was a cruising sailor coming to Israel for a visit, I'd try to get a berth In Tel Aviv or Jaffa. Haifa is a port town and the marina is in quite an industrial area. The water is extremely polluted and air quality isn't very good either. Having said that its a nice marina... and there is good haulout facilities and yard for work.

Herzilya marina is surrounded by a shopping mall complex. Its an upscale marina and quite central to transportation etc, though. Has a travel lift and small yard for haulout.
Tel Aviv Marina has just been renovated with new docks, tec. and is a walk away from everything the city has to offer. Has a travel lift and small yard for haulout.

Jaffa marina is in the old fishing port and has a great atmosphere. The docks haven't been renewed but the shower complex is new and there is a nice promenade surrounding it. You are a walk a way from the old city and transportation. No travel lift.
All of the above are pricey.

Ashdod marina is a small new with good docks and facilities. There is a yard with travel lift and haulout facilities (but not a very good reputation.) Ashdod is a main port and but the marina is a distance away form the industrial area.
Reasonable prices.

Ashkelon Marina is a great marina with a good liveaboard community. Travel lift with good haulout facilities and yard. Reasonable prices.
Both Ashdod and Ashkelon are quite removed from the center of the country. Transportaion is available but you might want to rent a car for easy access.

Akko has a small fishing harbor but doesn't have space for sailboats.

I will post later about the procedure for entering Israel and clearance.
I need to go now I'm burning my potatoes
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Old 13-03-2015, 12:04   #5
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Re: Visit to Israel

I haven't sailed into Israel but fly in regularly and stay in the sea side part of Tel Aviv close to the Tel Aviv marina. The whole area has been upgraded and the new beach front promenade has great Mediterranean restaurants. I love the seafood, pizza and the great coffee.

As far as customs you need to understand Israel’s difficulties in order to understand and put into perspective their almost annal approach to security. Terrorist attacks have been attempted on their airline's. Mind you unsuccessfully but nonetheless has caused Israel to adopt security measures that are seen as the best in the world. Some years ago Arab terrorists launched an attack using Zodiacs and gun's on sunbathers at the Tel Aviv beach. This is why the Israel Navy is very cautious of any craft approaching it's coast.

I always feel safe in Israel given the high level of awareness and protection against bad actors. In many ways you couldn't find a safer place to be. Yes you will be boarded and asked questions before being cleared but you will entering the most protected country on the planet. I can't wait to go back.
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Old 14-03-2015, 07:31   #6
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Re: Visit to Israel

Entering Israeli waters and Clearance procedures:
You can find clear information about entering Israel on Noonsite and in the Red Sea Pilot. My intention here is not to rewrite all of that but to give cruisers a little UNOFFICIAL advice.

Any small vessel approaching Israel along the Mediterranean coast is expected to contact the RCC Haifa (Haifa Rescue Coordination Center) from 25 miles from shore. You will be asked to give full details of your boat and the people on board. At this point a chain of communication will open between RCC Haifa and the Israeli Navy. (It may also happen that the Israeli Navy contacts you before you get a chance to call RCC Haifa.)

After this you can expect to have at least 2 more calls from the Israeli Navy, where you will have to go over all the details again. Maybe more . Why? Because you will be giving all those details again to a Navy base on shore and then to a Navy Patrol Boat. Its frustrating but try to be patient and go with the flow. The people you are speaking to don't always have fluent English.

If you are entering Israeli waters, then an Israeli Navy Patrol Boat will approach you. They may ask you to stand by. They may circle you and shine bright projectors on your boat. And they may just wish you well and leave you to continue on your way. Its all possible and depends on immediate circumstances at the time.

So, just to say these gun boats are Israel Navy Patrol Boats the same as you will find in any Navy around the world. And as Going Walkabout commented, there is good reason for the security precaution. And we all have to go through this, even Israel flagged boats.

As for Clearance. There currently is a frustrating situation where not all marinas have Port Police on site around the clock. And if you arrive when the Port Police are gone, you will be advised by the Navy to either stand by at sea till morning, or to sail to another port. It is best to ask your marina when you make your reservation, for Port Police hours.

As far as I know, at this time, Haifa is the only port with 24 hour operational entry for clearance. Some boats choose to clear in at Haifa and then proceed to sail down the coast to their marina of choice. I can tell you that we are always careful to gage our ETA to be in the early morning hours, so that we can be sure to arrive at our destination and clear in. You can also radio your marina to double check.

Once in the marina, your boat may be boarded. Officials are just doing their job. Try to be patient and understanding.

Because once you have cleared in, all the neighbours on your dock will be so happy that you came to visit Israel that you will have a hard time accepting all the invitations. Israelis are very warm hearted people once you get by the gruff exterior..... at least that's our experience.

Hope this advice helps.
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Old 14-03-2015, 07:40   #7
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Re: Visit to Israel

Thanks for the info, I was trying to find info just the other day.

Any idea of the monthly berthing cost for a 40 foot boat?
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Old 14-03-2015, 12:21   #8
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Re: Visit to Israel

As per their website. I would want to confirm these rates by email or phone before reserving a space.

Herzilya Border Police rates page in English
http://www.herzliya-marina.co.il/מרי...1514;/#english

Herzilya Marina berth rates for visiting boats:
Boats 12 -14 meters in
2.07 NIS per square meter per day
42.59 NIS per square meter per month

Tel Aviv marina should be a little less. Can't find a price list on their site.

If you are interested in Ashkelon Marina I can call them tomorrow and ask.
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Old 14-03-2015, 14:39   #9
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Re: Visit to Israel

that's like $2200US/mo for a 40' boat with a 13' beam
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Old 14-03-2015, 15:24   #10
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Re: Visit to Israel

Your boat would appear to be too big for Tel Aviv Marina.

Moorings in Tel Aviv Marina (Tel Aviv District)

12 metres is the largest.. about 428EU a week
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Old 14-03-2015, 15:40   #11
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Re: Visit to Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post
Your boat would appear to be too big for Tel Aviv Marina.

Moorings in Tel Aviv Marina (Tel Aviv District)

12 metres is the largest.. about 428EU a week
the prices were in square meters
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Old 14-03-2015, 15:45   #12
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Re: Visit to Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
the prices were in square meters
?
Length x beam x draft

Fill it in yourself.........

Special offer for 12 meter boat is what was quoted in May.
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Old 14-03-2015, 16:20   #13
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Re: Visit to Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
that's like $2200US/mo for a 40' boat with a 13' beam

Welcome to the real world, laddie.
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Old 14-03-2015, 16:25   #14
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Re: Visit to Israel

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Welcome to the real world, laddie.
that's not the real world, that's some special part of it
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Old 14-03-2015, 16:30   #15
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Re: Visit to Israel

For what its worth.

I have always berthd at Cyprus and flown to Israel. Its cheaper to do that and less hassle.
Israel is a beautiful country to visit. Im not Jewish and have received nothing but kindness from people...... but then I dont do the tourist traps.

Flights from Cyprus can be combined with hotels at a reduced rate. The buses and trains run a great service internally in Israel.

It is not a cheap country...... Its up there in costs.
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