The kosher cruise of a life­time

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - BRIDGE - • ALAN ROSEN­BAUM

Imag­ine the cruise of a life­time – board­ing a state-of-theart, gleam­ing ocean liner, out­fit­ted with el­e­gant in­te­ri­ors and lux­ury suites, and em­bark­ing on a lux­u­ri­ous, late sum­mer cruise on the Mediter­ranean.

Imag­ine mouth-wa­ter­ing cui­sine, pre­pared fresh each day by award-win­ning chefs, and an at­ten­tive staff that will meet your ev­ery need.

Imag­ine a full pro­gram fea­tur­ing out­stand­ing en­ter­tain­ment, plus a casino, spa and fit­ness cen­ter lo­cated on board.

Now, imag­ine that the en­tire voy­age meets the high­est stan­dards of kashrut, of­fers daily ser­vices, com­plete with a rab­binic scholar-in-res­i­dence, as well as lec­tures about Jewish points of in­ter­est, and tours of Jewish in­ter­est in pic­turesque ports of call.

Imag­ine no more.

The cruises fea­ture a team of al­ls­tar kosher chefs who will pre­pare mod­ern, up­scale meals with the finest in­gre­di­ents

In 2020, Joey Freud­mann of Ophir Tours, in con­junc­tion with Crys­tal Cruises, the world’s stan­dard-set­ter in lux­ury cruises, is of­fer­ing four ex­clu­sive voy­ages on the Crys­tal Seren­ity, a 1,000-pas­sen­ger lux­ury liner, with 50 places re­served for dis­cern­ing kosher trav­el­ers.

The first cruise, this Jan­uary, is a 15-day trip, from Mi­ami to Los An­ge­les via the Panama Canal and Mex­ico, de­part­ing Mi­ami on Tues­day, Jan­uary 7, 2020, and end­ing in Los An­ge­les on Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 22. Ports of call on this voy­age in­clude Colom­bia, Panama, Nicaragua and Mex­ico, be­fore cruis­ing along the West Coast of the US to Los An­ge­les. This cruise has been fully booked since De­cem­ber 2018.

In Au­gust, Ophir Tours will be op­er­at­ing three cruises along the Mediter­ranean Sea, in­clud­ing a seven-day cruise from Monte Carlo to Rome, a seven-day trip from Rome to Barcelona, and a 14-day Monte Carlo to Barcelona voy­age.

All four cruises, in­clud­ing the Jan­uary trip and the three in Au­gust, will fea­ture a dream team of all-star kosher chefs led by ex­ec­u­tive chef Ariel Po­rat, for­mer ex­ec­u­tive chef of the Dan Ac­ca­dia Ho­tel in Her­zliya, and cur­rently CEO of Shalom Cater­ing in Zurich.

To­gether with his team, Po­rat will pro­vide guests with mod­ern, up­scale kosher menus us­ing only the finest in­gre­di­ents, com­bined with ex­cel­lent kosher wines. Each meal is spe­cially pre­pared, of­ten ac­cent­ing the lo­cal cui­sine.

In ad­di­tion, a large se­lec­tion of top-qual­ity kosher wines from the finest vine­yards around the world is avail­able and is in­cluded at no ad­di­tional charge. There is no bet­ter kosher din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of­fered at sea.

A glance at just one of the din­ner menus in prepa­ra­tion for the up­com­ing cruises il­lus­trates the wide va­ri­ety of suc­cu­lent and ex­otic dishes, in­clud­ing beef tataki, Per­sian lentil soup, Bel­gian en­dive with roasted pear salad, lamb shank, date honey glazed pump­kin, and broiled fresh had­dock.

The seven-day Monte Carlo to Rome route sets sail on Sun­day af­ter­noon, Au­gust 16, from Monte Carlo, and makes its first stop on the moun­tain­ous Mediter­ranean French is­land of Cor­sica, a dra­matic mix of ver­dant for­est, rugged peaks and sandy beaches.

You’ll spend the day vis­it­ing the charm­ing town of Calvi, on the is­land’s north­west coast, fea­tur­ing a me­dieval citadel over­look­ing the ma­rina.

Leav­ing Cor­sica that evening, the Crys­tal Seren­ity will glide its way through the blue Mediter­ranean wa­ters, con­tin­u­ing on to its next port of call – Portofino, a pic­turesque fish­ing vil­lage on the Ital­ian Riviera, south­east of Genoa, where col­or­ful and quaint bou­tiques, art gal­leries and cafés line the tiny streets.

That evening, you’ll re­turn to the ship, and ar­rive the next day in en­chant­ing Florence, cap­i­tal of Italy’s Tus­cany re­gion and home to mas­ter­pieces of Re­nais­sance art and ar­chi­tec­ture.

Later that day, you’re off to the port city of Livorno, fea­tur­ing the Ter­razza Mascagni, a wa­ter­side prom­e­nade that fea­tures a breath­tak­ing view of blue waves against the sky.

The cruise con­tin­ues with a day at sea on the Mediter­ranean, but you’ll have plenty to do on board. Walk the spa­cious decks and see the end­less sea, soak up the sun, play ten­nis, take a dip in the spa­cious out­door swim­ming pool, or en­joy the lux­ury sur­round­ings aboard the Crys­tal Seren­ity.

En­hance your knowl­edge with out­stand­ing guest speak­ers that in­clude des­ti­na­tion ex­perts, au­thor­i­ties on world af­fairs, renowned writ­ers and fas­ci­nat­ing celebri­ties who talk about their ex­pe­ri­ences and share their in­sights.

You’ll dock the fol­low­ing day at Sor­rento, the gate­way to the famed Amalfi Coast, which over­looks the is­land of Ischia, Capri and the Bay of Naples, spend­ing the af­ter­noon there, be­fore end­ing your amaz­ing cruise the next morn­ing, ar­riv­ing in Rome.

CRYS­TAL CRUISES’ sec­ond seven-day cruise leaves on Sun­day, Au­gust 23, from Rome at 6 p.m. Imag­ine the beauty of the set­ting sun as the Crys­tal Seren­ity makes its way out of the port of Civ­i­tavec­chia, the gate­way be­tween the main­land and Sar­dinia.

Your first port of call will be Amalfi, one of Italy’s most im­pres­sive sights, lo­cated at the mouth of a deep ravine, sur­rounded by dra­matic cliffs. Next day, you’ll dock at Palermo, the 2,700-year-old cap­i­tal of Si­cily, home of many col­or­ful mar­kets, and then con­tinue on to Al­ghero, where you’ll spend an af­ter­noon ex­plor­ing one of Sar­dinia’s most beau­ti­ful me­dieval cities, in­clud­ing the col­or­ful, cob­ble­stone cen­ter, sur­rounded by dusk brown sea walls.

Aboard ship that night, you’ll find a myr­iad of ac­tiv­i­ties avail­able on the Crys­tal Seren­ity, from catch­ing an A-list movie in the the­ater, en­joy­ing lav­ish Broad­way-in­spired shows in the Gal­axy Lounge, or tak­ing a stroll along the Av­enue of the Stars shop­ping prom­e­nade.

And, if it’s pri­vacy you’re seek­ing, you can re­treat to your beau­ti­fully ap­pointed suite, pen­t­house or state­room, com­plete with 24-hour room ser­vice, flat-screen TV, and dou­ble-van­ity bath­room. It’s the per­fect place to call home for your global ad­ven­tures.

Early the next af­ter­noon, you’ll dock at the Span­ish is­land of Mal­lorca, known for its shel­tered coves, lime­stone moun­tains and Ro­man and Moor­ish re­mains.

Trav­el­ing through the night, you’ll cruise through the azure Mediter­ranean wa­ters, ar­riv­ing at the is­land of Ibiza early the next morn­ing, for a day of tour­ing Dalt Vila, the for­ti­fied old town on the is­land, and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the is­land’s crys­tal-clear wa­ters and sandy beaches. From there, it’s smooth sailing to the fi­nal des­ti­na­tion of Barcelona.

Ophir Tours’ third cruise is a two-week ex­tended voy­age, be­gin­ning in Monte Carlo on Sun­day, Au­gust 16, and cruis­ing through the Mediter­ranean, stop­ping at Cor­sica, Portofino, Florence, Livorno, Sor­rento, Rome, Amalfi, Palermo, Al­ghero, Mal­lorca and Ibiza, be­fore re­turn­ing to Barcelona.

FOR THOSE who want a strictly kosher get­away cruise in the lap of lux­ury, there is no bet­ter cruise than Ophir Tours’ Crys­tal Seren­ity cruises. With its el­e­gant kosher food pre­pared by award-win­ning chefs, un­matched fa­cil­i­ties, su­perb en­ter­tain­ment, learn­ing en­rich­ment pro­grams and per­son­al­ized, sixs­tar ser­vice, it’s the ul­ti­mate kosher cruise ex­pe­ri­ence.

Freud­mann has 45 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the travel in­dus­try and in-depth knowl­edge of up­scale kosher hol­i­days. Ev­ery in­quiry about these cruises will re­ceive his fa­mous hands-on at­ten­tion. He is al­ways avail­able to his clients to re­spond to their needs, an­swer ques­tions and pro­vide a level of per­sonal ser­vice that has earned him a well-de­served rep­u­ta­tion and fol­low­ing within this niche mar­ket.

Each of Freud­mann’s guests ben­e­fits from his close at­ten­tion to de­tail and their per­sonal needs, to en­sure the com­plete sat­is­fac­tion of ev­ery one of his val­ued trav­el­ers.

For more in­for­ma­tion about these kosher Crys­tal Cruises, write to [email protected]­mann.net, or con­tact Joey Freud­mann di­rectly at (09) 760-2062 or 054-745-5359.

This ar­ti­cle was writ­ten in co­op­er­a­tion with Ophir Tours.

Walk the spa­cious decks and gaze at the sea, soak up the sun or en­joy the lux­ury sur­round­ings aboard the ‘Crys­tal Seren­ity’

(Ingim­age)

BOATS AND lux­ury yachts dot the trans­par­ent sea on a sunny sum­mer day in Mal­lorca, Spain.

(Crys­tal Cruises)

THE ‘CRYS­TAL SEREN­ITY’ at sea.

(Crys­tal Cruises)

IN THE ship’s Tri­dent Grill. Ex­cel­lent kosher wines will en­hance the kosher din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

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