The jerusalem post
The KSucculent, exotic kosher cuisine now served on the water - new Crystal cruises
By Alan Rosenbaum
Imagine the cruise of a lifetime – boarding a state-of-the-art, 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.

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 1000-passenger luxury liner, with 50 places reserved for discerning kosher travelers. All four cruises, including a January trip, and three August voyages, will feature a dream team of all-star kosher chefs led by Executive Chef Ariel Porat, former Executive chef of the Dan Accadia Hotel located in Herzliya, and currently CEO of Shalom Catering in Zurich. Together with his team, Chef 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 are available and are 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.

Cruise #1 - Miami to Los Angeles January 7 - January 22, 2020
View of the picturesque Cartagena old town and church(Credit: Jack Zalium)
The first, cruise is a fifteen-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 USA to Los Angeles. After a leisurely four days cruising the Caribbean, you’ll arrive in Cartagena, Central and South America’s most enthralling and impressively preserved historic city. Cartagena is the queen of the Caribbean coast, and is a historic city of superbly preserved colonial charm and beauty. Cartagena’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a maze of cobbled alleys with balconies covered in bougainvillea and leafy plazas.

Next day, you’ll arrive at one of the engineering wonders of the world -- The Panama Canal! You’ll cruise alongside the rainforest, and glide through the intricate locks of the Canal.

Panama Canal (credit: Katya Schulz)
The following day, you’ll arrive in Panama City, a mix of modern and colonial structures, near the rainforest of the Darien Jungle. During the ship’s visit to the city, Joey Freudmann will be offering his guests a private guided tour of places of Jewish interest in Panama City including lunch in one of Panama’s top kosher restaurants.

After departing Panama, the Crystal Serenity will continue cruising the Central American Coast, stopping in the resort town of San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, situated on a beautiful gulf not far from Nicaragua’s border with Costa Rica. A private tour will be available for kosher travelers, including a visit to the Chabad House. The cruise will skirt the coast of Mexico stopping in Cabo San Lucas, before making its way up to Los Angeles. The January cruise has been fully booked since December 2018.

Cruise #2 - Monte Carlo to Rome August 16-August 23, 2020
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.
Cinque Terre area, Portofino is one of the most beautiful and fashionable towns (Credit: Ingimage)
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 cafes 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.
Port of Livorno, Tuscany, Italy (Credit: Ingimage)
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.
Pool aboard the Crystal Serenity (Credit: Crystal Cruises)
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, that 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.
Cruise #3 - Rome to Barcelona August 23-August 30, 2020
Crystal Cruise’s additional seven-day cruise leaves on Sunday, August 23, from Rome, at 6 pm. 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.
The Island of Mallorca (Credi:tIngimage)
Next day, you’ll dock at Palermo, the ancient, 2700-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.
View of the city of Alghero in Sardinia (Credit: Ingimage)
Aboard ship that night, you’ll find a myriad of activities available on the Crystal Serenity, from catching am A-list movie in the theatre, 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.
Penthouse on the Crystal Serenity (Credit: Crystal Cruises)
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.
The Island of Ibiza (Credit: Ingimage)
Cruise #4 - Monte Carlo to Barcelona August 16- August 30, 2020
Ophir Tours’ fourth 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.
The rugged cliffs of Corsica (Credit: Ingimage)
The Port of Sorrento (Credit: Crystal Cruises)
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, six-star service, it’s the ultimate kosher cruise experience.

Joey Freudmann, organizer of the Crystal Serenity cruises, has 45 years’ experience in the travel industry and in-depth knowledge of upscale kosher holidays. Every inquiry about these cruises will receive Joey's 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 which has earned him a well-deserved reputation and following within this niche market. Each of Joey'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 travel@freudmann.net, or contact Joey Freudmann directly at 09-7602062 or 054 745-5359.





This article was written in cooperation with Ophir Tours.