Many travelers associate Israel with its biggest cities and religious sites–such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, and the Western Wall. The culture, food, nightlife, and historic sites of these cities are famous the world over, and for many people these are Israel’s most important destinations. However, the country’s location along the Mediterranean Sea and touching the Red Sea makes Israel a popular place for cruise companies to include in Middle Eastern and Eastern European itineraries.
Israel offers three international shipping and passenger ports. The Port of Ashdod and the Port of Eilat, the country’s only port on the Red Sea, serve for cargo purposes, but do also welcome cruise passengers. This leaves the Port of Haifa, located in the town of Haifa on the Red Sea, as Israel’s largest cruise ship terminal.
While the Port of Haifa unloads over 25 million tons of cargo and welcomes upwards of 250,000 people, it is relatively small compared to Miami. However, the facilities are modern and efficiently operated by the cruise lines and staff at the port. Within the Port of Haifa one finds all the services expected at a cruise ship terminal, such as a duty-free shop, currency conversion, and access to 24-hour public transportation, including bus, subway, and a railway that can transport cruise ship passengers to Israel’s extraordinary religious and historic sites.
Cruise ship passengers who want to stay near their ship in Haifa can see plenty in and around the port, including the Baha’i World Gardens, Mt. Carmel, world-class beaches and restaurants. Baha’i World is about 10 minutes from the Port, a World Heritages Site since 2008 that should not be missed. As well, no cruise to Israel would be complete without a trip to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital and the birthplace of three religions–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Visits to this historic and important city are always memorable.
Most of the major cruise lines feature itineraries stopping in Israel–including Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Cunard, Princess, Seabourn, Azamara, Crystal, Holland America, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Viking Costa, and many more. While these cruise lines bring thousands of passengers to Israel each year without incident, if you are injured on a Holy Land cruise to or from Israel, bringing a successful claim against these cruise companies can be incredibly difficult.
An injured passenger will have one year from the date of an incident to file a claim. Because of a contractual requirement printed on cruise ship tickets, the only place to file these claims is in the United States Federal Court in Miami, Florida. Regardless of where the incident took place or where the passenger is originally from, cruise companies litigate all injury and accident cases near their corporate offices. This geographic requirement makes defending a lawsuit much easier on the cruise company, and often significantly harder on the injured passenger.
From their cozy Miami offices, the cruise lines make it very difficult and expensive for injured passengers to obtain compensation. A huge body of United States Federal and maritime case law shields the cruise lines from civil liability, particularly as contrasted with the accountability imposed on other corporate defendants. For example, Federal Maritime Law generally does not permit claims for class actions, emotional distress, or loss of spousal consortium.
Contractual clauses, case law, and the disparity in financial and informational resources make suing a cruise a complicated and specialized process. To mitigate some of these obstacles, you should consult only with an experienced cruise ship accident law firm. At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers, our maritime injury lawyers have successfully sued Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, and other cruise lines on behalf of people who have suffered all manner of accidents and injuries aboard cruise ships.
To increase the chance of success, we carefully and thoroughly collect information and evidence of an Israel cruise accident. Our lawyers often must travel to remote and even exotic locations to take depositions of crewmembers and inspect accident scenes aboard the ships. Last week, it was necessary for a lawyer to take the deposition of a cruise ship doctor in Haifa, Israel, related to a serious accident aboard a major cruise line.
The logistics of these depositions can be daunting and exhausting, especially when a team of well-funded defense lawyers represents the opposition. In this instance, the deposition took place in the offices of a port agent in Haifa, with no air conditioning and slow Wi-Fi, and a court reporter, who was back in Miami, had to take testimony over the phone. However, ensuring that this evidence was accurately and effectively collected could make a huge difference for our client.
The Aronfeld law firm has over 25 years of experience in Miami, Florida, representing passengers injured aboard cruise ships. If you have been hurt on a cruise and need to speak with an experienced maritime accident attorney regarding your injuries and potential claims for personal injury, call our office. We are happy to provide a confidential consultation on your case and potential personal injury claim. Contact our knowledgeable lawyers by either calling 1-866-507-4529 within the United States or +1(305)-441-0440, or reaching us by email at [email protected].