Cruise companies catch Israeli wave [p. 17]

Cruise ship operators Holland American Lines and Princess Cruises will set sail on Israeli seas again after a seven-year absence, the Tourism Ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said the companies informed Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog in a letter of their return after the ministry's Director-General Nahum Itzkovich extended an invitation to the two to cruise into Israel again. Their ships last docked in the country in 2000. The first Holland American ship is scheduled to arrive in April and will be followed closely by the first Princess cruise, which the company said is already sold out. Herzog said he expected the decision to strengthen tourism in the country. Some 13,000 tourists arrived in Israel by sea in 2005, according to the Tourism Ministry.