Istanbul, Turkey

Boudicca in Istanbul, Turkey

Introduction to Istanbul

A chaotic, cosmopolitan collision of East and West, past and present.

Among Istanbul's great wealth of monuments and landmarks are the ethereal Blue Mosque, glittering Topkapi Palace (once home of the sultans), vast Kapali Carsi (the world's largest covered bazaar) and the aromatic Egyptian Spice Market.

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Istanbul

ONE CITY & TWO CONTINENTS (TOUR K)

  • Visit both the Asiatic Coast & the European Coast
  • Indulge in a traditional Turkish fish lunch
  • Barter for a bargain at the famous Grand Bazaar
Activity Tour
Price£65.00-£75.00
DurationApproximately 8 Hrs
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Snack includedSnack included
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Istanbul embraces two continents, Asia and Europe, and on this tour you will cross in to both.

Your tour will begin with a journey across the first Bosphorus Bridge as you head for the summit of Çamlica Hill, which affords beautiful panoramic views of Istanbul, the Sea of Marmara and the Princes’ Islands. From here, a short ride brings you to the Palace of Beylerbeyi on the shore of the Bosphorus. Perhaps the most elegant of the late Ottoman palaces, Beylerbeyi boasts six sumptuously furnished reception halls.

A stop will be made at a local restaurant where you can enjoy a traditional fish lunch before continuing to the European coastline. Located on the coast is the Süleymaniye Mosque, one of the largest and grandest of Istanbul’s imperial mosques. It dates from the 16th century heyday of the Ottoman Empire, and was designed by Sinan, who was considered the greatest architect of his day and originator of the Classical Ottoman style of architecture. Of the 2,000 structures that Sinan designed, Süleymaniye Mosque and its complex of charitable institutions rank amongst the most important.

Your final stop will be at the famous Grand Bazaar; considered to be the commercial heart of the old city, its 4,000 shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewellery, ceramics, and leather goods. As you wander through the Grand Bazaar, why not indulge in some shopping before returning to your awaiting ship. 

 
TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2016 CANARIES & MED CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and standing. Steps and uneven ground may be encountered, therefore this tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Please note that it is compulsory for women to wear headscarves which cover their hair and arms, and for all guests to remove their shoes before entering mosques and palaces. For reference, vendors in the bazaar can be very persistent. This tour may operate in a different order to that described. For your reference, the city of Istanbul can be extremely busy and the traffic may be heavy at times.

 
 

Istanbul, Turkey

BOSPHORUS CRUISE (TOUR I)

  • Embark on a leisurely cruise along the Bosphorus
  • Savour impressive sights of Istanbul from the water
Boat Tour
Price£25.00-£35.00
DurationApproximately 3 1/2 Hrs
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Discover Istanbul from a different perspective as you enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Bosphorus - a strait of water that divides Europe from Asia.

Crossing the Galata Bridge en route to the Golden Horn – a horn-shaped estuary dividing European Istanbul and one of the best natural harbours in the world. The old Galata Bridge is a floating bridge and was the main connection across the Golden Horn, joining the two halves of European Istanbul.

Joining your boat, your journey on the Bosphorus will take you past the famous 19th century Dolmabahce Palace – the façade of which stretches for 600 metres (1,968 feet) along the European shore. Next, pass the Ataturk Bridge, which connected the two continents for the first time, before you come across the walls of the Rumeli Fortress. The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge straddles the waterway just past the fortress, and from this point you will cross the Bosphorus at the point where the strait runs into the Black Sea.

Now on the Asian side, you will see the Anadolu Fortress and the Beylerbeyi Palace – a fantasy in white marble amid magnolia-filled gardens. Opposite the palace, the wooden Ottoman villas contrast with the luxurious modern apartments. Enjoy the many views from the boat on your way back to the old city, where you will board your coach for the return journey back to your ship. 

 
TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CIRRECT FOR 2016 CANARIES & MED CRUISES!

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This is a sightseeing tour by boat, with a minimal amount of walking involved, however please be advised that embarking the boat can be difficult for guests with walking difficulties. Some uneven ground may be encountered, and there are four steps to negotiate to embark and disembark the boat, therefore this tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair users. Please note that depending upon the berth of your ship, there may be up to a 400 metre (1,312 foot) walk from the ship to the tour coach. Drinks are not included in the cost of this tour – they can be purchased on the boat at your own expense. 

 
 

Cruises to Istanbul

BYZANTINE HERITAGE (TOUR G)

  • Discover the Byzantine monuments of Istanbul
  • Visit the Kariye Mosque with its impressive frescoes and mosaics
  • Have your camera to hand to capture the impressive architecture
Activity Tour
Price£30.00-£40.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hrs
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

On this tour, discover the Byzantine heritage of Istanbul.

You begin with a drive through the business centre of modern Istanbul, across the Galata Bridge, along the banks of the Golden Horn and under the Byzantine aqueduct of Valens.

From your coach, admire the Süleymaniye Mosque which was dedicated to Emperor Soliman the Magnificent. Your first visit is to the Patriarchal Church of St George - a Greek Orthodox church renowned for its artefacts and relics. Next, you continue to the Kariye Mosque (Chora Mosque), which is today a museum located in the west of the city and considered to be the most important Byzantine monument in Istanbul after the Hagia Sophia.

Continuing, you arrive at the Basilica Cistern, a huge underground reservoir built in 532 AD, located in the historical peninsula of Istanbul next to the Hagia Sophia. The cistern’s water was provided from the Belgrade Woods, which lies 19 kilometres north of the city, via aqueducts built by the emperor Justinian. 

 
TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR CANARIES & MED CRUISES 2016

Is this tour right for you?

 

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and standing, most of which is over uneven ground, and there will be steps to negotiate throughout. Unfortunately it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Vests, shorts and mini-skirts are not permitted inside places of worship. For your reference, the city of Istanbul can be extremely busy and the traffic may be heavy at times.

 
 



 


Istanbul By Night ( Tour C)

  • Take in the classic sights from high above Istanbul
  • Immerse yourself in an amazing simulator ride 

 

Activity Tour
Price£55.00 - £65.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Take the lift up to the Sapphire Observation Deck, 236 metres above Istanbul, in order to view the numerous highlights this wonderful city offers.

Maiden’s Tower, Galata Tower, the imposing Hagia Sophia and the expansive Bosphorus are just some of the sights you will see from the Sapphire Observation Deck. Traces of three civilisations stretching across two continents will be viewed from a different perspective, as day turns to night. Have your camera to hand as the lights twinkle below.

For those looking for a bird’s eye view of this Turkish delight, a 4D simulator ride is included in your tour. Your ride will fly you above this amazing city – filling your senses with Istanbul’s beauty.

THIS TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and standing at the Observation Deck, which you will reach by lift. Wheelchair users may partake in this tour, if able to get on and off the coach unaided, but please note that the 4D simulator is not accessible. A cup of coffee is included at the Sapphire Observation Deck café.

 


Istanbul, Turkey

OTTOMAN VISIONS (TOUR H)

  • Explore the Topkapi Palace -  a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Admire the many fine examples of Ottoman architecture found within the city
  • Marvel at the beautiful exterior of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque
Activity Tour
Price£30.00-£40.00
DurationApproximately 4.5 hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Free time includedFree time included

Visit some of the most impressive Ottoman buildings in Istanbul as you admire the imposing Topkapi Palace and the Nuruosmaniye Mosque.

Leaving the quayside, you first travel to the Topkapi Palace, which was once the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years between 1465 and 1856. Today, it is a major tourist attraction and contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including the Prophet Muhammad’s cloak and sword.

The Topkapi Palace is amongst the monuments contained within the Historic Area of Istanbul, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The Topkapi complex was expanded over the centuries, with major renovations following an earthquake in 1509 and fire in 1665. Today the palace includes many fine examples of Ottoman architecture, as well as a display of Ottoman treasures and jewellery.

Next, you have an opportunity to admire the Nuruosmaniye Mosque from the outside. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of a mosque in the Ottoman Baroque style. Enjoy approximately one hour of time at leisure here before returning to your awaiting ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2016 CANARIES & MED CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a strenuous amount of walking with steps to negotiate throughout, therefore it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Please also be advised that if you wish to visit the mosque (at your own expense) shoulders and knees must be covered and shoes must be removed. For your reference, the city of Istanbul can be extremely busy and the traffic may be heavy at times. 

 


Istanbul, Turkey

PANORAMIC ISTANBUL (TOUR F)

  • Discover the vibrant and busy city of Istanbul
  • Travel along the impressive Bosphorus Suspension Bridge
  • Savour views over the city from Camlica Hill
Panoramic Coach Tour
Price£20.00-£30.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hrs
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Free time includedFree time included

Enjoy a panoramic tour of Istanbul as you travel along the Bosphorus; the magnificent strait that separates Europe from Asia.

Your journey will see you crossing the Bosphorus to the Asian side of Istanbul via the Bosphorus Bridge. The bridge is located between Ortaköy (on the European side) and Beylerbeyi (on the Asian side). It is a gravity-anchored suspension bridge and did have the fourth longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1973 in addition to being the longest outside of the United States. Today it is the 21st longest suspension bridge in the world.

Continuing, you travel up to Camlica Hill which is the highest point in Istanbul, at approximately 267 metres (875 feet) above sea level, and offers some great views over the city. Once you reach the summit there is a pleasant park and a small teahouse in the midst of the pine grove. Enjoy some time at leisure to admire the panoramic view of Istanbul, the Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea with the Princes’ Islands.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2016 CANARIES & MED CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a minimal amount of walking, with a few steps to negotiate. You will have time at leisure at Camlica Hill where the amount of walking undertaken is at the discretion of the individual. Refreshments are not included in the cost of this tour, however it is possible to purchase drinks at the teahouse on Camlica Hill. The view from Camlica Hill can sometimes be hazy. Unfortunately this tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair users. Please note that depending upon the ship’s berth, there may be up to a 400 metre (1,312 foot) walk from the ship to the tour coach. For your reference, the city of Istanbul can be extremely busy and the traffic may be heavy at times.

 
 

Istanbul, Turkey

TREASURES OF ISTANBUL (TOUR B)

  • Visit the Hagia Sofia, undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest architectural gems
  • Admire the Blue Mosque, one of Istanbul’s most iconic buildings
  • Marvel at the Topkapi Palace, home to a unique museum of imperial artefacts 
Activity Tour
Price£60.00-£70.00
DurationApproximately 8 Hrs
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Snack includedSnack included
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Explore the highlights of Istanbul on this full-day sightseeing tour.

You begin with a visit to the Hagia Sofia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, which was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian circa 535 AD. It was transformed into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of the city in 1453. Today a museum, it is very impressive in size and contains beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics. 

Continuing, you travel to the ancient Hippodrome, constructed during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Septimus Severus in 200 AD. Upon arrival here, you can admire the column of Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The column was formerly made of bronze sheathing, which was taken and used by the 12th century crusaders for weaponry. Following your visit, lunch will be served at a local restaurant before you continue to the Blue Mosque. The great mosque, with its six minarets, was built as part of an imperial complex at the beginning of the 17th century, and owes its name to the 21,000 blue iznik tiles adorning the interior.

From here, you proceed to the Topkapi Palace - the imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years following the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. Built on the Acropolis of the ancient city of Byzantium, it is home to imperial jewels, royal belongings, Islamic relics, weapons and other artefacts of great value.

Finally, visit the Nuruosmaniye (‘Light of Osman’) Complex, where you can enjoy some time to browse the local area at leisure before returning to the quayside and your awaiting ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2016 CANARIES & MEDITERRANEAN CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOUR? This tour involves a strenuous amount of walking and standing, and steps and uneven ground may be encountered. Please note that it is compulsory for women to wear headscarves which cover their hair and arms, and for all guests to remove their shoes before entering the Blue Mosque. Lunch includes a glass of water. This tour may operate in a different order to that described. For your reference, the city of Istanbul can be extremely busy and the traffic may be heavy at times. Queues may be encountered.

 

 
 

Istanbul, Turkey

TURKISH NIGHT (TOUR J)

  • Experience a traditional Turkish show
  • Marvel at the live entertainment including belly dancers and folk music
Price£70.00-£80.00
DurationApproximately 3.5 Hrs
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Snack includedSnack included

Enjoy a delicious authentic Turkish ‘meze’, enchanting traditional folk music and Turkish belly dancing on this entertaining evening tour.

Following a short drive, you reach your evening’s destination at a local restaurant, where you will be invited to enjoy a traditional Turkish show. Upon arrival, sit back and enjoy the live music, belly dancers, folkloric dancers and much more as you dine on a traditional Turkish evening meal. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2016 CANARIES & MED CRUISES

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a minimal amount of compulsory walking. There are a few steps to negotiate to enter the restaurant, which is not wheelchair accessible. Please note that depending upon the ship’s berth, there could be up to a 400 metre (1,312 foot) walk from the ship to the tour coach. The evening meal includes half a bottle of wine or two bottles of local beer or two soft drinks per person.

 
 


 


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