Istanbul cruises

The largest city in Turkey, draped mysteriously across two continents, Istanbul is a heady blend of East and West. Lose yourself in the Grand Bazaar whose 4,000 stalls bombard the senses. Experience the legendary invigorating hamam or the traditional Turkish bathhouse. For some unforgettable sight-seeing don’t miss the minarets of the wondrous Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, whose bejewelled treasures reflect the extravagance of powerful sultans.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Best of Istanbul Four Seasons

    Explore the highlights of the 2010 European Capital of Culture with this magnificent tour including luncheon at the Four Seasons.

    Best of Istanbul Four Seasons

    Your scenic drive takes you across the Galata Bridge to the heart of the old city arriving at the ancient Hippodrome. This large, open square was once the site of a Roman circus that rivalled the Colosseum in size and held a quarter of a million spectators. The next stop is the world famous Blue Mosque, where you can marvel at the 20,000 blue-glazed tiles that decorate the interior and the six graceful minarets that reach skyward.

    A short walk takes you on to the church of St Sophia, which is more than 1000 years older than the Blue Mosque. Highlights include a number of glistening mosaics dating from the Byzantine period.

    Topkapi Palace Museum is a walled complex that surrounds the Bosphorus. Explore the harem section before enjoying luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel.

    Prior to visiting the Grand Bazaar, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a carpet-weaving demonstration to learn about this Turkish art. Afterwards, explore the narrow alleys of the famous Grand Bazaar filled with shops offering souvenirs, jewellery, ceramics and much more.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There are several steps to negotiate throughout the tour and due to the popularity of the venues, they can become crowded. Shoulders and knees must be covered in the mosques and shoes must be removed, ladies must also wear a head covering. Professional and flash photography are not permitted. Please be aware of the ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace, which may result in some exhibits being closed or some artifacts may be on temporary loan to other museums. The order of highlights may vary. Due to the size and nature of the Bazaar you will not be accompanied by your guide inside.

    Tour code

    IST_011

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    8½ hours

  • Sultan's Summer Palace

    A wonderful opportunity to visit the largest and most elegant Ottoman Palace on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus.

    Sultan's Summer Palace

    Experience a spectacular view of Istanbul as you cross the Bosphorous Bridge between the two continents.

    The beautiful Beylerbeyi Summer Palace has attracted such guests as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Empress Eugenie of France. Built between 1860 and 1865 by Sultan Abdul Aziz, the Palace is designed in ornate Baroque style and has two bathing pavilions – one for the harem and the other for the men.

    Your knowledgeable guide will provide you with an insight into the Palace and recount events, including the time the Sultan’s mother slapped the face of Empress Eugenie for daring to enter the Palace on the arm of Abdul Aziz. As you tour this magnificent building, you will see all its attractive features; such as the reception hall with its pool and fountain; the large Bohemian crystal chandeliers and the beautiful Turkish carpets.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There are approximately 52 steps inside the Palace. Photography is prohibited inside the Beylerbeyi Summer Palace. Protective over-shoes will be provided at the Palace entrance for use inside.

    Tour code

    IST_013

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    2¼ hours

  • Whirling Dervish Show

    Experience the mesmerising Whirling Dervish Show at the Suleymaniye Mosque Complex.

    Whirling Dervish Show

    A short drive through the electric and atmospheric Istanbul city by night will whisk you to the Suleymaniye Mosque Complex for a Whirling Dervish Show. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show whilst sipping a refreshment of Turkish tea or traditional sherbet.

    The whirling dance, which is performed by Semazens, is proverbially associated with dervishes, the practice of the Mevlevi order in Turkey, and is part of a formal ceremony known as Sema, a means for man to reach actual existance. The Mevlevi ritual symbolises the mystical meaning of divine love, passion and spiritual maturity. The ritual whirling of the Semazens is an act of love and a drama of faith.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. It is recommended that guests have dinner prior to the tour.

    Tour code

    IST_028

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    2 hours

  • St Sophia, Blue Mosque & Grand Bazaar

    Have your camera at the ready as you are guided around the fabulous sights of this bustling city.

    St Sophia, Blue Mosque & Grand Bazaar

    Your scenic drive travels across the Galata Bridge, the oldest recorded bridge in Istanbul and situated in the heart of the old city. It is here your knowledgeable guide will take you through the historic streets to the Blue Mosque and St Sophia.

    The Blue Mosque is one of the city’s most recognised landmarks and more than 20,000 blue Iznik tiles highlight the superb interior. You cannot fail to be impressed at the six graceful minarets that adorn the elegant mosque.

    St Sophia was built by the Emperor Justinian in the time of Constantinople. This magnificent example of Byzantine architecture boasts a massive dome and an interior decorated with marble, precious stones, and pillars from Ephesus.

    Prior to visiting the famous Grand Bazaar, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a carpet-weaving demonstration to learn about this Turkish art. Afterwards explore the narrow alleys, filled with shops offering jewellery, carpets, leather ware, copper goods and much more. Bargaining is expected and half the fun of this bazaar experience.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Total walking time is two hours and there are steps to negotiate throughout. Shoulders and knees must be covered in the mosque and shoes removed, ladies must also wear a head covering. Professional and flash photography are not permitted within the St Sophia Museum. Due to the size and nature of the Bazaar you will not be accompanied by your guide inside.

    Tour code

    IST_004

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4¼ hours

  • Explore the New District

    Enjoy a guided walking tour of the new district and take a ride on the Tunel, the underground funicular.

    Explore the New District

    Your guided walking tour begins from the quayside. Follow your guide to Kabatas Station to board a modern, underground tram, your destination being Taksim Square.

    Situated in the European part of Istanbul, Taksim Square is a popular tourist and leisure district. Located here is The Monument of the Republic, which commemorates the 5th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, following the Turkish War of Independence.

    Pass by Galatasaray Square, the site of the first European inspired High School and Cicek Pasaji (Flower Passage), a shrine to the Turks love of leisurely dining. Listen carefully as your knowledgeable guide enlightens you with stories of the past and present.

    A brief stop will be made at Balik Bazaar, a local market specialising in seafood and the place where most fish restaurants in Istanbul purchase their produce.

    Your walking tour continues through Istiklal Street, to Galata, and the Galata Tower. The Galata Tower is one of the city’s most striking landmarks, it dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of old Istanbul and its environs.

    After visiting Galata Tower, walk to Tunel to take a ride to Karakoy on one of the oldest subways in the world. From Karakoy, you will walk back to the ship.


    This excursion will operate on foot and by tram. This tour is conducted entirely on foot and involves several steps, slight inclines and uneven, cobbled ground. Please be aware of ongoing construction at Taksim Square and Istiklal Street which may cause some obstructions.

    Tour code

    IST_032

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Imperial Istanbul

    Explore Istanbul's monuments on a walking tour, from the Hippodrome to the Blue Mosque, and from St Sophia to Topkapi.

    Imperial Istanbul

    The Ottoman sultans lived in the rambling Topkapi Palace and Treasury for nearly 400 years amidst luxury and splendour. The Treasury is filled with priceless jewels. (Due to the size and nature of the Treasury rooms, your guide will not provide commentary inside).

    Visit St Sophia Church, formerly a basilica, then a mosque and now a museum. (Some internal restoration work is currently underway).

    The Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet houses 20,000 blue-glazed tiles, which shine as the daylight streams through beautiful stained-glass windows.

    The inspiration for the Hippodrome Square was the great Circus in Rome and was the scene of exciting chariot races and contests. Statues from every corner of the Roman Empire decorated the Hippodrome and you can still view the two obelisks, the Serpentine Column and the Ottoman Fountain.

    Prior to visiting the Grand Bazaar, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a carpet-weaving demonstration to learn about this Turkish art; during the demonstration a light snack will be offered. Afterwards, explore the narrow alleys of the famous Grand Bazaar filled with shops offering souvenirs, jewellery, ceramics and much more.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 4½ hours of walking and several steps. Due to the popularity of the venues, they can become crowded. Shoulders and knees must be covered in the mosques and shoes removed, ladies must also wear a head covering. Professional and flash photography are not permitted inside the mosques. There is ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace, which may result in some exhibits being closed.

    Tour code

    IST_002

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    6 hours

  • Best of Istanbul by Private People Carrier

    A private tour is the perfect solution for guests who wish to tour together and discover Istanbul.

    Best of Istanbul by Private People Carrier

    An air-conditioned people carrier with an English-speaking guide and local driver is offered on this tour. This is a private vehicle; those accompanying you are family or friends with whom you agree to share costs. We do not match groups of guests to form a private group for the vehicle. Vehicles and guides are extremely limited and so early reservation is recommended to avoid disappointment. No deviations to duration, venues if included or departure and return times can be made.

    The tour fare is per vehicle and only one person in the party should book a ticket. The entire cost of the vehicle and tour will be charged to that person’s credit card. Once on board, you’ll receive a request for the names of each individual in your party. This information is required to allow your party to disembark the ship for the tour.

    People Carriers will take up to four guests.

    Your scenic drive takes you across the Galata Bridge to the heart of the old city arriving at the ancient Hippodrome. This large, open square was once the site of a Roman circus that rivalled the Colosseum in size and held a quarter of a million spectators. The next stop is the world famous Blue Mosque, where you can marvel at the 20,000 blue-glazed tiles that decorate the interior and the six graceful minarets that reach skyward.

    A short walk takes you on to the church of St Sophia, which is more than 1000 years older than the Blue Mosque. Highlights include a number of glistening mosaics dating from the Byzantine period.

    Topkapi Palace Museum is a walled complex that surrounds the Bosphorus. Explore the harem section before enjoying luncheon at a local hotel.

    Visit the Grand Bazaar for an optional carpet-weaving demonstration and then explore the narrow alleys filled with shops offering jewellery, carpets and much more.


    Private tours are non-refundable once confirmed. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability and the number of guests in your party. Only one person in the party is required to book a ticket. Vehicles are air-conditioned and come with an English-speaking guide and local driver. No deviations to tour content, duration, departure or return time can be made.

    There is approximately 2½ hours of walking over uneven, slippery and cobblestoned ground, flat comfortable shoes are recommended. The removal of any pieces from the site is strictly forbidden. Entrance fees are included. Refreshments and gratuities are not included. There are several steps to negotiate throughout the tour and due to the popularity of the venues, they can become crowded. Shoulders and knees must be covered in the mosques and shoes must be removed, ladies are required to wear a head covering. Professional and flash photography are not permitted. Please be aware of the ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace, which may result in some exhibits being closed or some artifacts being on temporary loan to other museums. The order of highlights may vary. Due to the size and nature of the Bazaar you will not be accompanied by your guide inside.

    Tour code

    IST_701

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    8½ hours

  • Imperial Istanbul by Private Minibus

    A private tour is the perfect solution for guests who wish to tour together and discover Istanbul.

    Imperial Istanbul by Private Minibus

    An air-conditioned minibus with an English-speaking guide and local driver is offered on this tour. This is a private vehicle; those accompanying you are family or friends with whom you agree to share costs. We do not match groups of guests to form a private group for the vehicle. Vehicles and guides are extremely limited and so early reservation is recommended to avoid disappointment. No deviations to duration, venues if included or departure and return times can be made.

    The tour fare is per vehicle and only one person in the party should book a ticket. The entire cost of the vehicle and tour will be charged to that person’s credit card. Once on board, you’ll receive a request for the names of each individual in your party. This information is required to allow your party to disembark the ship for the tour.

    Minibuses will take up to eight guests.

    The Ottoman sultans lived in the rambling Topkapi Palace and Treasury for nearly 400 years amidst enviable luxury and splendour. The Treasury is filled with priceless diamonds, emeralds and gold. (Please be advised that due to the size and nature of the Treasury rooms, your guide will not give a commentary inside).

    Visit St Sophia Church, formerly a basilica, then a mosque and now a museum. (Some internal restoration work is currently underway).

    The Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet houses 20,000 blue-glazed tiles, which shine as the daylight streams through beautiful stained-glass windows.

    The inspiration for the Hippodrome Square was the great Circus in Rome and was the scene of exciting chariot races and contests. Statues from every corner of the Roman Empire decorated the Hippodrome and you can still view the two obelisks, the Serpentine Column and the Ottoman Fountain.

    Your last stop will be the famous Grand Bazaar. Your guide will escort you to a store just outside the Grand Bazaar, your rendezvous point after experiencing the marketplace. Take in a carpet-weaving demonstration and explore the Grand Bazaar.



    This excursion will operate by private minibus and on foot. Private tours are non-refundable once confirmed. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability and the number of guests in your party. Only one person in the party is required to book a ticket. Vehicles are air-conditioned and come with an English-speaking guide and local driver. No deviations to tour content, duration, departure or return time can be made.

    There is approximately 4½ hours of walking and several steps to negotiate on this tour. Due to the popularity of the venues, they can become crowded. Shoulders and knees must be covered in the mosques and shoes must be removed, ladies are required to wear a head covering. Professional and flash photography are not permitted inside the mosques. Please be aware of the ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace, which may result in some exhibits being closed. The order of highlights may vary due to local traffic conditions.

    Tour code

    IST_704

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    6 hours

  • Bazaars of Istanbul

    A great opportunity to visit the most famous and unique bazaars of Istanbul.

    Bazaars of Istanbul

    After a short panoramic drive to the old city, your first visit will be the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar. Built in 1663, the Spice Market is still the second-largest covered bazaar in Turkey and it is still the best place to buy Turkish delight, dried fruit, exotic herbs and all the spices of the East including cardamom, turmeric, saffron, rose water and much more.

    Continue onto the Grand Bazaar, where your guide will escort you to a store just outside the Grand Bazaar, which will be your rendezvous point after experiencing the marketplace. Take in a carpet-weaving demonstration and explore on your own, where the shops are organised by the wares they sell. The narrow alleys are filled with shops offering jewellery, carpets, leather ware, copper goods and more. Bargaining is expected and half the fun.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Please be advised that the surfaces are cobblestoned and uneven in places at both Bazaars.

    Tour code

    IST_026

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Best of Istanbul by Private Minibus

    A private tour is the perfect solution for guests who wish to tour together and discover Istanbul.

    Best of Istanbul by Private Minibus

    An air-conditioned minibus with an English-speaking guide and local driver is offered on this tour. This is a private vehicle; those accompanying you are family or friends with whom you agree to share costs. We do not match groups of guests to form a private group for the vehicle. Vehicles and guides are extremely limited and so early reservation is recommended to avoid disappointment. No deviations to duration, venues if included or departure and return times can be made.

    The tour fare is per vehicle and only one person in the party should book a ticket. The entire cost of the vehicle and tour will be charged to that person’s credit card. Once on board, you’ll receive a request for the names of each individual in your party. This information is required to allow your party to disembark the ship for the tour.

    Minibuses will take up to eight guests.

    Your scenic drive takes you across the Galata Bridge to the heart of the old city arriving at the ancient Hippodrome. This large, open square was once the site of a Roman circus that rivalled the Colosseum in size and held a quarter of a million spectators. The next stop is the world famous Blue Mosque, where you can marvel at the 20,000 blue-glazed tiles that decorate the interior and the six graceful minarets that reach skyward.

    A short walk takes you on to the church of St Sophia, which is more than 1000 years older than the Blue Mosque. Highlights include a number of glistening mosaics dating from the Byzantine period.

    Topkapi Palace Museum is a walled complex that surrounds the Bosphorus. Explore the harem section before enjoying luncheon at a local hotel.

    Visit the Grand Bazaar for an optional carpet-weaving demonstration and to explore the narrow alleys filled with shops offering jewellery, carpets and much more.


    Private tours are non-refundable once confirmed. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability and the number of guests in your party. Only one person in the party is required to book a ticket. Vehicles are air-conditioned and come with an English-speaking guide and local driver. No deviations to tour content, duration, departure or return time can be made.

    There is approximately 2½ hours of walking over uneven, slippery and cobblestoned ground, flat comfortable shoes are recommended. The removal of any pieces from the site is strictly forbidden. Entrance fees are included. Refreshments and gratuities are not included. There are several steps to negotiate throughout the tour and due to the popularity of the venues, they can become crowded. Shoulders and knees must be covered in the mosques and shoes must be removed, ladies are required to wear a head covering. Professional and flash photography are not permitted. Please be aware of the ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace, which may result in some exhibits being closed or some artifacts being on temporary loan to other museums. The order of highlights may vary. Due to the size and nature of the Bazaar you will not be accompanied by your guide inside.

    Tour code

    IST_702

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    8½ hours

  • Bosphorus Cruise

    This relaxing tour features a boat cruise along the Bosphorus, during which you can discover the history of this fascinating city.

    Bosphorus Cruise

    A short scenic drive will take you to your boat, to sail on the famous Bosphorus waterway, from where there are excellent views of the Asiatic and European shore. Magnificent 19th century palaces are dotted along both banks and, as you cruise along, enjoy views of the Dolmabahçe Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace and the few remaining towers of the Anadolu Hisar.

    Passing beneath the great Bosphorus Bridge, you are rewarded with the sight of curving domes and rising minarets, wrapped in a hazy veil. Istanbul has one of the loveliest skylines in the world and is without doubt a city built to be appreciated from the water.

    A Refreshment of coffee, tea or a local soft drink will be served during your cruise.


    This excursion will operate by coach and boat. There are approximately 12 steps to negotiate to embark and disembark the boat.

    Tour code

    IST_003

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Byzantine Highlights & Grand Bazaar

    Visit the magnificent underground cistern and enjoy time for shopping at the Grand Bazaar.

    Byzantine Highlights & Grand Bazaar

    Cross the Galata Bridge to reach the Byzantine Hippodrome. Ancient entertainment including gladiator fights and chariot races took place here through the history of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a beautiful elliptical-shaped park.

    A short walk will then take you to the remarkable Underground Cistern. Built during the reign of Justinian, this 6th century subterranean water reservoir is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul, and boasts a ceiling supported by 336 marble Corinthian columns. This ’Underground Palace’ with its illuminated interior was used in the 1963 James Bond film ‘From Russia with Love’.

    Visit the famous St Sophia Church. After several conquests and pillages, the building was converted into a mosque, but fell into disrepair as the centuries passed. The mosaics were uncovered in the 1900s and the church was then dedicated as a Byzantine-Ottoman museum.

    Prior to visiting the Grand Bazaar, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a carpet-weaving demonstration to learn about this Turkish art. Afterwards, explore the narrow alleys of the famous Grand Bazaar filled with shops offering souvenirs, jewellery, ceramics and much more.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 1½ hours of walking over uneven, cobblestoned ground, therefore flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. There are approximately 50 steps to negotiate at the entrance to the underground cistern and a further 50 steps to exit. Professional and flash photography are not permitted. The order of highlights may vary. Due to the size and nature of the Bazaar you will not be accompanied by your guide inside.

    Tour code

    IST_030

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4¾ hours

  • Imperial Istanbul by Private People Carrier

    A private tour is the perfect solution for guests who wish to tour together and discover Istanbul.

    Imperial Istanbul by Private People Carrier

    An air-conditioned people carrier with an English-speaking guide and local driver is offered on this tour. This is a private vehicle; those accompanying you are family or friends with whom you agree to share costs. We do not match groups of guests to form a private group for the vehicle. Vehicles and guides are extremely limited and so early reservation is recommended to avoid disappointment. No deviations to duration, venues if included or departure and return times can be made.

    The tour fare is per vehicle and only one person in the party should book a ticket. The entire cost of the vehicle and tour will be charged to that person’s credit card. Once on board, you’ll receive a request for the names of each individual in your party. This information is required to allow your party to disembark the ship for the tour.

    People Carriers will take up to four guests.

    The Ottoman sultans lived in the rambling Topkapi Palace and Treasury for nearly 400 years amidst enviable luxury and splendour. The Treasury is filled with priceless diamonds, emeralds and gold. (Please be advised that due to the size and nature of the Treasury rooms, your guide will not give a commentary inside).

    Visit St Sophia Church, formerly a basilica, then a mosque and now a museum. (Some internal restoration work is currently underway).

    The Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet houses 20,000 blue-glazed tiles, which shine as the daylight streams through beautiful stained-glass windows.

    The inspiration for the Hippodrome Square was the great Circus in Rome and was the scene of exciting chariot races and contests. Statues from every corner of the Roman Empire decorated the Hippodrome and you can still view the two obelisks, the Serpentine Column and the Ottoman Fountain.

    Your last stop will be the famous Grand Bazaar. Your guide will escort you to a store just outside the Grand Bazaar, your rendezvous point after experiencing the marketplace. Take in a carpet-weaving demonstration and then explore the Grand Bazaar.


    This excursion will operate by people carrier and on foot. Private tours are non-refundable once confirmed. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability and the number of guests in your party. Only one person in the party is required to book a ticket. Vehicles are air-conditioned and come with an English-speaking guide and local driver. No deviations to tour content, duration, departure or return time can be made.

    There is approximately 4½ hours of walking and several steps to negotiate on this tour. Due to the popularity of the venues, they can become crowded. Shoulders and knees must be covered in the mosques and shoes must be removed, ladies are required to wear a head covering. Professional and flash photography are not permitted inside the mosques. Please be aware of the ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace, which may result in some exhibits being closed. The order of highlights may vary due to local traffic conditions.

    Tour code

    IST_703

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    6 hours

  • Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar

    Marvel at the glittering collections of jewels and treasures at Topkapi and then go shopping at the Grand Bazaar.

    Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar

    Drive across the Galata Bridge, viewing the Suleymaniye Mosque and the Galata Tower in the distance. Take the opportunity to see the old Orient Express Train Station as you drive through the city. Istanbul is a magical city, never failing to enchant its visitors with numerous treasures, ancient and modern alike.

    Once the residence of the Ottoman Sultans and their harems, the Topkapi Palace now houses an incredible collection of Ottoman Costumes, the Topkapi Dagger and lavishly decorated rooms. The Treasury is filled with priceless diamonds, emeralds and gold. (Please be advised that due to the size and nature of the Treasury rooms, your guide will not give a commentary inside).

    With 4,000 shops, a mosque, a school and even its own post office, banks and police station, the Grand Bazaar is the largest covered market in the world. Walk along the maze of alleys filled with jewellery, leather goods, carpets and more. You’ll have time to browse at leisure and practise your bargaining skills – it’s not only expected, it’s half the fun.

    Prior to visiting the Grand Bazaar, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a carpet-weaving demonstration to learn about this Turkish art.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately three hours’ walking over some cobbled streets and there are steps at Topkapi Palace. Please be aware of the ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace, which may result in some exhibits being closed. Due to the size and nature of the Bazaar you will not be accompanied by your guide inside. Heavy traffic may be experienced.

    Tour code

    IST_005

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Complete Istanbul Two Day Package

    A wonderful opportunity to visit the main highlights of Istanbul over 1½ days.

    Complete Istanbul Two Day Package

    Make the most of your time in the vibrant city of Istanbul by joining this excursion; the perfect way to encompass the main highlights over your two day stay in Istanbul.

    Day 1 (approx 8 hour duration, including luncheon)

    Embark on a scenic drive to the old city to visit Hagia St Sophia, a former church, later an imperial mosque and today a museum. As the principle mosque of Istanbul, this impressive structure served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques including the Blue Mosque. Marvel at the impressive dome as well as the wonderful mosaics of the upper galleries.

    Continue to the oldest palace in the city, Topkapi Palace. Listen carefully as your knowledgeable guide provides you with a fascinating insight into this opulent complex of buildings that formed the residence of the Sultans and the women of the Harem for 400 years.

    A short walk will then bring you to the extraordinary Underground Cistern. An underground chamber that was constructed in the 6th Century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian to hold the water supply for the Great Palace.

    Afterwards, a delicious luncheon will be served at a local hotel.

    Round off your first day in Istanbul with a visit to the Spice Market, where you’ll have time to browse the abundance of stalls selling a range of dried herbs, spices and exotic condiments, as well as freshly made Turkish Delight, before returning to the ship.

    Day 2 (approx 4¼ hour duration)

    Your second day in Istanbul begins with a stop at the Hippodrome, which was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. You’ll then visit the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known to most as the Blue Mosque due to the beautiful blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.

    Complete your day with a stop at the Grand Bazaar for an optional carpet-weaving demonstration, followed by free time to explore the narrow alleys with their array of shops selling carpets, jewellery and much more.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This excursion is a two day option, consisting of a full day tour on the first day for approximately eight hours, and a half day tour on the second day for approximately 4¼ hours. Luncheon is included on the first day only. There are several steps to negotiate throughout the tour and due to the popularity of the venues, they can become crowded. Shoulders and knees must be covered in the mosques and shoes must be removed, women must also wear a head covering. Professional and flash photography are not permitted. Please be aware of the ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace, which may result in some exhibits being closed. Due to the size and nature of the Bazaar you will not be accompanied by your guide inside.

    Tour code

    IST_037

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    2 days