Type: Culture, Food, History, Live Music and Dancing
Length: 8 Hours
Walking: Difficult - uneven surfaces
Mobility: Folding wheelchair OK, some sites may be inaccessible (advance notice required)
Guide: Licensed Guide
Istanbul Shore Excursion
- This tour takes place in the late afternoon and evening. You visit sites in both historic and modern Istanbul and then in the evening you enjoy an authentic Turkish dinner, with live Turkish music, belly dancers and a folkloric show.
If you ship is staying overnight, we recommend this tour on your first day and then the Highlights of Historic Istanbul on the following morning. These two tours provide you with the Best of Istanbul with a special evening full of memories.
After meeting your licensed guide and driver at the pier you'll drive to the Old Town of Istanbul by crossing over Galata Bridge. Your first stop will be the Topkapi Palace Museum. The Palace was the seat of the Ottoman Empire for almost four centuries. Enjoy a walk through the courtyards of the Palace, view the Harem Tower, the Ceremonial Halls and the Throne Room. You'll see the Costumes of the Sultans, the Treasury of the Ottoman Empire, the Library and the Pavilions.
After your visit at the palace you'll drive to Taksim Square, a modern area of Istanbul. You'll walk the main pedestrian street of Istiklal Caddesi and see the 19th century buildings, consulates, Designer Shops, restaurants, small snack bars, cinemas and even Starbucks. End your tour at Pera Palas Hotel, a late 19th century hotel built for the use of Orient Express passengers. Pera Palas is legendary and has been frequented by well-known highly placed figures of the world such as: Agatha Christie, Edward VIII of England, Ataturk, Jacqueline Kennedy, Cicero and many more.
Crowning the night is a highlight most cruisers never get the chance to experience. In an exotic atmosphere you'll enjoy an authentic Turkish dinner, with live Turkish music, belly dancers and a folkloric show. This extravaganza lets you discover all the wonderful flavors and customs that Turkey has to offer. You'll return to the ship at 10.30 PM.
Tips on visiting Turkey:
- If additional time is available during your tour, many guides will ask if you are interested in seeing how Turkish carpets are made or if you wish to shop. These free demonstrations are very interesting and quite informative, but they are also a selling opportunity. Decide on your interest and tell your tour guide clearly whether shopping interests you or not. You should never feel obligated to make a purchase on any tour.
Turkish Entry VISA
- The Turkish government requires overnight visitors to obtain an entry VISA. However those who are visiting the country by cruise ship are exempt from this entry requirement. No entry Visa is required for a shore excursion, however an entry Visa is required if your cruise starts in Istanbul. Entry Visas must be obtained via an online application and payment system. After submitting your details and payment you must print your e-visa to show Customs and Immigration officials upon arrival. The cost is $20 USD.For more details you can visit www.evisa.gov.tr