Istanbul
07/19/2020 6:00 PM
07/19/2020 12:00 AM
Located on the Bosphorus, Istanbul is one of the most beautiful of all Turkish cities. Named Byzantium when founded by the Greeks, and then Constantinople under the Roman Empire, this city is steeped in history and, for this reason, is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on Sultanahmet hill, the great Blue Mosque, the mysterious Hagia Sophia, and the vast Topkapi Palace and its countless mosaics dominate the Marmara Sea. In the Beyazit district, the Grand Bazaar allows to discover elegant covered passages. A little further away, delicate aroma of loukoum and spices will draw the visitors' attention at the Egyptian Bazaar.,

Optional Private Excursions available for purchase

Avoid the crowds and hustle and bustle associated with a group activity. For a memorable trip ashore, we invite you to consider a private shore excursion. Enjoy the undivided attention of your own driver/guide and the flexibility of experiencing the aspects of the local culture that most interest you. Below are just some samples of the private shore excursions we can arrange for you. Give us a call or email us. Let us personalize your experience!

Istanbul: Edirne Highlights - 11 hours

An English speaking private lecturer/guide will meet you at Istanbul cruise pier at 8 am and you will be driven to Edirne (approx. 3 hours), known formerly as Adrianople and was the second capital of the Ottoman Empire. Edirne is situated in Thrace, in westernmost Turkey on the border of Greece and is known for the Selimiye Mosque, built in the 16th century by the famous architect Sinan. The mosque's main structure comprises 18 small domes dominated by a huge central dome on 8 columns with 3 balconied minarets on 4 sides.

The tour will include visits to Selimiye & Complex (Vakiflar), Turkish - Islamic Works Museum The works are exhibited in the room numbered 14 in Dar - ül Tedris Madrasa in the courtyard of Selimiye Mosque with the Archaeological and Ethnographical Museums, In the hand works part, there is a village kitchen, Carpet, Kilim and Rush Mat weaving looms are located and other incredible mosques such as the Yildirim Mosque, Uc Serefeli Mosque and the Beyazit II Mosque.

Lunch will be served at local restaurant close to the sights, at your own cost.

There are also impressive caravanserais such as the Rustem Pasha and the lively restored Arasta and Bedesten bazaars. You may also see some beautiful Ottoman bridges in Edirne and around the area, such as Uzunkopru, which was also built by the architect Sinan. In the evening You will be transferred back to your cruise ship around 7 pm.

Added Value:

*Great introduction to the former Ottoman capital city of Edirne

*The tour covers the main highlights of the city

Tour Duration : 10-11 hours

Tour can operate: Starting mornings

Wheelchair Accessible: Partial

Physical Activity Level: Moderate

Included: Transportation by a cheaffeur driven a/c private vehicle, an officially licensed bilingual private lecturer/guide, entrance fees to the sites/museums

Not Included: Gratuities to the guide and driver, meals and personal expenses

Istanbull: Highlights - 7 hours
 An English speaking officially licenced lecturer/guide will meet the guests at the exit of the Istanbul cruise pier at 08:30 am, with a sign reading their names, for a private sightseeing tour of Istanbul.

The private tour program will start with the Roman Hippodrome that was a colossal stadium housing horse races around which the socio-political life of the Roman capital was centered. In its great days, it was 1575 feet long, 384 feet wide and held 100,000 spectators. It was the site of chariot racing, gladiator fights, circuses, inaugurations and triumphal parades.

The tour will continue with a visit to the Blue Mosque- the masterpiece of 17th century Ottoman Architecture, famous for its unique hand made original Iznik Tiles impressing the guests with their rich dominant blue colors and oriental patterns. They have become collectors’ items today, auctioned at celebrated houses like the Sotheby’s.

Next visit will be to the Topkapi Palace and its Imperial Treasury Section that was the center of Ottoman Empire’s Government Seat ruling most of the Middle East and the Eastern Europe from this palace for 500 years.

Lunch will be served at a recommended local/select restaurants close to the sites.

In the afternoon, visit the World famous Hagia Sophia (The Church of Divine Wisdom), one of the extraordinary masterpieces in the history of World architecture. When a previous church on this site was burned during the Nikka Revolt in 532, Justinian ordered his architect, Isidorus, to build a structure worthy of his empire. Hagia Sophia was completed in only five years and was dedicated on Christmas Day of 537. The building inspired countless generations by its innovations in weight support and construction techniques and what a dome it was: the popular belief was that ‘the dome was suspended from Heaven by an invisible golden chain’. In reality it was work of men, but a worldly simulator of the Heavens

Finally, visit the Grand Bazaar, more dazzling than any other oriental bazaar, built in 1461 and in service ever since. It contains 3,500 shops employing more than 20,000 people all under one roof. Everything imaginable in the world is for sale here, glittering gold and silver jewelry, antique tiles, leather, and souvenirs. Just seeing and experiencing this fascinating bazaar is a memorable experience.

At the end of today’s private tour, the guests will be transferred back to the cruise pier.

  • Closed weekly days for sites/museums:
  • St. Sophia is closed on Mondays
  • Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays
  • Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays and official holidays.

Highlights:

  • Great introduction to Istanbul's history and culture

  • The tour covers the main highlights of the city
Tour Duration : 7 hours

Tour can operate: Starting mornings

Wheelchair Accessible: Partial

Physical Activity Level: Moderate

Included: Transportation by a chauffeur driven a/c private vehicle, licensed bilingual private lecturer/guide, entrance fees to the sites/museums

Not Included: Gratuities to the guide and driver, meals and personal expenses

Istanbul: Jewish Heritage Tour - 7 hours
An English speaking officially licenced lecturer/guide will meet the guests at the exit of the Istanbul cruise pier at 09:00 am, with a sign reading their names, for a private sightseeing tour of Istanbul.

First visit of the day is to the Galata Tower which was built in 1303 by immigrants from Genoa, Italy. While sipping your Turkish coffee there, you will be amazed at the spectacular view of the Golden Horn and the old buildings located on its shores depicting how Istanbul looked hundreds years ago.
The private tour will continue with a visit to the Neve Shalom and the oldest Synagogue in Istanbul- the Ahrida Synagogue, built around 1470 by Jewish immigrants from Macedonia.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant close to the sites.

The guests will be then taken to the Jewish Museum of Turkey. There is evidence that this building as a former synagogue existed in 1671. However the actual building was re-erected over its original foundations presumably in the early 19th Century. Zulfaris Synagogue has opened its doors as the Jewish museum in 2001. Continue to visit the Balat section, where the Star of David appears.

At the end of the day,a private lecturer/guide will take the guests back to the cruise pier.

Closed weekly days for sites/museums:
• Synagogues are closed on Saturdays and Sunday
* Neve Shalon Synagogue is closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
• Zulfaris Synagogue (Jewish Museum) is closed on Saturdays.

* Please forward us a copy of your guests’ passport page with the photo, as required by the Chief Rabbi of Istanbul, to obtain His official approval for the synagogue visits in Turkey.

Added Value:

*Great introduction to Istanbul's Jewish history and culture

*The tour covers the main highlights of the Jewish Heritage in Istanbul

Tour Duration : 7 hours

Tour can operate: Starting mornings

Wheelchair Accessible: Partial

Physical Activity Level: Moderate

Included: Transportation by a cheaffeur driven a/c private vehicle, a licensed bilingual private lecturer/guide, entrance fees to the sites/museums

Not Included: Gratuities to the guide and driver, meals and personal expenses

Istanbul: Private Art Collections - 7 hours

An English speaking private lecturer/guide will meet you at at the Istanbul cruise pier at 9 am for departure by chauffeur driven a/c deluxe minivan, to start your private sightseeing tour of Istanbul.

Today’s private tour will start with a visit to the Istanbul Modern Museum of Art, situated at the shores of the Bosphorus. Istanbul Modern Museum of Art exhibits Turkey’s art heritage, and creates a platform for Turkish peoples’ creativity, dynamism, cultural identity and universal values.

A drive along the scenic Bosphorus Avenue will take you to the Family Villa of the Sabanci’s, the Internationally successful Turkish industrialist, now housing Mr. Sabanci’s lifetime collection of rare art pieces and celebrated paintings by Int’l and local masters, displayed in his former Family Home, recently donated to his Foundation as a Private Museum.

Lunch will be served at a local seafood restaurant by the shores of the Bosphorus (at your own discretion and cost).

After lunch, you will visit Private Museum of Lady Sadberk, donated to the nation by art-loving wife of Vehbi Koc, another leading industrialist. The beautiful, late-Ottoman wooden mansion contains a fabulous collection of Turkish arts and crafts, including jewelry, silverware, and Iznik ceramics of the classic period.

At the end of the tour, you will be transferred to your hotel/cruise pier by 4 pm.

Closed weekly days for sites/museums:

• Istanbul Modern Museum is closed on Mondays.

• Sabanci: Museum is closed on Mondays.

• Lady Sadberk Han Museum is closed on Wednesdays.


Added Value:

*Great introduction to Istanbul's art culture

*The tour covers the main highlights of art in the city

Tour Duration : 7 hours

Tour can operate: Starting mornings

Wheelchair Accessible: Partial

Physical Activity Level: Moderate

Included: Transportation by a chaeffeur driven a/c private vehicle, an officially licensed bilingual private lecturer/guide, entrance fees to the sites/museums

Not Included: Gratuities to the guide and driver, meals and personal expenses

Istanbul: Private Yacht Cruise along the Bosphorus - 7 hours

An English speaking officially licensed lecturer/guide will meet the guests at the Istanbul cruise pier at 09:00 am for a private sightseeing tour of Istanbul.

Today’s tour will start with a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace- the largest and the finest example of Ottoman Baroque Architecture, a monument to the Ottomans’ westernization process in the 19th century. The Ottoman response to the overwhelming changes in the post-renaissance world was rapid westernization, initiated in the imperial lifestyle at first that gave way to the creation of a series of baroque-style European-fashion palaces on the shores of the Bosphorus.

You will then board a private boat for a cruise on the Bosphorus against the majestic skyline of Istanbul. Your private boat will cruise along the romantic Bosphorus visiting both the Europe Side and the Asia Side of Istanbul by the shores of local fishing villages, en route when it is possible to take memorable photos of the fascinating environments including the 15th century Rumelihisar? Fortress, the Summer Palaces of Lady Ottoman Sultans, and the historical Wooden Houses (Yalis) of famous Turkish families. The cruise ends on the Asian side of Istanbul.

Lunch will be served at a local seafood restaurants in Kanlica Village by the Bosphorus.

After lunch, you will proceed to the top of the Grand Camlica Hill, where you will enjoy the panoramic view of the European side of Istanbul.

Your private tour will continue with a visit to the Beylerbeyi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans in late 19th and early 20th century.

After this visit, a scenic drive on the Asian shores of the Bosphorus will take you to the Kanlica Village where you will have a taste of the famous “local yogurt” and “apple tea” in a local café by the Bosphorus.

At the end of the day, the lecturer/guide will take the guests back to the hotel/cruise ship by 4 pm.

Closed weekly days for sites/museums:

• Dolmabahçe Palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays.

• Beylerbeyi Palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays.


Added Value:

*Great introduction to Istanbul's history and culture

Tour Duration : 7 hours

Tour can operate: Starting mornings

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Physical Activity Level: Moderate

Included: Transportation by a chauffeur driven a/c private vehicle, an officially licensed bilingual private lecturer/guide, entrance fees to the sites/museums

Not Included: Gratuities to the guide and driver, meals and personal expenses

Istanbul: The 16th Century Masterpieces of Sinan the Architect - 7 hours

Your English speaking private guide will meet you at the Istanbul cruise pier at 9 am for a private full day sightseeing tour of Sinan the architect’s Istanbul buildings.

The private tour will start with a visit to Rustem Pasha Mosque. It was designed by famous “Sinan the Architect” for Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha. Rustem Pasha Mosque is famous for its exquisite Iznik tiles, set in beautiful floral and geometric designs, which cover not only the facade of the porch but also the walls and columns.

Continue to Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent, which is the most important of all the imperial mosques in Istanbul. Suleyman the Magnificent and his wife are both buried here and the mosque is considered the most beautiful of the city’s Imperial mosques. It was built between 1550 and 1557 by Sinan, and is erected on the crest of a hill. The mosque is conspicuous by its great size, and has four minarets – one in each corner of the courtyard. The interior is also spectacular; the mihrab (prayer niche facing Mecca) and the mimber (pulpit) are finely carved in white marble, and there are magnificent stained glass windows.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant close to the sights (at your own discretion and cost).

In the afternoon, you will visit the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque located in the Edirnekapi neighborhood near the Byzantine city walls. Located on the peak of the Sixth Hill near the highest point of the city, the mosque is a prominent landmark in Istanbul. The Mihrimah Sultan Mosque was designed by "Sinan the Architect" for the favorite daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent, Princess Mihrimah.

Last visit of the day will be to the Sehzade Mosque which was commissioned by Sultan Suleiman in memory of his eldest son by Hürrem, Prince Mehmet, who died the age of 21. It was the first major commission by the Imperial Architect Sinan and was completed in 1548. It is considered by architectural historians as Sinan's first masterpiece of classical Ottoman architecture.

At the end of the tour, you will be transferred to your hotel/cruise ship by 4 pm.

Added Value:

*Great introduction to Sinan the Architect's masterpieces

*The tour covers the masterpieces of Sinan the Architect in Istanbul

Tour Duration : 7 hours

Tour can operate: Starting mornings

Wheelchair Accessible: Partial

Physical Activity Level: Moderate

Included: Transportation by a chauffeur driven a/c private vehicle, an officially licensed bilingual private lecturer/guide, entrance fees to the sites/museums

Not Included: Gratuities to the guide and driver, meals and personal expenses

Destination Guide