Pre or Post Istanbul
Experience the largest city in Turkey with this pre or post cruise option in Istanbul!
Pre or post cruise options...
Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul - Remainder of day at leisure
Day 2 Istanbul - Meet the guide at your hotel and embark on a full day city tour with visits to: Hippodrome the former center of sportive and political activities of Constantinople, Blue Mosque for famous for its blue Iznik tiles and unique six minarets and St. Sophia Museum the magnificent Byzantine Church of all times. Have lunch in one of the special tradtional restaurants located in the old city. After lunch visit Topkapi Palace the former imperial residence from where the Ottoman Sultans ruled their grand empire for over 400 years. Finish the day with a visit to the incredible Underground Cistern.
Day 3 Istanbul - Morning visit to Dolmabache palace, one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was an administrative center of the late Ottoman Empire and a home of the Ottoman Sultan. Afternoon on your own. (Shopping at Grand Bazar)
Board the ship
Or continue to Cappadocia...
Day 4 Fly to Cappadocia - Check out from the hotel in Istanbul, you will be transferred back to the airport to catch your flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to your hotel located right in the hearth of Cappadocia.
Day 5 Classical Cappadocia Tour - First meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations beyond belief in Devrent Valley; walking in Zelve Open Air Museum: a journey in the past with its troglodyte houses; visit to Pasabag "fairy chimneys" where the voice of wind mixes with the "songs of fairies". Lunch in Avanos, center of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. And a demonstration at a traditional pottery workshop. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frscoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Visit Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a nice view of Cappadocia.
Day 6 Hot Air Balloon Flight & Another Angle of Cappadocia Tour - Early in the morning, you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to your hot air balloon flight. It is now time to see Cappadocia's unique panorama from a hot air balloon. It is a unique experience that you cannot match anywhere else. After a fun 1 hour flight, you will be transferred back to your hotel to have some free time. At desired time your tour guide will arrive at the hotel and you will start touring.
In the morning, meeting with the luncar landscape of Cappadocia, and descend into the center of the earth in the Underground city of Kaymakli. After this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site, we will continue our amazing journey to Soganli Valley, which is truly the last of the line of villages in the valleys south of Urgup, and the most traditional one. Its isolation meant it was the ideal for Byzantines to build monasteries, which they inhabited until at least the 1750s. The locally made doll is the symbol of the village. A local woman lost her baby and, unable to cope emotionally, made a rag doll to take its place. Later on, the women of the village developed the art of making these dolls while their men were out on the mountains grazing their animals. A Soganli doll is a must for every doll collection. After a very local lunch at Soganli, we drive towards Sinasos (Mustafapasa) an old Greek Village. En route will have small photo breaks like at Roman necropolis, Taskinpasa, a 900 year old village that shows its Seljuk roots in its Medrese (theological school) and a mosque. Keslik Monastery, which houses the well-preserved 9th century chapel of St. Stephen, several refectories and the Archangel Chapel; and Cemil Village, home to descendants of the village's earliest Orthodox Christians. Lastly before Mustafapasa, we will visit one of the most interesting findings of the region new excavation site Sobessos latest layer stands from east Roman period with mosaics a "first"in the region. Enjoy a cup of Turkish tea at the local tea house in Mustafapasa, walk in the small streets of the village and admire local stone work, take pictures of Wooden Doors. Visit of Nicolas, St. Constantine Churches, before returning to your hotel. This complex tour is highly recommended for those liking hike & history!
Day 7 Fly to Instanbul and transfer to the ship