|Arrive: 08/04/12 7:00 AM||Depart: 08/04/12 5:00 PM|
Please see below for a description of our exclusive Car & Driver private sightseeing. Please note that the final itinerary may vary slightly due to unforeseen weather conditions, closures or other reasons beyond control. Due to a limited number of vehicles in some ports, car and driver sightseeing tours are subject to availability.
Treasures of Istanbul Tour
Meet your guide at the port for your private full day tour.
Your private tour of Istanbul starts with a visit to the Hippodrome, which was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. You will take a short walk to the Blue Mosque, completed in 1616, it is a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance. The mosque was a part of a complex also including, tombs, fountains, kitchens, and a bath. Its colourful 260 windows enables the sunlight to reach inside. This makes the interior unusually light. The blue Iznik Tiles covering the walls have given the mosque its popular name, Blue Mosque.
Then, you will visit the magnificient Topkapi Palace, the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries. It is located on the promontory jutting out between the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. This setting provides a magnificent view. The construction of the Topkapi Palace was completed between 1465 and 1478. Being the imperial residence of the sultan, his court and harem, the palace was also the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire. 4,000 people lived in the Palace. In the Treasury section, you will see breathtaking displays, including the 7th largest diamond in the world, the “Spoonmaker’s Diamond”.
Lunch will be served at the Ottoman House. You will taste traditional Turkish Cuisine in a lovely atmosphere.
After your lunch, you will visit St. Sophia, the church of the Divine Wisdom. The architectural marvel of all time. It was built during Emperor Justinian reign ( AD 537 ) and it remained the greatest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II who ordered to convert Hagia Sophia into a Mosque. In 1934, Atatürk proclaimed it a museum. The walls of this beautiful piece of architecture are decorated with gorgeous mosaics.
Last, continue to explore ninety-two streets of the famous Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is the largest and oldest covered Bazaar in Turkey with more than 4,000 shops. A variety of Turkish Handicrafts, Oriental carpets, rare jewels and inexpensive souvenirs all sold in small shops next to each other. The streets are named according to the trades, such as gold and silver sellers, carpet sellers, booksellers, etc. The most oriental atmosphere in Istanbul is found in the bazaar.
At the end of the tour, you will return to the port to embark your ship.
**Shoreside Experience by Private Car Operated by Seasong Tours