Disembark at the Istanbul cruise port and meet your guide for your 5-hour private shore excursion. Hop into an air-conditioned minivan and drive into the European side. Listen as your guide tells you about the history of Constantinople, now Istanbul, the former capital of four empires.
Head to the Fatih district and Chora Church (aka Kariye Museum) and discover a 5th century building that was reconstructed between the 11th and 14th centuries. Here, view the exquisite frescoes and mosaics that cover the walls. Enter the church and admire masterful works of art from the 14th century. See gold displays of Mary with baby Jesus and Christ’s genealogy on the inside of the dome.
Next, stroll to the Sultanahmet neighborhood and descend into the Basilica Cistern. Underground, walk with your guide and learn about this 6th century water storage facility that once delivered water to the city. Glimpse up at its beautiful marble columns and even see Roman-era Medusa heads used as supports for the bottom of two columns accidentally ignored by Byzantine workers. Then, learn how after this cistern was shut down it was irrelevant for centuries.
Return to the surface and head to the Eminönü district and the lively Egyptian Bazaar (Spice Bazaar), was created in 1664. Follow your guide around this maze of exuberant shops and enjoy the aromatic atmosphere of spices, nuts, sweets and oils. See jewelry or a souvenir you like, try your hand at bargaining and get helpful tips from your guide.
Following the Egyptian Bazaar, hop back in your minivan and return to the cruise port where your tour concludes.
Please note: On Wednesdays Chora Church is closed and will be changed to Hagia Sophia Museum.
Worry-free Shore Excursion:Don’t fret, this tour ensures you will get back to Istanbul cruise port! In the unlikely event that your ship has departed, we will prepare transportation to the next port-of call. Plus, you can book worry free. If by chance your ship is delayed to arrive and you cannot attend the tour, we will refund your money. See our terms and conditions for full details.