Disembark at the Istanbul cruise port and meet your guide to start your half-day private shore adventure of Istanbul's top monuments. Aboard your air-conditioned minivan take a short trip the old Sultanahmet district and visit Hagia Sophia built in 539 AD by Roman Emperor Justinian. Learn how this UNESCO-listed monument was once one of the world’s largest churches, then a mosque, and now a museum. Head inside and admire the unbelievable architecture and exquisite Byzantine mosaics, amazing accomplishments in the 6th century. Then, see Ottoman relics as you listen to your guide tell stories of their past.
From here, stroll nearby to the Blue Mosque, another spectacular sight in Istanbul originally designed to trump the Hagia Sophia’s beauty. Built in the 17th century, marvel at its six towering minarets and incredible dome structure. Then, follow your guide inside and learn why Blue Mosque is given its name as you capture panoramic views of the nearly 20,000 blue Iznik tiles that jacket the ceiling.
Continue with a leisurely walk to the stimulating Grand Bazaar, one of the largest covered markets in the world since 1456. Stay close to your guide as you maneuver around this Ottoman style labyrinth of stalls, shops and bedestans (domed market halls) which makeup the structures early support components. Discover countless lanes sectioned into specific commerce quarters of jewelry, carpets, and other eclectic goods. Perhaps stop in one of the 13 open courtyards, also known as hans, where caravans would set up shop during medieval times. See something you like, gets some advice from your guide and try your luck bargaining.
Enjoy soaking up this bustling market’s rich culture before your return to the port where your tour ends.
Special note: On the day of your tour, the order of each activity visited above may be modified.
Worry-free Shore Excursion:Don’t worry, this tour guarantees you will get back to Istanbul cruise port! In the unlikely event that your ship has disembarked, we will organize 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.