Off the cruise ships... a day in Istanbul:
Having a day with us, assuming that guests are first timers in Istanbul, basically what we do is;
since most of the cruise ships stop in Istanbul for a day only, we try to cover most important museums / locations / market areas of the city.
As you will see, your cruise ship has a beautiful approach to the city...
Europe on one side (to the left), homing the minarets of St. Sophia & Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace giving great views, side by side with each other.
Asia, on your right hand side, where 1/3 of Istanbulians live.
Cruise ships dock (or rarely) tender very central Istanbul. There are two cruise ship ports in Istanbul as "Karakoy" & "Sali Pazari" that are in fact side by side with each other.
We are coming & meeting guests at the port, by the exit gate of terminal buildings (where all the tour buses are).
Assuming that the ship arrives at 8am and leaves at 6pm, we have time to see:
- Blue Mosque (Ottoman, 400 years old),
- Topkapi Palace (Ottoman, 500 years old),
- St. Sophia / Hagia Sophia (Byzantine, 1400 years old),
- Basilica Cistern / Underground Cistern (Byzantine, 1400 years old),
- Grand Bazaar (Ottoman, 500 years old, 4000 indoor shops).
Depending on how long guests prefer to stay in Grand Bazaar, we may even create time for
- Spice Market / Egyptian Market (Ottoman, 400 years old).
As the tour is over, we are taking guests back to the port.
To give you an idea... lets say if guests are a party of eight, rate of the day is
400 Euros (in total, not per person).
This rate includes:
• our daily tour guiding services,
• a private air-conditioned van in service for the entire day,
• all expenses related with the private van such as fuel expenses, parking fees, services of a driver, etc
This rate does not include:
• museum admission fees of our guests,
• personal expenses of our guests such as lunches (if necessary) & drinks
• the only reason we are not including museum admission fees into this rate is simply because this is a private tour and we, as your tour guides, are very happy taking our guests to one or ten different museums / locations in a day, all depending on personal interests.
• please give us the flexibility to change the order of visits whenever necessary. This, sometimes, becomes a must in Istanbul, to avoid crowds.
• the rate you find above is the rate valid in 2011, for a party of six. We, naturally, are very happy operating for 2 persons, 10 people or parties of any size. Please feel free to get in touch for details.
• the rate you find above is quoted in Euros. Please note that we are very happy to be paid in Euros or in equivalent amount of US Dollars or local currency (TL).