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Istanbul offers a wonderful introduction to Turkey and is a unique holiday destination. The former capital of three powerful empires - Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman - is a fascinating mix of past and present, modern and traditional. Architectural sights such as the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace are not to be missed, but don’t forget to try your hand at bargain hunting in the bazaar - haggling is half the fun! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CITY TOUR

 

Цена: € 103 на възрастен, € 72 на дете

 

Duration: full day, lunch included.

 

Straddling two continents, Istanbul is a fascinating city and one which proudly keeps the heritage of its past alive. We will visit the Blue Mosque with its internal panels of blue and white ceramic tiles and enjoy a panoramic view over the ancient Hyppodrome that was once the centre of Byzantine public life. We will continue to St. Sophia Church to admire the wonderful Byzantine mosaics before stopping at the magnificent Topkapi Palace, centre of the Ottoman Empire between the XV and the XIX centuries and which also housed the Sultans and their Court; individual visit of Palace wings. We will have time for lunch before indulging the favourite Turkish past-time of shopping. Highlights of the day include a typical carpet demonstration and/or the chance to purchase in a luxury jewelry store and free time at the fabulous Gran Bazaar.

Please note: drinks are not included in lunch; only water. This tour is not foreseen for guests onboard MSC Melody. If the visit falls on a Sunday or a religious holiday the visit to the Grand Bazaar will be replaced with a crossing the bridge uniting Asia to Europe. On 2-day calls this tour will be run on following dates :

 

MSC Fantasia : 01 November 2012

MSC Orchestra : 29 October 2012 + 09 & 20 November 2012 

 

 

TOPKAPI PALACE AND SHOPPING

 

Цена: € 45 на възрастен, € 32 на дете

 

Duration: approx. 4 hours 45 minutes

 

The excursion will begin with a fascinating guided tour of the Topkapi Palace, the ancient centre of the Ottoman power and private residence of the Sultans and their court. You can explore the different sections of the Palace in your own time and admire the beautiful view of the Bosphorus Strait.  We will continue to the Grand Bazaar where you can purchase souvenirs. We will also watch a typical carpet demonstration and/or a visit to a luxury jewelry store.

Please note: if the visit falls on a Sunday or a religious holiday the visit to the Grand Bazaar will be replaced with a crossing the bridge uniting Asia to Europe. On 2-day calls this tour will be run on following dates :

 

MSC Fantasia : 01 November 2012 (only afternoon departure)

MSC Orchestra : 29 October 2012 + 09 & 20 November 2012 

 

 

 

BOSPHORUS CRUISE

 

Цена: € 43 на възрастен, € 30 на дете

 

Duration: approx. 4.5 hours

 

Enjoy a fascinating boat tour along the Bosphorus Strait which divides Istanbul into two, splitting the city between the continents of Europe and Asia. This excursion will begin in Istanbul’s historic district where we will board a boat heading to the Sea of Marmara and sail towards the Asian part of the city. Admire the ancient quarters of Uskudar and Kuzguncuk with wooden villas and houses, sail past the Dolmabahce Palace, Ortakoy Quarter and Leander’s Tower on the small island of Kiz kulesi. You will admire the Beylerbeyi Palace, the summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans and pass under the two bridges that unite Asia with Europe. Highlights of the day include a typical carpet demonstration and/or the chance to purchase in a luxury jewelry store before having free time for shopping in the spice market.

Please note: this excursion is only for guests onboard MSC Melody, MSC Fantasia & MSC Orchestra. if the visit falls on a Sunday or a religious holiday the visit to the Spice Market will be replaced with a crossing the bridge uniting Asia to Europe. On 2-day calls this tour will be run on following dates : 

MSC Fantasia : 02 November 2012

MSC Orchestra : 28 October 2012 + 08 & 19 November 2012 

 

 

 

ORIENTAL JEWELS

 

Цена: € 55 на възрастен, € 39 на дете

 

Duration: approx. 5 hours 15 minutes

 

Leave the ship and enjoy a few hours discovering some of Istanbul jewels: the Rüstem Pasha Mosque, the Underground Cistern and the sights and scents of the spice bazaar. Our excursion begins with a visit to the Ottoman Rüstem Pasha Mosque designed in 1561 by the architect Mimar Sinan for Grand Vizier Damat Rüstem Pasha. We will admire its interior characterized by exquisite tomato-red Iznik tiles set in a stunning floral and geometric design typical of the early Iznik period (1555 – 1620). The mosque was built on a high terrace over a complex of vaulted shops and has a double porch with five domed bays. We will continue on to the “Cisterna Basilica”, the largest of several underground cisterns beneath the city of Istanbul, with 336 marble columns. You will admire the face of Medusa, located in the northwest corner of the cistern and which is set upside down, apparently to diffuse the power of this Gorgon’s gaze. The excursion also includes a visit to the colourful and perfumed spice market, free time at the fabulous Gran Bazaar and a chance to see a typical carpet demonstration and/or to shop in a luxury jewelry store.

Please note: the order of the visits may vary. If the visit falls on a Sunday or a religious holiday the visit to the Grand Bazaar and to the Spice Market will be replaced with a crossing the bridge uniting Asia to Europe. This excursion is only for guests onboard MSC Melody, MSC Fantasia & MSC Orchestra. On 2-day calls this tour will be run on following dates :

MSC Fantasia : 02 November 2012

MSC Orchestra : 28 October 2012 + 08 & 19 November 2012 

 

 

 

 

CULTURE, ART & SHOPPING IN ISTANBUL   

 

Цена: € 62 на възрастен, € 43 на дете

 

Duration: approx. 5 hours

 

The excursion will begin with a transfer to the Blue Mosque where we will admire the interior panels of blue and white ceramic tiles. Built between 1609 and 1616, the Blue Mosque contains the tomb of its founder, as well as a madrasah (school) and a hospice. After the visit we will enjoy a panoramic view of the ancient Hippodrome that was the centre of the Byzantine public life before continuing to St. Sophia Church to admire the wonderful Byzantine mosaics and learn how this building evolved from a church to a mosque and which has since become a museum. You will have the opportunity to shop at a luxury jewelry store or to see a carpet demonstration before enjoying free time in the fabulous Gran Bazaar.

Please note: the order of the visits may vary. If the visit falls on a Sunday or a religious holiday the visit to the Grand Bazaar  will be replaced with a crossing the bridge uniting Asia to Europe. On 2-day calls this tour will be run on following dates :

 

MSC Fantasia : 01 November 2012 (tour will have either am / pm departure)

MSC Orchestra : 29 October 2012 + 09 & 20 November 2012 

 

 

 

DE LUXE ISTANBUL TOUR

 

Цена: € 152 на възрастен, € 106 на дете

 

Duration: full day, lunch included.

 

Enjoy en exclusive excursion discovering the “jewels” of this important Turkish city. Leave the port and drive to the Blue Mosque where we will admire the interior panels made up of blue and white ceramic tiles. Built between 1609 and 1616, the Blue Mosque contains the tomb of its founder, as well as a madrash (school) and a hospice. After the visit we will enjoy a panoramic view over the ancient Hippodrome that was the centre of Byzantine public life before continuing to St. Sophia church to admire the wonderful Byzantine mosaics and learn more about this building. One of Istanbul’s main attractions, it evolved from a church to a mosque and has since become a museum. The excursion continues at the magnificent Topkapi Palace, the ancient centre of the Ottoman Empire and private residence of the Sultans and their court. During the XVIII century the Topkapi Palace grew to its current size and incarnation and at times it housed 10.000 residents and Guests. We will break for a delicious lunch at a renowned venue located on the shores of the Bosphorus and which overlooks the city of Istanbul. After lunch you can indulge in the favourite Turkish past-time of shopping. You will have the opportunity to shop and enjoy free time in the Grand Bazaar as well as the chance to enjoy a short carpet demonstration and / or shop in a jewelry store.

Please note: this tour is not for guests onboard MSC Melody. If the visit falls on a Sunday or a religious holiday the visit to the Grand Bazaar  will be replaced with a crossing the bridge uniting Asia to Europe. On 2-day calls this tour will be run on following dates :

MSC Fantasia : 01 November 2012

MSC Orchestra : 29 October 2012 + 09 & 20 November 2012 

 

 

 

ISTANBUL BY LAND & SEA

 

Цена: € 82 на възрастен, € 57 на дете

 

Duration: full day, lunch included

 

Join this day-long excursion and discover the gems of Istanbul by land and sea. Your tour will begin with a transfer to the Ottoman Rüstem Pasha Mosque designed by the architect Mimar Sinan for Grand Vizier Damat Rüstem Pasha from 1561 to 1563. We will admire its interior characterized by exquisite tomato-red Iznik tiles set in a stunning floral and geometric design typical of the early Iznik period (1555 – 1620). The mosque was built on a high terrace over a complex of vaulted shops and boasts a double porch with five domed bays. We will continue to the “Cisterna Basilica”, the largest of several underground cisterns beneath the city of Istanbul, with 336 marble columns. The name comes from a large public square, the Stoa Basilica, beneath which it was originally constructed. You will admire the face of Medusa, located in the northwest corner of the cistern and which is set upside down, apparently to diffuse the power of this Gorgon’s gaze. The excursion also includes a visit to the fabulous Gran Bazaar. Enjoy free time for shopping, watch a typical carpet demonstration and/or shop in a luxury jewelry store. We will have time for a delicious lunch before enjoying a lovely cruise across the Bosphorus, the waterway that lies between the two continents of Europe and Asia. You can admire Istanbul from the sea and see how the different periods of history unfold in the city’s monuments: witness the amazing Byzantine Anadolu Fortress and the Beylerbeyi Ottoman Palace, summer residence of the Sultans. Admire the ancient quarters of Uskudar and Kuzguncuk with their wooden villas and houses before continuing to Dolmabahce Palace, the Ortakoy Quarter and past Leander’s Tower ( also the “Maiden’s Tower” ) on Kiz Kulesi island. Sail under the two bridges that link Asia and Europe.

Please note: this excursion is not for guests onboard MSC Melody. If the visit falls on a Sunday or a religious holiday the visit to the Grand Bazaar  will be replaced with a crossing the bridge uniting Asia to Europe. On 2-day calls this tour will be run on following dates :

MSC Fantasia : 01 November 2012

MSC Orchestra : 29 October 2012 + 09 & 20 November 2012 

 

 

 

 

ISTANBUL: THE CITY ON TWO CONTINENTS

 

Цена: € 74 на възрастен, € 52 на дете

 

Duration: full day, lunch included

 

This unique excursion takes you to the Asian and European sides of this metropolis located on the shores of the Bosphorus. We will cross the Bosphorus Bridge to reach the Asian side, with a visit to Beylerbeyi Palace, summer residence of the sultans and stunning example of late Ottoman architecture. One of the most attractive rooms is the reception hall, with its extravagant marble pool and fountain. We will then board a boat to reach the European shore of Istanbul, where we will have lunch. The afternoon is dedicated to the amazing “Cisterna Basilica”, the largest of several underground cisterns beneath the city of Istanbul, with its 336 marble columns. Its name comes from a large public square, the Stoa Basilica, beneath which it was originally constructed. You will admire the face of Medusa, located in the northwest corner of the cistern and which is set upside down, apparently to diffuse the power of this Gorgon’s gaze. The tour also foresees some time for a typical carpet demonstration and/or visiting a luxury jewelry store before free time for shopping in the fabulous Gran Bazaar.

Please note: this excursion is not for guests onboard MSC Melody. Drinks are not included in lunch - only water. If the visit falls on a Sunday or a religious holiday the visit to the Grand Bazaar  will be replaced with a crossing the bridge uniting Asia to Europe. On 2-day calls this tour will be run only on following dates: 09 & 20 November 2012 (MSC Orchestra). 

 

 

 

ISTANBUL: ANTIQUITY, TRADITIONS & SHOPPING

 

Цена: € 45 на възрастен, € 32 на дете

 

Duration: approx. 5 hours

 

After leaving the port, this fascinating excursion will show you the sights of this lovely Turkish city, including the Golden Horn, the historical inlet of the Bosphorus dividing Istanbul, and the ancient defensive walls of Constantinople. The tour also includes a visit to Süleymaniye Mosque, the city’s second-largest mosque that was built at the order of Sultan Süleyman, who was known as Süleyman the Magnificent. Having been completed in only seven years, the original complex consisted of the mosque itself, a hospital, public baths, a caravanserai and a public kitchen. The mosque also houses the tombs of Sultans Suleiman II and Ahmed II. A further highlight of the tour is a visit to the colourful and wonderfully aromatic spice market, some free time to spend browsing through the fabulous Grand Bazaar and a chance to see a typical carpet demonstration and/or to shop in a luxury jewellery store. The tour concludes by taking you back to your vessel.

Please note: the order of the visits may vary. If the visit falls on a Sunday or a religious holiday the visit to the Grand Bazaar and to the Spice Market will be replaced with a crossing the bridge uniting Asia to Europe. On 2-day calls this tour will be run only on following dates :

MSC Fantasia : 01 November 2012 (afternoon departure)

MSC Orchestra : 08 & 19 November 2012

 

 

 

ISTANBUL BY NIGHT : DINNER & SHOW

 

Цена: € 98 на възрастен, € 69 на дете

 

Duration: approx. 4 hours

 

Located on the Bosphorus Strait in the scenic natural harbour called the Golden Horn, the ancient city of Istanbul is the only metropolis worldwide to straddle two continents: Europe and Asia. As beautiful as Istanbul is by day with its magnificent mosques, cosmopolitan flair and fabulous architecture, after sundown the city is transformed into a fairytale world of twinkling lights that cannot fail to delight. This colourful and culinary night-time tour to Istanbul begins with a coach drive to a renowned nightspot for a delicious dinner, accompanied by live entertainment in the form of a typically Turkish folklore show. After dinner, look forward to rejoining your coach and embarking on a sightseeing tour of this exciting Turkish city, the largest in the country with a population of some 13 million in its greater catchment area. You will also cross the famous Bosphorus Bridge to reach the Asian side.

Please note: this excursion is foreseen only on 2-day calls at Istanbul.