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Athens (Piraeus) to Athens (Piraeus)

HOMAGE TO HOMER | 19 Nights | Departs Aug 8, 2014

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Seven Seas Mariner

Seven Seas Mariner

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey-port

Bridging both Europe and Asia Minor, Istanbul is literally where “East meets West.” The city was founded by Constantine the Great and the history of this capital dates back sixteen centuries to the powerful Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Many of our voyages include overnight stays in this legendary city, allowing more time to explore Istanbul’s highlights. Shop among the winding byways of the Grand Bazaar and the exotic stalls of the Spice Bazaar. Tour the magnificent courtyards of Topkapi Palace, stroll among the treasures of the Blue Mosque with its unique six minarets, then view Dolmabahce Palace, the one-time residence of the sultans. Or you may cruise along the Bosphorus for a unique perspective of the city’s numerous seaside mansions, mosques and palaces.


Free Excursions

Regent Choice Excursions

The following Shore Excursions are available for this port on this cruise, and may be reserved beginning 240 days before the cruise begins for guests receiving Concierge amenities, and 180 days before the cruise begins for all other guests. Guests receiving Concierge amenities will receive a 5% discount off of the prices shown below for Regent Choice tours.

  • Light Activity /Walking Light Activity /Walking
  • Seated Tour Seated Tour
  • Moderate Activity/Walking Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Most Active or Strenuous Most Active or Strenuous
  • Minimal Activity Required Minimal Activity Required
  • Regent Choice Regent Choice
  • Meal Meal
  • Evening Tour Evening Tour
  • Byzantine Highlights of Istanbul
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Dolmabahce and Tea At the Ciragan
    Light Activity /WalkingMeal
  • Bosphorus Sail and Ottoman Yali
    Light Activity /WalkingRegent Choice
  • Magnificent Legacies With Spice Market
    Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Cruise On the Bosphorus
    Moderate Activity/WalkingMinimal Activity Required
  • Panoramic Istanbul
    Seated TourMinimal Activity Required
  • Istanbul By Night - Open Air Panoramic Tour
    Seated TourMinimal Activity Required
  • Hop On, Hop Off Istanbul City Tour
    Light Activity /WalkingMinimal Activity Required
  • Byzantine Highlights of Istanbul

    Light Activity /Walking
    Duration: 4 1/4 hours
    Tour Code: ist-001


    Explore Istanbul's lesser-known but equally important sites, including the Chora Museum, the Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome and the Underground Cisterns.

    Depart the pier for the drive to the Chora Museum, Istanbul's most important Byzantine monument after St. Sophia. The museum is dated between the 11th and 14th centuries, and is home to a splendid array of mosaics and frescoes that reflect the rebirth of Byzantine art.

    Next, you will pass by the Hippodrome, which was originally built by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus in 203 AD and subsequently reconstructed and enlarged by Constantine the Great. Today, the only remains of the original building include the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine and the Constantine Columns.

    Your next stop will be St. Sophia, or Hagia Sophia. This magnificent ancient Byzantine church is among the world's finest architectural works, and is known as the Eighth Wonder of the World by many historians. The largest church for many centuries, today St. Sophia is the world's fourth-largest church after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome and Milan's Duomo.

    Your tour will conclude with a visit to the Underground Cistern, Istanbul's largest and the most magnificent covered cistern. Built during the reign of Constantine I, then repaired and enlarged during the reign of Justinian I, the Cistern supplied water to the palace complex located nearby.

    After the tour, you will re-board your coach for the return drive to the pier. You may opt to return directly to the pier, or be dropped off at the Grand Bazaar and return to the pier via taxi at your own expense.

    Please note: Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes for this tour, which involves moderate walking with long periods of standing. The Underground Cistern is not wheelchair-accessible. The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays and will be replaced with a panoramic drive along the Golden Horn and city walls. On Wednesdays the Chora Museum is closed and is replaced by the Archaeological Museum.

Terms & Conditions:

Free Unlimited Shore Excursions are for full fare guests only, capacity controlled and subject to availability. Requested excursions may not be available at time of booking. Supplement will apply on Regent Choice excursions (indicated by the above) and excludes Private Arrangements and all Adventures Ashore programs. In order to ensure quality guides and sufficient transportation, we must provide the tour operator with passenger counts at least 36 hours in advance. Therefore no refunds will be given within 36 hours of tour departure for cancellations or no-shows. Please pay special attention to scheduling and tour lengths when booking your shore excursions. In many cases, it is not possible to participate in more than one tour per day in a given port. Tour Departure times are subject to change so please reference your actual tour ticket for the correct departure time. Tours operate rain or shine. Minor children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a an adult parent or guardian on all shore excursions. Tours require minimum participation levels to operate so please sign up as early as possible. Tours may be cancelled if minimum participation levels are not met. Prices, Itineraries and General Information shore excursion prices are subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases or currency fluctuations. Please consult the Destination Services Desk onboard for information. During local or national holidays, access to certain facilities (such as museums or archaeological sites) may be limited or denied. In such instances, adjustments will be made to minimize inconvenience to guests. Some tours have limited availability. Tours are generally available for reserving 180 days prior to the beginning of a cruise. Please sign up early to avoid disappointment. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to require guests to complete a liability waiver for select shore excursions. For more information, please visit the Destination Services Desk onboard.

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