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Greek & Turkish Classics





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ATHENS TO ISTANBUL
10 Days aboard Insignia | Fares from $4,099 per guest
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Pre-Cruise Land Tours



PRE - SACRED TREASURES-GREECE

PRE - SACRED TREASURES-GREECE

Don't miss this unique opportunity to experience some of the most sacred sites in pristine Greece. After a scenic drive, you will find yourself in Delphi, the shrine of Apollo and considered by the ancients to be the physical and spiritual center of the earth. Visit the Meteora, one of the largest and most important monastery complexes in Greece. Built on sandstone rock pillars, the six monasteries appear to be suspended in the air. Explore the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, built to house the more than 4,000 artifacts found on the site of the Acropolis.

PLEASE NOTE: This is an extensive 2 day program that covers a lot of ground by luxury coach, there is a lot of driving involved but guests will have this unique opportunity to visit two of the most precious and sacred sites which lie in the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of Northern Greece. Embarkation to your cruise will be mid to late afternoon.

DAY 1

Upon arrival to the Athens International airport you will be transferred to your hotel in the centre of Athens, where you will have some time to relax before departing in the late afternoon for your guided tour of Athens. You will need to be at the hotel before 4:00pm in order to partake in the afternoon tour.

Visit the breathtaking Acropolis Museum; the impressive building was completed and opened in 2009 and has an exhibition space of more than 14,000 square meters. Thanks to its particular architecture and the huge window fronts, you will get the impression to cross the ancient settlements on the slopes of the Acropolis.

Take a stroll through the enchanting, traditional streets of Plaka, the colorful old quarter of Athens rich of neoclassical, ancient monuments and Byzantine Churches as the sunsets in the city you will enjoy your traditional Greek dinner before returning to your hotel.

DAY 2

The next day enjoy your American breakfast and board your coach heading to Delphi. The beautiful drive into the land of central Greece will bring you to the magnificent site of Delphi.

Delphi was considered by the ancients to be the physical and spiritual centers of the earth. This shrine of Apollo, set nearly 2.000 feet up on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Here was the most respected oracle of antiquity. Even the most intelligent men, who lived during the brilliant civilization of Athens, believed implicitly in the responses of the god. These were given by the inspired priestess, the Pythia, and were interpreted, usually with an ambiguous touch, by the priests. Delphi grew fabulously rich with offerings, and though they have almost all disappeared now, you can admire the ruins and try to picture it as it was during its 1.000 prestigious years.

Walk up the Sacred Way past the beautiful small Treasuries to the Temple of Apollo, location of the oracle; continue to the Museum with its superb collection of votive offerings and statues, including the world famous Charioteer. A traditional country lunch will be offered at the nearby village of Arachova. After lunch you will board your coach and commence the drive to the town of kalambaka, after check-in your dinner will be served at the hotel and the evening will be at your leisure. Kalamaba is the picturesque town that sits at the foot of Meteora. After check-in your dinner will be served at the hotel and the evening will be at your leisure.

DAY 3

After breakfast you will board your coach for the visit of the Meteora Monasteries, admire the extraordinary rocks of Meteora which were formed as a result of the force of the nature and they appear to be suspended in the sky, crested with the celebrated monasteries. Today only six monasteries are inhabited, two of which have become nunneries. You are invited to delve into two of these remarkable phenomena, seemingly floating in the sky and serving as an example of the post-Byzantine era.

After the visit of the Monasteries you will commence your drive to the port of Piraeus in order to board your vessel for your cruise.

Land Program Step by Step:

Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The timings indicated are only approximate, and are given here for general reference purposes and are subject to change.

EXTRA NIGHTS: Should you book any extra nights through the cruise line, you will be met per the flight details provided and transferred to the Divani Caravel Hotel. Note that check in time is 2:00pm. Kindly ensure that the cruise line has your most up to date flight details.

DAY 1

Arrive at the Athens International airport

Transfer to the hotel

10:15am Check in - Time at leisure

4:30pm Depart hotel for Panoramic drive of Athens to the Museum of Acropolis

5:00pm Guided visit of the New Acropolis Museum – Restrooms at the Museum

6:45pm Depart for dinner in Plaka area

8:00pm Return to the hotel

Evening at leisure

Overnight at the Divani Caravel Hotel or similar

DAY 2

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel

8:00am Depart hotel to Delphi

10:00am Restroom stop in Livadia

10:45am Arrive in Delphi

10:45am Guided visit of the Site and Museum – Restrooms on site

1:00pm Depart for Lunch venue in Arachova – Restrooms at the lunch venue

1:15pm Lunch

2:15pm Depart for Kalambaka

6:30pm Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka

Overnight at the Amalia Hotel or similar

DAY 3

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel

8:45am Depart hotel for Meteora, Visit Monasteries

11:00am Depart for the Port of Piraeus comfort stop and quick lunch included.

4:45pm Board your ship in Piraeus

Important Note: The Acropolis Museum is closed on Mondays therefore if you are in Athens on a Monday, you will visit the Acropolis instead.

The Monasteries scheduled to visit are:

The Monastery of the Great Meteron "Megalo Meteoro" (closed on Tuesdays)

The Nunnery of St. Stefanos "Agiou Stefanou" (closed on Mondays)

We will substitute a monastery that is closed with the: Moni Varlaam (closed on Thursdays)

Expected Weather: Sunny

What to Bring: Sunglasses, Hat, Comfortable walking shoes. Dress code is applicable at the Meteora Monasteries (knees and shoulders must be covered for the females)

Currency: EURO

Electricity: 220V

Luggage: Additional Luggage can be stored in the Hotel in Athens or it can travel with you on the coach.

Documents and Visa Requirements: Passport is required

Accommodations - we will only source different hotels in unforseen situations. If similar hotels are required, they will be of equal ratings and standards.

Athens:

Divani Caravel Hotel

2 Vas. Alexandrou Avenue, Athens

Tel: +30 210 720 7000

Kalambaka:

Amalia Hotel or similar

Theopetra, Kalambaka, 422 00, Greece

Tel.: +30 2432 072 216

Program Includes for guests:

Transfer from the airport to the hotel in Athens

Deluxe Chartered Coach,

Professional and fully qualified English speaking guide,

Accommodation in Athens at the Divani Caravel Hotel or similar (standard double room)

Accommodation in Kalambaka at the Amalia Hotel or similar (standard double room)

2 Dinners

Lunch in Delphi and at Lamia

Entrance fees to all sites visited (Acropolis Museum, Arch. Site & Museum of Delphi & Meteora Monasteries)

All applicable taxes

Please Note: Guests booking their own flights (independent of the cruise line) are responsible for ensuring that the cruise line has the most current and updated arrival information so your transfer can be arranged. Should you book any additional nights independently of the cruise line, an arrival transfer is not provided.

Program Excludes for guests: Gratuities for Guide and Driver, any meals not listed above, personal expenses and hotel incidentals

Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing; hats; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.

$999 Per Guest


Post-Cruise Land Tours



POST - ICONIC ISTANBUL - DLX

POST - ICONIC ISTANBUL - DLX

Experience the joys of Istanbul through its most memorable landmarks: the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, and the legendary Bosphorus, which you'll enjoy on a leisurely cruise.

Day 1:

After disembarking the ship, you will visit the true icons of Istanbul, the must-sees that define the city, beginning with the phenomenal Blue Mosque. One of the few mosques with six minarets, the Blue Mosque was constructed in the early 17th century under the direction of Sultan Ahmet I, who was only 19 years old at the time. The exterior of the mosque is notable for its cascade of domes that seem to spill down from the central dome. Inside, the ceiling is lined with the 20,000 blue tiles for which the mosque is named.

The Hippodrome is also here, partially excavated to reveal some of the seats, columns, statues and obelisks that were once part of this arena. Chariot races, coronations and parades all took place at the Hippodrome, which first appeared in 203 A.D. About 130 years later, Constantine the Great expanded and reshaped the arena so it could hold approximately 100,000 spectators.

Then, it's on to the 15th-century Topkapi Palace, which was expanded under the reign of almost every sultan over the next 400 years. Today, it's a maze of lavishly decorated buildings and courtyards that reflect its most glorious years as the political center of the Ottoman Empire.

Following lunch at a local restaurant, you will see the Hagia Sophia, a former Byzantine church and Ottoman mosque that is now a museum. Although the earliest two versions were destroyed, this Hagia Sophia dates from 537 A.D., and is considered a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. It served as Istanbul's principal mosque for nearly 500 years and became a model for the Blue Mosque.

You will also have the opportunity to browse through the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar, the world's largest and the oldest covered market place. It contains more than 5,000 shops selling an absolutely amazing range of merchandise. Jewelry, carpets, antiques, old coins, furniture, prayer beads and copperware are only a few of the items in the bazaar, which has been operating since the 15th century.

After returning to hotel to freshen up, it's off to a dinner show at the Kervansaray Night Club. You can expect to see belly dancers, musicians and singers in folkloric performances while dining on traditional Turkish cuisine. Afterwards, you will spend the evening at your hotel.

Day 2

After departing from the hotel, you will enjoy a brief but enlightening tour of Istanbul on the way to the Chora Museum. Like the Hagia Sophia, it was first a church, then a mosque and is now a museum. However, Byzantine mosaics are its most significant feature. Most of them describe the life of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, and the colors are still vivid despite being centuries old.

Following the Chora Museum, you will visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque, which was built in 1561 and has since survived fires and earthquakes. Thousands of brightly colored Iznik tiles are the allure here. They are all original 16th-century pieces of art and cover the walls, columns and niches, lending the interior a spectacularly serene ambiance.

In contrast, you will then tour the Spice Market, a locale so energetic and bustling that it's difficult to know where to look first. Aromas waft through the air, the cacophonous sounds are constant, and it's always crowded with shoppers haggling for the best possible prices. In a word, it's wonderful.

Finally, you will embark on a boat for a leisurely cruise on the Bosphorus, the famed strait that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, and perhaps even more important serves as a boundary between Europe to the west and Asia to the east. Passing palaces, wooden mansions and even modern villas along the way, you will experience Istanbul from an entirely different perspective, one you'll never forget.

Afterwards, you will return to the hotel for the evening.

Day 3:

Following breakfast at the hotel, you will have until 12:00/noon to check out. Your transfer to the Istanbul Ataturk airport will be arranged according to your flight time.

Land Program Step by Step:

Please note: The order of the sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The indicated times are approximate, given here for general reference purposes, and are subject to change.

Day 1

9:00am Depart from the ship

9:30am Visit the Blue Mosque and Hippodrome

10:30am Visit the Topkapi Palace

12:15pm Lunch

1:45pm Visit the Hagia Sophia

2:45pm Visit the Grand Bazaar

4:45pm Return to the hotel

5:30pm Departure for the Kervansaray Night Club

8:00pm Enjoy dinner and show at the Kervansaray

11:00pm Return to the hotel

Day 2

AM Breakfast at hotel

9:15am Departure from the hotel

9:15am Orientation tour of Istanbul

9:45am Visit the Chora Museum

10:45am Visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque

11:30am Visit the Spice Market

12:30pm Lunch

2:15pm Cruise the Bosphorus Strait

4:00pm Return to the hotel

Day 3

AM Breakfast at hotel

12:00pm Check out from the hotel (or earlier according to your flight time)

Transfer to Istanbul Ataturk airport based on your flight

EXTRA NIGHTS: Should you book any extra nights through the cruise line, you will be transferred to the airport per your departure flight details. Please note that check out time is 12:00nn. Any meals other than breakfast as well as any activities are on your own after the program officially ends on the morning of Day 3.

Please note:

The museums are closed on certain days and substitutions will apply as follows:

1. Topkapi Palace: closed on Tuesdays; Beylerbeyi Palace visit substituted.

2. Hagia Sophia Museum: closed on Mondays; Chora Museum visit substituted.

3. Chora Museum: closed on Wednesdays; Hagia Sophia Museum or Archaeological Museum visit substituted.

4. Grand Bazaar: closed on Sundays (no substitution)

Order of the sites visited may change to avoid overcrowding at the sites.

Deluxe Program Includes:

" Two overnights at a 5-star hotel on a Bed and Breakfast basis - Divan Istanbul Hotel or similar (standard room)

" All group transfers

" Two full-day tours as described above

" Two local lunches with soft drinks

" One dinner with limited local drinks

Please Note: Guests booking their own flights (independent of the cruise line) are responsible for ensuring that the cruise line has the most current and updated departure information so your transfer can be arranged. Should you book any additional nights independently of the cruise line, a departure transfer is not provided

Not included:

" Gratuities for guides and drivers, hotel incidentals, and meals not listed above.

Expected Weather: Summers are hot and humid with temperatures averaging 25-30C (78-88F) from June to August, occasionally rising beyond 35C (104F). In spring and autumn, the days are temperate and the evenings mild.

What to Bring: In the summer, comfortable walking shoes, hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Light coats are recommended for the autumn, as it may be chilly, especially in the early morning and after 5:00 p.m.

Clothing: Proper attire is required when visiting mosques. Female visitors are required to cover their heads, shoulders and arms. Shorts above knee length are not allowed in the mosques.

Currency: Turkish Lira (TL). One U.S. dollar is worth approximately 1.8 TL.

Electricity: 220 Volts AC/50 Hz. throughout Turkey. (Industrial 380 V) Plug: European round / 2-prong plug.

Luggage: Luggage will travel with the guests during transfers between the hotel and the airport. A luggage truck will be used during transfers between the hotel and the ship.

Accommodations: We will only source different hotels in unforeseen circumstances. If similar hotels are required, they will be of equal ratings and standards.

DIVAN ISTANBUL HOTEL

Address: Asker Ocagi Caddesi No: 1 34367 - Sisli / Istanbul

Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces, which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather-appropriate clothing such as caps, sunglasses and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

$999 Per Guest



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