POST - MYSTICAL CAPPADOCIA
Tour the icons of Istanbul and Turkey's enthralling Cappadocia region, a bizarre landscape of volcanically formed rock chimneys, houses carved out of sheer cliffs and sprawling underground cities.
Following breakfast onboard the ship, you will disembark for a full-day tour of Istanbul, starting with the Hagia Sophia, which was originally built as a church. In the 15th century, it became a mosque. Today, the Hagia Sophia (meaning “Holy Wisdom”) is a museum containing phenomenal mosaics, Christian and Muslim religious art and remnants of the church that stood here until 532 A.D., when it was burned in a riot.
You will also tour the famed Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, and the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar, the largest and the oldest covered market place in the world. 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.
Finally, there’s the opulent Topkapi Palace, where Turkey’s sultans lived from 1453 until the middle of the 19th century. It’s an extraordinary residence with beautiful courtyards, a harem, sacred relics and a treasury full of exquisite jewelry from the Far East, India and Europe.
Following your exploration of Istanbul, you will drive to the airport for your flight to Nevsehir. Upon arriving, you will transfer to the Kapadokya Lodge Inn Hotel (formerly known as the Lykia Cappadocia Lodge Hotel) for the evening.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will depart for a full-day tour of the Cappadocia region. The landscape here is stunningly surreal, almost lunar-like. Created by volcanic eruptions and shaped by thousands of years of erosion, the terrain features soaring fairy-tale rock chimneys and ancient dwellings carved out of the rocks. Few places on earth are so visually arresting.
You will then venture toward the town of Uchisar, whose natural rock citadel is the highest point in Cappadocia and visible from a great distance. You will also visit nearby Pigeon Valley, named for the thousands of pigeon houses that have been carved into the rock cliffs since ancient times.
Then, it’s on to the Goreme Open Air Museum, which contains the best-preserved examples of cave churches. You will notice that the frescoes adorning the walls are still brightly colored, even after centuries of exposure. More usual rock formations await you near Derbent at the fairy chimneys at Urgup.
The town of Avanos lies ahead and, as you will discover, is known for pottery making. The clay has a beautiful reddish hue and comes from the banks of the Kizilirmak River that flows through town.
After visiting, you will return to the Kapadokya Lodge Inn Hotel, where you will dine and spend the evening.
Following breakfast at the hotel, you will depart for a full-day, all-encompassing tour of the area. A scenic drive brings you to the Derinkuyu underground city, a massive living complex beneath the surface that includes churches, stables, wineries and storage rooms. It is the deepest of the 36 underground cities in the Cappadocia region and has airshafts carved at least 300 feet into the rock. Although the city was probably never used for long stays, it served as an excellent defensive hideout during the early Christian period. There are approximately 600 doors leading into the underground city, all of them hidden in courtyards on the surface.
After Derinkuyu, you will continue to Sinasos, a former Greek village, and then nearby Zelve, which was an important settlement and religious area between the 9th and 13th centuries. The now abandoned settlement is spread over three valleys, which also contain numerous pointed chimneys with large stems and the remains of a monastery.
Later in the afternoon, you will drive to the airport for your return flight to Istanbul, where you will spend the evening at the Intercontinental Istanbul Hotel (formerly known as the Ceylan Inter-Continental Hotel).
Following breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Land Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The flights and times indicated are only approximate and are given here for general reference purposes.
9:00am Disembark the ship and drive to Istanbul’s Old City
9:30am Visit the Hagia Sophia
10:45am Visit to Blue Mosque and Hippodrome
12:15pm Lunch at a local restaurant
1:45pm Visit the Grand Bazaar
2:45pm Visit Topkapi Palace
4:00pm Transfer to the airport
5:40pm Fly to Nevsehir airport (TK2008 V IST-NAV HK20), flight subject to change
7:10pm Transfer to the hotel and have dinner
Overnight at the Kapadokya Lodge Inn Hotel or similar
9:00am After breakfast, depart for a full-day tour in Cappadocia
9:15am Visit the Uchisar area
9:45am Drive for panoramic tour includes Pigeon Valley
10:45am Visit the Goreme Open Air Museum
12:30pm Lunch at Ala Turca restaurant
2:00pm Panoramic tour includes Derbent and fairy chimneys at Urgup
3:00pm Visit Avanos
4:00pm Shopping in the area
6:00pm Return to the hotel and have dinner
Overnight at the Kapadokya Lodge Inn Hotel or similar
9:00am Depart for Derinkuyu underground city
9:30am Visit the Derinkuyu underground city
10:45am Drive to the Sinasos area
11:15am Visit Sinasos and the Kemal Pasha village
12:00nn Lunch at the Old Greek House restaurant
1:15pm Drive to Zelve and the Pasha bag area
1:45pm Visit Zelve (monastery)
2:45pm Transfer to Kayseri airport
5:20pm Fly back to Istanbul (TK2015 ASR-IST HK20), flight subject to change
6:50pm Transfer to the hotel. Dinner on own.
Overnight at the Intercontinental Istanbul Hotel or similar
Check out is at 12:00 noon, but if you have a late flight you may keep your luggage in the hotel’s storage room until needed. Your transfer to the airport will be arranged according to your flight time.
EXTRA NIGHTS: Should you book any extra nights via through the cruise line, you will be transferred to the airport per your 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 4.
Expected Weather: Expect significant temperature differences between day and night in Cappadocia. Spring begins in March and lasts until May, and the average temperature for this season is approximately 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit). This is also when the region gets most of its rainfall. However, the rain usually comes in short intervals and lasts on average for only two hours. Summer is between June and August. Summers in Cappadocia are very hot, with daytime temperatures approaching 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). However, nighttime temperatures fall into the 20’s Celsius (in the 70’s Fahrenheit). Autumn starts in September and ends in November, and is the high season for Cappadocia travel. Average temperature at this time is in the 20's Celsius (in the 70’s Fahrenheit).
What to Bring: Due to the uneven walking surfaces, sport shoes are highly recommended. Also, pack sunscreen, light comfortable clothing and shoes, and a light jacket for the evenings. Please ensure suitable clothing is worn in the mosques. Shoulders and legs should be covered.
Currency: Turkish Lira (TL). One U.S. dollar is worth approximately 1.8 TL.
Electricity: 220 Volt AC/50 Hz throughout Turkey.
Luggage: For the domestic flights, the luggage allowance is 15 kilograms (33 pounds) per person. We advise you to pack a smaller bag for the extension, allowing your main luggage to be stored in a secure office in Istanbul until your return.
Intercontinental Istanbul Hotel or similar
Kapadokya Lodge Inn Hotel or similar in Cappadocia
We will only substitute hotels in unforeseen situations. If similar hotels are substituted, they will be of equal ratings and standards.
Closed days of attractions:
If an attraction is closed on one of the dates, it will be replaced in the following manner:
• Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays. It will be replaced with the Beylerbeyi Palace.
• Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays. It will be replaced with the Chora Church.
• Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays. It will be replaced with the Spice Bazaar.
• All airport transfers
• Porterage at the airport
• Service of an English-speaking tour guide throughout the program or local guide depending on the number of guests booked on the package.
• Service of an air-conditioned vehicle
• Entrance fees to the visited sites and museums
• Two lunches and dinners in Cappadocia and one lunch in Istanbul
• Accommodations, including breakfast
• Domestic flights
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.
Program Excludes for guests: Alcoholic beverages on the tours, gratuities, personal expenses, meals not listed above, and hotel incidentals.
Kapadokya Lodge Inn Hotel
Cappadocia Nevsehir, 48 Nevsehir/Cappadocia, Turkey
Tel: +90 384 213 9945
Intercontinental Istanbul Hotel
Asker Ocagi Cad. No.1 Taksim, 34435 Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: 90 212 368 4444
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.
$1,599 Per Guest