Oceania Exclusive Tour
For those travelers who prefer an added measure of intimacy and flexibility, we are pleased to offer our new Oceania Exclusive tours. With a minimum of 10 guests and a maximum capacity of just 16 guests, each tour benefits from a higher level of personal attention and the added flexibility and agility that come from traveling in a small group.
Oceania Exclusive tours are available for a specially selected number of tours in almost every port we visit, in every corner of the world.
This tour introduces you to Istanbul's most beloved and famous landmarks - legendary Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum and The Grand Bazaar.
Traveling by coach from the pier, your first stop is Topkapi Palace. This UNESCO World Heritage Site served as the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans for more than four hundred years. The palace is located where the Acropolis of Byzantium once stood, on the peninsula overlooking the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. The Palace complex covers an area of 700,000 square meters and it is surrounded by five kilometers of walls. The palace consists of courts, pavilions, mosques, fountains and a beautiful treasury section. One of the richest collections of French, Japanese & Chinese porcelain collections and the most valuable pieces of the treasury of Ottoman Empire are on display in the pavilions of the Palace.
Another attraction of this tour is Hagia Sophia Museum, the Church of Divine Wisdom, which is considered as the eighth wonder of the world by many art historians. It is certainly a masterpiece of architecture since it is one of the few structures of such huge dimensions to have stood erect for so long. The work of Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus (both from the south-west Aegean part of Asia Minor) was completed in 537 AD and kept its unique status as a temple for 1,000 years. After the conquest of Istanbul, it was converted to a mosque and continues to survive today thanks to the additions of Great Architect Sinan that he made in order to protect the building. In 1934, it was converted into a Museum by the order of Kemal Atatürk.
Your final stop is at the Grand Bazaar. The largest and the oldest covered market place in the world with more than 4,000 shops housed in the labyrinth of streets. The city-like bazaar is completely covered and has continued to grow in size over the years.
Please note: On Tuesdays,the Topkapi Palace will be replaced with the Beylerbeyi Palace. On Mondays, the Hagia Sophia Museum will be replaced with the Chora Museum. This tour includes approximately 3 hours of walking. While the tour is available to wheelchair guests who are able to both make their way on and off the coach, it is not recommended as it is primarily done on foot at a quick pace. There are some steps to negotiate at Topkapi Palace. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are strongly recommended. The covered section of the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, being replaced with an orientation drive along the Golden Horn and city walls. The order of the sites visited may change to avoid the crowds. Please expect dense traffic conditions in Istanbul.