Explore Istanbul on a full-day cruise along the Bosphorus Strait and the waters of the Black Sea! With an onboard guide, learn about Istanbul and enjoy three stops to discover some of the landmarks. See where the city’s Ottoman-era sultans spent summer vacations at Ortaköy and Rumeli Hisarı Fortress, and take a tour of Küçüksu Palace — one of the city’s gems. Swim in the Black Sea at the coastal village of Poyrazköy or explore the medieval ruins of Anadolu Kavağı. An onboard lunch featuring Turkish meze is also included.
Start your day with a hotel pickup, and travel to Kabataş port to board your sightseeing boat. Take a seat out on deck, help yourself to snacks, and gaze out at the sights as you cruise along the shores of the Bosphorus Strait, the waterway that splits Istanbul onto the European and Asian continents.Your first stop is Ortaköy, a charming Istanbul neighborhood on the city’s European banks. Enjoy some free time to stretch your legs and explore the narrow and enchanting streets. Once the area was favored as a summer retreat for vacationing sultans; today, Ortaköy’s market stalls, shops and galleries entice both locals and visitors alike.Hop back on board and cruise to Istanbul’s Asian side for a visit to Küçüksu Palace, a 19th-century stunner that was built in Baroque style. The pint-sized palace is one of the city’s hidden gems — small enough to escape the crowds but opulent enough to enchant those who stumble upon it. Take in the gild, gold and glamor of the interior that was created for a sultan, and learn about the palace’s history from your guide. Cruise back over the water and dock outside Rumeli Hisarı Fortress, the imposing structure that marks the narrowest point of the Bosphorus Strait. After a visit with your guide, hearing of the sultans who spent their vacations there, return to your boat for an onboard lunch in the sun. Savor grilled chicken alongside an assortment of Turkish meze, sip on soda, and then continue your cruise.Pass out of the Bosphorus Strait and into waters of the Black Sea for your final stop at the seaside village of Poyrazköy. Use your free time to swim in the sea or walk through the hills that fringe the village. Be sure to bring your bathing suit, sunscreen and walking shoes or sneakers! If the weather is not warm enough for swimming on the day, dock at Anadolu Kavağı instead, and explore the medieval castle ruins with your guide.In the late afternoon, return to Kabataş port and finish with a hotel drop-off.Please note: Küçüksu Palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays, and Rumeli Hisarı Fortress is closed on Wednesdays. On these days, the attractions will be replaced with a visit to Kiz Kulesi (also known as Maiden’s Tower or Leander’s Tower), a monument that featured in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough.