ISTANBUL AND KUSADASI CRUISE SHIP SHORE EXCURSIONS

We offer cruise ship shore excursions for all ships coming to Turkey such as Holland America, Azamara, Norwegian, Oceania, Celebrity, Costa, MSC, Princess, Seabourn and more. Cruise ship excursions not only for Istanbul and Ephesus but also from Dikili, Izmir, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Marmaris, Alanya and Antalya.

We can tailor a private itinerary to suit your disembarking and embarking times and maximize your time on shore.  Our  professional guides and drivers will meet you and drop you off at your ship. You just disembark, pass through the customs building (in some cases) and you will be met with a sign that has your name on it, then start your discovery of Istanbul or Ephesus. Depending upon the ship arrival and departure time group shore excursions may also be possible.

Cruise Ship passengers visiting Turkey - Please note that we need the arrival and departure details of your ship as well as the dates when you inquire so that we can coordinate your visit according to the time and day that museums are open. We also work around avoiding the crowds caused by the other cruise ship passengers visiting "en-masse" by varying the itinerary and trying to get an early start.

If you are only a couple of people and want to bring down the cost of your private tour, we can also give a quote for varying number of passengers, which allows you to post on the internet cruise forums and make a group. We have done this not only for day excursions but for entire tours of Turkey!

If you are starting or finishing your cruise in Turkey, we can also provide you with pre- and post-cruise packages for any city in Turkey or you may want more freedom by hiring a guide only or a guide and driver etc. We can also assist you with cruise ship shore excursions in Greece.

Organize your Turkey cruiseship shore excursions in Turkey with local experts. Insight Travel Agency’s  knowledgeable guides will give you the ‘insight’ into Turkey that we’re known for. Many cruise passengers who have organized their shore excursions through Insight Travel have been thrilled with their experiences.

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THE MOST POPULAR GROUP AND PRIVATE CRUISE SHIP EXCURSION FOR A FULL DAY IN ISTANBUL

OLD ISTANBUL – SULTANAHMET  - CRUISE SHIP EXCURSION
Disembark from your cruise ship in the morning. Today we will visit the Saint Sophia (Haghia Sofia) which was built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century A.D and stands over much older remains of a church. See beautiful mosaics of biblical scenes and the Byzantine emperors and empresses. We continue to the Blue Mosque, which was built in the 17th century and is the only imperial mosque with 6 minarets, then the Hippodrome, a stadium and meeting place in Byzantine times, the Serpent Pillar from Delphi and the Egyptian Obelisk, with the Fountain of Wilhelm. Visit the Caferaga Medresesi which was designed by the architect Sinan and built in the 16th century, now used as a learning center for traditional Turkish arts. We will then explore the Topkapi Palace. It was the home of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th-19th century A.D. We see the Imperial Treasury with the famous Spoonmaker Diamond. (Harem section is optional and due an extra entry fee). The tour ends in the Grand Bazaar, which has over 4000 shops full of treasures Return to your hotel around 17:30. This tour may be done completely as a walking tour. **Note that on Sunday the Grand Bazaar is closed. On Monday the St Sophia is closed and on Tuesday the Topkapi Palace is closed (All sights that are closed except for Grand Bazaar are replaced by a visit to the Yerebatan Underground Cistern).
 
THE MOST POPULAR PRIVATE CRUISE SHIP EXCURSION FOR 2 HALF-DAYS IN ISTANBUL
 
DAY 1 – ST SOPHIA – HIPPODROME – BLUE MOSQUE - GRAND BAZAAR – SPICE MARKET
Disembark from your cruise ship in the afternoon. Visit The St. (Haghia) Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Justinian. It was the largest building in the world for over 1000 years. We continue to the Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. See the ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Wander in the Grand Covered Bazaar and time for shopping. Also visit the exotic Egyptian Spice Market on the Golden Horn. Return to your ship or continue to the entertainment district for a Turkish Night Show (Optional)

DAY 2 – TOPKAPI PALACE – BASILICA CISTERN (YEREBATAN SARAY)
Pick up from the ship in the morning. Visit the Topkapi palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. We will also see the impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and relics of the prophet Mohammed. (Entrance to the Harem is optional and extra). Visit the Yerebatan Saray Underground Cistern. Return to your cruise ship.

** This tour can be altered-sites can be added or changed depending on interest and time

 
THE MOST POPULAR PRIVATE CRUISE SHIP EXCURSION FOR A FULL DAY IN THE EPHESUS AREA
 
EPHESUS, ST JOHN, HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY, MUSEUM AND ARTEMIS TEMPLE
Disembark your cruise ship in the morning. We will visit the house where The Virgin Mary allegedly spent her last days, then the Basilica of St. John also the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Then the ancient city of Ephesus including a full visit to the Celsius Library, the marble paved Arcadian Road, the Roman Baths, the Theater where St. Paul preached. We will see the statue of Ephesian Artemis while touring the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus in Selcuk and the remains of the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. You may visit the wine-growing village of Sirince as part of your tour. Return to your cruise ship.

THE MOST POPULAR PRIVATE CRUISE SHIP EXCURSION FOR A HALF DAY IN THE EPHESUS AREA

EPHESUS, HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY AND ARTEMIS TEMPLE
Disembark your cruise ship in the morning. We will visit the house where The Virgin Mary allegedly spent her last days, then the ancient city of Ephesus including a full visit to the Celsius Library, the marble paved Arcadian Road, the Roman Baths, the Theater where St. Paul preached and the remains of the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Return to your cruise ship.

*If you have a full-day in Kusadasi/Izmir but have already seen Ephesus, you may want to visit Izmir and Sardes, Pergamon, Miletus, Priene, Didyma or other sights of the Aegean area.
 
PRIVATE CRUISE EXCURSIONS INCLUDE:
*All full-day private cruise excursions include entry fees, parking and road tolls.
*Pick up and drop off at your cruise ship
*Transportation in A/C non-smoking car or minibus with professional English speaking guide/driver
* Lunch (unless you do not want to include it – recommended for those who want to have more freedom in choosing their meals or upgraded restaurant.

PRIVATE TOURS DO NOT INCLUDE: Beverages/drinks, tips to guide and driver and anything not specifically mentioned.  

ALSO AVAILABLE:
*PRIVATE GUIDE SERVICE FOR CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS
*PRIVATE GUIDE AND PRIVATE CAR OR MINIBUS FOR HALF OR FULL DAY