Istanbul Post-trip to the Sea Cloud Cruise: Jun 29—30, 2015
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On this brief extension to our Sea Cloud cruise from Athens to Istanbul, we will spend an extra day in Istanbul delving further into the city’s extravagant architectural displays, historical wonders, and cultural heritage. Activities will include a private morning cruise on the Bosphorus Strait and an afternoon guided tour of the famed Topkapi Palace. Time permitting, we may also visit the Grand Bazaar.
On our cruise we will spend a leisurely morning working our way along both the Asian and European shorelines where highlights include beautiful nineteenth and twentieth century wooden houses and villas overhanging the banks of the strait. From our comfortable vantage point we’ll also see an array of palaces, castles, fishing villages, the Kuleli Military Academy of the Army, and the famous Rumeli and Anadolu fortresses, the latter sites serving as lasting reminders of the Ottoman sieges of Constantinople in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Interestingly, the strait is often a very good place to see Levantine Shearwater, which congregates sometimes by the thousands over favored feeding grounds.
The Topkapi Palace became the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans following the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The palace contains some of the most holy relics of the Muslim religion and is today an official World Heritage Site and museum.