Usually a modern cruise consists of a journey consisting of several daily stages during which it is possible to go ashore and visit the place where you landed, and then continue the journey at night to the next destination.
Most tourists who decide to visit Istanbul arrive by plane. But it is also possible to reach Istanbul by land (by train or car passing through Greece) and by sea, by ferry.
Lately in Italy the number of tourists who decide to take a cruise in the Mediterranean is increasing considerably, due to the increasingly accessible prices. The large Italian companies are among the most famous in the world and have a deeply rooted tradition in this field.
In particular Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises, in recent times, have developed and given increasing importance to the routes of the Eastern Mediterranean. With a variable price, depending on the offers, between 600 and 1000 euros per person, it is possible to take a 7-day cruise on very modern and beautiful ships (such as MSC Divina, Costa Favolosa and Norwegian Jade), starting from Venice or from Bari and touching in the order Katakolon-Olympia in Greece, Izmir (Smyrna) and Istanbul in Turkey, Dubrovnik in Croatia, and then return to Italy.
Obviously, a 7-day cruise with all meals included and the countless entertainment available on the ship represent a fascinating and well-priced experience. But when you stop in a city, and especially in Istanbul, it is inevitable to want to visit it.
Unfortunately, the time available is very short, because the ships arrive at the port at 7.30 in the morning and leave already at 5 pm. The cruise ship companies rely on this little time available to organize guided excursions with exorbitant prices ( 120 euros per person for a 7 hour excursion) and which are absolutely disappointing. People are crammed into very full buses, they are equipped with numbers and accompanied to a few places of interest, taken to restaurants passed off as “typical” but not at all, made to watch a carpet demonstration in a shop in the grand bazaar, obviously they have conventions. In practice, a totally distorted image of the city is provided. In these 7 hours it is not possible to appreciate anything of the real Istanbul, it is a vision of tourism to which we are firmly against.
Much better it would be, for the people interested, to organize themselves and go around the city independently. Certainly the time available is very little, so you need to have clear ideas about the places you want to visit and how to reach them, in order not to run the risk of losing precious time.
We therefore recommend that those who have arrived on this page looking for information on how to organize a day trip to Istanbul independently, take a tour of our blog, since you can find a lot of useful information. We are available to personally accompany those interested, studying together a totally personalized itinerary.