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Crystal Cruises Istanbul to Venice: May 7 – May 18, 2014

Istanbul – Kusadasi – Santorini – Corfu – Dubrovnik – Korcula – Koper– Venice

Cruise Company: Crystal Cruises
Ship Name: Crystal Serenity
Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights
Travel Dates: 07 May 2014 - 18 May 2014
Cruise Code: Crystal V4309


 DatePort Click to ExpandArrivalDeparture
 
May 7 – Wed Istanbul – Turkey   Embark pm
Individual arrival in Istanbul ~ embarkation on the Crystal Serenity.

If True Greece has arranged for your pre-cruise experience at a luxury Istanbul hotel, before meeting your private car transfer to board your cruise, enjoy a guided tour of the incredible city of Istanbul.

Standing firmly over two continents, Istanbul is the personification of a true “cosmopolitan” city. Your True Greece guide will show you this multi-cultural and historic city through the eyes of a local. Depending on the day of your Istanbul tour you will have the opportunity to visit the Blue Mosque and its superb inner courtyard, the Hippodrome originally built by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus in 203 AD, the magnificent Byzantine church of St. Sophia, the Underground Cistern built during the reign of Constantine I, the Topkapi Palace where the Ottoman Sultans presided over their vast empire and the Grand Bazaar where almost 5,000 shops are spread out in a giant maze of small streets and passages that are arranged according to their trade. By the end of this fascinating day you will feel like a citizen of this “international” city.

Following your tour, board your cruise ship at Istanbul’s main port and begin your journey of the Eastern Mediterranean. We wish you an exceptional cruise experience!
 
May 8 – Thu Istanbul – Turkey   23:59
 
 
May 9 – Fri Cruising the Dardanelles
 
May 10 – Sat Kusadasi – Turkey 07:00 22:00
Kusadasi – meaning “bird island” – is a lively resort town located on Turkey’s Aegean Coast. The area’s history dates back as far as 3000 B.C. and has been a center of art and culture of many civilizations since. Before becoming a popular vacation spot in the 1980’s, Kusadasi itself was a modest town with a population consisting mostly of farmers and fishermen, while today’s Kusadasi resembles a modern European city.

Head out for some shopping into the maze of pedestrian roads in the old quarter, where you can find some traditional Turkish goods, like leather, carpets, jewellery, ceramics, etc. On the way there, just outside the port you will pass the The Okuz Mehmet Pasha caravanserai. Built in the early 17th century, it once served as a roadside inn for travelers to rest and recover from the day's journey. Alternatively, take a walk along the bay and visit the peninsula Guvercin Adas? ("Pigeon Island") that hosts a castle and several beaches, including a private beach with a cafe facing the town and the port, and public beaches facing the open sea.

If you have included a private guided tour of Ephesus, you will meet with your guide and driver and head toward this breathtaking ancient site. Ephesus boasts a rich and vibrant history and has become famous for its incredible historical landmarks, such as the Library of Celsus, the magnificent ancient theater, and the famous Terrace Houses. Explore this wonderful archaeological site with the assistance of your guide and marvel at one of the best preserved cities of the Ancient world. Reaching its climax during the Roman period, when it was regarded as the second largest city in the world, it is here where St Paul stayed for nearly three years preaching his beliefs. Considered as one of the seven Churches of Asia by Saint John in the Book of Revelations, Ephesus was also the site of the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world.
 
May 11 – Sun Santorini – Greece 09:00 18:00
Santorini, world-renowned for its widely photographed, romantic sunsets and unique, volcanic natural environment, is arguably the most striking of the Greek islands. Its dramatic red and black sand beaches, narrow white-washed alleys, exquisite traditional and international cuisine, as well as its agricultural and wine-making tradition, make Santorini a truly spectacular island.

If you have included a True Greece tour or excursion today in Santorini, meet your guide or transfer agent upon arrival at the harbor and begin your exploration of this incredible island under the care of a True Greece affiliate.
 
May 12 – Mon Cruising the Ionian Sea
 
May 13 – Tue Corfu – Greece 08:00 17:00
Corfu lies at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea, between Italy and Greece in the Ionian Sea and is the second largest of the Ionian Islands. It is a very mountainous island with incredible landscapes, dense vegetation, golden brown sandy beaches, traditional villages, Byzantine churches, several museums, striking Venetian fortresses and one of Greece’s most beautiful main towns. Corfu town is the largest town in all of the Ionian Islands and is perhaps one of the most interesting cities in Greece. Built during the island’s Venetian rule, Corfu town stands between two fortresses and its architecture has been influenced by all the major civilizations that occupied the island, such as the Sicilians, Venetians, French and British.
 
May 14 – Wed Dubrovnik – Croatia 08:00 18:00
A Croatian seaport city on the Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik is one of the most prominent destinations on the Adriatic. The Republic of Ragusa, as Dubrovnik was called in the Middle Ages, joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979; it was a Maritime Republic (together with Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, Venice and other Italian cities), and became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. The city has always been based on maritime trade, and it achieved and prospered a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Dubrovnik offers its visitors many incredible old buildings, such as the Arboretum Trsteno, the oldest arboretum in the world, which dates back to before 1492. Also, the third oldest European pharmacy is located in the city, which dates back to 1317 (still in operation today)! In Dubrovnik’s bay there is a 72-hectare wooded island of Lokrum, where according to legend, Richard the Lionheart was cast ashore after being shipwrecked in 1192 - this island includes a fortress, botanical garden, monastery and naturist beach. Some excellent beaches to consider while in Dubrovnik are Banje, Dubrovnik's main public beach, home to the East-West Beach Club, or Copacabana Beach, a stony beach on the Lapad peninsula, named after the popular beach in Rio de Janeiro.
 
May 15 – Thu Corcula – Croatia 08:00 14:00
We are working on providing a description of this particular port of call - please check back later.
 
May 16 – Fri Koper – Slovenia 08:00 18:00
We are working on providing a description of this particular port of call - please check back later.
 
May 17 – Sat Venice – Italy 08:00 Overnight
Described by many as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Venice, or Venezia in Italian, has been an important port city throughout history. Founded in the early 400s A.D., this city has been renowned for its beauty, architecture, musical and artistic culture, and of course its strategic maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Stretched across 117 small islands in the Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea, Venice was a wealthy city throughout most of its history; while tourism has been a major sector of its industry since the 18th century. Venice continues to impress its visitors as one of the most visited destinations in Italy, if not the entire Mediterranean!
 
May 18 – Sun Venice – Italy Disembark am  
Arrival Venice ~ individual departure.

If True Greece has arranged for your post-cruise experience, upon arrival at the cruise terminal meet your private driver who will transfer you to your luxury hotel in Venice.

 

Cruises are subject to availability. Itineraries and times are subject to change. Click on ports for detailed information.



Since each individual’s accommodation preferences differ and cruise fares constantly change based on availability, to learn more about this cruise please contact a True Greece Concierge to begin planning a cruise trip customized to your needs.


The below True Greece Private Guided Tours and Activities are available at an additional cost. For more information, please contact a True Greece Concierge

Istanbul

  • Istanbul Tour

    Standing firmly over two continents, Istanbul is the personification of a true “cosmopolitan” city. Your TrueTurkey guide will show you this multi-cultural and historic city through the eyes of a local. Depending on the day of your Istanbul tour you will have the opportunity to visit the Blue Mosque and its superb inner courtyard, the Hippodrome originally built by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus in 203 AD, the magnificent Byzantine church of St. Sophia, the Underground Cistern built during the reign of Constantine I, the Topkapi Palace where the Ottoman Sultans presided over their vast empire and the Grand Bazaar where almost 5,000 shops are spread out in a giant maze of small streets and passages that are arranged according to their trade. By the end of this fascinating day you will feel like a citizen of this “international” city.


Kusadasi

  • Ephesus Tour

    Located close to the coast in the Aegean Region, Ephesus boasts a rich and vibrant history and has become famous for its incredible historical landmarks, such as the Library of Celsus, the magnificent ancient theater, and the famous Terrace Houses. Explore this wonderful archaeological site with the assistance of you TrueTurkey guide and marvel at one of the best preserved cities of the Ancient world. Reaching its climax during the Roman period when it was regarded as the second largest city in the world, it is here where St Paul stayed for nearly 3 years preaching his beliefs. Considered as one of the seven Churches of Asia by Saint John in the Book of Revelations, Ephesus was also the site of the Temple of Artemis which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world.


Santorini          

  • True Greece Authentic Santorini Cooking Lesson

    With more than 300 days of sunshine over its rich volcanic soil, Santorini yields a bounty of unusual indigenous herbs and vegetables, such as white eggplant, capers and caper leaves, fava (small yellow peas), and exquisite baby tomatoes, which are all grown virtually without water. You will be welcomed to one of the best restaurants on Santorini with fresh juice, coffee and traditional Greek cookies. While sampling different wines and some local Cycladic side dishes, you will talk about the cuisine of the Cycladic Islands and particularly that of Santorini. Having an introduction to the various grape varieties grown on the island, you will begin your gastronomic experience. You will learn how to prepare an entire Greek menu: an appetizer, a salad, a main course, and a dessert. After a short, but much anticipated wait you will be able to enjoy the fruit of your labor accompanied by a bottle of delicious wine from Santorini. This gastronomic experience will last approximately 5 hours (including lunch), and will surely provide you with plenty of culinary ideas to surprise everyone back home.


  • True Greece Semi-Private Santorini Sailing Trip

    Step aboard a luxurious catamaran and embark on your unforgettable semi private Santorini sailing trip. Acquaint yourself with your fellow travelers and embark on an experience that won't be "just another boat ride!"  Starting from the south side of Santorini you will sail past the spectacular White & Red beaches, the Venetian lighthouse and visit remote locations around the island where you will be able to swim and snorkel in the clear waters. Anchored in a private bay inside the caldera you will enjoy a freshly prepared traditional seafood and steak barbeque served with many Greek appetizers and salads. This spectacular sailing trip runs for approximately five hours and will definitely be one of the highlights of your TrueGreece experience.


  • True Greece Akrotiri Tour

    Due to its unique morphology and distinctive history, Santorini is regarded by some as the lost island of “Atlantis”. Visit the spectacularly preserved archaeological site of Akrotiri with your TrueGreece guide and marvel at the exquisite frescoes depicting scenes from nature and everyday life that were found amongst the remains of this 3rd-2nd millennium B.C. settlement. Follow your guide to the Faros Lighthouse located on the Southernmost tip of Santorini – make sure you have your camera with you because the views are spectacular. By the end of the tour you will leave with a sense that you have really discovered the lost island of “Atlantis.”


  • True Greece Santorini Winery Experience

    Since ancient times the rich volcanic soil and distinctive microclimate of Santorini has been ideal for the cultivation of vineyards and the production of wine. Explore a local winery and observe the unique way in which the vineyards are pruned and the wine produced. After this brief introduction to the rich wine making tradition of Santorini take part in a wine tasting where you will have the pleasure of sampling several local varieties complimented by an assortment of traditional Cycladic appetizers and spoon deserts.

           
  • True Greece Santorini Wine Roads Tour

    Discover the secrets of wine making, on the unique volcanic island of Santorini. Stroll through vineyards that manage to grow on a rainless and infertile land, to produce some of the most distinctive wine varieties in the world. With the assistance of your sommelier explore wineries where thousand year old traditions meet harmoniously with technological and scientific advancement in the field of wine making. Visit three well known wine estates and sample 15 different types and styles of wine under the guidance of an experienced sommelier. Complement this unique experience with an assortment of Greek cheeses and olives that will bring the flavors of Santorini to life.


  • True Greece Private Greek Food and Wine Tasting

    Discover the secrets of wine making, on the unique volcanic island of Santorini. Stroll through vineyards that manage to grow on a rainless and infertile land, to produce some of the most distinctive wine varieties in the world. With the assistance of your sommelier explore wineries where thousand year old traditions meet harmoniously with technological and scientific advancement in the field of wine making. Visit two well-known wine estates and sample 12 different types and styles of wine under the guidance of an experienced sommelier. Complement this "wine flight" experience with a delicious meal at a traditional taverna where you will also sample local wine.


Corfu

  • True Greece Corfu Tour

    Influenced by all of the major civilizations that occupied the island, such as the Sicilians, Venetians, French, and British, Corfu can only be described as diverse. Follow your guide to the Achilleion, the home to some magnificent paintings and sculptures that was built by Empress Elizabeth of Austria.Explore the church of patron saint Spyridon which is regarded by the locals as the most important holy site of Corfu. Next visit the unique Museum of Asiatic Art that contains numerous exhibits from many Asian countries. End your day at Paleokastritsa to either visit the local Monastery of the Virgin Mary or to take in the wonderful view of the beach.


Let our True Greece Concierges do what they do best ~ take care of you!

Our Concierges are experts in creating a travel experience that is exactly what you’re looking for. Take advantage of our expert knowledge and work together with one of our Concierges to plan your pre/post cruise experience or perhaps even extend your travel experience to include a True Greece customized trip or a True Turkey customized trip add-on. Experience our renowned ‘on-the-ground’ service and allow us the opportunity to create an authentic and memorable experience for you.
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