Sunday, October 9, 2011

Black Sea Cruise for 2013?

Just finished off a great weekend visit from California friends.

Ellen is the owner of Sea4Sail and books our cruises and tours. Over time our relationship has gone from TA and client to true friendship. Ellen and her husband just finished a Panama Canal cruise on Regent that disembarked in New York City. Taking advantage of being on the east coast, they used the opportunity to spend some time with us.

They rented a car in Manhattan where one way rates into upstate New York are horrendous. Ellen finally got a great rate through Alamo and they left NYC for Corning, New York where they spent the night and then thoroughly enjoyed a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass. Finally arriving in our home town, we had a great weekend together, including a visit to Letchworth State Park in GORGEOUS fall weather.

Among the many things we discussed was where she was thinking about another group cruise. She had put together and led our wonderful Holy Land trip. Ellen said she definitely has the Black Sea on her horizon, for 2013, with an extended stay either post or pre-cruise in Istanbul. She is working on making a decision which cruise line will give us the best experience and she'll update me with the details when she has them.

I'm looking forward to it! Perhaps, some of my blog readers might like to come along? I'll post details when I have them

1 comment:

istanbul tours said...

If visiting Istanbul and residing near Sultanahmet then you will be hounded by several tour guides offering you a hop-on hop-off tour of the Bhosphorus. I strongly recommend arranging tours through your hotel with www.privatetoursinistanbul.com I opted for the full day tour of the Bosphorus (on a boat) and Dolmabahce Palace Package Bear in mind that Dolmabahce Palace is closed on Monday and Thursday, and you cannot enter the palace without a guide.

The agency will collect you from your hotel in the morning and you will be taken on a slow private boat cruise through the Golden Horn and along the Bosphorus. This is an amazing experience which enables you to take in the Ottoman architecture (including Topakapi Palace), the old city and the new city from a wonderful angle, and because the cruise begins at the Golden Horn you can view the entire peninsula and see Istanbul properly (utterly breathtaking). Additionally, a guide will explain all the buildings and their significance throughout which adds that little bit more. The cruise is followed by a drive and short walk towards Pierre Loti Hill and a cable car ride down the hill so you can view Istanbuls real skyline and amazing beauty. Subsequently, you are given a three-course meal (covered in the price of the tour) and en-route to lunch you will pass Constantinople's city walls which guidance throughout. Post-lunch you will spend 2.5 hours going through the Palace. The Palace is huge and not all rooms are open to view, but the tour takes your through the main quarters and each aspect is explained. You cannot take pictures inside the palace but the gardens are beautiful and you will have ample oppurtunity to snap away outside the garden. Finally, the tour drives you over the famous Bosphorus Bridge taking you from Europe into Asia and leading you towards Camlica Hill (highest peak in Istanbul). The view here is beyond description and you will be in utter amazement.

The best thing about the experience was having a tour guide who was passionate about his history and culture.