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Pauline D United Kingdom
Brilliant weather for a great trip to the Spice Market and the Bosphorus Cruise. The courier was extremely knowledgeable and very interesting about the history of Istanbul. The Spice Market is absolutely brilliant, for us, better than the Grand Bazaar! This was followed by a trip over the river to the Asian side of Istanbul to join a boat cruise up the Bosphorus. The boat was not overcrowded so we were able to move around easily plus enjoy a drink from the cafeteria. The commentary was very interesting, explaining about the Golden Horn and pointing out the famous Palaces and Castles.
On our return to the European side of Istanbul we left the coach at the Spice Market and spent the rest of the afternoon browsing and purchasing teas, nougat, turkish delight and many spices. Excellent!!!
You cant visit Istanbul and not take a cruise on the Bosphorus. This tour offered not only that, but a trip to the lookout point over the Golden Horn. Like most things in Istanbul, you could have done this yourself, without a tour guide, but the boat was quite large, uncrowded, and the commentary quite thorough. It was a beautiful day, which added to the enjoyment and, having booked ahead of traveling, it meant we could ignore all the ticket touts near the ferry terminal and there were lots!. The guide was older than we expected, and though knowledgeable, his English wasnt up to the standard wed expected from Viator we often struggled to understand what he was trying to explain. Not much more to say. It was a good tour, and Id recommend it to others.
Good value. Guide was reasonably well-informed though he recommended spending some time at Taksim Square (the actual ending point of the tour) which proved to offer very little. Boat ride was fun. Bus tour of Golden Horn informational. The highlight, however, was the stop at the spice market!
Beautiful cruise on the Bosphorus and what a wonderful view on the Golden Horn! The bus that pick up at the hotel is on time. It was a great afternoon, I recommend.
The van tour of the Golden Horn was a tour of the congested highways of Istanbul. We didnt leave the car once. It would of been good if we had planned photo opportunities.
This tour also ran an hour late which i was only informed by our guide once we were on the boat on the Bosphoros. I had my flight home booked in the afternoon. Since it ran overtime, it caused me a lot of stress to get to the airport on time.
Doing what: Morning Bosphorus and Golden Horn Cruise
This was a miserable experience, as we spent more time being bused through bad traffic than we did sightseeing. The days of picking up everyone at hotels should be over for Istanbul, given the traffic. It would have saved hours to have us meet at the boat dock. The cable car ride down from the Bosphorus viewpoint was another bottleneck, and this time useless. We could have saved time by getting back in the bus. We ending up skipping places included in the Golden Horn tour because of lack of time. The tour guide was unpleasant. Basically, we felt ripped off by this tour.
Wish I could give two different ratings. Tour rates 4 stars. Guide Murat was excellent and what we saw of the tour was very good except for the unplanned stop at leather jacket showroom where they tried to sell very overpriced jackets.
Very disorganized office, stay away from them. Our hotel concierge called them the day before and confirmed an 8:30 hotel pickup for a 9:00 tour. We were ready at 8:20. At 8:55 the concierge called and was told the pickup would be in 5 minutes. At 9:20 the concierge called again and was told the pickup would be in 10 min. Pickup was at 9:30, and we arrived at the Egyptian Bazaar at 9:50. We missed a 40 min drive of the Golden Horn and the first 10 min of the 30 min Bazaar stop. No apologies were made, and nothing was offered to make up for what we missed, which was 1/6 of the tour after discounting the leather store and lunch.
Stay away from this tour operator. We also booked thru Viator another tour with a different tour operator, they were far more professional in how they were run.
This was a thoroughly disappointing tour. The coach tour of Golden Horn was no more than a couple sentences said on the way to the port. Pierre Loti has beautiful views, but we spent only 15 minutes at the cafe and more than an hour waiting for the entire group to descend on the two-minute cable car ride. I'd absolutely recommend taking a cruise or ferry on the Bosphorus, but you're better off arranging it yourself. The tour was also mostly spoken in Spanish, and the cruise was a mix of German, English, and Spanish, so I feel like I missed most of what was being said.
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