On each of your days in port, begin with pickup from your cruise ship, and create a customized plan for the day with a personal guide and separate driver.
In Kusadasi, explore the ancient Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre with carefully-preserved libraries, theaters, and roads. With the flexibility of a private tour you can opt to visit some other Kusadasi-area sites, as well, such as the Ephesus terrace houses, the Basilica of St. John, the Virgin Mary’s house, the Temple of Artemis, and the Ephesus museum, which houses many artifacts excavated from the region.
When you arrive in Istanbul, begin by exploring the enclave of the Old City, which is home to the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Get your bearings in ancient history at the Hippodrome, then see the exquisite Byzantine architecture of Hagia Sophia. Count the Iznik tiles that decorate the Blue Mosque, follow in the footsteps of Ottoman sultans and courtiers at Topkapi Palace, then go beneath the city into the Basilica Cistern, which once supplied Constantinople with water. Learn to shop like a local in the bustling Grand Bazaar, where stalls overflow with colorful carpets, antiques, and spices, and practice your haggling while buying souvenirs.
At the end of each day’s tour, you’ll be transferred back to your cruise terminal.