Our guide came and picked us up from our hotel, though it wasn't part of the price, he gave us tons of info on Istanbul, and even paid for our metro ticket. This was the most attentive tour we've ever experienced. Not only did we arrive at the dock safely, but we also learned so much more about life in Istanbul. Thank you!
Very nice Guide. Besides our sightseeing he gave us many other informations where we can have a nice dinner, can shop like a local and what I shouldt do and see else while in Istanbul
The information on the cruise port was late, and it was hard to hear the description of the sites on the boat. However, the views from the boat are beautiful.
Our guide was good, lots of confusion about the meeting point. Also the sunset cruise started at 6pm but sunset was 8.30pm so it really was not a sunset cruise but just a cruise.
Very disappointing. No information for foreigners on how to get a ticket. Could have ended up anywhere if we got on wrong boat...nearly did. People in ticket box not helpful. Lucky for passing girl who spoke english.
First of all, there is no 'local guide.
To receive our vouchers, we were instructed to get off the tram at a particular stop, look for a red petrol station, and then hunt for a sign with a name on it. Nearby we should look for a man who would hand us our vouchers and point us in the direction of the boat.
We got to the meeting place well in advance. No one was there to meet us. Where were the other tourists, we wondered?
We called our local contact. New instructions: go to a certain building nearby, look for an office with men wearing a certain kind of uniform and speak to someone in charge there. Huh? We wasted an hour, with anxiety and confusion, hunting for our liaison, and finally got a feeble nod from an unidentified official who told us he had no voucher for us but was authorized to allow us onto the boat.
The boat filled with Turkish locals. It appears we were the only tourists. Apparently, Sunday is a day for leisure and recreation in Turkey, when families enjoy outings with their children. This would explain the many children on board, doing what kids do best: running around, laughing, screaming and causing a ruckus.
So Sunday may not be the best day for this type of public cruise.
As soon as passage was permitted, the mobs and baby strollers pressed forward in a frenzy racing to get to the upper deck where limited outdoor seating was available. Left side of the boat has the best views, by the way.
Loudspeakers blared out sightseeing highlights in Turkish, followed by English translation. The sound quality was not great, and it was difficult to catch much information above the roar of the boats engines coupled with the gregariousdin of 500 passengers sociably gabbing.
Istanbul is a beautiful, historical city and the stunning photograph advertising this excursion is a glorious testimony. This cruise, however, fails to deliver any of that sparkle.
Well, where do I start. How about the convoluted instructions on how to find this tour! Kabatas area, behind the gas station.. What?! Anyway, 8 taxi ride, to the Kabatas docks which are now closed for construction and no boats leave rom there! When finally found a ticket office, it was for the Hop On-Hop Off boat, that claimed they didn't know anything about my certificate, and their last boat had already left. Since it was getting late, and as a 60 year old woman traveling alone, and leaving the next morning, I decided to drown my frustration back at my hotel, and call this 'tour' a bust! 8 taxi ride back.
I'm not sure how the actual tour was because of the description on departure times. On the Viator site it says that there are three departure times but there is no way to indicate which one you want! We wanted to latest one but when we received the confirmation email it said we had to be there for the first departure. Despite me emailing several times to find out what the deal was no one ever got back to me and we were unable to make the time they stated on the confirmation email. Poor instructions on behalf of Viator.
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