Tour the Byzantine Treasures of Istanbul on this half-day Yachting Land Adventure that will take you to the Serefiye Cistern, St. Sophie Mosque, the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar to experience the glory of the Ottoman Empire.
A scenic drive from the port will take you across the Galata Bridge into the heart of Istanbul, where the historic area of Istanbul was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986. First, visit the Serefiye Cistern, believed to have been built under the reign of Byzantine emperor Theodosius II. It was uncovered under an early 20th century mansion and a municipal building that was constructed in 1950. It was known as Theodosius Cistern in the past, but now it is called Serefiye, meaning the "Goodwill" in Turkish, since 19th century.
Next, visit the Byzantine Hippodrome, which was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. See the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column which are remaining from the original Hippodrome.
One of the greatest buildings in the world: St Sophia Mosque, is your next stop. Built during the reign of Emperor Justinian (AD 537) it remained the greatest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
Continue to the famous Grand Bazaar, where you will browse and stroll the approximately 64 streets displaying a variety of Turkish handicrafts, oriental carpets, rare jewels and inexpensive souvenirs sold in its small colorful shops before returning to the yacht at the port.
A minimum participation is required to operate all Yachting Land Adventures, and some may have limited capacity. All adventures in the SeaDream Yachting Land Adventures program are subject to change. Final departure times will be published on-board. Order of sights visited may vary to avoid congestion.
Modest attire is required; when visiting the St. Sophia Mosque, knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered and women must cover their head with a scarf, which will be provided at the Mosque. Shoes must be removed and shoe bags will be provided for the visit. Professional photography and flash are not allowed. All tours in the Old Town require considerable walking, as it is closed to traffic.