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Cruises to Istanbul

Istanbul (Photo:muratart/Shutterstock)

About Istanbul

A geographic and metaphoric melding of East and West, Istanbul is the world's only city covering two continents. The Bosporus runs through the center; Europe lies to the west, Asia to the east.

For nearly 2,000 years, the ideally situated metropolis has been the keystone of some of the world's great empires, serving as capital city for the Romans (under the name Constantinople, as noted by the informative "They Might Be Giants" tune), Byzantines and Ottomans.

Inside the sprawling city, the secular and the sacred mingle -- minarets with nightclubs and dusty prayer rugs with designer digs. The idea of Istanbul as collision between East and West reveals itself immediately, with monumental churches cum mosques (the Hagia Sophia), Roman ruins (the Hippodrome, where horse and chariot races were held in Roman times) and unadulterated symbols of consumerism (the Grand Bazaar with its thousands of shops).

Even if the these iconic attractions are what draw many of its tourists to this vast (second only in size to Shanghai) city of 17 million inhabitants, visitors, dutifully plodding through them, may easily miss what makes this city one of the world's most vibrant right now.

Increasingly prosperous, Istanbul has exciting neighborhoods, upscale shops (not just the usual international brands like Prada but also fashion designs by Turkish clothiers) and a thriving restaurant scene that ranges from classic fare to newer, Mediterranean-infused interpretations of local standards. Its Museum of Modern Art -- handily located pierside, where ships dock -- is new and offers both rotating internationally-minded exhibitions and works from Turkish artists.

Istanbul is increasingly popular as a port of embarkation (or disembarkation) for a range of itineraries, from the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean Greek Isles trips to the migration, twice a year, of ships between Europe and Asia. You can find as many as six ships a day docking there. This noisy place, in which the magical call to prayer several times a day manages to overcome the sound of honking cars, is a great place to add a pre- or post-cruise stay.


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  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Istanbul

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Crete, Jerusalem ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Istanbul Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Crete (Heraklion)
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 5
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 6
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 7
      Limassol
    • Day 8
      Alanya
    • Day 9
      Rhodes
    • Day 10
      Kusadasi
    • Day 11
      Tenedos (Bozcaada)
    • Day 12
      Istanbul
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Mykonos
    • Day 15
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Star - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Refurbs have kept original Freestyle ship modern

    Cons

    Constant upcharges may turn some cruisers off

    Bottom Line

    Star provides some of Norwegian's most popular features, on a smaller ship

    Reviews

    Norwegian Star Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Star underwent a refurbishment in summer 2018 during which it received the Sky Hi...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    wvacations
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    NCL Cost Cutting At All Time High
    Read More
    Greyhorse
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Not to my expectation
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 18 Night
    Cruise to Istanbul

    Leaving:
    Rome
    Visiting:
    Monaco, Florence ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    18 Night Cruise to Istanbul Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 2
      Monaco (Monte Carlo)
    • Day 3
      Florence (Livorno)
    • Day 4
      Naples
    • Day 5
      Malta (Valletta)
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 8
      Kusadasi
    • Day 9
      Istanbul
    • Day 10
      Istanbul
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Rhodes
    • Day 13
      Limassol
    • Day 14
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 15
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 16
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Cruising
    • Day 19
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Dawn - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Tons of dining, bars and activities keep everyone entertained; refurb is modern, not tacky

    Cons

    Less-than-perfect ship has confusing layout and occasional maintenance issues

    Bottom Line

    Enthusiastic crowd has a fun time onboard, despite upcharges and an older ship

    Reviews

    Norwegian Dawn Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Dawn is a ship you love despite its flaws. Built in 2002 as the third ship in the Nor...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Red E 4 Crusin
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    First Time Norwegian Cruiser - was a bit disappointed !
    Read More
    slavetoabunny
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Nothing Short of Outstanding!!!!
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 11 Night
    Cruise to Istanbul

    Leaving:
    Barcelona
    Visiting:
    Marseille, Florence ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
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    • Itinerary
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    • Reviews
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    11 Night Cruise to Istanbul Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Barcelona
    • Day 2
      Marseille
    • Day 3
      Florence (Livorno)
    • Day 4
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 5
      Naples
    • Day 6
      Taormina (Messina)
    • Day 7
      Katakolon (Olympia)
    • Day 8
      Santorini
    • Day 9
      Kusadasi
    • Day 10
      Istanbul
    • Day 11
      Volos
    • Day 12
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Jade - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Venues are spread evenly throughout the ship, limiting congestion

    Cons

    Standard cabins are a bit on the small side

    Bottom Line

    Recent refurbishments have the ship looking and feeling like new

    Reviews

    Norwegian Jade Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    Launched in 2006, Norwegian Jade isn't Norwegian Cruise Line's newest vessel, but via the

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    margaretandy67
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Superb size of ship and excellent staff; Singapore Phuket Malaysia
    Read More
    Ron4850
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Asia Norwegian Jade 6th February 2020
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Istanbul

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Rhodes, Kusadasi ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Istanbul Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Rhodes
    • Day 3
      Kusadasi
    • Day 4
      Istanbul
    • Day 5
      Volos
    • Day 6
      Mykonos
    • Day 7
      Santorini
    • Day 8
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Spirit - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Lively ship that's been continually updated and refreshed.

    Cons

    Activities on smaller ship more limited than on line's larger vessels.

    Bottom Line

    Excellent value for the high quality of food, service and itineraries

    Reviews

    Norwegian Spirit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.0
    Dining4.5
    Service5.0
    Value4.5

    The 2,016-passenger Norwegian Spirit debuted in 1998 so you won't find a rock climbing wall, bo...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Bob Doig
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    I will never sail with this cruise line again.
    Read More
    Sussex Duo
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    16 consecutive days at sea around the Indian Ocean
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 9 Night
    Cruise to Istanbul

    Leaving:
    Istanbul
    Visiting:
    Mykonos, Athens ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    9 Night Cruise to Istanbul Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Istanbul
    • Day 2
      Mykonos
    • Day 3
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 4
      Paris
    • Day 5
      Santorini
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Dubrovnik
    • Day 8
      Split
    • Day 9
      Koper
    • Day 10
      Venice
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Spirit - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Lively ship that's been continually updated and refreshed.

    Cons

    Activities on smaller ship more limited than on line's larger vessels.

    Bottom Line

    Excellent value for the high quality of food, service and itineraries

    Reviews

    Norwegian Spirit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.0
    Dining4.5
    Service5.0
    Value4.5

    The 2,016-passenger Norwegian Spirit debuted in 1998 so you won't find a rock climbing wall, bo...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    3630greyfield
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Has anyone received their refund
    Read More
    BKKK
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    A bucket-list cruise wish from traveling companions turns to bottom of bucket!
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

    No Results Found
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    Compare Prices

    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
    Loading...
    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.