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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
    Freyward_Cruiser
    Sail Date Feb 2019
    Bucket List Panama Canal Cruise
    Read More
    wvacations
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    NCL Cost Cutting At All Time High
    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:
    Kusadasi, Istanbul ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

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

    Norwegian Pearl - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Plenty of dining, nightlife and family options to easily accommodate short sailings

    Cons

    Unless you're onboard for a theme charter, evening entertainment might feel a bit dated

    Bottom Line

    Whether you're just taking a long weekend or sailing with superstars, Norwegian Pearl is a cheerful ship to call home

    Reviews

    Norwegian Pearl Reviews

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

    Norwegian Pearl is a fantastically fun ship from its imaginative decor (blown-up photos of wild...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    hsmcruise
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Nervous cruiser in midst of covid 19
    Read More
    Where2gonext?
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Great ship and great staff
    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
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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
    Nancy62262
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    First time I couldn't wait to get off the ship! Horrible!
    Read More
    Red E 4 Crusin
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    First Time Norwegian Cruiser - was a bit disappointed !
    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.

  • 164 Night
    Cruise to Istanbul

    Leaving:
    Los Angeles
    Visiting:
    Kauai, Honolulu ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Oceania Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    164 Night Cruise to Istanbul Route (Oceania Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Los Angeles
    • Day 2
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 3
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 4
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 5
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 6
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 7
      Kauai
    • Day 8
      Honolulu
    • Day 9
      Hilo
    • Day 10
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 11
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 12
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 13
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 14
      Nuku Hiva
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 17
      Bora Bora
    • Day 18
      Bora Bora
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 20
      Cruising
    • Day 21
      Pago Pago
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Suva
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Paihia
    • Day 28
      Auckland
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Brisbane
    • Day 35
      Cruising (Coral Sea)
    • Day 36
      Whitsundays (Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island)
    • Day 37
      Cairns
    • Day 38
      Cairns
    • Day 39
      Cruising (Coral Sea)
    • Day 40
      Thursday Island
    • Day 41
      Cruising (Arafura Sea)
    • Day 42
      Darwin
    • Day 43
      Cruising (Timor Sea)
    • Day 44
      Komodo Island
    • Day 45
      Bali
    • Day 46
      Bali
    • Day 47
      Cruising (Java Sea)
    • Day 48
      Cruising (Java Sea)
    • Day 49
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 50
      Kota Kinabalu
    • Day 51
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 52
      Manila
    • Day 53
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 54
      Kao-Hsiung
    • Day 55
      Taipei (Keelung)
    • Day 56
      Ryukyu Island
    • Day 57
      Okinawa
    • Day 58
      East China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 59
      Hong Kong
    • Day 60
      Hong Kong
    • Day 61
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 62
      Hue
    • Day 63
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 64
      Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
    • Day 65
      Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
    • Day 66
      Cruising
    • Day 67
      Sihanoukville
    • Day 68
      Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
    • Day 69
      Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
    • Day 70
      Koh Samui
    • Day 71
      Cruising
    • Day 72
      Singapore
    • Day 73
      Singapore
    • Day 74
      Kelang (Kuala Lumpur)
    • Day 75
      Penang
    • Day 76
      Phuket
    • Day 77
      Cruising
    • Day 78
      Yangon (Rangoon)
    • Day 79
      Yangon (Rangoon)
    • Day 80
      Yangon (Rangoon)
    • Day 81
      Bay of Bengal
    • Day 82
      Bay of Bengal
    • Day 83
      Cruising
    • Day 84
      Kochi
    • Day 85
      Mangalore
    • Day 86
      Goa
    • Day 87
      Mumbai (Bombay)
    • Day 88
      Mumbai (Bombay)
    • Day 89
      Cruising
    • Day 90
      Cruising
    • Day 91
      Dubai
    • Day 92
      Dubai
    • Day 93
      Fujairah
    • Day 94
      Muscat
    • Day 95
      Cruising
    • Day 96
      Salalah
    • Day 97
      Cruising
    • Day 98
      Red Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 99
      Red Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 100
      Red Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 101
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 102
      Safaga
    • Day 103
      Safaga
    • Day 104
      Suez Canal
    • Day 105
      Suez Canal
    • Day 106
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 107
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 108
      Alanya
    • Day 109
      Rhodes
    • Day 110
      Santorini
    • Day 111
      Kusadasi
    • Day 112
      Lesbos
    • Day 113
      Istanbul
    • Day 114
      Istanbul
    • Day 115
      Istanbul
    • Day 116
      Kavala
    • Day 117
      Mykonos
    • Day 118
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 119
      Cruising
    • Day 120
      Dubrovnik
    • Day 121
      Venice
    • Day 122
      Venice
    • Day 123
      Cruising
    • Day 124
      Taormina (Messina)
    • Day 125
      Sorrento
    • Day 126
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 127
      Florence (Livorno)
    • Day 128
      Saint-Tropez
    • Day 129
      Barcelona
    • Day 130
      Alicante
    • Day 131
      Almeria
    • Day 132
      Gibraltar
    • Day 133
      Seville
    • Day 134
      Seville
    • Day 135
      Lisbon
    • Day 136
      Lisbon
    • Day 137
      Porto (Leixoes)
    • Day 138
      La Coruna
    • Day 139
      Bilbao
    • Day 140
      Bordeaux
    • Day 141
      Bordeaux
    • Day 142
      Cruising
    • Day 143
      Saint-Malo
    • Day 144
      Southampton
    • Day 145
      Cruising
    • Day 146
      Dublin
    • Day 147
      Belfast
    • Day 148
      Lerwick (Shetland Islands)
    • Day 149
      Torshavn
    • Day 150
      Cruising
    • Day 151
      Akureyri
    • Day 152
      Isafjord
    • Day 153
      Reykjavik
    • Day 154
      Cruising
    • Day 155
      Prince Christian Sound
    • Day 156
      Nuuk
    • Day 157
      Paamiut
    • Day 158
      Qaqortoq
    • Day 159
      Cruising (Labrador Sea)
    • Day 160
      Cruising
    • Day 161
      Sydney (Nova Scotia)
    • Day 162
      Halifax
    • Day 163
      Bar Harbor
    • Day 164
      Boston
    • Day 165
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 166
      New York (Manhattan)
    Ship Details

    Insignia - Oceania Cruises

    Pros

    ** Excellent food and attentive service accompany an intimate and mature atmosphere onboard

    Cons

    ** Activities are few, which can prove either relaxing or slightly dull

    Bottom Line

    ** Insignia is a small, quiet and comfortable ship oriented toward adults

    Reviews

    Insignia Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    On Oceania's Insignia, size matters. At 684 passengers, the ship is large enough to have most of t...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Overthewaves
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Pleasant escape from Winter, along Pacific coast of Central & South America
    Read More
    BrocktonCruiser
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Great Small Ship Experience - Happy Holidays
    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.

  • 117 Night
    Cruise to Istanbul

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Antigua, St. Lucia ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Regent Seven Seas Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    • Reviews
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    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    117 Night Cruise to Istanbul Route (Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 4
      Antigua
    • Day 5
      St. Lucia
    • Day 6
      St. George
    • Day 7
      Bonaire
    • Day 8
      St. Eustatius
    • Day 9
      Caribbean Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 10
      Panama Canal
    • Day 11
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 12
      Manta
    • Day 13
      Guayaquil
    • Day 14
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Salaverry (Trujillo)
    • Day 16
      Lima
    • Day 17
      Lima
    • Day 18
      Pisco
    • Day 19
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 20
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 21
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 22
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 23
      Easter Island
    • Day 24
      Easter Island
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Cruising
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 31
      Bora Bora
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Pago Pago
    • Day 35
      Cruising
    • Day 36
      Cruising
    • Day 37
      Cruising
    • Day 38
      Cruising
    • Day 39
      Paihia
    • Day 40
      Auckland
    • Day 41
      Auckland
    • Day 42
      Tauranga
    • Day 43
      Napier
    • Day 44
      Wellington
    • Day 45
      Akaroa
    • Day 46
      Dunedin
    • Day 47
      Milford Sound
    • Day 48
      Cruising
    • Day 49
      Cruising
    • Day 50
      Burnie
    • Day 51
      Melbourne
    • Day 52
      Cruising
    • Day 53
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 54
      Cruising
    • Day 55
      Brisbane
    • Day 56
      Brisbane
    • Day 57
      Cruising (Coral Sea)
    • Day 58
      Airlie Beach
    • Day 59
      Cairns
    • Day 60
      Cruising (Coral Sea)
    • Day 61
      Thursday Island
    • Day 62
      Cruising (Coral Sea)
    • Day 63
      Darwin
    • Day 64
      Cruising (Timor Sea)
    • Day 65