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Eastern Mediterranean Cruises
Jun - Oct - 18
Norwegian Cruise Line
Eastern Mediterranean Cruises
Jul 18 to Oct 18
Norwegian Cruise Line
Spanning the continents of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is the only city in the world to sit across two different continents. This unique location combined with its influence over both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, means that for nearly 2,000 years, it has been ideally situated to be the heart of some of history’s great empires. Serving as capital city for the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires as well as being a key strategic city for the Roman Empire.
The old city of Istanbul is a maze of narrow streets snaking between historic buildings and filled with the busy noise of the city. From the sound of street sellers to honking car horns, over which the call to prayer can be heard throughout the day. These ancient streets also house some of Istanbul’s most iconic features. One of the most well-known landmarks is the Grand Bazaar. First opened in 1455 the Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest dedicated shopping centres in history and it is still open today. Filled with aromatic herbs and spices as well as hand crafted garments, precious stones and intricate carpets. Throughout the generations that it has been open, little has changed. The experience of browsing its market stalls is enough to make you feel as if you are taking a trip back in time.
The historic Bazaar attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily and over 91 million annual visitors, visiting its 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops.
The immense scale of the Grand bazaar is reflected all over the city of Istanbul with its 17 million people.
The sheer size of the city is also reflected in the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. The blue stained roof tops dominate the skyline of the old town. Its looming towers and intricate detailing give the impression of just how powerful the city has been throughout history and how significant it still is.
Tucked away in the far east of the Mediterranean is Jerusalem. Like Istanbul it is an ancient city filled with a rich history. Jerusalem is one of the most precious religious sites anywhere in the world, housing holy places of three large scale religions, including the remains of the Jewish Second Temple, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and the spot where Mohammed ascended to heaven.
Not only does this give Jerusalem a high religious and historical importance but it also leads to it being a very cosmopolitan area complete a great mix of nationalities, cultures and religions. Black-hatted Jews in long trench coats can be seen to walk the streets of religious neighborhoods even in hot desert weather. Israeli Arabs reverently approach the Dome of the Rock to offer prayers and devout Christians make pilgrimages to the places Jesus once inhabited.
Jerusalem is also home to more than religious sites. It is also complete with authentic souk markets perfect for finding hand crafted precious jewels and delicate ceramics. There are also a large number of first rate museums such as the Holocaust Museum and the Israel Museum, both of which together with many other museums are in the area if you would like to learn more about the history of the city and the religions that inhabit it.
If you are looking to escape for some summer sun then Rhodes will be perfect destination for you. The Greek island is located only 12 miles from the Turkish coast and boasts warm year-round temperatures averaging in the 20s. Summer temperatures can easily reach highs of over 30℃ making it one of the warmest places in Europe. There is also no shortage of sun and on average there are 300 sunny days per year. This good weather has meant that Rhodes has been a popular tourist destination for centuries.
The beautiful weather is not the only reason to come to the island. Rhodes sits in the Aegean Sea and its beautiful blue green waters reflect a tropical paradise. The picturesque Mediterranean island features 35 beaches for you to enjoy complete with volcanic sands and calm warm waters.
The rich history behind the island means that there are many cultural and historical attractions littered amongst the breath-taking scenery. Many of these attractions such as the magnificent palaces, fascinating museums and ornate mosques are lined throughout narrow cobbled maze of streets and the carefully planned ornate squares of the Old Town.
Located To the east of Italy across the Adriatic Sea lies Croatia’s picturesque Dalmatian coast. Dubrovnik is arguably one of the most charming towns to line the coast. Complete with a light and welcoming atmosphere, Dubrovnik is often likened to Venice, just on a smaller scale (and with marble alleyways instead of canals). Like the Italian city, which lies just to the northwest, Old Town Dubrovnik is free of vehicular traffic and dotted with Renaissance churches and fountains, with a rich history as a trading port. In lieu of canals, you’ll find narrow, cobblestone streets where pedestrians stroll from shop to shop, dine and drink at al fresco cafes and soak up the sun.
Dubrovnik is a great walking city for lovers of culture and history, with centuries-old monasteries, churches, synagogues and even one of the oldest operating pharmacies in Europe. But if you’re looking for a day of relaxation between busy tours in marquee cities, it’s also a gorgeous spot to simply sit and watch the world go by amid red-roofed stone buildings and the sparkling aqua marine Adriatic Sea.