Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 5 miles including steps at Palace; no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Popular sites may be crowded at certain periods. NOTE: The “On Your Feet” activity level group will not be going to the harem apartments.
In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — there are hot and cold dishes to choose from such as eggs, breakfast meats, cereals, fruits, breads, pastries, and a variety of healthy choices as well as milk, juice, coffee, tea, water. Meals feature fresh ingredients in tasty preparations.
Orientation: We will gather in the morning, and the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. After the orientation session, we will step off the ship and board a motorcoach to ride to the Topkapi Palace. Constructed from 1460-1478, it served as the residence of Ottoman sultans as well as their administrative and ceremonial center until the mid-19th century. A local expert will lead our exploration as we see aspects of the Imperial Treasury that holds riches of royal history including thrones, jeweled pendants and precious stones, sacred items from the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed, decorated weapons, and much more. We will also see parts of the harem apartments that originally contained more than 300 rooms including living quarters for the sultan and his family, bath houses, courtyards, dormitories for concubines, a hospital, laundry, mosques, and pavilions.
In a local restaurant.
Next, we will visit the Istanbul Arkeoloji Muzesi, or Istanbul Archaeological Museums, complex. The museum was founded in 1875 by accomplished archaeologist, Osman Hamdi Bey, and is actually comprised of three different museums. Discover ancient treasures from the Assyrian, Hittite, Egyptian, Greek, Byzantine, and Ottoman civilizations. We will return to the ship with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.
Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.
At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to remain in port overnight.