Istanbul, Turkey

May 25 (Sunday) - Istanbul, Turkey (9:00-6:00)

Optional tour: a full-day tour of Istanbul, stopping at Topkapi Palace. Built in the late 15th century, this grand labyrinthine structure was home to several sultans during the Ottoman Empire. See the Hippodrome, a former site of chariot races, featuring Grecian, Egyptian, and German monuments. The tour also visits the spectacular Hagia Sophia, a former Orthodox basilica and mosque. You can experience the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (or Blue Mosque), Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar, as well. ($75/person)

Optional tour: tour the Hagia Sophia before a cruise along the Bosphorus waterway. You will see dramatic sights along the wooded shores, including mansions of the Ottoman elite, mosques, and a fortress built by Mehmed the Conqueror. ($45/person)