November 29th, 2005, 03:07 PM
We're planning our first Windstar Cruise and we're looking at mid October. Has anyone done the Istanbul-Athens cruise that time of year. Is there a preference..Istanbul-Athens or Athens-Istanbul. Any advice would be much appreciated. Flying in or staying over extra days, which city would be better or should we spend a little extra time in both?. Thanks for your help.
December 4th, 2005, 05:54 PM
We did this cruise a couple of summers ago and it was just wonderful.We did Istanbul to Athens and the first day at sea lets you get to know people before 5 ports of call. Istanbul is worth 2 full days of touring at least and I recommend a private guide which your hotel can arrange. If you have the bucks, stay at the Ciragen Palace Kempinski hotel, one of Conde nast's top 100 inthe world. it is right on the Bosphorus, hutge infinity pool, wonaderful service, an easy walk to wonderful restaurants also overlooking the Bosphorus. Istanbul has a great history--it was the original Constantinople, Christian, and Moslem infulences, mosques, palaces, Topkapi, and Asian side and a European side. Athens is a bore compared to Istanbul. A day or so in Athens and you've seen it. The Acropolis and the plaka and you are done.
Our Windstar cruise was magical in a magical part of the world-Santorini, Bodrum, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Rhodes, it doesn't get better than that.
December 5th, 2005, 12:43 AM
Another location to consider in Instabul is the Four Seasons. It is expensive but well worth it. Located right in the middle of all the sites. Service is great.
In Athens, stay at the Grand Bretagne. Next Aug. we are taking the WindStar from Athens to Venice and have already made reservations at the GB.