Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
OziNewbieCruiser

Viking Ephesus excursions

Recommended Posts

Has anyone been on the Homes of the Ancient Roman Elite excursion ?

I'd like to visit the terrace houses but do you still get to see the rest of the site, or do you see more on the Ancient Ephesus excursion ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

We wondered the same thing as we wanted to see the main Ephesus ruins and the Terrace Houses. We were on Empires of the Med 18/0/2016.

 

The entrance to the Terrace Houses building is down the main road in the ruins and very near the Library so I believe you would see the main sights as well as the Terrace area.

 

Our decision was to join a half day (5 hours) private tour with another couple, that was run by Melitours and we also had time for a 3 course lunch of authentic Turkish food at a private farmlet (an hour - the picture below only shows the first course). They picked us up and dropped us off at the Cruise Terminal (7.30am start).

 

I believe the cost was US$85 pp (US$170 per couple) including entrance fees which is comparable with the cost of a Viking optional excursion such as Homes of the Ancient Roman Elite. It was one of the main highlights of our tour.

 

For me, it was great to be able to move as a small group, ask our guide lots of questions for a personal answer and not be struggling in the slow-moving large Viking tour groups we saw at the ruins. We would have spent at least 2 hours at Ephesus and saw all of the main area, the Terrace Houses and some hidden treasures our guide knew that I don't think the Viking tours would have seen.

 

Cheers,

 

Elaine & Chris from New Zealand

 

 

Has anyone been on the Homes of the Ancient Roman Elite excursion ?

I'd like to visit the terrace houses but do you still get to see the rest of the site, or do you see more on the Ancient Ephesus excursion ?

1597369741_EphesusLunch.jpg.55a7e3219277a2652fa62683f36975c0.jpg

1636262787_EphesusLunch2.jpg.035dd26afb9b38daaf84e3b83797ac67.jpg

Edited by pukekolive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Elaine and Chris ... Based on your response we will do the terrace houses.

Unfortunately because this is our first cruise ever I am not game to book a private tour in case we return to the ship too late.

However I have booked Milo in Kotor based on all the reviews as we are in Kotor all day.

Thanks

Sharyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sharon it was our first cruise too so we had the same misgivings however all the tour companies were extremely aware of their timings and made sure we got back with plenty of time. We also had Milo for 7 hours in Kotor you will enjoy him! Be aware though that you need to decide on your Athens tour very carefully as some people were very disappointed with some of the Viking tours particularly regarding the Acropolis. We did not want to risk seeing all we wanted so booked privately with PK Travel Greece and we're very glad we did. There was a parade in the town Centre which closed the roads and some Viking tours were held up for a long time in the traffic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From all your posts you sounded like a seasoned traveller ;)

I was considering doing Athens on our own as we have done several land tours in Europe over the past few years and always arrived days earlier and done our own thing using public transport. Given that we are only there for a day, would you recommend private tour instead ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to Ephesus, we used Ephesus Shuttle (EphesusShuttle.com) with about 8 people from cruise critic. We saw the ENTIRE site top to bottom and the Terrace Houses as well as a tour of the Ephesus Museum which was very enlightening. All the small artifacts and statuary that was found at the Ephesus site has been moved to this Museum and it really fleshed out the whole Ephesus experience. Cost as I recall was $74 pp and that included all entrance fees.

 

One thing to be aware of with the Terrace Houses is that there are a lot of stairs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again Sharon,

 

I agree with Elizabeth there are lots of stairs at the Terrace Houses, I am 100kg (220lbs) and 62 years old and it was fine for me (I was careful). However our guide warned us about a step to one of the viewing platforms and it was one of the men who tripped!

 

We had Ephesus Shuttle for a private walking guide for the day in Istanbul, just the two of us, and she was fantastic!

 

I believe Ephesus Shuttle also operate in Athens, Melitours and PK Travel Greece all have good reviews too.

 

Our Athens tour was for 3 couples in a very nice new Mercedes mini bus, with a tour guide for the Acropolis for 2 hours at an extra cost. The driver knew his stuff and was able to give us information from the vehicle for other sites.

 

We started at 7:30am from the ship, did our city tour due to the street parade (they normally go to the Acropolis first to avoid crowds) then went to the Acropolis for 2 hours, the driver also dropping us off for half an hour at the Agora before returning to the ship for 1pm. Afterwards we had time for lunch onboard, took the Viking shuttle bus at 2pm back to the Plaka, then the 4pm shuttle back to the Cruise Terminal.

 

I hope this all helps you to make your arrangements.

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

Elaine

 

 

Back to Ephesus, we used Ephesus Shuttle (EphesusShuttle.com) with about 8 people from cruise critic. We saw the ENTIRE site top to bottom and the Terrace Houses as well as a tour of the Ephesus Museum which was very enlightening. All the small artifacts and statuary that was found at the Ephesus site has been moved to this Museum and it really fleshed out the whole Ephesus experience. Cost as I recall was $74 pp and that included all entrance fees.

 

One thing to be aware of with the Terrace Houses is that there are a lot of stairs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We took the Viking tour of the Terrace Houses in October, 2015. I really wanted to see the houses and realized that I might not see all of Ephesus but the tour did promise the main sites so I was hopeful. Of all our tours, this was the only disappointing one.

We boarded the bus at 8 a.m. and arrived at the site at 8:30. We started at the lower gate and were there before the shops opened so all was peaceful. We stopped for a view of the Theatre and then went on to the Library. We were the first group there which was great. Then on to the Terrace Houses where we had a good thorough tour. So far, so good. But then our guide walked us back to the Theatre and said we had to be back at the bus in 30 minutes. I asked if we could go back and see some of the other sites and he said "Viking didn't provide for that. " So after exploring the Theatre (no info from the guide) we headed back. On the bus ride back the guide started the sales pitch for carpets. ( every country has its art; carpets are Turkey's art; how long it takes to make a carpet, etc.) We then went to carpet shop.

So the advertised 3.5 hour tour was an hour on the bus, 2 hours at Ephesus and 30 minutes at a carpet shop. I've managed to get really annoyed all over again just writing this! If you look at the map of Ephesus you can see how easy it would have been to see more in a short period of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aha! Our private tour in March 2016 started at the upper gate I think as we approached the library and Terrace Houses downhill ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Port Hope for your first hand account of the tour. I can understand your annoyance. The last thing that I would want was to pay for a tour and have to endure a sales pitch rather than spend more time sightseeing. I hope all your other tours were much better.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Elaine and Elizabeth. You both provide a wealth of information on this site. Fortunately my husband and I are reasonable fit so stairs are not an issue. I think I need to look at Ephesus Shuttle based on all the feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I arranged our tour, I told them "no shopping stops" and they were totally agreeable. I also asked for the Ephesus Museum - it's not part of their normal tour. As far as Ephesus itself, we started at the top upper gate, walked down through the entire site, did the Terrace Houses in the middle, saw the Library and had enough time to scamper up the steps and thoroughly explore it and then down through the rest of the site, the Theater, and the van picked us up at the bottom. From there we were driven to the Museum and had about 45 minutes there. We did not stop for lunch as our time in port was 1:00 pm to 6:30 as I recall. We were back at the dock by 5:00.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I arranged our tour, I told them "no shopping stops" and they were totally agreeable. I also asked for the Ephesus Museum - it's not part of their normal tour. As far as Ephesus itself, we started at the top upper gate, walked down through the entire site, did the Terrace Houses in the middle, saw the Library and had enough time to scamper up the steps and thoroughly explore it and then down through the rest of the site, the Theater, and the van picked us up at the bottom. From there we were driven to the Museum and had about 45 minutes there. We did not stop for lunch as our time in port was 1:00 pm to 6:30 as I recall. We were back at the dock by 5:00.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were in the group with her last year and thought the itinerary she arranged was ideal and Ephesus was a major highlight of the 50 day cruise. Starting at the top and walking downhill is an important strategy to conserve energy so you can do the entire climb up and down the Terrace Houses.

 

FYI, the steps down out of the houses are brutal for some - very uneven and some rather tall stone steps. Also some of the Ephesus main path is quite slippery from the stone used.

 

2 hours in Ephesus?!? I'd still be crying if that was the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Athens, we did a small party full day walking tour booked with archaeologous.com.

 

We took the Green Line to and from Pireaus and met the guide outside the Monastiraki stop at an agreed upon time. Very easy to figure out the Athens metro system. Take a taxi to and from the Pireaus station to save time and energy. To start, we had to walk out to a main street in the direction of the station to get a taxi. Everything near the ship was guided tours.

 

Be prepared to name a price and stick with it as the drivers may not want a short metered ride. We paid 5 euros each way. Other issue is morning drivers want to turn the trip into a longer drive into central Athens else do a tour/ride with them. We stuck to a story that we were meeting friends and need to take the metro.

Edited by algaes
minor addition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are on Viking in September 2016 and both Istanbul and Kusadasi (for Ephesus) have sadly been cancelled. We now embark in Athens instead of Istanbul.

 

This is a great shame as particularly in Kusadasi the market and shops rely heavily on cruise passengers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are on the Sea in Nov 2016 and the same has happened - Istanbul and Kusadasi have been replaced with Athens and Mykonos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...