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Private guides for cruise stops in Istanbul,Greek Islands, Athens

Private guides for cruise stops in Istanbul,Greek Islands, Athens

Feb 21st, 2008, 07:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 26
Private guides for cruise stops in Istanbul,Greek Islands, Athens

Wanted: Private guides to meet cruise ship stops in Greek Islands. Istanbul and Athens

We are taking Oceania cruise Aug 2008. Itinerary: Istanbul, Greek Islands and Athens are listed below.

I am looking to get one or two companies to arrange guides for tours of Istanbul and to meet us at ship for island tours and in/around Athens. We are not into shopping and would like to have a chance to enjoy some beach time with maybe some snorkeling on some of the islands as well as see the history.

I have been doing a lot of reading on Istanbul, but I haven’t gotten a good feel for what are “must sees” on Greek islands or which are well marked in English or how far they are from the port. It will be high season so I figure taxis will be at a premium, with heavy traffic and lots of people. Shore trips arranged by cruise line are usually over priced whether group or private.

Also need advice for Athens and Istanbul hotels less than 4 Seasons cost, but still luxurious.

Suggestions or experiences anyone?

Day 1 Fly to Istanbul
Day 2 Istanbul hotel
Day 3 Istanbul Hotel
Day 4 Istanbul Board ship 3pm/overnight Istanbul
Day 5 Istanbul Depart 11pm
Day 6 Cruise Dardenelles
Day 7 Kudasi Turkey 8am – 6pm
Day 8 Rhodes Greece 8am – 6pm
Day 9 Delos Greece 8am – 12pm
Day 9 Mykonos Greece 2pm – 10pm
Day 10 Santorini Greece 8am – 6pm
Day 11 Katakolon Greece 12pm – 6pm
Day 12 Corfu Greece 7am – 1pm
Day 13 Sarande Albania 2pm – 8pm
Day 14 Dubrovnik Croatia 10am – 6pm
Day 15 Cruise Ionian Sea
Day 16 Athens Arrive 8am
Day 17 Athens Disembark ship/Hotel
Day 18 Athens
Day 20 Athens
Day 21 Fly home
SheilaOB is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,205
We were on the Nautica in 9/06 with Oceania and did the Istanbul to Venice itinerary. We used private guides in Istanbul, Athens, Santorni and Rhodes. No need for them on Delos or Mykonos.

Athens: Be aware that you have to be a licensed tour guide to hold yourself out as such. We opted to simply use a taxi driver that had come highly recommended to us on the Oceania boards at cruise critic. You can get info by e-mail at: [email protected] Paul will work with you on what you want to do. We even went out to the Cape. Great service.

Istanbul: We actually used two different guides. Ekol Travel for Ephesus - www.ekoltravel.com - and Transbalkan in Istanbul too. Both were great.

Rhodes - Rhodes Private Tours. Think www.rhodesprivatetours.com is the website - but if you do a google search you'll get it. Nick was great. We opted to do Lindos and really enjoyed it.

Santorini - Dimitrius was also very good. [email protected]

I have a trip report you're welcome to have if you want to e-mail me.

You'll enjoy the cruise line and the trip.

patandhank is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 155
I think you may want to read tripadvisor.com and cruisecritic.com for a lot more information than you may find on this board.

Since this is your first time in Istanbul, I'm assuming you will want to stay in the old city closer to the historic sites. I can highly recommend a hotel called Hotel Nena. If you want a balcony stay in deluxe room. It was perfect in every way with breakfast and airport pick up included. It has an excellent central location to see all the sites in Istanbul. Most of the nice hotels in Istanbul are classified as boutique hotels. Be careful when chosing a hotel though, some don't have elevators. You won't go wrong with Hotel Nena. It you want to splurge, Four Seasons is wonderful and just as good a location as Hotel Nena.
patsy120 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 26
Thanks to you both, Pat and Patsy. Pat, I will email you for your trip report. Patsy, I just saw some info on Nena last night - now I will pursue it.
SheilaOB is offline  
Apr 17th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7
We also stayed in Hotel Nena pre-cruise and would definitely recommend it. It is centrally located to all the sites and the staff are wonderful. We also used Ekol Travel in Kusadasi for our guide to Ephesus (also Pat's recommendation) and I would second that recommendation as well. Our guide was named "Turul" - knowledgeable and passionate about his country's history. We managed to convince him to take us to a "real" Turkish restaurant for lunch (rather than a tourist buffet) and it was a huge highlight. Great food, great setting, great conversation. Enjoy!
StormsEnd is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 11
you might check out these informative non commercial web sites for turkish ports www.turkeyexplorers.com, www.kusadasi.biz, www.ephesusport.net, www.kusadasitours.com
turkeyexpert is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
There are some great tour guides in Istanbul and around Turkey on Viamigo at http://viamigo.com/place/3770/turkey

The selection of Greek tour guides isn't quite as good at http://viamigo.com/place/2601/greece

But I've used this service before in South America and it worked great.
YukiGarcia is offline  
Mar 24th, 2009, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,925
I think you have already been given a list of good tour guides for the various Greek,where you will need one.

As has been mentioned, in many places in Europe,a taxi driver cannot be a tour guide or represent himself as being one...

This does not mean that a taxi driver does not know ( or may not know) as much as a tour guide.

I had a tour guide in Istanbul, Kusadasi for Ephesus and in Athens...

In places where you take a taxi ,it is helpful to yourself ,if you know a little about the place, then you can tell the taxi driver to take you to the various places you want to see.

Unless the cruise ship docks very close to Greek Island places, do not try to walk into town then.

For example , in Mykonos,the cruise ship will have a shuttle service for a small price to take you into town.

Do not try to make this 1 1/4 mile walk into the town of Mykonos.

There is no sidewalk and you are walking along the paved road,with cars whizzing by ( and it is going up hill also ).... also in August it will be very hot ,so keep this in mind also.

Have a nice cruise
Percy is online now  
Mar 24th, 2009, 04:13 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
Yuki & Percy, the OP's cruise was last August.
abram is offline  
Mar 24th, 2009, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,925
Oh my goodness, Thanks abram...I should have looked at the date,but I just assumed it was recent.

Well I hope they had a nice cruise
Percy is online now  

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