Saturday, July 31, 2010

Seabourn Odyssey

Seabourn cruise line has five luxury ships sailing all over the world. Three of its ships are luxury yachts holding only 200 guests. Their two newest vessels, the Odyssey and the Sojourn, hold 450 guests and offer more dining and entertainment options than their smaller sisters.

I recently traveled on the Odyssey for a week, sailing from Istanbul,Turkey to Athens, Greece. This was my first visit to Turkey and I found the people to be exceedingly warm and welcoming. I enjoyed the ports of Dikili, Kusadasi (where we visited the ancient ruins of Ephesus) and Bodrum (a lovely harbor town known for its nightlife). The cruise line treated everyone to a evening concert at Ephesus. The ancient amphitheater provided a beautiful backdrop, lit by the sunset, as we listened to a classical music performance. These types of complimentary experiences are offered by Seabourn on many of their sailings.

The Odyssey is an all-suite ship, most with private verandahs. Everything is included in your cruise fare: all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and gratuities. You can take advantage of the gym and fitness classes at no extra charge and they even have complimentary self-service laundries aboard. The staff provides impeccable service and the gourmet dining is delicious, varied and abundant. The suites are very comfortable with marble baths and separate stall showers. There are magnificent suites to choose from, some with private whirlpool tubs and expansive balconies. There are connecting rooms available for families.

Cruise vacations give you the opportunity to visit many places with ease, and unpacking only once. You can visit the ports by going on ship-sponsored shore excursions or by booking a private guide. Visiting places with a knowledgeable guide can greatly enhance your experience. We can arrange private guides and touring in most cities around the world!

We truly enjoyed our days touring with guides from United Travel Services in Turkey. Nevzat in Istanbul and Fahti in Kusadasi were both able to give us so much information on the past history of the region and also modern day Turkey.
We also enjoyed "winging it" one day in Santorini. It's fun to walk down winding alleys and perhaps discover a little cafe or a great hidden gift shop!

Good to know: U.S. citizens require a valid passport and a visa to enter Turkey. Visas are easily obtained at the Istanbul airport upon arrival, for a fee of $20.00.

The cruise specialists at Bee Kalt Travel are ready to assist you with planning your next Seabourn cruise or cruise vacation.
Please give us a call at (248) 288-9600 or Toll-free 1-800-284-5258

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is an exotic and exciting city at the crossroads of the world. This is the only city in the world straddling two continents, Europe and Asia. With its rich history of being the capital of three empires, there is so much to see and do while visiting here!

Spend a day touring mosques, synagogues, churches and palaces. Experience how the Sultans lived with a visit to the Topkapi Palace. Here you will see intricate tile work, rooms where the harem girls lived and a fabulous collection of jewels and decorative objects.

No visit to Istanbul would be complete without walking through the famous Grand Bazaar, with its selection of jewelry, ceramic tiles, leather goods, pashminas and, of course, Turkish rugs! Other activities could include a visit to the Spice Market, a ride on a gulet (traditional wooden sailboat), or pampering yourself with a real Turkish bath.

Where to stay? We have some fabulous recommendations. The Ciragan Palace is the site of an original 19th-century palace built by Sultan Abdulaziz. Many of the rooms and suites have views of the Bosphorus, which has a never-ending parade of ships, ferries and boats passing by.
The Four Seasons Bosphorus is just down the street and also has a perfect waterside location. This hotel opened just two years ago and has all of the amenities you would expect from a luxury hotel. Their sister property, the Four Seasons Istanbul, is located in town, in what was a former prison building.
The Ritz Carlton Istanbul stands on a hill with commanding views of the city and the Bosphorus strait. It has a wonderful spa and a beautiful indoor pool for relaxing after a long day of sightseeing.

Book with Bee Kalt Travel and receive VIP amenities at all of these Virtuoso hotels: complimentary upgrades at check-in based on availability, complimentary breakfast, welcome gifts and more!

Please call our travel specialists today for more details!
Bee Kalt Travel (248)288-9600 or toll-free 1-800-284-5258