Old July 25th, 2012, 12:14 PM
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Default Istanbul: Pre-cruise Destination Guide

Istanbul: Pre-cruise Destination Guide
By Janice Wald Henderson

This historic crossroads of the world is a must-see destination for Eastern Mediterranean cruises

Sailing into Istanbul is a sensory explosion. The many minarets, defining the skyline. The calls to prayer, echoing from the city's ancient walls. The coriander, cumin and other strong spices perfuming the air. And then, the history. For gosh sakes, you're in Constantinople and gazing at two continents, Europe and Asia, at once.

Please don't think that if your ship overnights in Istanbul you will absorb the myriad of wonders that wait. Plan on at least two or three days for a jam-packed pre-or-post cruise stay. And don't just take my word; on my recent Crystal Serenity Venice-to-Istanbul sail, many first-time Istanbul visitors who chose to fly home with only 24 hours here were near tears. "If I only knew," they said. "Istanbul is unlike any other city in the world."

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