TourCrafters offers affordable package to Istanbul


LIBERTYVILLE, IL – One of 2010’s hottest destinations is fabulous Istanbul, the city that’s half in Europe, half in Asia. But air fare alone to Istanbul is more than US$900. TourCrafters’ Istanbul Grand Bazaar Package, on the other hand, starts at US$999 and includes not only air fare from New York or Boston, but fuel surcharges, arrival and departure transfers, three nights’ hotel accommodation, daily breakfast, and two half-day tours. The package is valid from November 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011, but it must be booked by October 12 to get this US$999 price.

One half-day tour covers the famed Topkapi Museum, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Grand Bazaar. In this 549-year-old market, you’ll find covered streets, courtyards, hamams, mosques, restaurants, cafés, and thousands of shops selling everything from ceramics to leather coats and Turkish carpets to gold jewelry, all at very good prices — if you like to bargain.

The second tour takes in the Spice Market on the Golden Horn, which is filled with the fragrance of the exotic East: dried fruits, nuts, spices, green tea, and the candy we know as Turkish Delight. It continues with a cruise up the Bosphorus, with views along the shore of Topkapi Palace, the barracks where Florence Nightingale worked, Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, and lots more.

The package offers a choice of 4 hotels. The US$999 price includes the 3-star Hotel Fehmi Bey, a family-owned inn with a panoramic breakfast terrace. Only US$100 more buys the historic 4-star Ottoman Imperial Hotel, which has a terrace, a garden, and a good restaurant. Both hotels are in the old city, close to the major attractions.

All prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, are subject to availability, and do not include airport taxes that can be as high as US$116. Note, too, that an entrance visa is needed for Turkey; US$20 must be paid on the spot at the arrival airport. Reservations must be paid for within 72 hours of booking. Add-on air fares are US$25 from Washington, DC; US$90 from Miami, FL; US$70 from Chicago, IL; and US$200 from Los Angeles, CA.

For additional information about the Istanbul Grand Bazaar Package and other special market packages to Paris, Nice, Sicily, and Madrid, visit . For reservations, call 800-482-5995.