a VirtualTourist member
Hello All, we wish to travel to Turkey & Greece in September 2010. We want to spend a couple of nights in Istanbul, then go down the Turkish coast, via cruise ship of some sort, and do a day trip in Ephesus, and then carry on to Santorini or an island in that area. Have you heard of any cruise companies that may do this? Thank you, Deb
As far as I can determine at this time there is no way to get to Kusadasi, which is the port closest to Ephesus, from Istanbul, by ferry. It may be possible to pay a cruise ship company to take you for that leg of their cruise, but even if that's possible it won't be cheap. Your best options are to fly to Izmir and take a bus the rest of the way to Ephesus, or take a bus from Istanbul to Selcuk and a local taxi to Ephesus.
From Kusadasi the closest Greek island is Samos, which can be reached by local ferry once or twice daily depending on the demand in September, and from Samos you can then take a ferry to one of several Greek islands. Santorini is not one of them. The closest you will get will be Naxos, which is not far from Santorini, and in September you'll be able to catch another ferry from Naxos to Santorini on a daily basis. This method of reaching Santorini may take you a couple of days depending on ferry connections. www.skyexpress is a small Cretan airlines that has in the past flown between Samos and Santorini, although I'm not sure they're still offering that route. Be advised that their baggage allowances are limited and strictly enforced as the planes are small.
I have sent an email to a travel consultant I know in Turkey to find out if there is a ferry operating currently that you can take from Istanbul to either Izmir or Kusadasi. If he has any pertinent information I will pass it on to you.
Thank you [VT member 4d6c3]!!
My friend in Turkey has responded. This is what he told me:
"Unfortunately there is no cruise between Istanbul to Izmir route to my knowledge. Denizline already stopped a long time ago. International cruises passing by those ports would not take passengers on this route only or without a full fare as far as I know.
Best advice would be to take flights from Istanbul."