Legendary Turkey

From Istanbul, magnificent “Empress of the World,” to ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, and the dramatic Turquoise Coast where you board gulet yachts for a distinctive four-night “Blue Voyage,” Turkey offers an unparalleled 15-day small-group experience.  Discover ancient Konya and the unique Cappadocia region with an optional 5-day/4-night post-tour extension. 

Dates
May 13 - May 27, 2022  (15 Days)
Cost
$5,092 per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO
For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Friday, May 13
Depart U.S. for Istanbul, Turkey
Saturday, May 14
Istanbul

We arrive in Turkey’s cultural and spiritual heart today and transfer to our hotel located near Taksim Square, the heart of modern Istanbul. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned; on our own we can explore the area surrounding our hotel or simply relax. Dinner tonight is on our own.
Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus

Sunday, May 15
Istanbul

We get our first real taste of this city straddling two continents today as we set out on a walking tour along lively pedestrian Istiklal Street, lined with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and late Ottoman-era buildings. We see the acclaimed mosaics and frescoes at Chora Church (now Kariye Museum) then take a panoramic drive along Istanbul’s Old City walls. Then we visit intimate Rustem Pasha Mosque, with its exquisite Iznik tiles, followed by the renowned Spice Market. After lunch on our own here, we take a private cruise on the Bosphorus, the waterway that separates Europe from Asia. This evening we take a short walk to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner of traditional Turkish fare. Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus (B,D)

Monday, May 16
Istanbul

Today we encounter Old Istanbul, beginning with the ancient Roman Hippodrome, the 3,500-year-old obelisk brought from Egypt in 390 CE. Next, we visit the Blue Mosque, with its 20,000 blue Iznik tiles and signature six minarets. We then visit the renowned Museum of Turkish & Islamic Art, housing priceless artifacts from the 8th to 20th centuries. After lunch at a local restaurant, we continue on to Hagia Sophia, the 6th-century church that was Christendom’s most important before becoming a mosque in the 15th century. Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus (B,L)

Tuesday, May 17
Istanbul

bul This morning we tour splendid Topkapi, for 400 years the palace of Ottoman sultans that today ranks among the world’s richest museums. We continue on to the Basilica Cistern, the marble-columned underground chamber that provided water to Istanbul in antiquity. Our next stop is the Grand Bazaar, the covered market housing some 5,000 shops along 60 “streets.” The remainder of the day and evening is free for independent exploration. Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus (B)

Wednesday, May 18
Istanbul/Gallipoli/Troy/Assos

Leaving Istanbul this morning, we travel to the northern Aegean Coast for a brief visit to Gallipoli, the haunting site of 31 Allied cemeteries from World War I. Then we ferry across the Dardanelles to Troy, once believed to exist only in Homer’s epic poem until the present site was discovered in the 1870s. After touring here we continue south to Behramkale, ancient Assos, where we spend the night. Assos Eden Gardens (B,L,D)

Thursday, May 19
Assos/Pergamum/Kusadasi

Today we explore one of Turkey’s most spectacular ancient sites: windswept Pergamum, a major power in the 3rd and 2nd centuries bce, with a wealth of Hellenistic ruins. Then we continue on to Kusadasi. Charisma Hotel (B,L,D)

Friday, May 20
Kusadasi/Ephesus

Few ancient sites compare to Ephesus, the world’s best-preserved classical city which we explore today. Dating to at least 1300 bce, Ephesus was Asia Minor’s largest metropolis and principal port. Our tour includes the Terrace Houses, the recently restored “houses of the rich,” with their outstanding mosaic floors and frescoed walls. Then we enjoy lunch in the rustic village of Sirince. Charisma Hotel (B,L)

Saturday, May 21
Kusadasi/Ephesus

We return to Ephesus to visit the Basilica of St. John, the 6th-century ruins that stand over what is believed to be the burial site of John the Apostle. Then we learn about Ephesus through the ages, as we tour the Ephesus Museum, housing treasures from the archaeological site. After lunch together, we stop at a carpet factory to watch a demonstration of this age-old craft. Charisma Hotel (B,L,D)

Sunday, May 22
Kusadasi/Fethiye

En route to Fethiye today, we stop in Dalyan, where we board a small skiff for a trip through an intriguing maze of channels. Reaching the Lake of Koycegiz we see our first Lycian rock-cut tombs on the cliffs above. Dating to 350 BCE, the tombs number more than one thousand along Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Then we continue our journey to the port town of Fethiye, known for its beautiful natural harbor. Alesta Yacht Hotel  (B,L,D)

Monday, May 23
Fethiye/Cruising

This morning we coach to the Greek “ghost town” of Kayaköy, abandoned after WWI and now preserved as a historical monument. Then we board a private yacht for our Turquoise Coast “Blue Voyage” cruise along the stunning coastline that Antony is said to have given to Cleopatra as a wedding gift. We visit secluded coves (including Aquarium Cove, with its waters of brilliant blue and green), have the opportunity to swim and snorkel and enjoy lunch on board. Alesta Yacht Hotel  (B,L,D)

Tuesday, May 24
Fethiye/Antalya

We set out this morning on a scenic drive along the coastal road to Antalya, stopping along the way in Demre (ancient Myra). Here we visit the 6th-century Church of St. Nicholas, known for its impressive frescoes, its significance to both Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, and as its namesake’s inspiration for Santa Claus. Then we travel on to the evocative seaside ruins of Phaselis, the ancient Greek and Roman port city now a national park. Following our visit here, we continue on to Turkey’s premier resort town of Antalya. Akra Barut (B,L,D)

Wednesday, May 25
Antalya

We discover Antalya’s charming old city (Kaleici) on a morning walking tour through its narrow streets, past historic buildings, mosques, and parks. After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit Antalya’s acclaimed Archaeological Museum, housing priceless artifacts unearthed from sites throughout the region.  Akra Barut (B,L)

Thursday, May 26
Antalya/Perge

This morning we tour the ruins at Perge, an ancient Greek city once among the world’s prettiest and most prosperous. Then we return to Antalya for a walking tour of its charming Old Town, including Hadrian’s Gate and the lovely Yivli Minare (Fluted Minaret). Tonight we gather for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Akra Barut (B,D)

Friday, May 27
Depart for U.S.

This morning we board an early flight for our return to the United States. (B)

Map
Cappadocia & Konya: May 27-31

Visit ancient Konya and explore in-depth the bizarre rock formations and underground cities of Cappadocia and the Goreme Valley on a 5-day/4-night extension.

Main Program
Departing from:
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago: $5,092
Denver, Seattle, Portland: $5,292
New York, Boston, Washinton D.C: $4,792

Please call if your city is not listed. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $397, which are subject to change until final payment is made. All tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Land Only: $3,895 (transfers not included)

Single Room Supplement: $795 

Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight:
Business Class - $3,995 per person (upgrades are subject to availability and pricing is subject to change). Upgrade prices are in addition to the costs above. Please inquire if your city isn't listed.

Included
Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; 13 nights’ accommodations: 9 nights in Deluxe and First Class hotels; 3 nights aboard privately chartered gulet yachts; 30 meals: 13 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners; Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; Educational lectures;  Commonwealth Club representative at 15 guests; Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip; Luggage handling for one bag per person; Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.

Not Included
Airfare when purchasing a Land Only package; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per traveler, per day); and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.

Cappadocia & Konya Extension

Cost: $895, per person, based on double occupancy

Single room supplement: $175

Included:
Private motorcoach transportation Antalya/Konya/Cappadocia; 4 nights’ accommodations; 11 meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners; Extensive included sightseeing: Meviana (Whirling Dervish) Museum in Konya, rock churches of Goreme Valley (including open-air museum), Kaymakli’s underground city, Zelve Valley, Avanos and Troglodyte villages of Cavusin and Uchisar; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director;  Gratuities for dining room servers, hotel porters, and all drivers.

What to Expect

This is a moderately active tour and participants must be able to keep up with an active group of travelers. For the safety and enjoyment of each participant and the group, participants must be able to:
• Walk on average 2-3 miles at a steady pace. Guest will be walking in cities and towns and should be able to walk at a steady pace during full days of site seeing.
• Be able to walk on cobblestone, gravel, and pavement. Some walking excursions require good balance as you walk stairs and uneven pavement.
• Stand for up to approximately 2 hours at a time each day.
• Walk up and down stairs without handrails, without the assistance of another person.
• Get off and on tour vehicles without assistance.

Hear from our expert local guide and tour director. Learn from guest speakers along the way.

Cancellations, Refunds and Changes
If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges:

Cancel 95 days or more before departure: full refund
Cancel 94-65 days before departure: 50% of tour price
Cancel 64-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price
Cancel 29-0 days before departure: No refund.

If a guest makes any changes to their reservation within 94 and 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure. Upon reservation, you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415) 597-6720.

Insurance
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website

Responsibility
The liability of the Commonwealth Club, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The Commonwealth Club and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.

Health and Medical Issues 
We request that you be in good health to participate in this tour. There is a considerable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches and all boats on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases, you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that our itineraries cannot accommodate wheelchairs. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited and the Commonwealth Club assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.

Air Transportation – Important Information
Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities as shown and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct con­nection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignments on your international flight are usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own flight arrangements for an alumni tour and not use those provided by the tour company, we recommend that you do not do so until making your final payment to the tour company confirming details of your trip’s scheduled departure. However, if you choose to make your own flight arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes in this tour.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols: The well-being of our guests and staff members on tour will continue to be our highest priority. To maintain a healthy environment for travel, we will be establishing and adhering to a detailed set of health and safety protocols for all facets of your tour. We are committed to following the guidelines of the State Department, CDC, WHO, and authorities of respective countries regarding travel to a particular destination. Detailed protocols for this tour, based on conditions at the time, will be provided approximately 115 days prior to departure.

Registration
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40
Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. CST #2077973-40