Private Jewish Heritage Of Istanbul

The Jewish community in Istanbul has a fascinating history, and you'll learn all about it on this exclusive private tour.

Private Jewish Heritage of Istanbul

Currently, only two percent of Istanbul's population is Jewish. The importance of their cultural heritage is much larger, and this Istanbul private tour is the perfect opportunity to learn all about it. Visit historic locations, observe important monuments, and stop at a fascinating museum. This private tour of Istanbul's Jewish history is ideal for history lovers, photographers, and anyone searching for a captivating cultural experience. Designed specifically to be enjoyed privately, this Istanbul tour offers a truly personalized day in Turkey.

Begin your Istanbul private tour with a short comfortable drive to Balat, a traditional Jewish quarter in Istanbul's Faith district. Once there, you'll observe the Ahrida Synagogue, the oldest of Istanbul's synagogues. Dating back to the 15th century, the striking building has an impressive Baroque architectural design. Another highlight in Balat is the Or-Ayahim Hospital, a beautiful historic landmark you'll also observe from the outside.

Continue your Istanbul private tour to Galata, a historic neighborhood on the northern shore of the Golden Horn. In the 11th century, this scenic quarter housed Constantinople's Jewish community, functioning today as home to several famous landmarks. First is the Neva Shalom Synagogue, whose name means "Oasis of Peace." Built to accommodate an increasing Jewish population in the late 1930s, the synagogue was built over the ruins of a former Jewish primary school. The second notable highlight is the Ashkenazi Synagogue, currently the only active Ashkenazi synagogue open to visits and prayers in Istanbul.

The last stop on your Istanbul private tour is The 500 Year Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews. This cultural center was built over the grounds of a former synagogue in the 19th century to inform people about Jewish traditions and history in Turkey. This picturesque museum is divided into three sections. The main section highlights Jewish culture and its integration with Turkish society. Paintings, photographs, and other stunning works of Jewish art can be seen in the Gallery section. Finally, the ethnography section contains articles and artifacts depicting Jewish traditions from a chronologically historical perspective.

Your Istanbul private tour of Istanbul's Jewish heritage ends with a comfortable drive back to your port. Please note: the standard of dress throughout Turkey is conservative. Modest clothing covering your shoulders and knees is required. Short shorts and sleeveless shirts (for both men and women) are not acceptable. All facilities except for the museum may only be viewed from outside.

Starting At
 
Tour Type
Private
 
Group Size
Private
 
Activity Type(s)
Cultural, Scenic
 
Tour Duration
4 Hours
 
Activity Level
Easy
 
Tour Leaves From
Cruise Ship Terminal
 
Food/Beverage Provided
Not Included. Beverages and snacks are available for purchase.
 
Special Instructions
Comfortable lightweight seasonal clothing. Good quality sunglasses are advised, and photo-chromatic lenses for those who wear spectacles. Please be aware that the standard of dress throughout Turkey is conservative. We recommend modest clothing to respect this fact; clothing that covers your shoulders and knees is required. Please note that short shorts for both men and women are not acceptable nor are tank or singlet tops.
 
Restrictions
Must be able to get in/out of vehicle and walk about 1 mile. Not wheelchair accessible.
Location Overview
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About Shore Excursions Group
ABOUT US
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.

We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.

Our Approach
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.

Our Tours
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.

Our People
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.

Our Owners
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.

Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.

Michael Bonner
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.

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Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.