The Real Deal Round-trip international airfare to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines; three nights (the first two and the last) at the Akgun Istanbul Hotel on the European side of Istanbul in the heart of the old city; one night at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Ankara; two nights each at the Peri Tower Hotel in Nevsehir and the Crowne Plaza Antalya in Antalya; one night at the Richmond Pamukkale Thermal Hotel in Pamukkale; two nights at the Hotel Fantasia De Luxe in Kusadasi; one night at the Kolin Hotel Canakkale in Canakkale; breakfast daily and 10 dinners; guided sightseeing, including tours of Istanbul, Ankara, the underground city of Derinkuyu, and the Mevlana Museum in Konya, as well as visits to the hot springs of Hierapolis, ancient streets of Ephesus, the ruins of Pergamon, and the Gallipoli battle site; entrance fees; services of a professional, English-speaking tour manager; round-trip airport-hotel transfers upon arrival and departure; transportation throughout Turkey; hotel taxes; fuel surcharges; and a $300 discount; from $1,699 per person—plus estimated airport taxes and fees of $78.
When Depart Dec. 8, 2011; add $100 for Oct. 27, Nov. 10, 24; $460 for Aug. 25; $470 for Sept. 15; $600 for July 28; $730 for June 29.
Gateways New York City; additional gateways not available with this package. Friendly Planet Travel will provide assistance with connecting flight arrangements upon request.
The Fine Print The starting rate includes a savings of $300 per person. Airport taxes and fees are an additional $78; add $70 for June 16 and Sept. 15 departures. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $439. Average group size ranges from 20–30 participants. A 90-day visa for Turkey can be purchased at the port of entry for $20 paid in cash. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book By May 4, 2011; add $300 per person for bookings made after this date.
Contact Friendly Planet Travel, 800/555-5765, friendlyplanet.com.
Why It's a Deal According to a recent search on Kayak, round-trip international airfare between New York City and Istanbul starts from $698 with taxes for travel in early December (Turkish Airlines). Add to that $216 per person, including taxes, for three nights at the Akgun Istanbul Hotel, $94 per person, including taxes, for one night at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Ankara, $120 per person, including taxes, for two nights at the Peri Tower Hotel, $93 per person, including taxes, for two nights at the Crowne Plaza Antalya, $87 per person, including taxes, for one night at the Richmond Pamukkale Thermal Hotel, $217 per person, including taxes, for two nights at the Hotel Fantasia De Luxe, $101 per person, including taxes, for one night at the Kolin Hotel Canakkale, and your total for just the airfare and accommodations is $1,626. For $151 more, this Friendly Planet Travel package includes the international airfare, a 12 nights' stay, some meals, all transportation and transfers, guided sightseeing, admission fees, services of an English-speaking professional tour manager, and all taxes and fees. Plus, if you book by the deadline, you'll save $300 per person off the regular package rate.
More Optional activities include a tour of the Topkapi Palace ($35 per person), a tour of Istanbul by night with dinner and a folklore performance ($85 per person), a performance by the whirling dervishes in Cappadocia ($50 per person), an excursion to Aspendos and Perge ($40 per person), a visit to the Duden Waterfalls ($30 per person), or a discounted tour package featuring all of the above ($210 per person). Additional nights at the Akgun Istanbul Hotel are $200 per room per night.
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