Q: My friends have already booked there Anzac Day Tours and I would now like to join them. Is this possible?
A. Providing you let us know at time of booking that you wish to join your friends or be part of a group then we will do our best to accommodate you. However if you make a booking close to Anzac Day then we may have already allocated hotels and bus groups. Once again we will do our best to accommodate you but we cannot make any promises but please ask so we can check it out for you.
Q. Do the prices quoted include Entrance Fees to sites visited and is their any local payment component for these tours?
A. There is no local payment that needs to be paid for these tours and all our tours include entrance fees to sites outlined in the itineraries. When comparing the prices of tours across different companies it is worth making sure that entrance fees are included as they can mount up especially on longer tours and what seems like a good price at face value may not really be the case. For example in our 16 Day Anzac Tour the entrance fees make up approx £90 of the overall tour price.
Q: What time do I need to arrive on the starting day of my tour?
A. The first day of all of our tours except the 2 day tour is an arrival day and you are therefore free to arrive at anytime throughout that day. If your tour starts on the 21st April then please read below regarding ‘Welcome Drinks’ for these tours that take place in the evening. If your tour starts on the 22nd April and you wish to take part in the Bosphorus Cruise or Gala Dinner then please read the questions below which relate to that.
Q. I see that you have ‘Welcome Drinks’ in Istanbul on the 21st April for tours that start on that day (6 days, 8 days, 16 day tours). Will I arrive early enough to attend these?
A. If arriving on the 21st April and wish to attend these Welcome Drinks then we recommend that you aim to arrive at the airport by about 4pm as this will ensure you have enough time to get to the hotel, get checked in, meet with your guide and get ready for the event. This event is a chance for you to meet your guide and others in your group but if you cannot get flights it is not essential that you are there for it.
Q. I want to attend the Gala Dinner on the 22nd April in Istanbul but I am on a tour starting that day and I want to ensure I arrive in time to attend. What time would you suggest I aim to be in Istanbul in order to ensure I can?
A. If arriving on the 22nd April and wish to attend the Gala Dinner then we recommend that you aim to arrive at the airport by about 4pm if you are flying as this will ensure you have enough time to get to the hotel, get checked in and ready for the event. If making your own way to the hotel then we suggest being there no later than 6:30pm.
Q. I am interested in going on the Bosphorous Cruise and attending the Gala Dinner, what time do they start and will I arrive in enough time to attend these?
A. On the 22nd April we will pick people up from hotels for the Bosphorus Cruise at 2:15pm and the Gala Dinner will commence at 7.15pm that evening. You can easily attend both of these but if you wish to attend the Bosphorus Cruise and you are arriving on the 22nd then you will need to arrive early. Those people on tours starting on the 21st April and who have the Istanbul City Tour on the 22nd will be finished in time to go on the Bosphorus Cruise as well.
Q. I am booked on the 2 Day Anzac Tour and want to know where the pick up and drop off points are in Istanbul.
A. The 2 Day Anzac Tour starts on the 24th April and all customers need to meet at 6:30am at the Samyeli Travel meeting point outside the entrance to Haghia Sophia in Istanbul. Haghia Sophia is in the Sultanahmet Area and adjacent to the Blue Mosque. Please look out for the Samyeli Travel signs once you arrive.
This point is also where you will be dropped off at the conclusion of the tour on the evening of the 25th April. 2 Day Anzac Tour customers are responsible for making their own way to and from the meeting points.
Q: I am travelling alone and was wondering if you have many people who travel alone on your tours? Also what are my options for accommodation?
A: Every year we have many people (both male and female) who travel alone on our tours and it is a great way to meet new people. In regards to accommodation you can either pay more for a single room on your own or if you do not mind we can match you up with someone else who is travelling on their own (same gender) and put you in a twin or triple room for the lower rate. Please note that this is subject to availability.
Q: Do I need a Visa to visit Turkey?
A: It depends on what passport that you are travelling to Turkey on. New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa and can go straight to passport control. Other passport holders are required to purchase a visa from the kiosk near passport control before proceeding through.
PLEASE NOTE: If you do need a visa then please make sure you look for the visa kiosk first before going to passport control. Unfortunately this is not always clear once arriving so do not get into the passport control line first. The Visa window has all the prices for visas listed on the front of it so should be clear. Visas need to be paid for in Cash and can be paid for in Euro, Sterling, US Dollars or the local currency.
The following site has more information on visas:
Q. How many people will be on my tour?
A. It depends on the number of people on your particular tour but a group will be no larger than 40 people.
Q: Which currency do I need for Turkey and do I need to Exchange Money before leaving home?
A. The most common currency in Turkey is the TL (Turkish Lira) although other currencies are accepted in some shops and restaurants. We recommend for ease that you use the local currency when paying in cash but you can purchase many things on credit cards also. We advise all our passengers to carry some cash on them at all times for small purchases and paying for public toilets etc. At Ataturk International Airport when you arrive there are a number of ATM machines that can be used with cards that are set up to be used overseas. You may like to check with your bank before leaving home if your card is ready for international use.
Q. Do we need to give our guides and driver a tip at the end of the tour?
A. Tipping is a big part of life in Turkey and the cost of your tour does not include any tips or displays of gratitude towards guides and coach drivers. If you have enjoyed your tour and the efforts of these people then please feel free to give them a tip. The amount is entirely up to you and usually one person will collect these on behalf of the people in your group.
Q: I notice that some of your tours stay in Edremit away from Gallipoli prior to Anzac Day. Why is this?
A: It is difficult to get good quality accommodation close to the Gallipoli region and as many of our tours visit the battlefields on the 23rd April we want to ensure that you have decent accommodation to stay at and relax prior to the overnight stay at Anzac Cove on the 24th. Very few companies who run Anzac Day Tours stay close to the Gallipoli area unless they are offering a budget hotel/hostel package. The accommodation we use in Edremit is far superior to anything else we can find in the Gallipoli/Cannakale area.
Q. If I want to arrive in Istanbul earlier than my tour starts or stay later after the tour finishes can I arrange accommodation with your company?
A. We can arrange both pre and post accommodation at our hotels in Istanbul and in Kusadasi (6 Day Kusadasi Tour and 8 Day Bravo) so if you would like to arrive early or stay later then please let us know and we can arrange that for you. It is best you let us know at time of booking but if you decide after booking then this can still be arranged subject to availability. Please do not arrive early without telling us and expect accommodation to be available because we cannot guarantee that. We can also arrange arrival airport transfers for our customers booking pre-tour accommodation (Please see section below regarding Airport Transfers)
Q. I have heard that it is common to leave your passports behind reception at hotels in Turkey. Is this really the case and is it safe to do so?
A. By law, hotels are required to register your details with the authorities and it is therefore common place to leave your passport with reception and it can be collected either on departure or once this registration has been done. This is for your security and your passports are kept safe with reception staff so there is no need to worry.
Transport & Travelling
Q: I have heard from friends that the ferry crossings at Gallipoli can sometimes be very crowded. Will this affect travelling times and is there any risk of us missing the Anzac Day Commemorations?
A. The ferry crossings between Eceabat (Gallipoli Peninsula) and Canakkale (Mainland) can be very busy during the Anzac Day period. Unfortunately our travelling times are dependent on the ferry running properly and subject to the number of buses trying to cross so therefore times given are best estimates. We ensure that on the night of the 24th we leave with ample time to spare so we can get to the ferry early. We do our best to ensure all times quoted in itineraries are accurate but due to this being a busy time delays are sometimes unavoidable.
Q: Do you have toilets on your buses and are there regular toilet stops during long journeys?
A: Unfortunately it is not common to have toilets on buses in Turkey so it is very hard for us to provide. However we will have regular stops along the way so all passengers can use toilet facilities.
Q. For those tours that arrive back in Istanbul on the evening of the 25th April, what time can we expect to arrive there?
A. The arrival time back in Istanbul will vary depending on how busy the Gallipoli Peninsula is and the traffic back to Istanbul. Generally you can expect to arrive back to Istanbul between 8pm and 11pm.
Q. How far away are the Istanbul hotels from the airport in Istanbul?
A. There are two international airports in Istanbul (Istanbul Ataturk Airport IST and Sabiha Gokcen Airport SAW)
-Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) is located on the European side of Istanbul and 15 km away from our hotels and the old city center Sultanahmet Area. Most major international flights arrive at Ataturk Airport.
-Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) is located on the Asian side of Istanbul and 0 km away from our hotels and the old city center Sultanahmet Area. Sabiha Gokcen Airport is used by mainly domestic flights and budget airlines such as Easy Jet and Pegasus Airlines.
Q: Do you operate transfers back to the airport at the end of the tours?
A. At the conclusion of your tour in Istanbul you can make your own way to the airport using either taxi or public transport or you can use our Optional Departure Transfer Service.
On the 26th and 27th of April we have departure transfers available to Ataturk Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport. In order to arrange an airport transfer for these dates then please ensure we have your departure flight details by no later than the 7th April 2012.
Departure Airport Transfers cost a set price of £20 per person to Sabiha Gokcen Airport and £10 to Ataturk Airport. Departures will be at set times from your hotel and you will be advised by your guide of the pick up time that best meets your flight departure time. These can be paid in cash in the transfer coach on the way to the airport.
Q: What if I am arriving by another form of transport other than air. How do I get to my hotel and meet my tour?
A. If arriving in Istanbul by train, bus, ferry or car then you will need to make your own way to the Hotel to meet your tour. You will be provided with the Hotel name and address in early April so you can easily travel by taxi or metro from any point of entry to the hotel. Likewise if you are departing Istanbul by any means other than flying then you will need to make your way to the relevant port/station at the completion of your tour but your guide can assist you in ordering a taxi or give directions via the metro system.
Anzac Day in Gallipoli and the Overnight Stay
Q. Where do we stay on the night of the 24th April before the Dawn Service?
A: We arrive at Gallipoli on the evening of the 24th and spend the night at Anzac Cove. There is temporary seating and a grassed area that you can sit on. Unfortunately every year people take up more room than they need to by either lying on the grass or over a number of seats in the seating area. The main organisers from the NZ, Australian & Turkish Governments do all they can to get people to move and make room for those arriving but we suggest that you should not be shy in asking one of your fellow countrymen to sit up or take up less room. Unfortunately seating and organisation at Anzac Cove and the other memorials is outside the control of Samyeli Travel and other tour companies and we are not allocated any specific areas for seating.
We strongly suggest you take warm clothes and maybe even a sleeping bag and blanket as a minimum. Once you arrive at Anzac Cove you will not have access to your luggage on the bus so you may like to take a small pack or bag with you with everything you will need until you can access your bags again in Eceabat/Istanbul or Edremit depending which tour you are on.
There are ample toilet and food/beverage facilities at Anzac Cove and near the Australian and New Zealand Memorials.
Q. Following the Dawn Service at Anzac Cove how do we get to the rest of the services at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair?
A. The Dawn Service is followed by the Australian service at Lone Pine, the Turkish service at 57th Regiment and the New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair. The timings for these change each year but are published closer to the time and your guide will inform you of these times. The only way to get to each service is to walk but there are shuttles available for elderly and disabled visitors to the area and if you wish to use these then please let your guide know so they can inform the relevant people and let you know where to access these services. We recommend that after the Dawn Service that you begin walking as soon as possible to the other services and that New Zealanders wanting to get a good spot at Chunuk Bair head straight there as space is very limited in that area and it is approx a 1.15min walk from Anzac Cove to Chunuk Bair.
Q. How will we get back to our buses at the end of the day at Gallipoli?
A. We have two pick up points for collecting customers. The first is at Lone Pine and the second is at Chunuk Bair. You will need to look out for our staff at our meeting point at both these places and make sure you are ready at the time they say. All the coaches from all tour companies will make their way up to the two pick up points in the order in which they arrived the night before and there is a very short time to get people on the buses. We ask people to be patient during this time as the timing of buses is completely out of our control.
Anzac Day Services Gallipoli Turkey 2012
The following information has been prepared to assist our Samyeli Travel customers planning to attend the ANZAC Day services at Gallipoli. We are sure that your visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula will be a memorable one. However, it is important for our ANZAC Day tour members to understand that limited facilities are available at the commemorative sites.
ANZAC Day commemorative services are held within the Gallipoli Historical National Park. The Park is subject to Turkish governmental regulations in keeping with its status as a National Park. The Dawn Service is held at the ANZAC Commemorative Site located within the ANZAC area.
Anzac Day commemorations Anzac Day services on the Gallipoli Peninsula are conducted by Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and France. In 2012 services will be held on Tuesday 24thApril and Wednesday 25th April and liste below;
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
09:00-10:50 Turkish International Service, Mehmetçik Abidesi
11:15-11:40 French Memorial Service, Morto Bay
12:00-12:25 Commonwealth Memorial Service, Cape Helles
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
05:30-06:15 Dawn Service, Anzac Commemorative Site, North Beach
10:00-10:45 Australian Memorial Service, Lone Pine
11:15-12:00 Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial Service, Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial
12:30-13:15 New Zealand Memorial Service, Chunuk Bair
PREPARING TO ATTEND THE ANZAC DAY COMMEMORATIONS: To attend the services you can expect to walk up to 8 kms on uneven surfaces. The walk from the Dawn Service to Lone Pine where the Australian service is held is approximately 3 kms and includes a section of 1.5 kms of uneven dirt surface with a steep incline. The walk from Lone Pine to Chunuk Bair where the New Zealand service is held is 3.2 kms up a steep bitumen surfaced road.
WHAT TO EXPECT
* All commemorative services are held in a National Park
* You will arrive in the late afternoon or at night when it may be extremely cold and windy, (it may rain)
* The weather during the day may be warm and windy, (it may rain)
* You can expect to be on site, exposed to the elements, for between 12 and 24 hours
* There is no shelter at any of the commemorative sites or within the ANZAC area
* Warm and wet weather protective clothing, as well as a hat/cap and sunscreen are necessary
* You will walk considerable distances from the time of your arrival to attend the services until your departure
* You must have a moderate level of fitness and mobility to walk these distances
* Food and refreshments are available for purchase from the Turkish food sellers on site
* You may bring in your own food
* Alcohol is NOT allowed at the commemorations and will be confiscated
* Limited basic facilities including toilets, lighting and non-drinking water are brought in to the commemorative sites
* Swimming in the waters off the ANZAC area is prohibited
* Wet weather jacket and pants
* Warm blanket
* Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes
* Warm, thermal clothing, jacket, beanie, hat or cap, gloves, scarf
* Food / snacks
* Drinking water
* Prescription medications (if necessary)
* A small day pack may be useful to carry these items.
PLEASE DO NOT BRING:
(The following items are prohibited in the commemorative areas)
* Large backpacks
* Camping equipment
* Weapons or sharp objects
* Flammable liquids
* Alcohol Intoxicated persons will be refused entry
These items MUST be left on our tour coach. All visitors to the commemorative services are screened on entry to the sites, and all bags are searched
The walk from the Dawn Service to Lone Pine where the Australian service is held is approximately 3 km and includes a section of 1.5 kms of uneven dirt surface with a very steep incline. The walk from Lone Pine to Chunuk Bair where the New Zealand service is held is 3.2kms up a steep bitumen surfaced road.
GETTING THERE: Several kilometres from the ANZAC Commemorative Site, our tour coaches and customers are welcomed by a member of the visitor services team and issued with coach identification information – a coach identification number and individual tags for each passenger with their coach number on it.
Our tour coaches set down our customers at Beach Cemetery, which is about one kilometer (15 minutes walk on a graded dirt road) from the ANZAC Commemorative Site where the Dawn Service is held. You will pass through a security screening point before entering the site, then walk approximately 0.5 kilometer to the ceremonial area.
When you disembark from our Samyeli Travel coach, please ensure you have everything you will need during the evening and next day, including medication. To assist with security screening we suggest that keys, phones and coins are placed in your day pack or bag.
You will not be able to go back to your coach if you forget anything or to return items that are prohibited on site. Our coaches will depart the set down area after they have disembarked passengers and will not return to collect passengers until after all commemorative services are completed on the afternoon of 25th April.
Seating at the commemorative sites is available on grassed areas and in stands. Seating cannot be reserved. Once open on 24th April, the ANZAC Commemorative Site fills quickly. People may end up sitting very close to each other and, if the site reaches capacity, people will be asked to stand. Large groups who arrive late may not be able to find room to be seated as a group and should be prepared to split up. Therefore we will try to be on the spot as early as possible.
WEATHER: The weather in April can be warm during the day and extremely cold overnight; temperatures may be below -0- degrees celsius. Rain and very cold winds are possible. Our customers should ensure they are adequately equipped for these extremes by ensuring that they We strongly suggest you take warm clothes and maybe even a sleeping bag and blanket as a minimum
There is no shelter at any of the commemorative sites and our customers will be exposed to the weather for the entire period they are on site, which can be up to 24 hours. Large crowds, limited public utilities, and traffic and security arrangements can result in long waiting periods.
GETTING ABOUT ON THE DAY: Each of the commemorative services is open to the public. Those attending the Dawn Service at the ANZAC Commemorative Site may go on to attend the Australian Service at Lone Pine, the Turkish 57th Regiment Service at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial or the New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair.
However, due to the walking distances and terrain between the commemorative sites and the number of visitors walking to each service it may not be possible to attend all four services.
DAWN SERVICE TO LONE PINE: After completion of the Dawn Service visitors walk along the ANZAC Cove Road and up Artillery Road to Lone Pine Cemetery for the Australian Memorial Service. This 3.1 kms walk takes visitors past the Ari Burnu, Shrapnel Valley and Beach Cemeteries. Shortly after Beach Cemetery, the route follows Artillery Road inland as it slopes uphill past Shell Green Cemetery to Lone Pine. Artillery Road is a dirt road and is steep and uneven in places. In wet weather the road can be extremely difficult to walk. The route is well signposted.
LONE PINE TO 57th REGIMENT MEMORIAL
After the conclusion of the service at Lone Pine, there is a short time to walk from Lone Pine to the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial service, a distance of 1.2 kms along an uphill bitumen road. The Turkish service starts thirty minutes after the conclusion of the Lone Pine service.
LONE PINE TO CUNUK BAIR: The route slopes uphill past the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial and is approximately 3.3 kms. As you walk to Chunuk Bair, please respect the Turkish service in progress at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial. The walking time between Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.
SITE INFORMATION: Seating: Temporary tiered seating is installed at the ANZAC Commemorative Site, Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair for the ANZAC Day services. Small areas of reserved seating are set aside for the official party and people requiring special assistance. Seating can not be reserved for our tour groups. There are no sheltered areas at any of the commemorative sites.
Visitors are not allowed to lean against or have items touching any headstones in the commemorative sites.
TOILETS: Permanent toilets are only available at the Kabatepe Museum, which is some distance from the commemorative sites. Temporary chemical toilets and hand washing facilities are available on 24th and 25th April at the ANZAC Commemorative Site, Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. The water at these locations is not potable and must not be used as drinking water.
WATER AND POWER: There is no running water, power or lighting except for that in use for the services. Bottled water is available for purchase from Turkish vendors at each of the commemorative sites.
REFRESHMENTS: Local Turkish food and drink vendors sell limited quantities of their products within the Gallipoli Park. Consuming alcohol within the National Park is not permitted. The ban on alcohol is strictly enforced – alcohol brought on site will be confiscated and intoxicated people will be denied entry.
RUBBISH: Rubbish disposal facilities are provided and visitors are asked to dispose of rubbish thoughtfully or, where possible, take rubbish with them. All visitors to the Dawn Service are provided with a biodegradable rubbish bag (as part of an information kit). Additional rubbish bags are available from event staff.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: The Australian and New Zealand Embassies in Ankara and the Australian Consulate in Canakkale work closely with Turkish authorities who are responsible for security for the commemorations.
Security and crowd management measures include a ban on lighting fires, restrictions on entry points, individual searches and site security. Crowd control barriers are used as a means of directing public access and protecting the surrounding environment.
You should follow instructions issued by Turkish security personnel. Allow sufficient time to travel between the commemorative sites including time to pass through each site’s security checkpoint.
On passing the security checkpoint at the ANZAC Commemorative Site, all visitors will be given a security wristband. This wristband MUST be worn on the wrist until you leave the Gallipoli Historical National Park at the conclusion of the services.
Security measures may be in place several days in advance of the services. Certain areas of the ANZAC Commemorative Site (including the beach and ceremonial area) will be inaccessible to members the public for extended periods on 24th April and 25th April.
* See What NOT to bring for prohibited items
* Intoxicated persons will be denied entry
* Visitors are reminded of the very strict Turkish penalties for the possession of drugs
* Swimming in the waters off the ANZAC area is prohibited
* Lighting fires in the National Park is prohibited
Visitors are asked not to stand or sit on the road through the ANZAC Commemorative Site or other fenced movement corridors. These areas should be kept clear to provide a movement corridor through the site and for emergency access.
Public announcements, including messages on the large screens, will provide instructions in the event of an incident.
While safety lighting is installed at the ANZAC Commemorative Site for the evening of 24th April and for the Dawn Service, visitors may wish to bring torches.
FIRST AID: Basic first aid facilities are available from 3:00 p.m. on 24th April and during the day on 25th April.
TRAFFIC AND CROWD MANAGEMENT: Management of traffic on the Gallipoli Peninsula is the responsibility of the Turkish Gendarme. The number of large vehicles on the narrow roads of the Gallipoli Peninsula during 24th and 25th April means that traffic restrictions must be strictly enforced.
Our tour coaches are stopped one kilometer from the site at the Beach Cemetery passenger set down point and visitors will be required to walk from there to the ANZAC Commemorative Site. Our tour coaches will not commence the collection of passengers until after the conclusion of the Chunuk Bair service at approximately 1:15 p.m. on 25th April. Our tour coaches will collect passengers only from the commemorative sites. It may take until 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. for all tour coaches to pick up their passengers depends on number of coaches.
BE PREPARED: People with special needs are asked to ensure they are prepared to spend a night out in the cold and bring warm clothing, coat, gloves, hat, scarf and a blanket as a minimum. We strongly suggest you take warm clothes and maybe even a sleeping bag and blanket as a minimum. Once you arrive at Anzac Cove you will not have access to your luggage on the bus so you may like to take a small pack or bag with you with everything you will need until you can access your bags again in Eceabat/Istanbul or Edremit depending which tour you are on.