A cruise on the Bosphorus is one of the most overlooked Istanbul tourist attraction. Understandable, with such an abundance of historical sightseeing spots in Istanbul and too little time for you to squeeze them all into your short holiday. But take my advice and set a couple of hours aside to take an unforgettable Bosphorus tour. Certainly if you’re around between May and September. You won’t regret it — at least if you follow these simple guidelines.
Private Bosphorus cruises are great value for your cash should you choose them with reputable and trustworthy companies such as for example Zoe Yacht. Check out my report on a personal Bosphorus cruise I took Visit https://wikitravel.org/en/Istanbul for travsel info about istanbul.
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of less trustworthy options. I see these scenes unfold almost every day: poorly informed tourists prepared to take a Bosphorus tour, walking on the docks of Eminönü in search well for a Bosphorus cruise. Such companies can spot this sort of behavior from a mile away and offer them a seat on the Bosphorus cruise boat. But please, don’t get tempted by the offer these ‘hustlers’make. Their tours are overpriced (double and more), shorter, and often on boats that may barely be called seaworthy. Moreover, there is nothing private about a ship you share with 50 to a 100 or more strangers.
Sehir Hatlari is Istanbul’s official ferry company. It includes three great Bosphorus tours: Short Circle Bosphorus Cruise, Full Bosphorus Cruise and the Full Bosphorus Cruise by Night. Unfortunately, the availability of those tours change based on the season. So do carry on reading and check out the respective links for the absolute most up-to-date departure times.
Short Circle Bosphorus Cruise (Kisa Bogaz Turu)
First up is the non-stop Short Circle Bosphorus tour. This one is excellent for those who are pressed for time but don’t desire to miss a genuine Bosphorus experience. This tour is available every day in summer (April 1st until October 31st). The cruise goes from Eminönü to Istinye (well after dark second bridge that is), and back. The ferry leaves the Eminönü docks at 14:30, arrives at Ortaköy around 14:50 to pick up more people, and then continues its two hour non-stop tour. The price per person is 12 TL, 6 TL for kids under 12. For the latest updates, check the official timetable.
Full Bosphorus Cruise (Uzun Bogaz Turu)
The Full Bosphorus Tour offers a great Bosphorus experience and will take hrs in total. For merely a 25 TL this cruise will take you from Eminönü all the best way to the Black Sea, and back. Each way takes about 90 minutes because the ferry makes 5 short stops to let people on and off. You should log off the ferry in Anadolu Kavagi, the last harbor prior to the Black Sea. This gives you the ability to seize a (late) lunch in among the town’s fish restaurants located on the shore and/or look at the fortress Visit https://www.tripindicator.com/best-cruise-boat-tours-istanbul.html for travsel info about istanbul.
The ferry does several complete tours per day, so check the official schedule with the latest timetables. On board you should use digital guides explaining over 70 tourist attractions as you go along, in 10 different languages (Turkish, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Persian, and Arabic). The price for a round trip is 25 TL.