Istanbul is teeming with amazing attractions, and the trip won’t be complete without experiencing the wonderful Bosphorus cruise. The Bosphorus Strait is the waterway separating the European and Asian sides. There’s nothing more captivating than seeing the magnificent panorama before you as you ride the ferry across Istanbul.
During a Bosphorus tour, you get to see the three admirable suspension bridges connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. Bosphorus is always busy with plenty of commercial ships, passenger ferries and tourist boats. Cruising the Bosphorus waters will afford you stunning views of Istanbul’s magnificent palaces, attractive mosques and fishing villages farther out.
There are numerous vessels plying different routes at any given time. You can simply choose whatever fits your time, itinerary and budget. Here are options you can take to decide on a Bosphorus cruise.
Private Bosphorus Tours
Renting a private boat yacht is a more luxurious and laidback way to travel the Bosphorus waters. The number of people is limited so you can take in the views slowly. The personal service makes the trip more worthwhile rather than squeezed between 50-100 people on ordinary boats.
This is Istanbul’s official ferry company and they offer 3 kinds of Bosphorus cruises: short circle Bosphorus cruise, full Bosphorus cruise and full Bosphorus cruise at night. If you wish to book tickets, you can find their offices near Eminonu’s docks.
The Short Circle Bosphorus cruise is a two-hour non-stop tour and best for people who are short on time. It’s available daily during the summer season (April-October). The route will take you from Eminonu to Istinye. The cost for the cruise is 12TL per adult and half for children below 12 years.
The Full Bosphorus cruise will take at least three hours back and forth. There will be 5 stops along the way. You can opt to make a meal stop at Anadolu Kavagi harbor to enjoy some seafood lunch. The route will take you all the way to the Black Sea and back. The cost for the cruise is 25TL.
The Full Bosphorus Cruise at Night
The journey and route is the same as the full Bosphorus cruise. The difference is it’s scheduled at night. However, you’ll also get to catch the famous Istanbul Bosphorus sunset views as the boat leaves before then. It makes a bit of a 2-hour stopover at Anadolu Kavagi for passengers to enjoy a lovely seafood dinner. It leaves again at 10:30 in the evening. This type of night cruise is only limited on Saturdays in July and August. The cost for the cruise is 20TL.
Whatever season and time of day, a Bosphorus cruise will leave you enchanted with Istanbul!
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