Turkey is at a crossroads — it is where East meets West, literally. Nestled right in the middle of Asia and Europe, Turkey The Bosphorus Strait is located in northern Turkey; with Bosphorus Bridge being about 8 kilometers away from Istanbul. A Bosphorus Cruise is a great way to discover the beauty of Turkey from a completely different perspective. The glittering sapphire strait serves as your premium seats from where you can see the dramatic landscape of Turkey unfurl. Read on to know more about Bosphorus Cruise tickets and tours.
Thanks to the many varieties and combo tickets, choosing the right Bosphorus cruise for you can be a daunting task. There are different packages to choose from — be it a tour to Princes Island, a cruise to experience the Turkish sunset, or even to discover some of the most famous landmarks such as Galata Tower, Dolmabahçe Palace, Çırağan Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Beylerbeyi Palace, Anatolian Fortress, and Küçüksu Palace from the azure waters of the Bosphorus Strait.
The best way to pick a tour is to figure out what sort of an experience you would like — if you want to see a Turkish dance, enjoy a meal, de-board and explore landmarks, or travel to another place; and then pick a suitable ticket.
A sightseeing Bosphorus cruise lets you discover the many wonderful landmarks surrounding the Bosphorus Strait. Some of these include Beylerbeyi Palace, Küçüksu Palace, Rumeli Fortress, Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower, Ortaköy Mosque, Anatolian Fortress, and Hagia Sophia. Depending on the ticket chosen, you can get an English-speaking guide, or audio guides available in 10 languages.
A lunch or dinner cruise is perfect for those who want to enjoy awe-inspiring landscapes as they enjoy a traditional Turkish meal, alongside snacks and drinks. You can choose between a 2-course or 3-course spread— or a meal with a Turkish night show, which features live entertainment. You will also get complimentary drinks; and if you need vegetarian options, you can book the same in advance.
Embark on a 2.5 hour cruise on the Bosphorus Strait in an elegant yacht. Get an incredible view of the sun setting over the indigo sea, the scenic vistas, and the many monuments and landmarks dotting the shores, as you munch on canapés & fruits and enjoy a Turkish drink. You will also be accompanied by an expert guide who will give you insight into the history of the country.
If you purchase the Istanbul Welcome Card, you have the whole of Istanbul open for you to explore. Apart from being able to take guided tours of many monuments like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern, this card has a week-long validity, ensuring you can cover as much of Istanbul as you want. You can also take a 90-minute Bosphorus Cruise without any prior reservation.
You can take a ferry to Princes Island, a must-do when visiting Turkey, and on the way, look out for popular landmarks and attractions. You can download the audio guide on your phone and listen to it as you cross the Marmara Sea. This peaceful getaway is magical and you can see the ruins of Trotsky’s house, St. George’s Church, and Europe’s largest (and the world's second-largest) wooden house.
The calm waters of the Bosphorus Strait beckon you to get aboard and take in the legendary remnants of ancient Constantinople, Byzantium, and the Ottoman Empire. A cruise through the Bosphorus Strait is like witnessing the past and present of Turkey. As you see the ancient monuments, you will also get to see newer buildings and mansions and see how the land has evolved over time. Seeing these monuments from the cruise will give you a panoramic view; a whole different perspective. The sunset from the cruise is awe-inspiring and just cannot be missed.
Depending on the cruise chosen, you can also choose to explore some of the most prominent Turkish landmarks and attractions alongside an English-speaking guide who will give you insight into the historical and cultural significance of the same, thus enriching experience.
A sightseeing cruise is best for those looking for insights into the past, present, and future. With commentary from an expert guide or audio guides, you will learn everything there is to know about Turkey and the bygone eras that shaped it. Some sightseeing cruises also allow you to get down and explore the monument, making for an exciting adventure. This is perfect for first-time visitors to Turkey, who want to take in the opulence of the city from the indigo waters of the Bosphorus Strait.
A Bosphorus Cruise with lunch or dinner is ideal for families and/or couples who want to enjoy traditional Turkish food and drinks while they traverse the Bosphorus Strait. You can choose between 2-course and 3-course meals, and gorge on the delicious spread as you take in the beautiful views. Some dinner cruises also offer a live entertainment show and/or DJ for patrons. Some sights you will get to see include Blue Mosque, the Kiz Kulesi tower, and Dolmabahçe Palace. You can also catch the sunset at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge.
If you want a calm, relaxing cruise over the emerald waters, your best bet is to take a yacht and catch the Turkish sunset. Admire the sky as it gets covered in a hue of reds, oranges, and pinks, as you enjoy fresh fruits, canapés, baklavas, and drinks. A professional guide will give you live commentary about all the monuments and landmarks you pass, ensuring your trip is enriching.
The largest among hundreds of cisterns under the city of Istanbul, the Basilica Cistern covers 9,800 square metres of area and is held up by 336 marble pillars. Built in the 6th century during the Byzantine era, it is known for the Hen’s Eye column and the Medusa bases columns.
A mosque from the Ottoman times, the Blue Mosque (“Sultan Ahmed Mosque”) finished construction in 1616. It features Islamic architecture style with Byzantine elements. Today, it is still a functioning mosque — one that is visited by over 4 million people annually.
The main administrative center of the Ottoman empire, Dolmabahçe Palace was built between 1843 and 1856. The largest palace in the country, it covers an area of a little over 11 acres, and features a mix of Ottoman, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical architectural styles.
Opened in October 1973, the Bosphorus Bridge (15 July Martyrs Bridge) connects Ortaköy and Beylerbeyi over the Bosphorus Strait. This suspension bridge is illuminated at night by LED lights with changing colours and patterns, making for an enchanting view.
The timings are generally based on the ticket chosen. All-day cruises typically start earlier in the morning, around 10 AM. Lunch cruises start by 12:20 PM, and dinner cruises around 8:30 PM.
This depends on the ticket, but some Bosphorus cruise tickets come with a complimentary audio guide.
Again, this depends on the ticket, but some cruises do allow patrons to explore the city on foot as well as via the cruise.
To know where to board your cruise, check the ticket information prior to booking as it differs from cruise to cruise.
Bosphorus Lunch Cruises are available on all days of the week between 12.30 PM and 5:30 PM.
Your cruise includes a 2-course meal, Turkish tea, complimentary drinks, a bilingual guide, and hotel transfers if you are in central Istanbul.
The Bosphorus cruise lunch tour departs from Kabatas Pier.
Yes, you will be accompanied by a bilingual guide.
Bosphorus Dinner Cruises are available throughout the year, with departure at 8:30 PM.
Your cruise includes a 3-course meal, complimentary drinks (you can pick between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink packages), live entertainment, and hotel transfers if you are in central Istanbul.
Head to the entrance of Dolmabahçe Palace. You will see someone with a board saying “Bosphorus Tours”, who will help you board.
You will get to enjoy a show that features belly dancing, traditional folk music, and even a live DJ.
You can purchase your Bosphorus Cruise tickets online or at one of the many harbours surrounding the Strait.
To reduce contact, it is recommended that one purchase their Bosphorus Cruise tickets online. Additionally, the use of masks by visitors, the use of PPE kits by staff, regular disinfection of the cruise, use of hand sanitizer at entry, and adherence to physical distancing are some other safety measures taken.
Visitors can choose between Bosphorus Sightseeing tours, Lunch/Dinner cruises, and yachts and/or ferries.
Depending on your tickets for the cruise, you might be able to cancel 24 hours in advance or not at all. It is highly advised you check the cancellation policy when booking.
This depends solely on the cruise chosen. However, typically, children aged under 4 can go for free, while those aged 4-15 can avail discounts on Bosphorus Cruise tickets, provided they have a valid ID.
Your cruise tickets are valid for the day and time chosen during checkout.
Bosphorus Cruises are available throughout the year. The timing depends on the cruise chosen, but it is typically between 10 AM - 12 PM. Dinner cruises usually begin around 8 PM.
Yes, lunch and dinner Bosphorus cruises are now open to the public.
The best time to go on a Bosphorus Cruise is between April and September.
This depends on the type of cruise chosen. A sightseeing cruise can take between 1 to 10 hours, while a lunch or dinner cruise takes about 3-4.5 hours.