Bosphorus Cruises

Discover Istanbul Through The Bosphorus Strait

Cruises in IstanbulAbout Bosphorus Cruise

The Bosphorus: A Journey Through Time

The Bosphorus is not just a waterway that separates two continents; it is a place of legends and stories passed down through generations. According to one myth, the Bosphorus was created by the Greek goddess Hera, who was jealous of the love between Zeus and Io. She transformed Io into a heifer and sent her on a wild chase across the lands until she reached the Bosphorus, where she leaped across the waters to safety.

The Bosphorus has also been pivotal in history, from the ancient Greeks to the Ottoman Empire. The ancient Greeks who settled in the region recognized the strategic importance of the Bosphorus and grew their city of Byzantium into a powerful trading center that eventually became Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. As the Byzantine Empire fell, the Ottomans rose to power, and the Bosphorus became a vital link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. It has witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations, wars, and the growth of trade and commerce. Today, the Bosphorus remains a testament to the enduring spirit of Istanbul and its people.

Quick Guide to the Bosphorus River

Bosphorus River Cruises

Why Visit The Bosphorus Strait?

Bosphorus River Cruises
  • Breathtaking Views: The Bosphorus boasts stunning vistas and sunsets. The Bosphorus is even more magical at night, with its illuminated bridges, palaces, and mosques. Take in the beauty of both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.
  • Rich History: As a vital trade and transport hub for over millennia, the Bosphorus history is fascinating. Visit landmarks like the Rumeli Fortress, Maiden's Tower, and the historical neighborhoods of Ortakoy and Bebek.
  • The Princes' Islands: A short ferry ride from Istanbul, experience the Princes' Islands cluster of nine in the Sea of Marmara. Visitors can only explore the Islands by bike or horse-drawn carriage to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
  • Shop at the Bazaars: The Bosphorus region is home to some of Istanbul's best bazaars, such as the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. Shop for souvenirs, Turkish carpets, spices, and other traditional goods.
  • Visit the Bosphorus Villages: Visit the charming fishing villages along the Bosphorus, such as Anadolu Kavagi on the Asian side or Rumeli Kavagi on the European side. Here, you can enjoy traditional Turkish food, relax on the beach, or hike the surrounding hills.

Why is The Bosphorus Famous? Discover The Enigmas of The Bosphorus

The Bosphorus Strait is a waterway steeped in history and culture, and it has been the subject of numerous tales and legends for centuries. The mesmerizing blue waters of the strait meander through Istanbul, dividing the city into two distinct continents - Europe and Asia.

Through a historical lens, the Bosphorus Strait played a crucial role in the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, serving as a vital trade route connecting Europe and Asia. The region's architectural significance is just as captivating, with a plethora of magnificent Ottoman-era mansions and mosques that showcase Turkey's rich artistic heritage.

Furthermore, the strait's mystique is amplified by countless legends and stories passed down through generations weaving in and out of its legacy and narrative. Like the Maiden's Tower- this small islet in the middle of the strait is a testament to the region's rich history. It is said that the tower was built to protect the city from an invading Persian army. However, legend has it that a princess was locked up in the tower to protect her from a prophesied snake bite. Some locals believe that the waterway is home to a giant sea serpent, while others claim that the water has healing properties; such are the secrets of the Bosphorus.

Today, The Bosphorus Strait remains an essential trade route, and it is a vital habitat for marine life, with numerous species of fish, dolphins, and even whales. Its allure lies in its rich culture, captivating history, and enigmatic mysteries.

Uncovering The Bosphorus: A Brief History

The Bosphorus has played a crucial role in Istanbul's history for centuries. This narrow strait separates the two continents of Europe and Asia, making it a significant trade route that has witnessed countless historic events.

The Bosphorus in Antiquity: the Bosphorus played a critical role in the development of ancient civilizations. The region was inhabited by various groups, including the Greeks, Persians, and Romans, who recognized the strategic importance of controlling the waterway. The Greeks established colonies in the region, and the Persians constructed a bridge across the strait to connect the two sides. The Romans also recognized the importance of the Bosphorus and built fortresses to protect their trade routes.

The Bosphorus in Medival Times: During medieval times, the Bosphorus remained a vital trade route connecting Europe and Asia. It was an essential link between the Byzantine Empire and the rest of the world. The Byzantines built numerous castles and forts along the strait to protect their trading vessels from attacks by pirates and rival powers. Throughout the centuries, the Bosphorus has been the site of numerous historic events, from ancient battles to civilizations emerging and evolving. Its importance has never diminished, and it remains a critical waterway for international trade to this day. Its strategic location has made it a valuable asset for the community, and its legacy continues to endure today.

Plan Your Visit

Boarding Point
Bosphorus River Cruises
What are the Bosphorus Sightseeing Cruise timings?
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Sightseeing Cruise- Opens at 10:30 AM and runs every hour until 4:45 PM.
  • 2-Hour Boat Tour in Bosphorus- Pick your slot: 12 PM to 2 PM, 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM, and 7 PM to 9 PM.
  • Bosphorus Luxury Yacht Cruise with Asian Side Stopover- Opens at 10:30 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4:30 PM.
  • Istanbul in a Day Tour- Starts at 9 AM and ends at 7 PM.
  • Bosphorus Sunset Cruise- Starts at 4 PM and ends at 6:30 PM.
  • Fast Track Princes Island Round Trip- Opens at 9:45 AM and 11:45 AM
What are the Lunch Cruise timings?
  • Bosphorus Black Sea Lunch Cruise- Starts at 12.30 PM and ends at 5 PM.
  • Princes' Islands Lunch Cruise- Starts at 9:30 AM and ends at 3:30 PM.
  • Full-Day Tour of Princes Island- There are two slots, 9 AM to 6 PM and 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
What are the Dinner Cruise timings?
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Private Table- Starts at 8:30 PM and ends at 11:30 PM.
  • Bosphorus 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Oriental Show- Starts at 9 PM and ends at 12 AM
When is the best time for a Bosphorus Cruise?

The best times to visit Istanbul are from March to May and between September and November. That’s when crowds at the city’s attractions are manageable, room rates are average and daytime temperatures generally sit between 15.5°C and 21.1°C.

Bosphorus River Cruises

Where can I board my Cruise?

Most Bosphorus Cruises begin and end at Kabatas Pier.

Address: Ömer Avni, İskele Yolu, 34427 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Please refer to your tickets for more information.

Bosphorus River Cruises
  • Hagia Sophia: A world-famous former Byzantine church and Ottoman mosque, now a museum, known for its impressive architecture and historical significance.
  • Grand Bazaar: One of the world's oldest and largest covered markets, featuring over 4,000 shops selling traditional goods such as jewelry, carpets, spices, and textiles.
  • Topkapi Palace: It is a vast palace complex that served as the primary residence of Ottoman sultans for over 400 years, featuring ornate courtyards, gardens, and galleries.
  • Dolmabahçe Palace: It is a lavish 19th-century palace that served as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and later the Republic of Turkey.
  • Blue Mosque: A stunning mosque with six minarets, a grand dome, and intricate blue tiles, located in the heart of Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet district.
  • Galata Tower: A medieval tower that offers panoramic views of Istanbul's skyline and the Bosphorus Strait, with a restaurant and observation deck at the top.
Bosphorus River Cruises
  • Ali Ocakbaşı Gümüşsuyu is located at Inonu Caddesi No: 22/1 Gumussuyu Beyoglu, Istanbul and operates between 11:30 AM and 11:30 PM every day. This restaurant serves traditional Turkish cuisine with a focus on grilled meats, kebabs, and meze dishes. They also have a selection of vegetarian options, including stuffed eggplant and zucchini, as well as seafood dishes.
  • Nobu Istanbul is located at No:6 Askerocağı Caddesi The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul, Istanbul, 34357 and operates between 6 PM and 11 PM. This upscale restaurant specializes in Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, blending the flavors and ingredients of both cultures to create unique and innovative dishes. They also offer a selection of sushi and sashimi, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.
  • City Lights Bar is located at Asker Ocagi Cad. No: 1 Taksim, Istanbul 34435 and operates between 2:00 PM and 02:00 AM every day. This restaurant offers a diverse range of cuisine, including Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, and Greek dishes. They have a variety of options for vegetarians and meat lovers alike, and also boasts a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Istanbul.

Interesting Facts About the Bosphorus

Bosphorus River Cruises
  • The Bosphorus Strait is a busy and challenging waterway, with an estimated 48,000 ships passing through it annually. It is also the world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation.
  • The Bosphorus Strait is a chokepoint for the maritime transit of oil and, is a popular shipping route for oil transportation from the Caspian Sea region and Russia to areas including Asia, Western and Southern Europe.
  • The Bosphorus Strait has been the site of several naval battles throughout history, including the Battle of the Bosphorus in 1915 during World War I.
  • The Bosphorus Strait was also known as the “Strait of Constantinople” to differentiate it from the Cimmerian Bosphorus in Crimea.
  • The Bosphorus Strait has inspired many poets, writers, and artists throughout history, including Lord Byron, who described it as "the great ocean stream of Constantinople."

How to buy you Bosphorus Cruise Tickets?

Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Private Table & Live Show
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
3 hr.
Transfers Included
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Daytime or Sunset Bosphorus Sightseeing Cruise in Istanbul
Free Cancellation
Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
1 hr. 30 min.
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Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxury Yacht
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
2 hr. 30 min.
More details
Bosphorus Luxury Yacht Cruise with Asian Side Stopover (Morning or Afternoon)
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
2 hr. 30 min.
Guided Tour
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2-Hour Bosphorus Luxury Private Yacht Rental in Istanbul
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
Flexible Duration
Transfers Included
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Fast Track Princes Island Round Trip Ferry Tickets with Audio Guide
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
Flexible Duration
Audio Guide
More details

Frequently Asked Questions About the Bosphorus

What is the Bosphorus Strait?

The Bosphorus Strait is a natural waterway that separates the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Turkey.

What bodies of water does the Bosphorus connect?

The Bosphorus connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.

What is the significance of the Bosphorus Strait?

The Bosphorus has been an important waterway for more than 2,500 years, serving as a vital trade route between Europe and Asia.

What is the current speed of the Bosphorus Strait?

The Bosphorus Strait has a strong current that flows from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, with an average speed of 1-2 knots.

What are some notable landmarks along the Bosphorus?

Some of the notable landmarks along the Bosphorus include the Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Fortress, and Maiden's Tower.

How many ships pass through the Bosphorus every year?

An estimated 48,000 vessels pass through the Bosphorus Strait every year, making it one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

What is the marine life like in the Bosphorus?

The Bosphorus Strait is home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, seals, and several species of fish.

What are some traditional Turkish dishes served along the Bosphorus?

Traditional Turkish dishes served along the Bosphorus include grilled meats, kebabs, meze dishes, and seafood.

What is the history of the Bosphorus Strait?

The Bosphorus Strait has a rich history dating back thousands of years and has been the site of several naval battles throughout history.

What is the best time to visit the Bosphorus?

The best time to visit the Bosphorus depends on personal preference, but many people enjoy visiting in the spring or fall when the weather is mild.

What is the weather like along the Bosphorus?

The weather along the Bosphorus can vary depending on the season, but summers are typically hot and humid, while winters can be cold and rainy.