You have a variety of ways to enjoy
Don't let the term "private yacht" scare you. If you have a group of 10 passengers, you can cruise the Bosphorus on a chartered yacht for as little as 38€ per person!
Efendi Travel, a TurkeyTravelPlanner.com partner, offers a variety of private yachts for charter for private Bosphorus cruises. Most vessels have capacities of at least 10 voyagers, several can host larger groups. Minimum charter time is 2 hours, but longer times are available, as are food and beverage services on board, and the services of a professional guide. More...
Avrasya offers a variety of Bosphorus
cruises from Kabataş, Beşiktaş, Üsküdar, and
Avcılar (west of Atatürk
Airport). You can easily reach the Kabataş dock by the T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş tram. More...
TurYol operates the most frequent
cruises, departing Eminönü on
the hour, with additional voyages from Üsküdar and Kadıköy.
The number of
voyages depends on the time of year,
with fewer in winter, when the few
voyages will probably be in the middle
of the day; and summer, when
there may be hourly cruises throughout
the day. More...
These are the big traditional
Istanbul passenger ferryboats beloved
by Istanbullus. Take
your choice of:
—The Long Tour (Uzun
Boğaz Turu), a 6-hour
round-trip cruise departing daily
at 10:35 am from Eminönü and
15 minutes later from
Kanlıca, Sarıyer and Rumeli
Kavağı before arriving at
Kavağı, the northernmost
dock on the Asian shore. Enjoy
lunch at one of
the many seafood
restaurants near the ferry
dock during the 3-hour layover, then
cruise back to the city, arriving
at Eminönü in
late afternoon. More...
—The Short Tour (Kısa
Boğaz Turu), a 2-hour round-trip
departing Eminönü and Üsküdar daily
in mid-afternoon, goes
north of the Fatih Bridge making
no stops enroute, turns around and
returns. The Short Tour does not
operate from November through March (but
the even shorter cruises operated
by TurYol and Dentur
Avrasya do—see below.) Fare
—The Moonlight Cruise (Mehtap
Gezisi), a two-hour round-trip
leisure cruise, departs Saturday
evenings in the warmer months. Fare
Two smaller companies, EMTUR and Boğaziçi
their Bosphorus cruises from next to the Şehir Hatları temporary
Bosphorus Cruise Dock
just east of the Galata Bridge at the
Eminönü (southern end) of the bridge
Boğaziçi YolTur ferryboats depart every hour on the half-hour between 11:30 am and 19:30 (7:30 pm) on a 2-hour cruise calling at Dolmabahçe, Beşiktaş, Ortaköy, Fatih Bridge, Kandilli, Beylerbeyi, Üsküdar and Leander's Tower (Kız Kulesi) before returning to Eminönü.
There are yet more boats. Walk west
from the Eminönü end
Bridge, past the Golden
Horn ferry dock (Eminönü
Haliç İskelesi) and toward
the big T. C. Istanbul
Ticaret Üniversitesi building
and you'll see dozens of boats
moored along the shore advertising Bosphorus
cruises and charter
trips. I don't know these boats
and can't vouch for their reliability.
—by Tom Brosnahan
favorite spot for a Bosphorus
cruise: on the upper
deck at the stern of a traditional
Sun, Strong Tea!
Bosphorus cruise dock just
of the Eminönü end
Boğaziçi YolTur Bosphorus cruise boat
at Eminönü, Istanbul.