Hop On, Hop Off Bosphorus Cruise
Dentur Avrasya operates Hop On, Hop Off cruises up the Bosphorus from its Kabataş dock. These boats stop at the imperial palace docks along both shores of the Bosphorus: Beşiktaş (for the Naval Museum, and Yıldız Palace and Park), Emirgan, Küçüksu, and Beylerbeyi.
Thus you could depart Kabataş at 12:45 pm, arrive at Küçüksuabout an hour later, visit the ornate “mini-palace” of Küçüksu Kasrı for an hour, then catch the next Hop On, Hop Off ferry, cruise down to Beylerbeyi, visit that palace for an hour, and catch a ferry to return to Kabataş by about 16:25 (4:25 pm)—a great way to spend an afternoon.
Hints: The Dentur Avrasya dock at Kabataş is only about 500 meters (3/10 mile) southwest of Dolmabahçe Palace, so you can visit that one easily without taking a ferry. As for Emirgan, the thing to see is the Emirgan Korusu, or forest park, teeming with tulipsduring the Istanbul Tulip Festival.
The Long Cruise
Kabataş is probably the most convenient dock to board the cruise as it is at the end of the Kabataş-Bağcılar tram line. Boats depart Kabataş at 11:15 am and 14:45 (2:45 pm) daily, with an additional cruise added many afternoons at 16:45 (4:45 pm).
The round-trip cruise, including the 3-hour stopover at Anadolu Kavağı, takes about 5-1/2 hours. Fare is TL20 round-trip.
The alternative is the Şehir Hatları ferries’ Bosphorus cruise.
—by Tom Brosnahan