Ferryboats in Istanbul, Turkey

Last Updated on June 6, 2024

Ferryboats are the absolute most enjoyable way to travel in Istanbul.

There are 3 ferry companies in Istanbul: 2 private and 1 public. Şehir Hatları (City Lines) operates under the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi (İBB)) and provides ferry transportation. Turyol and Dentur are private businesses that also offer ferry services. You can also board these ferries at the same prices with your Istanbul card or contactless credit card.

There are also two other ferry companies (İDO and BUDO) that operate in the Sea of Marmara and make sea transportation between Bursa and İstanbul very easy.

Şehir Hatları Ferries in Istanbul

ship, ferry, boshphorus, istanbul, marmara

These are the big traditional Istanbul passenger ferryboats beloved by the people of Istanbul, serving cross-Bosphorus routes, northern Bosphorus ring routes, and the traditional Bosphorus cruise routes. 

You can learn the most up-to-date schedules and available lines on the Şehir Hatları website.


TurYol operates  Bosphorus cruises departing Eminönü, Üsküdar, and Kadıköy.

TurYol commuter ferries connect Galata Bridge with the Asian suburbs of Üsküdar, and other destinations. 

Here you can check the timetables.

Dentur Avrasya

İstanbul Ferryboat

Dentur Avrasya Bosphorus cruises depart from Kabataş, Beşiktaş, Üsküdar, and Avcılar.

Dentur Avrasya operates frequent Bosphorus cruises departing from Beşiktaş in summer; frequent ferries from Kabataş to the Princes Islands; and continuous commuter ferry service from Beşiktaş across the Bosphorus to Üsküdar and Kadıköy

Before planning your trip, you can check the most recent routes.  

Bosphorus Cruises

Taking a Bosphorus tour is one of the best ways to discover Istanbul. You can watch both the Asian and European continents from the sea, see the waterside mansions, and be captivated by the magic of the city.

You can easily take a Bosphorus Cruise on one of the numerous boats operated by Şehir Hatları, TurYol, and Dentur Avrasya. Velena Travel also offers Bosphorus tours such as a lunch or sunset Bosphorus tour.

Princes Islands Ferries

İstanbul Ferry

Regular ferryboats (Şehir Hatları, TurYol & Dentur Avrasya) travel to the Princes Islands near Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara

These ferries stop by the Islands one by one, with this order: Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada, and Büyükada.

International Cruise Ships

Young women sailing, young adult ladies enjoying summer travel, summer cruise holidays, European girls tourist traveling in sail boat . High quality photo

Cruise ships and international ferries dock at the magnificent port of Galataport.  

You can board cruise ships and start traveling around the world from Galataport, which plays the role of being an open-air shopping center, an anchorage place for giant cruise ships, and a cultural center where exhibitions and concerts are held, but rest assured, just watching these ships is enjoyable enough.

İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri AŞ (İDO)

İDO is not a ferry that provides transportation within Istanbul, but it is a ferry service that provides sea transportation between Istanbul and Bursa, which you can use both with and without a car.

İDO operates fast catamaran passenger "Seabus" ferries and fast car ferries both within the metropolis and to destinations on the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara. You may not find the metropolitan routes so useful, but you will definitely want to know about the cross-Marmara services

Sea of Marmara Ferries

Fast İDO catamaran ferries glide across the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul's Yenikapı Fast Ferry Terminal to Yalova and Bandırma on the Marmara's southern shore. The fast ferries are the best way to get across the Marmara, much better than fighting the traffic on the clogged highways east and west of Istanbul, whether by bus or car.

Another option is BUDO ferries. They also provide a fast and safe sea transportation option between İstanbul (Eminönü) and Bursa (Mudanya). You can check their services here

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Melike Kocaer

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