Travel by Ship & Ferry in Turkey

Last Updated on August 26, 2023

ship, ferry, boshphorus, istanbul, marmara

Turkey is surrounded by water, which makes ships and yachts a good way to get around (Here's a map.) Also, many ancient cities and ancient routes were established on Turkey's shores. This meant many ancient ruins and structures were built and left near these popular ports in Turkey. These Turkish ports are still famous for their rich history, cruise ships, and shore excursions. 

Ferries are also a common transportation method in Turkey. This is especially true for the cities of Izmir and Istanbul in Turkey, used by thousands daily. 

Let's look at Turkey's most popular ship and ferry travels.

Marmara Sea

The sea of Marma is one of Turkey's most used spots when traveling with ships and ferries.

 Istanbul Deniz Otobüsleri A.Ş. (İDO) serves most of the Istanbul region and Sea of Marmara routes. There are also Bosphorus cruise services and guided tours to explore the stunning sights of Istanbul from a different perspective.

It is also possible to travel between Istanbul and some nearby cities by passing the Sea of Marmara. Fast, sleek İDO catamaran car ferries travel across the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul's Yenikapı Feribot Terminalı to Güzelyalı (for Bursa), to Yalova (for İznik and Bursa), and to Bandırma (for Çanakkale and İzmir).

Moreover, İDOBus passenger-only catamarans depart Istanbul's Kabataş ferry docks for Bursa's Güzelyalı docks numerous times daily. 

Aegean Sea & Greek Islands

The Aegean Sea is another location where ferries run across all day long. Ferries are a primary method of transportation in Izmir, and thousands of people use them every day. The view is spectacular, and you can even travel to some Greek Islands with ferries in the Aegean Sea.

Ferries and passenger catamarans connect Greece's Aegean islands with the Turkish mainland, providing frequent service in summer and useful (but less frequent) service year-round.  There used to be ferries from Çeşme to Italy. However, currently, there are no direct ferries between Çeşme (the port west of İzmir) and Brindisi and Ancona in Italy, but you can go via Greece.


Located near Çanakkale, car ferries cross the ancient Hellespont (Çanakkale Boğazı) between Eceabat on the Gallipoli Peninsula and Çanakkale, and Gallipoli and Lapseki, with some additional service between Çanakkale and Kilitbahir.

Turkey to Cyprus

Ferries also cross over to Turkish Cyprus from several cities along Turkey's Mediterranean coast, including Alanya, Mersin, and Taşucu (Silifke).

Travel by Ship & Ferry

Ferries and ships are one of the popular transportation methods on the west side of Turkey. This is especially the case in the cities of Izmir, Istanbul, and Bursa

Many people use these services daily, which has proven effective for many years. Moreover, the Turkish Riveria offers unique sights you can not witness anywhere else. Don't miss the opportunity to travel by sea in Turkey.

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Can Turan


Can I use ferries to travel in/to Turkey?

Yes, you can use ferries and ships to travel in most Turkish Riveria cities.

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