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Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise

If you’re visiting Istanbul, taking a Bosphorus cruise is a must-do activity. The Bosphorus Strait is the dividing line between Europe and Asia and a cruise along its waters offers stunning views of the city’s famous landmarks, including the Topkapi Palace, the Maiden’s Tower, and the Ortaköy Mosque. In this article, we’ll explore the best excursions available, prices, how to book, and what’s included.

Best Excursions

There are several different Bosphorus cruise excursions to choose from, ranging from simple ferry rides to full-day tours. The most popular option is a 2-hour scenic cruise that departs from the Eminönü pier and sails up to the Black Sea. Along the way, you’ll see the historic Galata Bridge, the Dolmabahçe Palace, and the Bosphorus Bridge, which connects Europe and Asia. Other popular excursions include sunset cruises and private yacht rentals.


Prices for Bosphorus cruises vary depending on the type of excursion and the operator. A basic 2-hour ferry ride starts at around £5 per person, while a private yacht rental can cost upwards of £60 per person. A typical 2-hour scenic cruise will cost between £10, with prices varying depending on the season, package chosen and operator.

Booking Your Cruise

Booking a Bosphorus cruise is easy and can be done either in advance or on the day of your excursion. Most hotels and hostels in Istanbul offer booking services, and there are also many tour operators and ticket booths near the Eminönü pier. It’s best to book in advance during peak season to avoid disappointment.

What’s Included

A typical Bosphorus cruise includes a 2-hour guided tour of the strait, with commentary provided in multiple languages. The boats are comfortable and equipped with amenities such as toilets and refreshment stands. Some operators may offer additional services, such as dinner cruises or private charters, which may include food and drinks.

There is also a Dinner Cruise package available which includes unlimited soft drinks and a 3 course meal and entertainment. You can also upgrade this for alcaholic drinks options. Prices for these are approxiately £25 per person for a 2-3 hour cruise. Most packages include hotel transfer where the operator will pick you up and drop you back to your hotel.

How to Get There

The Bosphorus cruise departs from the Eminönü pier, which is easily accessible by public transport. You can take the metro or tram to the Eminönü stop and then walk to the pier. Taxis are also available but can be more expensive. It’s recommended to arrive early to avoid long lines and ensure a good spot on the boat.

As also explained above, You can get a package which includes hotel trasfers. These are reliable and provide an excurion where you dont have to worry about anything. Just get dressed and you’ll have the operator waiting outside your hotel lobby at the agreed time. Just be aware, usually these are not private transfers so there may be a small coach which will pick up other passangers along the way. This can be confirmed at the time of booking.

In Conclusion

A Bosphorus cruise is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Istanbul. With stunning views of the city’s landmarks and a relaxing boat ride along the strait, it’s a memorable experience.

Whether you opt for a simple ferry ride or a private yacht rental, there’s an excursion to suit every budget and taste. Prices vary depending on the operator and excursion type.

Booking can be done in advance or on the day of your excursion, with many operators and ticket booths near the Eminönü pier.

Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience during your trip to Istanbul.

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