Best Bosphorus Cruise Tours In Istanbul

Seagulls Over The Bosphorus Shores

Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise Tours

Bosphorus cruise tour is one of the most entertaining activities in Istanbul. Since Ottoman Sultans moved from the traditional Topkapı Palace to Dolmabahçe Palace, located on the shore of Bosphorus, 400 years ago in 1856, Bosphorus has been the most popular settlement area in Istanbul. Bosphorus has a countless number of historical houses called Yalı, palaces, mansions, citadels and mosques.

Most Reasonable and Efficient Bosphorus Cruise Tours

You may come across some negative reviews in Tripadvisor about private cruise companies in Bosphorus. The reason is that these companies offer free transfer from the hotel to the pier but they stop by lots of hotels to take customers, which may result in them to spend time inside the transfer bus for hours.

Besides, near historical areas in the Historical Peninsula or near sea side, there are many people trying to sell Bosphorus cruise tickets to tourists. The offers by such sellers are usually higher price than the usual and their boats are much more crowded.

Şehir Hatları Vapuru (Istanbul Ferry Lines) or Turyol Daily Bosphorus Tours will provide you the cheapest and most efficient tour options.

This is how to find either Şehir Hatları or Turyol Bosphorus Ferry Stations at Eminönü Area.

Şehir Hatları Vapuru or Istanbul Ferry Lines

An official transportation company, Şehir Hatları ferry begins the tour at the small pier just next to Galata Bridge. (Check the map above) Boats leaving from this pier provide you three different cruise options:

Long Bosphorus Cruise Tour

10:30 Eminönü Pier > 12:00 Anadolu Kavağı < 3 hours break > 15:00 Anadolu Kavağı > 16:30 Eminönü Pier


Official Sehir Hatlari Nostalgic Ferry

The nostalgic boat begins the tour at 10:35 at all seasons and takes you to the Black Sea shore weaving through both European and Asian side of Bosphorus. After a tour of 1.5 hours, you will have three hours of free time at Anadolu Kavağı stop. During this time, you may take a walk in the cute town, have a lunch and walk up to Yoros Castle to take pictures of the Black Sea and Bosphorus. The boat leaves at 15:00 to take you back by going through the same stops. When your tour ends at 16:30, you will have had a great full day Bosphorus tour at a great deal.

Black line is Long & Red Line is Short Bosphorus Route for Sehir Hatlari Lines

Short Bosphorus Cruise Tour

14:30 Eminönü Pier > Non-stop Bosphorus Tour > 16:30 Eminönü

You will see the most important attractions in Bosphorus with this two hours tour. The settlement in Bosphorus area extends only to a certain area on the north. Therefore the Short Bosphorus Cruise should be enough for you to see the important palaces, mansions and citadels.

Turyol Bosphorus Boats

10:00 Eminönü Turyol Pier> Non-stop Bosphorus Tour > 11:30 Eminönü

Turyol Bosphorus Tour Boat

Turyol’s cute and small boats are good alternatives for an enjoyable Bosphorus cruise. The biggest advantage of Turyol over Şehir Hatları Lines is that Turyol has hourly tours lasting for 1.5 hours beginning from 10 am until the evening. Boats will take you up to the second bridge of Bosphorus, named Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and they take you back.

This route is a bit shorter than that of Şehir Hatları Line’s though. Except for the nice seaside mansions of Yeniköy which is ahead of the second bridge, you will see all the beauties of Bosphorus with this tour. If you have limited time or don’t want to be restricted by Şehir Hatları Line’s fewer number of daily departures, Turyol would be a great choice for Bosphorus cruise tour.


Map Of Bosphorus Shores. Turyol boats go as far as to FSM Bridge at the top.

Benefits of Having a Private Tour Guide with you

In order to get the maximum pleasure out of Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise Tours, you can include the tour in the itinerary that you create with your private tour guide whom will provide you a detailed information about the history of the buildings you will see throughout your cruise. The best side of tailor made private tours is to be able to make such adjustments.

Popular Bosphorus Villages In Istanbul

Hope you enjoy your time around the Bosphorus.

Further Recommended Reading:

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Istanbul City Tours By Official Tour Guide Serhat

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Istanbul Guided Tours By Serhat



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