7 Epic Bosphorus Cruise & Istanbul Boat Tours

After seeing the historical sites on land, such as Topkapi Palace, Ciragan Palace, the Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia, why not head out onto the waters of the Bosphorus for a relaxing evening or daytime Bosphorus boat tour from Istanbul city?

Here we share with you our suggestions for the best shared and private Bosphorus cruise tours in Istanbul, Türkiye.

When planning to visit Istanbul, you must do your homework before you arrive. There is so much to see and do that it can be overwhelming. By planning what you really want to see, you’re not wasting time on things you wish you’d missed.

However, a private boat cruise on the Bosphorous is one thing many people like to do when visiting Istanbul.

Of course, countless options are available, which can add to the whole overwhelming nature of the place, too.

But handily for you, we’ve looked closely at some of the best shared and private Bosphorus cruise tours you can book before you arrive.

1- Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise With Audio Guide & Sunset Option

Embark on a sightseeing cruise in Istanbul to embark on an unforgettable journey along the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. Prepare yourself for a fresh perspective of this enchanting city as you board a boat equipped with an informative audio guide, ready to regale you with captivating tales.

Glide by world-renowned landmarks like the majestic Hagia Sophia, the stunning Topkapi Palace, the iconic Maiden’s Tower, and the impressive Galata Tower—Marvel at the grandeur of the Bosphorus Bridge, a remarkable symbol of connection between Europe and Asia.

From the comfort of the cruise, admire the picturesque European coastline dotted with charming villages, each exuding its own character and allure.

Keep your eyes peeled for ancient castles, lush parks, and opulent seaside residences that stand as testaments to Istanbul’s rich history. Don’t forget to capture the vibrant essence of this remarkable city with your camera as you take in the breathtaking views offered by this scenic cruise.

2-Morning Bosphorus Cruise On A Yacht With Stopover On The Asian Side – (Afternoon Option Also Available)

The beauty of this particular tour isn’t that it teaches you anything different than the others, but that it allows you free time to spend on the Asian sides of Istanbul. Most people stay on the European side, and while it’s pretty easy to get over to the Asian side, many get so caught up with everything to see and do that they don’t make it. This tour gives you the perfect opportunity.

This cruise takes 2 hours and 30 minutes and includes live commentary to help you learn about what you’re seeing.

Part-way through the tour, you will stop in the Kalica neighborhood on the Asian side and head off for Turkish coffee and snacks. You’re then free to explore for an hour before boarding the boat again. The boat also includes free Wi-Fi so you can share what you’re seeing with your loved ones back home.

3- 2.5-Hours Bosphorus Cruise On Luxury Yacht At Sunset

Istanbul sunsets are something special indeed, and this Bosphorus sunset cruise is a must-visit if you like a little luxury or luxury yachts, to be more precise! This tour takes 2 hours and 30 minutes and takes place on a luxury motor yacht. Soft drinks are included but not alcoholic beverages, so you must pay extra. for those

The yacht is open air, so you’ll feel the wind in your hair as you go down this famous waterway, with the beautiful sunset all around you. As the sun goes down, canapes will be served as you stare in awe at the colors of the sky.

This cruise takes place all year round. However, poor weather may cause a short-notice but free cancellation.

4- Lunch Cruise – Guided Bosphorus Strait & Black Sea Cruise

This exciting pick takes you further than other cruises we’ve discussed. If you have a full day to play with, this is a good choice, as you will get to see so much more.

The tour takes 10 hours, and you’ll get a hotel pick-up and drop-off. You’ll sail down the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea; most cruises don’t go that far. You’ll have lunch on board and several stops along the way, including Ortakoy, Kucukusu Palace, and Rumeli Fortress. You’ll also stop at Poyrazkoy, a small village on the Black Sea coast, where you can swim and enjoy the medieval castle.

Alcohol is offered on board. However, it’s not included in the price. Lunch is grilled chicken and Turkish meze, with soft drinks included in the price.

5- Istanbul 3 Hours Boat Cruise, Bosphorus, And Golden Horn

Most boat trips leave from Eminonu by the Galata Bridge, and this tour is no different. However, the point is that you can learn more about the old city of Istanbul. The unique thing about this tour is that you’ll get to listen to commentary as you go, which gives you information on the Golden Horn, the most famous part of historic Istanbul. Of course, you also get to see the beauty simultaneously, so it’s a double-whammy!

The trip takes 3 hours, including breakfast and hotel pick up and drop off. It doesn’t include drinks or water, so you’ll need some spare change for those extras.

As you make your way down the unforgettable Bosphorus, you’ll see sights such as the Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, and Rumeli Castle. All the while, you’ll keep learning about what you’re seeing and why it’s so historically important.

You can also choose to depart in the morning or afternoon, with a snack lunch included for afternoon tours.

6- Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Night Show

An evening boat trip helps you see Istanbul from a different vantage point, with the stunning evening lights of Istanbul around you. A dinner cruise and night show is a great way to spend the evening, and you’ll undoubtedly get your money’s worth as you’ll be on board for four hours! During that time, you’ll enjoy a traditional dinner and travel along the Bosphorus, seeing two continents simultaneously.

After dinner, the entertainment begins with belly dancers, whirling dervishes, and folk dancing. You can also dance freely once the entertainment program has finished.

The tour price includes dinner, soft drinks, and limited local drinks; however, you’ll need to pay extra if you want imported drinks. If you stay in the Sultanahmet and Sirkcei areas, you’ll get a free pick up and drop off.

7- Hop On Hop Off Bosphorus Tours

This is a great experience for the keen adventurer! On a regular cruise, you might see something you want to explore more, but you’re on the boat, so you can’t get off and have a walk around. However, this tour allows you to do just that.

Your ticket is valid for the day, so you can hop on and off as many times as you want in any of the four stop-off points, which include Emirgan, Kucuksu, Beylerbeyi, and Besiktas. Your ticket is valid as long as you reboard another and hop on and off the boat within 1-2 hours.

Cruises leave from Kabatas, which is pretty easy to get to from all points and is linked by the tramway system.

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