Viewing Istanbul from the sea provides the best view of this incredible city as it brings Asian and European vistas, a shoreline with magnificent palaces, stunning mosques, and imposing public buildings, small inlets, and fishing villages as you travel further away from the Metropol. The perspective is enhanced and altered with the changing seasons and even times of the day. Taking a trip on the Bosphorus, whether on a tourist boat, a private yacht, or a public ferry, allows you to view Istanbul in all of its splendor.
Şehir Hatları, Istanbul's official ferry operator, offers many Bosphorus trips to suit all budgets, schedules, and interests. The Short Circle Bosphorus Cruise, the Full Bosphorus Cruise, and the Full Bosphorus Cruise by Night are the three alternatives.
From April until the end of October, the Short Circle Bosphorus Cruise (Kısa Boaz Turu) departs daily from Eminönü to İstinye, passing under the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The six-hour Full Bosphorus Cruise (Uzun Boğaz Turu) departs from Eminönü and travels to the Black Sea. It runs through the districts of Beşiktaş, Üsküdar, Kanlıca, and Sarıyer. Visit the fortress or eat lunch in one of the town's seafood restaurants after disembarking at Anadolu Kava, the final harbor before the Black Sea. There is also an audio guide in ten different languages, with multiple departures each day. The Entire Bosphorus Cruise by Night (Mehtap Gezi) starts at 5.30 pm and brings a whole different viewpoint on the city, following the same itinerary as the daylight trip but departing at night for stunning sunset views. It makes a two-hour stop at Anadolu Kavagi for tourists to dine at the seafood restaurants at the shore before it returns to Eminönü about 10.30 pm.
This cruise stops along the Bosphorus, allowing passengers to see Istanbul's palaces, mosques, and bridges. With a day-long cruise ticket, you may visit different neighborhoods at your leisure. The tour lasts a little over an hour and a half if you stay on the boat the entire time, or you may get off at each stop and catch the next one or two hours later.
Emirgan, Küçüksu, Beylerbeyi, and Beşiktaş are the locations along the route, which begin and end at Kabataş Pier. Each stop has its unique point of interest. Emirgan features an 18th-century mosque and a Turkish coffee shop; Küçüksu has a 19th-century Neo-Baroque royal hunting pavilion; Beylerbeyi has a royal summer house and mosque, and Beşiktaş on the European side has fascinating marketplaces. Returning to Kabataş, you may take the funicular to famous locations like Taksim or the tram to Sultanahmet's ancient city.
A typical two-hour private Istanbul sightseeing cruise itinerary will take you by the beachfront Dolmabahçe Palace, Çırağan Palace, Rumeli Fortress, the Bosphorus Bridge, Anadolu Fortress, and Beylerbeyi Palace on the European and Asian banks of the Bosphorus. While the staff looks after the yacht and the guests, enjoy the view from the sundeck, lounge, or flybridge.