Bosphorus Cruises Istanbul: Top 15 Boat Tours (2024 UPDATED)

Bosphorus Cruises is one of the most popular, unique and fantastic forms of entertainment on your Istanbul visit. It is also one of the best ways to discover and enjoy the most beautiful sights and sounds of the city over the sea. We put together what kind of cruises & boat tours available, what you should expect with the best boat tours details.

No Regrets Bosphorus Cruise Booking

If you are looking for a great Bosphorus day or night out, don’t wanna read the whole page, trust our recommendations, save time and money, than you can feel free to check out the below good value for money Bosphorus cruises from the trusted providers with very good traveler ratings.

Insider Advice: Kickstart your Istanbul adventure with the Istanbul E-Pass or Istanbul Tourist Pass. These passes provide free access to around 70+ top attractions, tours and essential local services in the city with around 70% savings.

What to Expect?

By taking a public ferry, private boat or yacht, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of historical sites, including Ottoman palaces, fortresses, museums, and the stunning bridges, and soak up the atmosphere along the city’s European and Asian shores.

Typical Bosphorus Cruises are made by Public Ferries (Sehir Hatlari) or by Private Boats & Yachts. They go for about two hours. There are variety of companies. Travelers who want to travel on a shoestring can board one of the passenger boats that regularly zigzag along the shores. You may also celebrate your special days like birthdays, meetings or any kind of organizations at the Bosphorus Cruises.

If you want a proper cruise, than you can find range of boat tours departing from the main docks mostly located in Eminonu, Kabatas and Besiktas piers, or you can take private boat/yacht tours. Typical Bosphorus cruises go for about two hours.

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with entertainment is also one of the most popular one with the tourists. Mostly preferred with the tourists who want to experience a unique attraction specific to Istanbul. While you cruise along Bosphorus and enjoy your meal, you’ll be entertained by traditional belly dancing, a henna ceremony, a Romany dance, folk dancing, a live DJ, etc.

Top 15 Bosphorus Cruises & Boat Tours

Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise with Dinner and Entertainment, Private Bosphorus Yacht Tour, or Morning/Afternoon/Half day / Sunset Bosphorus Cruises are the most common and popular themed Bosphorus cruises with the majority of the first-time visitors in the city. Below you’ll see our pick (as insiders) of probably the best ones in the city and book them below the best one that suits your needs.

1. Bosphorus Dinner Cruise by Travelpedia

This is a popular one organized by highly skilled tourism professionals that are specialized in Bosphorus dinner cruises under the brand of Travelpedia Tourism Group. You’ll experience an unforgettable evening on a luxurious boat while enjoying an amazing selection of food from Turkish and World cuisine, watching Turkish folk dances, and international dance acts.

No Regrets Booking Advice

Highlights: You’ll see some of Istanbul’s top architectural wonders, illuminated palaces, mosques, and Bosphorus bridges and enjoy a perfect night with belly dancers, whirling dervishes, etc. You’ll also get quality transportation between your hotel and the port with their air-conditioned and comfortable vehicles. Best Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Menus With Private Table

Meeting point: Kabatas Dentur Avrasya Pier (see location map)

Book your Bosphorus Dinner Cruise

2. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht

2,5 hours Bosphorus cruise on a 25 meters luxury yacht

This is one of the best and the most attended Bosphorus cruises. It is made on a luxury yacht and has a badge of excellence with over 400 5/5 stars reviews on Viator, and 335 excellent reviews and stars on GetYourGuide.

We Highly Recommend These Fantastic Night-time Activities

Highlights: Complimentary drinks and canapés are provided while you sail, find out about the history of Istanbul’s landmarks from your on-board guide, a cruise for all seasons: set sail at any time of the year, weather permitting, set out from an easy-to-find waterfront meeting point near public transport

Includes: This insightful tour is guided and commentated by an experienced host, Complimentary drinks (homemade lemonade in summer and fresh fruit juice in winter), tea and coffee State-of-the-art and customized vessels for passengers, luxury yacht, delicious canapés and snacks served aboard, coffee and/or tea, snacks – Departure: Kabatas pier (see location map)

Book Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht by Viator

Book Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht by GetYourGuide

3. Bosphorus Luxury Yacht Tour

This is a fantastic new yacht cruise made on a luxury yacht for small groups (max. 15 people) with very affordable prices. You can take it at noon or at sunset for 2 hours. We highly recommend this cruise as you’ll feel yourself very special in this private chartered luxury yacht.

Highlights: Cruise up and down the Bosphorus, passing the iconic palaces and historical sites, get a closer look at famous landmarks such as Dolmabahce Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge and the Maiden Tower, a licensed and knowledgeable guide will share with you the stories and facts which accompany the many sites you pass

Includes: Glass of Wine, Fruits and Snacks, Unlimited Coffee, Tea and Soft Drinks, English Speaking Local Expert Guide, Free WiFi on Yacht

Departure: Kabatas pier (see location map)

You can pick one of the best yacht cruises below!

4. Bosphorus Cruise on Yacht with Stopover on Asian Side 

2,5 hours Bosphorus Cruise on a Luxury Yacht: Morning or Afternoon

This is one of the best way to explore the Bosphorus with stopover on the Asian side and explore Kanlica. It is made on a luxury yacht and has a badge of excellence with over 115 5/5 stars reviews on Viator.

Highlights: Cruise the Bosphorus on the Sunset Bosphorus yacht with a stop in Kanlıca,  sip Turkish coffee and nibble on Turkish snacks in Asian Istanbul, onboard Wi-Fi saves on roaming charges and keeps you connected, range of time slots let you plan your day and fit more in

Includes: Coffee and/or Tea, Bottled water, Turkish delight served with along Turkish coffee, Air-conditioned vehicle, WiFi on board

Departure: Kabatas pier (see location map)

Book Bosphorus Yacht Cruise on Yacht with Stopover on Asian Side

5. Bosphorus Cruise with Dinner and Turkish Show

This is one of the best Bosphorus night cruises with dinner and entertainment organized by Istanbul E-Pass. The cruise includes pick and drop-off services from centrally located hotels. You’ll receive a confirmation email with pick-up time upon booking. For guests out of centrally located hotels, the meeting point is Kabatas Pereme Tour Company port at 20:30.

6. Bosphorus Dinner / Lunch Cruise – Private & Customizable

2,5 hours Bosphorus cruise on a 25 meters luxury yacht

This is one of the best private Bosphorus cruises on a luxury yacht. You can enjoy the beauties of Istanbul on a private luxurious yacht while having your dinner or lunch served by a professional crew. Also have a chance for sightseeing and/or swimming and relaxing while peacefully enjoying your day at the luxury yacht. In addition, you are able to customize this tour according to your needs. All our tours start and end in Bebek, Besiktas, Istanbul.

Includes: Dinner, All Fees and Taxes, Restroom on board, Snacks, Bottled water, Soda/Pop, Alcoholic Beverages

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Bosphorus Dinner / Lunch Cruise – Private & Customizable

7. Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Entertainment 3-hour

This is one of the best and the most attended Bosphorus dinner cruises with entertainment. It is made along Bosphorus as you dine on Turkish meze, marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and enjoy a full program of entertainment, such as folk and belly dancing. It has excellent number of over 800 and 5/5 reviews on GetYourGuide.

Most cruises Includes: Hotel pick-up and drop off by air-conditioned, non-smoking coach from hotels on the European side (Sultanahmet, Sirkeci, Aksaray, Topkapı, Zeytinburnu, Karaköy, Eminönü, Taksim, Şişli, Kabataş, and Beyoğlu areas), 3-course dinner, Unlimited local drinks (wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks), Service charge and local taxes

You can pick one of the best ones below

8. All Inclusive Bosphorus Dinner Cruise w/ Turkish Night Show

This is also one of the best and the most attended Bosphorus dinner cruises with Turkish Night Show. You’ll get 4-hour dinner cruise, admire spectacular views of the city’s beautifully illuminated palaces, mosques and Bosphorus bridges, and enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner with select drinks. You’ll also enjoy the entertainment from belly dancers, whirling dervishes and other artistes, along with hotel pickup and drop-off. It has badge of excellence on Viator.

Includes: Pick up and drop-off at your hotel, Boat cruise on the Bosphorus, Dinner, Unlimited local soft drinks, Unlimited local wines and beers (alcohol drinks option), Turkish Night Show (belly dancer, Henna Ceremony, Romany dance, Folk dance, Live DJ performance, Asuk Masuk Show)

Book All Inclusive Bosphorus Dinner Cruise w/ Turkish Night Show

9. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise

2,5 hours Bosphorus Sunset Cruise by Luxury Yacht

This Bosphorus sunset cruise (offered by Acetes Travel) is a unique Istanbul Bosphorus yacht cruise that starts before sunset and lasts for 2.5 hours.  It is the best view you can see for a photoshoot. You breathe in the middle of Bosphorus and you can see palaces villas and historical areas. While you are watching the sunset with a Bosphorus view you can drink traditional Turkish drinks.

Free Services in this Activity: Food & Drinks (Snacks served aboard, Complimentary drink), Live Tour Guide, Pickup included (Hotel Pick-Up / Hotel Drop-off (from centrally located hotels)), Sightseeing (Top landmarks of Istanbul Bosphorus)

Book Bosphorus Sunset Cruise by a Luxury Yacht

10. Private Yacht for Surprise Events / Birthday, Proposal, Anniversary, Party

This is a great opportunity for the one who are looking for a private yacht cruise along the Bosphorus for their special events such as birthday, proposal, wedding, anniversary and parties. All arrangements are made with the provider which is a certified operator along Viator.

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Read more & Book now

Bosphorus Private Yacht Cruises by Travelpedia

Join the Most Fun and Enjoyable Private and Group Events on the Water

This is a popular one organized by highly skilled tourism professionals that are specialized in Bosphorus private yacht rentals under the brand of Travelpedia Tourism Group. They have over 15 private yachts available. The Bosphorus Cruise experience is a captivating boat journey that promises unforgettable moments.

What sets them apart is their ability to tailor events to your exact preferences, whether you’re planning a corporate outing or a family gathering. This personalized touch is made possible through their Private Bosphorus Tour, allowing you to craft an experience that’s uniquely yours.

Book your Bosphorus Private Yachts

11. Istanbul Bosphorus Luxury Private Yacht Rental

You can enjoy a great Bosphorus yacht cruise on a luxury private yacht with guide, and enjoy the soft drinks and snacks in the company of stunning views with this top selling private Bosphorus yacht tour.

Highlights: Enjoy luxury transportation to and from your hotel in a non-smoking private van, Eat and drink complimentary soft drinks and snacks, Learn Bosphorus history with a live guide.

Includes: Transportation to and from your hotel, Complimentary soft drinks and snacks, Live guide in any language.

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

12. Bosphorus Cruises through Golden Horn

These are the top selling cruises that you’ll be able to explore the beauties of Golden Horn part of the Bosphorus. You can enjoy the city’s landmarks, historical palaces, and capture amazing photos with these very economic boat tours.

You can pick one of the best ones below

13. Round-Trip Ticket for Princes’ Island Ferry & Audio Guide

You’ll have about 75 minutes ferry ride to the Princes’ Island, the Buyukada. While you have a fantastic Bosphorus ride, you can admire the beautiful skyline of Istanbul at the open air deck, enjoy refreshments from the kiosk or listen to the stories about the Bosphorus from the audio guide app on your smartphone.

Round Trip Tickets mostly Include: Round-Trip ticket to the Princes’ Island, Fast track entry on boat from the online ticket window, Bosphorus audio guide app for IOS and Android in 10 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese

Bosphorus Cruises FAQs

What are the Bosphorus cruise options?

  • Public Ferries (Sehir Hatlari in Turkish): This is the easiest and cheapest way to travel up, down and across the Bosphorus. Just make sure don't be caught in rush ours as hundreds of locals will be using public ferries.
  • Private Boats: These are both good value for money and easy option for a good cruise along Bosphorus. You can find them at the piers in Eminonu, Kabatas and Besiktas.
  • Dinner or Sunset Cruise with Boats/Yachts: This is another popular option with the tourists. During the cruise , you’ll enjoy a full program of entertainment, such as Turkish classical music, belly dancing, a whirling dervish show, folkloric shows, an international singer, and an on-board DJ.
  • Private Yachts: These are luxury ones and good for the ones who would like a private cruise along Bosphorus and admire all the city's beautiful sights.

What are the Boshorus tours made by Public Ferries?

Istanbul’s Public Ferries has two main lines that include; Domestic Trips and Bosphorus Tours. Bosphorus Tours by Public Ferries are divided into two lines that include;

  • Short Circle Bosphorus Tour (2 hours). This is a round-trip that operates every day from the Eminonu Pier at 14.35 pm. and goes for Uskudar and Ortakoy Piers in order. And comes back from Ortakoy and Uskudar Piers to Eminonu Pier at 16.35.
  • Long Circle Bosphorus Tour (6 hours): This a round-trip that operates every day from the Eminonu Pier at 10.35 am. and goes for Besiktas, Uskudar, Kanlica, Sariyer, Rumelikavagi and Anadolu Kavagi Piers in order. And than comes back to Eminonu Pier at 16:40 pm.

What is Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Entertainment?

This is the most popular Bosphorus cruises. You’ll also witness Istanbul’s magic at night by catching the breathtaking views of some of the top Istanbul attractions like the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Maiden’s Tower and Bosphorus Bridge.

During your Bosphorus Dinner Cruise, you’ll enjoy a full program of entertainment, such as Turkish classical music, belly dancing, a whirling dervish show, folkloric shows, an international singer, and an on-board DJ.

How much does a Bosphorus dinner cruise cost?

Typical Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with entertainment, plus quality service cost about €50. This is a good price and value for money.

The price includes about 3 hours Bosphorus cruise, hotel pick-up and drop off service, unlimited local soft drinks, dinner, unlimited alcoholic drinks (local beer and wine), entertainment with many shows such as Turkish classical music, belly dancing, a whirling dervish show, folkloric shows, an international singer, and an on-board DJ.

Where do Bosphorus dinner cruise boats depart?

Majority of the Bosphorus dinner cruise boats depart from the Kabatas pier, within easy access by public transportation. You can take tram from Sultanahmet (20 mins), Karakoy and Galata (10 mins), take funicular from Taksim (5 mins), walk 15 mins or take any bus to Kabatas from Besiktas.

How long is the Bosphorus dinner cruise?

Typical Bosphorus dinner cruise starts about 20:00 pm. and goes for about 3 or 3,5 hours till 23:00/23:30 pm.

How much does a private Bosphorus yacht cruise cost?

Average cost of a crewed private Bosphorus cruise on a luxury yacht costs about €350 per group up to around 8 people. The price mostly includes about 2-hour private yacht tour, complimentary soft drinks and snacks, all taxes, private licensed tour guide, and hotel pick-up and drop-off service with a private van

How to book a private yacht in Istanbul?

You can book a private yacht via your travel agent, by yourself from the Kabatas, Besiktas and Eminonu piers, or by booking online. You can search all the best private Bosphorus yacht cruises online via our website or many online tour booking websites, read what they offer and traveler comments, and decide the one that best suits your needs. Many of the online bookings come with free transportation service from your hotel.

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