Bosphorus cruise

Oct 27th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Bosphorus cruise

From my research so far it seems we have two choices for this - a fairly long expedition on a public ferry - maybe 6 hours total (as described by Rick Steves) or shorter outings with private companies (maybe 2 hours?) Is this accurate? Our time in Istanbul is limited so I am thinking the shorter option may work best for us - do we miss alot by doing the shorter itinerary?
suec1 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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The public ferries go to a variety of places so you could pick a town and catch the ferry, walk around the town, and then catch the ferry back. You won't be on a tour per se, but you'll be out on the water.
artsbabe is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 12:44 PM
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I skipped the cruise--it really depends on your time, the rest of your itinerary, and the weather. I spent that time instead wandering some areas on the "new side" of Istanbul that I wanted to check out and taking the ferry over to the Asian side.
This should be helpful:
yorkshire is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 01:48 PM
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We also took the ferry to the Asian side, had lunch, walked around, took the ferry back, and walked around the Spice Market. Lovely day.
cd is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 03:06 PM
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cd - "took the ferry to the Asian side" - so does that mean you took the public ferry on the long trip or one of the shorter tour companies trip?
suec1 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 01:10 AM
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We had 4 full days in Istanbul and this was not enough for us to take a cruise.
We prefered to visit the city and its wonderful sites. We visited Dolhambace and Belberbey palaces and thses visist were a highlight of our short vacation.
If I would take a cruise, I would prefer the short one.
Adrian45 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 05:32 AM
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We took the one listed there that is 6hrs. You just walk down toward the Galata Bridge and you will see all the ferryboats. You might want to print out that page and take it with you. DH nor I speak the language so if I had printed out what I wanted it would have been a lot easier when I got to the ticket office.
cd is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2011, 02:01 AM
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Or you can cruise any length of time you like on Istanbul's Zoe Yacht at, which runs daily private cruises on the Bosphorus, Black Sea and Islands. They have cruise durations of 2,4,6 or 8 hour options or you can just rent their boat for a customized cruise route and duration.
hg_expat is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 05:31 AM
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I do not want suggest taking a public ferry on the Bosphorus. Public ferries do not have set departure times they wait untill they are full by big crows and they go all the way in the middle of the strait but they do not go close by the coastlines. It is muc better to take a boat cruise on a private boat with guide explanations, we did one of the tours of Bosphrous Tour Organisations, and did enjoy it a lot.
ares19a is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 08:16 AM
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Just west of the Galata are the Turyol cruise ships. 1 1/2 hrs. 12 TL pp. They follow the east coast up to the 2nd bridge & turn around & follow the west coast back. Starting around noon with ferries every hour or so. Sit on the starboard side (right) for best pics.

Ian is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 10:44 AM
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We took a short cruise on the Bosphorus, which was inexpensive and interesting. It leaves hourly from the city port near Taksim. We saw the Asian and European sides of the city, the old fort, mosques and the Summer Palace. Afterwards, we took a cab to St Savior in Chora, a beautiful, old Byzantine church with gorgeous mosaics. Nearby, was a wonderful restaurant with an outdoor dining garden, called Asitane. It serves food found nowhere else.
mairseydotes is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 05:09 PM
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>> I do not want suggest taking a public ferry on the Bosphorus. Public ferries do not have set departure times they wait untill they are full by big crows

I have to disagree. Each ferry has a clearly posted departure time they stick to. I can confirm that I almost missed one while trying to buy the fare from the automated machines!
aimeekm is offline  
Jul 18th, 2011, 12:00 AM
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Istanbul municipality operates the major ferry lines, Sehir Hatlari, which follows very strict schedules as given at the following link for the summer:

Their Winter schedules are slightly different and can be found again at

Taking their commuter ferries up the bosphorus in the evening is a good alternative to the much more expensive Bosphorus cruises, as long as you are willing to take a bus or a taxi back.

There are two other majot carriers, called Turyol and Dentur, using smaller boats. They also operate according to schedules but may be more flexible. These have shorter Bosphorus cruises starting from Eminonu, Kabatas, Kadikoy, Besiktas, Uskudar and Ortakoy. They also do commuter ferrying between Uskudar Kabatas, Besiktas, Eminonu and Kadikoy because of the high demand.

IDO operates the fast ferries and the sea taxi and is now separately owned. They operate the longer distance fast car ferries, and are planning to operate scheduled service to some of the Greek islands. Check for routes, pricing.
otherchelebi is offline  
Jul 18th, 2011, 05:17 AM
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There are a very large number of companies organizing private tours either by owned or rented boats.

I strongly recommend dealing directly with the tacht owners rather than tour operators to get the best deals. To give you an idea, a comfortable 20-3o person converted fishing boat costs about 500-600TL for an evening cruise of 5 hours 7PM to midnight also, slowly going up one side and coming down the other side of the Bosphorus. You can bring your own CDs MP3s or ask for theirs. For an additional 40-60TL/person they will prepare an excellent cold buffet plus on board coal grill with unlimited local alcoholic and soft drinks, tea and coffee.

Or you can rent a luxury motor yacht for about TL200/hr, with a capacity of 2-10 persons, some of them including soft drinks and tea.
otherchelebi is offline  

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