Shared & Private Bosphorus Cruise Tours

Post author Mehmet

Written by our local expert Mehmet

Mehmet is digital nomad who was born in Istanbul, Türkiye and now calls the Balkans region his home-office.

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

Turkey Travel Blog_Shared & Private Bosphorus Tour Cruises

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 Bosphorus cruise tour 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.

Bosphorus Sunset Cruise On Luxury Yacht

Romantic Places In Istanbul - Bosphorus Sunset Cruise

Istanbul sunsets are something special indeed, and this tour 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. Drinks are included but not alcoholic beverages, so you must pay extra.

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 short-notice cancellations.


Bosphorus Yacht Cruise With Stopover On The Asian Side – (Morning Or Afternoon)

Day Trips From Istanbul - Bebek - iStock Bebek District Of Istanbul Beautiful Houses On The Coast Of The Bosphorus Strait

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 side. 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 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.

Hop On Hop Off Bosphorus Tour

Romantic places in Istanbul - Dolmabahce Palace
Dolmabahce Palace on the banks of the Bosphorus in Istanbul.

This is the perfect tour 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.

Guided Bosphorus Strait And Black Sea Day Cruise With Lunch

Best Things To Do In Istanbul - Ortakoy mosque and Bosphorus bridge

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.

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 this historic part of the city. 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 Bosphorus, you’ll see amazing 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.

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Night Show

Nightlife In Istanbul - Whirling Dervish_Turkey

An evening boat trip helps you see Istanbul from a different vantage point, with the glistening lights 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 dancing, 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.


What are Bosphorus cruise tours?

Bosphorus cruise tours are boat excursions that take visitors on a scenic journey along the Bosphorus Strait, providing beautiful views of Istanbul’s skyline and landmarks.

What are some popular sights seen during a Bosphorus cruise?

During the cruise, you’ll pass by iconic landmarks such as the Maiden’s Tower, Dolmabahçe Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Rumeli Fortress, and the Bosphorus Bridge.

How long do the Bosphorus cruises usually last?

Most Bosphorus cruises have different durations, typically ranging from 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the route and the type of cruise you choose.

Are there guided tours available during the cruise?

Yes, many Bosphorus cruise tours offer guided commentary in multiple languages, providing insights into the history and significance of the sights along the way.

Can I book Bosphorus cruise tickets online?

Yes, you can book Bosphorus cruise tickets online through various tour operators or the official websites of cruise companies.

Now that you have our list of the best shared and private Bosphorus cruise tours in Istanbul, we hope you enjoy the ride. 

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