8 Epic Bosphorus Cruise & Istanbul Boat Tours In 2024

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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.

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?

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 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. 2024 New Year Party At Bosphorus With Luxury Yacht

2024 numbers

Get ready for an unforgettable experience this New Year’s Eve like no other! Join us on a magnificent journey along the enchanting Istanbul Bosphorus to ring in 2024 with style and opulence.

As the clock strikes midnight, immerse yourself in the breathtaking fireworks display that transforms the night sky into a vibrant canvas of colorful bursts. But that’s not all! You’ll sail along the Bosphorus throughout the evening, indulging in panoramic views of Istanbul’s illuminated skyline, showcasing its majestic bridges and historic palaces.

Plus, you will get a sumptuous dinner lined up for you, featuring a divine selection of mouthwatering dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. To kick things up a notch, the luxurious private yacht provides a hub of lively entertainment where you can dance the night away while enjoying music and an incredible atmosphere of pure delight.

And let’s not forget the two 700 ml bottles of premium vodka or gin that will be exclusively available to each group, along with delightful fruit platters, adding a touch of luxury to your celebration. It’s more than just a party; it’s a night to remember, creating lasting memories with your closest friends and loved ones.

So, dress your best and be part of an exclusive group of individuals who will welcome 2024 most lavishly and unforgettably on the Istanbul Bosphorus. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary event!

  • Duration: 4 Hours
  • Approximate Cost: $3200 USD per group


2. Bosphorus Sunset Cruises 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 a short-notice but free cancellation.

  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Approximate Cost: $64 USD per person

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3. 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 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.

  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Approximate Cost: $53 USD per person


4. 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.

  • Duration: 5 Hours
  • Approximate Cost: $85 USD per person

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 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.

  • Duration: 3 Hours
  • Approximate Cost: $24 USD per person

6. 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 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.

  • Duration: 3 Hours
  • Approximate Cost: $35 USD per person

7. Hop On Hop Off Bosphorus Tours

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

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.

  • Duration: 7.5 Hours
  • Approximate Cost: $147 USD per person

8. 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.

  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Approximate Cost: $13 USD per person

What are Bosphorus cruise tours?

Bosphorus cruise tours are boat excursions that take visitors on a scenic journey along the Bosphorus Strait, providing breathtaking views of Istanbul and the magical 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, it ranges from 1.5 for a short Bosphorus cruise, or a long Bosphorus cruise can be around 3 hours, depending on the route and the type of cruise you choose. If you are short on time, a 1.5-hour cruise will still be an ideal way to see Istanbul.

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. 

Comments (2)

  1. #4 tour links to WRONG 5 hour tour after paragraph reads: “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.” Yet I can’t find a way to get assistance?

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