Istanbul Sightseeing cruises

Our most recommended Istanbul Sightseeing cruises

Istanbul: Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

1. Istanbul: Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

Take a sunset cruise on the Bosphorus Strait to see the European as well as Asian half of Istanbul. Jump aboard a luxury yacht from Kabatas and keep your cameras ready as you cross mosques, palaces, and seafront villas. Learn about the city’s centuries-long history through your guide. Start the tour at Kabatas Pier aboard an elegant yacht, drinking traditional Turkish drinks, and nibbling on canapés and fruit from tastefully arranged platters. Glide by palaces and minarets as you sail along the Bosphorus.  When dusk sets in, feel the soothing breeze from the Sea of Marmara on your skin as the sky puts on a colorful show, tinted with shades of orange and rose. Few places in the world are as mesmerizing as Istanbul in the setting sun. Hear the muezzin's call from a towering minaret. Cruise past majestic palaces and villas along the strait’s banks. Breathe in the legacy of ancient Byzantium, Constantinople, and the mighty Ottoman Empire with each breath of fresh salty air. Kick back and ride gentle waves in the comfort of a yacht. Watch the city and its iconic landmarks pass by, which is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing. End the experience at Karakoy Pier.

Istanbul: Bosphorus and Golden Horn Cruise with Audio Guide

2. Istanbul: Bosphorus and Golden Horn Cruise with Audio Guide

Hop on a sightseeing cruise to tour the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. Get a fresh look at Istanbul on this boat tour with an audio guide to tell you all the top tales as you glide by Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Maiden's Tower, and Galata Tower. Sail as far south to see the Bosphorus Bridge. Meet your host on the other side of Hagia Sophia and walk down to the pier behind the grand mosque. Jump on board to discover the Golden Horn, considered to be the world’s largest natural harbor. Sail through the magnificent Bosphorus strait forming the continental boundary between Asia and Europe. On your way, come across cultural and historical emblems of Istanbul like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Maiden's Tower, and Galata Tower. Learn about the city’s rich heritage with an audio guide. Admire the Bosphorus coastline on the European side from the cruise, and see a string of villages, each with its own individual character and attractions. Glide past Dolmabahçe Palace, Ciragan Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, and the Bosphorus Bridge, among others. Be sure to keep an eye out for ancient castles, famous parks, and spectacular seaside residences from different centuries. Capture stunning pictures of the vibrant city of Istanbul along the water on this scenic cruise.

Istanbul: Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Stopover on Asian Side

3. Istanbul: Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Stopover on Asian Side

Set sail on a cruise between Europe and Asia on Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait. See the wonders of both East and West from the water while accompanied by a multilingual guide. Stopover on the Asian side and explore Kanlica, a district that stands in defiance of time. On board the yacht, hear stories of this mesmerizing city as you set out to pass sights on both continents, including Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, the Leander Tower, and Istanbul's most posh areas, Ortakoy and Bebek. Pass under the two suspended Bosphorus bridges that connect Europe and Asia and Admire the thick walls of the medieval Rumeli Fortress. Snap photos of the city skyline and hear about the confluence of cultures that exists at this meeting point between Europe and Asia. During the cruise, you'll be free to wander between decks to capture the best shots of Istanbul's attractions. Your guide will illustrate the history of what you see during the cruise; Bosphorus has a storied past and your guides know the fun facts you can't find in a tourist handbook. The Bosphorus separating two continents has always been crucial to life in Istanbul. Once a prime channel to move fearsome armies through, it now serves more peaceful functions. Seeing this important trading route is a must-do for travelers.

Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App

4. Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App

Enjoy a Bosphorus cruise in Istanbul and admire the cosmopolitan city from a completely different perspective while enjoying the beautiful views of the Orient and the Occident at the same time. The Bosphorus is 32km long, separates Europe from Asia, and connects the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. Cruise along the strait between Asia and Europe and discover Istanbul tourist attractions, magnificent palaces, ancient castles, and other historical sites, as well as fine seaside residences and the Bosphorus bridge. Admire the views of Galata Tower, Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, and Blue Mosque. Furthermore, you will have a glance at the spectacular pieces of authentic civic architecture on the European and Asian coasts.

Istanbul: Bosphorus and Black Sea Cruise with Lunch

5. Istanbul: Bosphorus and Black Sea Cruise with Lunch

Climb aboard a pleasure boat and forget your worries as you enjoy a relaxing half-day cruise down the Bosphorus Strait. Marvel at the views of beautiful Ottoman-era mansions and the minarets of the city mosques as you sit down to a lunch of grilled chicken and typical meze dishes. Go for a stroll on deck to soak up the sun and see the many famous sights that line both coastlines, such as Galata Tower and the immense Bosphorus Bridge that connects Asia and Europe. Sail to the Black Sea, and then make your way to the small coastal town of Anadolu Kavagi. Drop anchor and enjoy a walk in the lush hills of the surrounding area. See the ruins of a medieval fortress and other landmarks before the cruise back to Istanbul in the late afternoon. 

Luxury Private Yacht Rental

6. Luxury Private Yacht Rental

See Istanbul from the Bosphorus on an impressive and unforgettable cruising experience. With the yacht to yourself, you’ll soak up the atmosphere of this famous riviera, gliding by some of the best Bosphorus sights along both Asian and European shores from waterfront palaces of Sultans and their Pasha’s villas. Relax and enjoy close up views including the European Side, Dolmabahçe Palace, Çirağan Palace, Rumeli Fortress, the Bosphorus Bridge, Asian Side and more. Enjoy two hours on a Bosphorus Cruise with Panaromic view of the Bosphorus and of Istanbul. • You will be picked up in a non-smoking brand new van from your hotel or accommodation approximately 30 minutes before your trip • You will see the very best spots in history, such as Dolmabahce Palace, the Ortakoy Mosque, the Bosphorus Bridge, the Fatih Bridge, Rumeli Castle, Anatolian Castle, and Beylerbeyi Palace. • You can reserve the trip for anytime you want. If the main yacht is busy, you will be offered another yacht of the same quality •  After the trip you will be dropped to your hotel or in the city center • Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea, or soft drinks

Istanbul: Bosphorus Sightseeing Cruise from the Old City

7. Istanbul: Bosphorus Sightseeing Cruise from the Old City

A Bosphorus cruise is one of the best things to do in Istanbul. Get on the boat and start discovering the long waterway which separates Europe and Asia. Discover Istanbul’s main attractions, including magnificent palaces, ancient castles and famous hills and parks, as well as spectacular seaside residences from different centuries while passing under famous bridges. You will start your tour from the Old City in Eminönü and cruise along the European side until the 2nd Bosphorus bridge and return back along the Asian coast. You will pass by Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Fortress and Beylerbeyi Palace. You will aslo get to see some historical landmarks from a distance such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Maiden Tower, and Galata Tower. 

Istanbul: Round-Trip Ferry Tickets to Princes Islands

8. Istanbul: Round-Trip Ferry Tickets to Princes Islands

Exchange your voucher at the ticket office in Kabatas and get access to the boat. The boat departs from Kabatas ferry station in the morning and returns in the evening. A Marine Officer will welcome you at the departure pier, help you onto the boat, hand you a Bosphorus cruise plan, and explain to you what you will see during the crossing. Set off for the Princes' Islands, which in Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman times were used as exile sites and as a monastery region. Today only 4 of the total 9 Princes’ Islands are open to public settlement. Arrive at the most famous and beautiful of these islands called Büyükada, or 'Big Island'. Spend the day exploring the island at your own pace. Take a walk through the center and get used to the silence that reigns on the island. See the Merkez Eczanesi, a pharmacy from 1870, and feel you have stepped back in time. Go to Hamlaci Street 4 and see the ruins of the villa where Trotsky lived in exile between 1929 and 1933, writing his autobiography and 3 volumes on the "History of the Russian Revolution". Alternatively, rent a bike and cycle around the island admiring the magnificent old villas lining the streets. Explore the Greek Orthodox St. George Church on top of the island's tallest hill where you can also admire fantastic views of Istanbul, the Marmara Sea, and the neighboring islands.  Stop over and visit the former Greek Orphanage, Europe’s largest and the world's 2nd largest wooden house. Enjoy a delicious lunch in one of the many restaurants around the harbor. Go to one of the public beaches (Halk Plaji) or beach clubs for swimming and sunbathing. If you like hiking, you can also walk around the island on foot. When you have finished exploring, take the return ferry to Istanbul at your leisure. The boat departs Büyukada (Big Island) to return to Kabatas ferry station at 3:30 PM.

Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise, Bus Tour, and Cable Car Ride

9. Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise, Bus Tour, and Cable Car Ride

Explore Istanbul by land, sea, and air on this unique tour. Enjoy sights like the Eyup Sultan Mosque by bus, admire the city from the Bosphorus Strait on a scenic cruise, and take in the views from Pierre Loti Hill with a cable car ride.  Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from centrally-located hotels in Istanbul. Relax in an airconditioned bus on your way to the departure point for your cruise on the Bosphorus Strait. Hop aboard a comfortable ship and admire the city from the water. Take in unobstructed views of the Golden horn, the Topkapı palace, the Dolma Bahçe palace, the Hagia Sophia Mosque, the Maiden’s Tower, Galata Tower, the Blue mosque, and the Ortakoy mosque. Gaze out at the two bridges that connect Europe and Asia. Get back on the spacious bus and drive to the 19th century Eyup Sultan Mosque where Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (a friend to the Islamic prophet Muhammad) is thought to have been laid to rest. Pass by historical wooden houses, churches, synagogues, mosques and the remains of the Roman Wall. Drive up the Pierre Loti Hill to capture pictures of views of the city and the Golden horn. Enjoy the views on the way down with a thrilling cable car ride. Return to your hotel at the end of your tour.

Istanbul Bosphorus Sunset Cruise with Wine on a Luxury Yacht

10. Istanbul Bosphorus Sunset Cruise with Wine on a Luxury Yacht

See Istanbul landmarks, hear thousand-year-old stories, and awe at the sunset with snacks and a glass of wine. Enjoy this comfortable cruise with a luxurious 24 meters and an experienced captain and crew. Board from the European side of Istanbul and cruise up to the 2nd Bosphorus bridge. On the way back cruise along the Asian side of Istanbul and explore more of the outstanding sites. Relax as you see famous landmarks like the Dolmabahce Palace, Ortakoy Mosque, the vibrant district of Uskudar and the Maiden Tower. Enjoy the sights of the city's Euoprean and Asians sides you sail the famous Bosphorus Strait. Sit back and relax as you are served traditional Turkish snacks. Take in a famous Bospherous sunset while enjoying fruit and a glass of Turkish wine.

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Frequently asked questions about Istanbul

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The best day trips and excursions from Istanbul are:

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Other Sightseeing Options in Istanbul

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What people are saying about Istanbul

Excelente experiencia, el yate estaba súper bonito y aunque había más personas, podías tener tu espacio privado, nosotros nos acomodamos en la popa y estuvo excelente, las vistas son bellísimas, las bebidas complementarias y los snacks son buenos

Very much enjoyed the small/ cosy boat (fits maybe 15 people), knowledgeable and vivacious guide, watching the sunset while seated on the cushions at the front of the boat. Ideal October weather also helped.

Activity is cheap, you get free fruit or drink at arrival. Weather was lovely. Its a quiet option to get to see the Asian side. Easy to get to the pier by tram avoiding the crazy traffic.

Great value for the price. Seeing the city from the water was one of the highlights of my trip to Istanbul

the trip was great, the guide was great, and the cruise so relaxing. I would recommend it!