Istanbul Sightseeing cruises

Our most recommended Istanbul Sightseeing cruises

Istanbul: Bosphorus and Golden Horn Cruise with Audio Guide

1. 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 Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

2. 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.

From Istanbul: Princes' Islands Cruise with Lunch & Transfer

3. From Istanbul: Princes' Islands Cruise with Lunch & Transfer

Cruise across the deep-blue waters of the Marmara Sea on a boat tour departing from Istanbul. Experience two of the nearby Princes's Islands, Büyükada and Kınalıada, with free time to explore each. Enjoy a hotel transfer and a delicious buffet lunch on board. Get picked up from your hotel in Istanbul, then head to the port to board your boat. Set sail into the mesmerizing ocean surrounding the city and navigate to Kınalıada. Take a short walking tour with your guide and learn about the island along the way. Hop back on the boat and eat a buffet lunch to recharge your energy before traveling to your next destination. Make a stop at Büyükada, the largest of the nine islands, and have plenty of free time to discover at your own pace. Relax on the quiet beaches and go for a refreshing swim. Alternatively, rent an electric bike or scooter, as cars aren't allowed on the island. Ride conveniently among the glorious mansions with their characteristic balconies. Finally, get back on the boa for your return trip to Istanbul, then sit back on the ride to your hotel.

Istanbul: Bosphorus Sightseeing Cruise from the Old City

4. 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: Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Stopover on Asian Side

5. 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

6. 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 Cruise, Bus Tour, and Cable Car Ride

7. 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 and Black Sea Cruise with Lunch

8. 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. 

New Year's Party on the Bosphorus Dinner Cruise

9. New Year's Party on the Bosphorus Dinner Cruise

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style on a 5-hour dinner cruise in Istanbul, and see the mansions and monuments of 2 continents along the way. Following a pick-up from your hotel, transfer to the port to board your stylish party boat. Boat staff will welcome you aboard with some authentic Turkish Delight. Then, follow your host to your pre-booked table and give your order for dinner. By the time you sit down, your starters will be served. This is followed by a main of turkey served by the chef. Enjoy unlimited local alcohol, soft drinks, and Champagne throughout your dinner. After dinner has been served, sit back and watch the folk shows, including katibim (traditional Turkish melodic musical performance) and Aşuk Maşuk (folk dancing). Marvel at the sensuous moves of the belly dancers, tap to the dance of the tambourine, and watch a henna ceremony. Enjoy performances from across Turkey’s regions, including traditional Turkısh Romany dances. As you sail along the Bosphorus, enjoy panoramic views of the city’s sights after dark, such as the slender minarets of the Blue Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge, and more.

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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What are the best day trips and excursions from Istanbul?

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

One of the better river trips I have been on. Staff on the boat were excellent as was our guide.

Great experience Our guide was absolutely amazing It was a family trip…… we all enjoyed

Wonderful scenery, good environment , no pollution, nice friendly people.

The Bosphorus is amazing. It was a very professional service.

V good. Lots of room. Nice clean boat. 2 hours was perfect.