Bosphorus River, Istanbul
Our Bosphorus cruise was one of the highlights of our visit to Istanbul. We used the public ferry - IDO. We visited Istanbul while the ferry was running on its winter schedule so there were two departures - 10:35 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. If you plan to disembark at any of the stops I recommend taking the early ferry. If you just want to do the cruise then the 1:35 p.m. might work out better since it may be less crowded (and a little warmer!). Timing to catch a ferry back would probably only allow you to disembark at only two stops on the route.
We left Eminou at 10:35 a.m. but did not seem to follow the schedule as advertised. The schedule shows stopping at Beskitas, Kanlica, Yenikoy, Sariyer, Rumeli Kavagi, and Anadolu Kavagi, in that order. However, after leaving Eminou our ferry went to Beskitas, Yenikoy, and then the unexpected happened. Thick, thick fog rolled in and when the ferry stopped in Sariyer, the captain decided that we could not go any further and that we would make the return trip after spending a couple of hours in Sariyer.
Since one of the places we intended to see was Rumeli Kavagi we hopped a dolmus heading there from Sariyer. It was an experience we wouldn't have had otherwise and it was quite alot of fun standing and holding on as we zipped around the curves to the town. After spending little time in Rumeli Kavagi, we headed back to Sariyer. We walked around (saw some really interesting "everyday" things- butcher shops, bread shops, a vegetable "truck", fish shop, etc.), had some tea at a restaurant on the waterfront and some lunch at one of the many doner places lining the street. I would definitely recommend Sariyer as a stop.
Finally back on board, the ferry did not head further out into the Bosphorus but turned back to Eminou. The only stop we made before reaching Eminou was at Kanlica, which had been our second planned stop. Since it was now late, we decided not to disembark the ferry. But...Kanlica is known for its yogurt and a steward will come around on the ferry selling some. You MUST buy it!! It was so delicious - extremely sour but then sprinkled with powder sugar.
Ferry details: There is a huge crowd lined up at least a half hour before departure. When the gates are opened, the people are wild. We were there and in line early enough to have gotten a good seat but a huge gate leading to the street was opened at the same time as our gate and people just swarmed in. We ended up without a seat and had to position ourselves in a stairway.
You will know immediately which side of the ferry to sit on for best views, how to avoid the glare of the sun, etc. Sit on the same side on the return trip.
Be prepared for an unexpected change of plans as in our case. Make sure to dress appropriately and bring a head covering. It can be windy and/or cold. Have a great time!
Fare was 17.50 TL round-trip
Departs 10:30 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. from mid-September to mid-June. An additional ferry
leaves at 12:00 p.m. during the rest of the year.
Look for the IDO ticket booth/entrance. That is the ferry. There will be touts trying to get you onto one of the "cruises". May be fine if you don't want to make any stops but I really didn't check them out.
Nice option to see Istanbul and The Bosphorus from the seaside to join one of those tours.
Scheduled departures, tickets can be bought just at the kiosks at the harbour station. Multilingual guiding service avalable on the boats for the comfort of the tourists and guests ...
Here is my HD "Boats on Bosphorus" Video ... :
Its located at Kabatas district, just next to the Dolmabahce Mosque, even walking distance from Besiktas area. If u r located at Taksim Square area, a finucular tunnel system takes u there to Kabatas in just 10 minutes, easy to reach ...
Enjoy the Bosphorus and the Princess Islands ... :)
The Bosphorus is famous for its position as a divider of continents, despite the fact that the two continents it separates are in fact joined by the massive landmass known as Russia. Nevertheless, it holds a certain mystique for the psychological divide it has always represented for Western Europeans: between Christianity and Islam; between West and East; between civilized and wild. I say Western Europeans because anyone who is acquainted with the cultures and peoples of the lands on either side of it is acutely aware of the fact that no such dividing line exists, and that centuries of migration and intermarriage have resulted in the Bosphorus meaning little in a sociological sense, except as a symbolic divider of narratives. In a modern setting, however, the Bosphorus is important for its economic and ecological position, as a massively busy shipping lane used by oil tankers and war vessels, not to mention a throbbing transportation route for the city's 13.5 million people.
It really is hard to imagine a better place to enjoy coffee and a snack than along the waters of the Bosporus. I am not unmoved by the wonders of watching life go by on a busy pedestrian street or to the great pleasures of sitting in a sunny square in Spain or Italy and sipping one’s coffee, but there is something invigorating about the fresh air of the Strait and the busy hustle of the boats that adds a bit of excitement to languishing in a chair with a cup of coffee. Maybe it is just that I enjoy the idea of constantly being on the move, but it is undoubtedly also the view towards the Asian side of Istanbul that intensifies this pleasure, as it is hard not to feel the presence of a frontier, of a line that can be crossed when traveling into an entirely new experience and view of life.
Almost all the cities with a river have boat trips in it. Mostly times with good reasons, because people "live" the rivers and most interesting spots are at their edges.
Some other times, only... because!
Bosphorus is one of the first, where the main monuments in the hills show another perspective from distance, and the coast reveals new beauties we didn't notice inland.
Our 3 hour Bosphorus ferry trip was a good opportunity to view the suburbs. We were not surprised to find the waterfront districts were similar to all great cities of the world. Spectacular!
Waterside is always prime residential and Istanbul has many apartments, mansions and a few derelect mansions lining its waterway. The steep hills to the side of the Bosphorus are ideal for mansions as it is rare the view to be built out.
When we stopped at Anadolu Kavagi, the old fishing village, for an hour we enjoyed looking at the old fishermens houses which when they were built 80 years ago would have been considered mini mansions.
Recommend this ferry trip for anyone visiting Istanbul. The Government run ferry (Turkish Maratime Lines)departs Eminonu 2 or 3 times daily for the return trip along the Bosphorus. The 3 hour ferry trip we took stopped for 1 hour at Anadoulu Kavagi, the half way point, for passengers to alight to enjoy lunch or just enjoy the sights of this small fishing village on the Bosphorus.
The ferry provides the opportunity to quickly enjoy the Bosphorus waterfront, the many palaces from past times, the modern luxury villas and apartments built overlooking the Bosphorous. The ferry passed under some magnificent bridges, we also sighted an old fortress, countless marine craft including a submarine.
A most enjoyable 3 hours.
Istanbul is city on two continents. There isn't wall to separate both continents but Bosphorus. if you like to look at both continents or both parts of the Istanbul from point of Bosphorus, then take a cruise and prepare cameras for taking many nice pictures.
It was a free ride with the travel package, really beautiful, to go around the bophorus, with beautiful music, and gorgeous views, just make sure to take a light jacket for your kids, if you Have any. A must go.
The Bosphorus is a busy sea strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. From the Highway bridges you have a great view onto the waters. Even better is to take a Bosphorus cruise. At the Galata bridge there are several cruise boats available and the ferry between the European- and Asian side of Istanbul.
Of course you can jump on a typycal touristic boat for the cruise but you'll be charged at least 20 EUR.For a cheaper version you can take IDO Scenic Bosphorus Tour or Turyol Bosphorus Tour. The first one departures from the main Eminonu dock,costs around 25 TL round trip and brings you almost to the Black sea.There are 3 ferries in the morning,at noon and in early afternoon(not sure about exact hours). If you wish you can go by the first one and then get back by the last one because there is a fortress that could be visited and you can also eat in one of the fish restaurants at Anadolu Kavagi(the last tour stop). But one way journey takes 90min so if you choose this trip you have to anticipate almost a whole day. If you don't have enough time you could have a shorter cruise for only 15 TL with Turyol. Their ferries departure from Eminonu(the dock near Galata Tower).This ferry would bring you to the second bridge and back for 90min.
Whatever option you will choose you'll be fascinated by the beautiful buildings and the nature around the Bosphorus
I chose to do the Bosphorus cruise with the public ferry. It departed at 10.35am and back in Istanbul at 4.30pm.
This cruise is very popular, so make sure you arrive early.
I arrived half hour early, and already the queue was long. They started letting you on not long after I arrived, later, people were standing!
The ferry pulls in at a few wharfs on the way, to on/off load passengers, before its arrival at Anadolu Kavagi. This is as far as it goes. You have enough time here for lunch, and for a walk to the Castle ruins, so it works out just fine. The sights are wonderful from the water, you get to see so much.
On the ferry there is a kiosk where you can buy food & drinks. A steward also comes around selling tea/coffee and Yoghurt.
It is best to sit on the left hand side, this way you are not looking into the sun, so you can get good photos.
It departs from the Eminonu wharf.
There are three departures each day—10:35am, 12:00 noon, and 13:35 (1:35pm)
Leaves from Eminonu 10.35am, Besiktas 10.50, Kanlica 11.15, Yenikoy 11.30,
Sariyer 11.45 Rumeli Kavagi 11.55, Anadolu Kavagi,12.05
These are the times for the ferry that I caught.
COST IN 2009 was 20t/l
Departs 10.30 - Returns 4.30pm
Website for ido ferries is.................www.ido.com.tr/en/index.cfm -
One of the joys of being in Istanbul is that you get a chance to take a trip on the Bosphorus.
You can take a tour, catch the water taxi or get on one of the many public ferries.
I have been on a couple of the private tours and these are great for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. They give you great views of the spectacular hotels and palaces which adorn the shoreline.
A cheap way to explore the Bosphorus is to use the public ferries that work up and down the Bosporus from Eminönü (ferries dock at the Boðaz Iskelesi) on the historic peninsula of Istanbul to Anadolu Kavaðý near the Black Sea, zigzagging between the Rumelian and Anatolian sides of the city.
It is also possible to experience the Bosphorus by taking a regular ride in one of the public ferries that travel between the European and the Asian sides.
You could also go on one of the privately owned ferries available between Üsküdar and Beþiktaþ or Kabataþ.
Istanbul has no rival anywhere !! It spells adventure. It has the ingredients that unite to create glamour , excitement and mystery. With its strait, Bosphorus Istanbul is a bridge between Europe and Asia, we wanted to see it at night time and decided to attend a dinner on a boat on Bosphorus. This was a great experience we will never forget. The Bosphorus Tour Company had a complete service including the hotel transfers ec...the Turkish dances with belly dancers were professional and performeds best samle of Turkish dances. Thank you for arranging such a fantastic trip.
Passing through the strait divides Europe & Asia you will admire the Ottoman Marble Palaces, Fortress, ancient wooden houses and modern residential . I highly recommend bosphorus cruise.Thanks for your service.