Cruises aren’t just for the open seas and traveling to ports in faraway lands. With river cruises, you can get a fresh view on fantastic sights. In Istanbul, cruising the Bosphorus may be one of the most overlooked attractions in the area, but it’s one that you should strongly consider adding to your itinerary. It’s one of the easiest ways to see some of the most beautiful sights that Istanbul has to offer, and you can rest your tired feet at the same time.
Understanding the Bosphorus Strait
This waterway is considered one of the most strategic in the world. It runs between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara along a 20-mile course. It effectively marks a boundary between Europe and Asia, so you can take in the sights between two countries. The shores along the strait are lined with everything from ancient ruins to marvelous palaces, and you’ll have a view from the river that you won’t find elsewhere.
Short-Circle or Full Experience
There are several different companies offering cruises, and the first decision you’ll want to make is how much time you’d like to spend on the ship. The short circle cruises are non-stop and ideal for people who are trying to fit this experience in with a busy schedule. It goes from Eminönü toIstinye before returning, so the entire voyage only takes about two hours.
Another option is to go with a full tour that travels the length of the Bosphorus Strait. This full circuit takes a minimum of three hours, and you’ll have to disembark at the end before riding the ship back. However, many visitors take advantage of this time to get lunch or visit the fortress.
Day or Night
While many people love taking the daytime tours, there’s also something to be said for how the lights in the buildings transform the shoreline at night. Choose the evening tour so that you can start out with an incredible view of the sunset and then see how amazing Dalmabahce Palace is at night with all the lights ablaze. The night tours have limited availability based on season and demand, so you’ll want to check into booking one of these tours early.
There are some amazing sights waiting for you along the banks, including the Galata Bridge that connects historic Old Town in Istanbul with the New Town. The Maiden’s Tower dates back to 411 BC and has been used as a lighthouse, jail and even quarantine center for people with cholera. Dolmabahce Palace is also visible from the river, as well as the Ortaköy Mosque, Küçüksu Pavilion and Beylerbeyi Palace.
Hotel Büyük Keban is a boutique hotel situated near the Old City and public transportation lines. We offer the top amenities travelers want along with the personal service you expect to find in a smaller establishment. We have excellent rates, and we’re looking forward to make your visit to Istanbul more memorable.
Contact us today to learn more about our hotel and make your reservations.