Private Istanbul Cruise: A look at 10 of the best Bosphorus Cruises in Istanbul (2023)

Disclaimer – The Art of Living in Turkey contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase using one of these Amazon links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. See my Disclaimers for more information.

Are you looking for a unique way to experience Istanbul? A private Istanbul cruise along the Bosphorus Strait is just what you need.

The Bosphorus is an incredible waterway that separates Europe from Asia and it is home to some of the most beautiful sights in Turkey.

On a private Bosphorus cruise, you can explore this majestic area in complete comfort and privacy.

As a resident of Istanbul, I can definitely say traveling on the Bosphorus is one of my favorite modes of transportation.

You’ll have an experienced captain at your disposal who will help make sure your trip is unforgettable.

From stunning views of historical landmarks like the Maiden’s Tower and Galata Bridge to delicious cuisine served right on board, a private Istanbul Cruise will provide an unforgettable experience that you won’t soon forget!

My Pick
Screenshot 2023 03 07 at 09.58.57 e1678172445736

Zoe Yacht Cruise

I love that with Zoe you can bring your own alcohol for such a small fee (€50) which is worth it especially if you have a group. Grab some friends and enjoy a couple of hours on the Bosphorus and see Istanbul from a unique perspective!

Types of cruises

There are a variety of private Bosphorus cruises available for visitors to Istanbul, each offering unique experiences and amenities.

You can choose from Private Bosphorus Sunset Cruise, Private Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Entertainment like a whirling dervishes show, or Private Bosphorus Morning/Night Cruise.

Each cruise offers something different – whether it’s a romantic sunset over the strait, an evening filled with music and dancing on board, or an early morning adventure exploring the city while sipping coffee and tea.

No matter what type of experience you’re looking for, there is sure to be something perfect for you!

Taking a private cruise on a luxury yacht is the perfect way to experience Istanbul in style.

Whether you want to take in breathtaking views of historical landmarks, enjoy delicious cuisine served right on board or simply relax and soak up the atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.

With an experienced captain at your disposal, you can be sure that your trip will be unforgettable.

Maiden's Tower in the Bosphorus of Istanbul Turkey
Maiden’s Tower

What to expect?

A private cruise in Istanbul is a great way to experience the city in luxury and comfort.

From exploring the Bosphorus Strait by night to watching the sunset over Galata Bridge, you’ll be able to take in some of Istanbul’s most stunning sights from the sea.

On board, you can expect delicious drinks and entertainment provided by an experienced captain who will make sure your trip is unforgettable.

Often you can add a delicious Turkish meal and alcoholic beverages as well. If history is your thing, there is typically an upgrade for a tour guide to fill you in on all the things.

Whether it’s a romantic evening or an early morning adventure, a private cruise in Istanbul will provide an experience like no other!

Let’s jump in and check out some of these great options.

1. Lotus Yacht Cruises

Lotus Yacht brings professionalism and Turkish hospitality together to give you an incredible cruise experience.

Lotus Yachts offers a unique way to explore Istanbul and its surroundings.

From the comfort of your own private yacht, you can enjoy stunning views of some of Istanbul’s most impressive landmarks and attractions, including the Rumeli Fortress, Bosphorus Bridges, Kucuksu Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, and Ortakoy Mosque.

Enjoy cruising past luxurious mansions along the Bosphorus strait as your host guides you through this beautiful city.

With Lotus Yacht’s professionalism and Turkish hospitality combined with their excellent service, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Highlights: You can sit back and enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the sights and sounds of the Bosphorus.

There are fish, kebab, and vegetarian options available. Unfortunately, this craft is not wheelchair accessible but service animals are allowed.

One of the best features is that you can fully customize your tour to fit your needs.

Includes: There are different packages available that include food as well as don’t include food. Lotus allows you to customize your trip to be just how you want it!

Departure: Multiple options can be confirmed when booking.

Cancellation Policy: Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

2. Zoe Yacht

With special occasion packages, you can enhance your trip even further by adding champagne, flowers, or other surprises for that extra special touch.

They accept bank transfers as well as credit card payments for added convenience and flexibility.

Plus, they invite you to bring your own alcohol and just pay a one-time 50 euro cork fee! You can get the best price by talking directly with them.

They also have gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options available upon request. Enjoy the best of Istanbul in an intimate setting with a group of a maximum of 12 people.

Their luxurious cruise options include short sightseeing trips, dinner cruises, special events, and more.

You can sit back and enjoy a meal while admiring the marvelous views of the Bosphorus Strait.

Highlights: Discover the hidden stories and cultures of Istanbul, a cruise for all seasons: set sail at any time of the year, weather permitting.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options are available. You can also bring your own alcohol (unlimited) for a 50€ corking fee.

Includes: A private yacht for you and up to 11 of your companions. Complimentary tea, coffee, soft drinks & water are provided while you sail.

All taxes, fuel, and fully licensed crew. Pick up/drop off at a selection of piers on the European side.

Departure: Most any neighborhood located in central Istanbul’s European side (when you book direct), see the website for more details.

Cancellation Policy: FREE cancellation with a FULL REFUND more than 7 days prior to commencement of first service. (see website for more details)

Sunset on the coast of Istanbul with a lighthouse in the background and the sun peaking through the clouds

3. Istanbul Clue

Experience Istanbul from a unique perspective with the Clue Cruise – a two-hour private yacht tour along the Bosphorus.

Enjoy breathtaking views of both European and Asian shores, gliding past some of Istanbul’s most iconic landmarks including Dolmabahçe Palace, Çirağan Palace, Rumeli Fortress, and the Bosphorus Bridge.

Relax on board your own private yacht as you take in all that this famous Riviera has to offer.

With no smoking allowed onboard, you can sit back and enjoy an unforgettable experience on the waters of Istanbul.

You will be able to enjoy the scenery with a 360-degree view from the upper fly-bridge, sundeck, or either of the lounges.

Highlights: You can add a light breakfast, lunch, or birthday cake for an additional fee. It isn’t suitable for wheelchair users.

After the cruise, you can even choose where you’re dropped off to make the most of your time, which is a great feature here in Istanbul.

Includes: A private luxury cruise for up to 12 passengers, complimentary tea, coffee, and snacks.

Departure: Kabatas pier on the European side.

Cancellation Policy: More than 7 days prior to the cruise: 20% of the total amount charged. (see package for more details)

4. Sunset Cruise Istanbul

Experience Istanbul in its full glory with a private cruise along the Bosphorus Strait.

This unique waterway divides Europe from Asia and is home to some of the most beautiful sights in Turkey.

You can choose from a variety of cruises, such as a sunset cruise, a dinner cruise with entertainment, or a trip to the Princes’ Islands while sipping coffee and tea on board.

Make sure to book your private Istanbul Cruise with Sunset Cruise Istanbul for an unforgettable experience that you won’t soon forget!

Enjoy incredible views of historical landmarks like the Maiden’s Tower, Galata Bridge and so much more.

Highlights: This cruise is so incredibly rated. Out of 100 people, 98 gave a rating of 5 and only two gave a rating of 4.

You are sure to enjoy the beauty of Istanbul while drinking coffee on this luxury cruise.

Included: A private luxury cruise for up to 15 people along with snacks, water, coffee, and tea. There are a variety of times available to choose from.

Departure: Pickup from the Karaköy port on the European side.

Cancellation Policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

5. Bosphorus Yacht Cruise

The Bosphorus Cruise is a unique and exciting way to experience the wonders of Istanbul.

This comprehensive excursion tour offers a cruise with breathtaking views of the Bosphorus while enjoying delicious meals, dance shows, and music.

While on this cruise you will be able to take in some iconic landmarks such as the Bosphorus Bridge, Maiden’s Tower, Galata Tower, and more.

Not only will you get an amazing view of Istanbul but also have access to special food, beverage, and entertainment services provided by the crew for your utmost pleasure!

A Bosphorus Cruise is definitely an unforgettable experience that should not be missed when visiting Istanbul.

Highlights: Bosporus Cruise has options to make sure you get exactly what you want.

They have private luxury cruises as well as dinner cruises where you would have your own private table.

If you go with the private cruise, the standard menu is quite extensive and a mere €25 per person.

Included: These private yachts vary in capacity but you are renting the boat, not paying a per-person fee. Complimentary soda, water, tea, and coffee are included.

Departure: Bebek/Istanbul

Cancellation Policy: Free cancellation & modification up to 48 hours before.

Sunrise over the European side of Istanbul with a small yacht on the water.

6. Istanbul Sunset Cruise

Experience the beauty of Istanbul from a unique perspective with the Istanbul Sunset Cruise.

Sail past some of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks such as Dolmabahçe Palace, Ciragan Palace, and Rumeli Fortress as you take in breathtaking views along the Bosphorus Strait.

Make your next trip to Istanbul an unforgettable adventure on this luxury cruise that is recommended by 100% of people who purchased it.

The guides, if you purchase this upgrade, speak clear English that is easy to understand and make the experience all the more incredible.

Highlights: Enjoy the amazing history of Istanbul from the deck of this luxury yacht while sipping homemade lemonade and sampling fruit and baklava.

Included: Luxury sightseeing cruise includes a yacht for up to 15 people, coffee, tea, and snacks with an option to purchase alcoholic beverages and meals.

Departure: Generally Kabatas but there are multiple options that can be confirmed on booking.

Cancellation Policy: All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.

7. Su Yachts

Su Yachts offers a truly unforgettable experience for those looking to explore Istanbul from the water.

With their fleet of luxurious yachts, they offer a variety of options for different types of cruises, including breakfast cruises, dinner cruises, Bosphorus cruises, Princes’ Island cruises, and sunset cruises – or you can even customize your own cruise.

Highly recommended by 100% of people who purchased this trip, Su Yachts is perfect for groups of up to 15 people.

Highlights: Enjoy luxury cruising through Istanbul with options for different types of cruises and the ability to customize your trip.

You will also enjoy a 3-hour tour instead of the typical 2-hour tour. Additionally, it is good to note that if you have less than 5 guests, you can bring your own food and drinks for free. See their website for more details.

Included: This luxury cruise includes soda, coffee, tea, and snacks for the duration of the cruise. There is also Wifi on board so you can stay connected as you go!

Departure: Free pickup/drop off available from Bebek/Arnavutkoy on the European side and Beylerbeyi/Kuleli on the Asian side.

Cancellation Policy: All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.

8. Tour Book Turkey

Tour Book Turkey is the perfect way to explore the wonders of Istanbul and its beautiful Bosphorus.

With their private yacht sightseeing tour, you can enjoy breathtaking views while spending quality time with your loved ones.

As you sail between two continents, you’ll have the chance to capture stunning photos of old palaces, mansions, and bridges – not to mention being lucky enough to catch a glimpse of dolphins dancing in the water!

To make sure your experience goes off without a hitch, Tour Book Turkey provides friendly and professional captains and crew members who will take care of all your needs.

So book now for an unforgettable adventure on one of Istanbul’s most iconic waterways.

Highlights: Their caring staff really takes care to consider all the people on board and their particular needs, whether they are a child or 90 years old.

Tour Book Turkey also has other experiences that you can choose from.

Included: This luxury cruise includes coffee, tea, and snacks as well as all your fees and taxes. You can even stay connected with free Wi-Fi on board.

Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.

Departure: There are multiple options on the European side that you can confirm at the time of purchase.

Cancellation Policy: For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.

Stunning view of the Bosphorus close. to the second bridge. Many boats are out on the water and the sky is clear

9. Luxury Bosphorus Cruise

On this luxury private Istanbul cruise, you will sail past some of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks such as Dolmabahçe Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, and Rumeli Fortress as you take in breathtaking views along the Bosphorus Strait.

While sipping your drink of choice, enjoy the most beautiful views between two continents. You might even get to see a dolphin swim alongside you if you pay attention.

One thing to note is that the price says it is for up to 2 people but when I put in 6 people it was still the same price.

Highlights: Experience a surreal adventure as you float between two continents on your own personal sundeck. You will be well taken care of by this well-organized team

Included: This luxury cruise includes an audio guide, tea, and coffee.

Departure: Karakoy/İstanbul

Cancellation Policy: Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

Typically Included:

While each cruise will come with a variety of options and upgrades, the following are pretty typical for a luxury private Istanbul cruise.

  • Private Luxury Yacht
  • English speaking staff
  • All taxes & fees
  • Pick up from a European port (some will even drop you off at your hotel or preferred part of town so you can go shopping.
  • Tea, coffee, water
  • Prices quoted are based on the hire of the yacht and not per person (usually a max 8-12 people permitted for a group)
  • The boat can be booked for events and special occasions
  • Drinks and food are available on board upon request for an extra fee. However you can often bring your own beverages and snacks for a minimal service fee.
  • Minimum 2 hours cruise with most having options for longer cruises

Taking a private Istanbul cruise is the perfect way to explore the city and its stunning views.

You can relax with your loved ones or friends while taking in beautiful sights along the Bosphorus Strait, such as Dolmabahçe Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, and Rumeli Fortress.

With all taxes included, you don’t need to worry about extra fees at checkout. Sit back and enjoy an unforgettable experience on one of Istanbul’s most iconic waterways.

Don’t miss the 23 things you should know before you come to Turkey to make your trip the best it can be!

book your private Istanbul Cruise now for a luxury adventure by the sea!

read more:

Turkey vacation basics

When I plan a trip these are the websites I use. Hope they help you plan your next adventure as well!

FLIGHTS: I am a huge fan of Kayak and WayAaway.

VISAS: You can use the free e-visa portal here but for a few extra dollars you can use iVisa and someone else will handle any issues that may come up.

E-SIM: When I traveled to SE Asia I discovered e-sims and I’m never going back. Airlo has been easy and cheap! Use code “SEP15” to get 15% off on one booking.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: I use TravelInsurance.com for my trips abroad.

CAR RENTAL: I have loved working with Discover Cars when I rent cars in country.

ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com.

CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: You can browse GetYourGuide’s website to find just the tour you’re looking for!

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts