All you need to know about Bosphorus Tours & Cruises
Having Bosphorus tours in Istanbul is a must when visiting Istanbul, Bosphorus is the common name of the Istanbul Strait which is a natural waterway that separates Asia and Europe in the World and Anatolia and Thrace inside Turkey. Bosphorus is one of the many things that make Istanbul one of the most special cities like Bosphorus tour, providing a unique atmosphere. There are many ways to experience the Bosphorus; one of the best ways is certainly to be aboard, sailing along the Bosphorus strait.
There is a way to do it for every budget, public Bosphorus cruises are the cheapest way, guided Bosphorus tours has variable prices and private Bosphorus tours are always available for the ones who want to make the most of it. In this article, we will have a glance at the Bosphorus tour options.
Firstly, let’s come to know why the strait is called Bosphorus.
Why Istanbul Strait is called Bosphorus?
The name Bosphorus is known to be derived from the Greek myth of Zeus and Hera and has the meaning of ‘passage of the cow’(Bósporos). The myth has an interesting story. Zeus falls in love with Io even he was married to Hera. Io was the daughter of the River-God and was a nun in Hera’s temple. Zeus seeks opportunities to see Io and finally, Hera suspects their relationship and accuses Zeus. Zeus denies but to prevent Io have a misfortunate ending, he converts Io to a cow.
Hera does not give up and asks the cow from Zeus, gives the cow to Argus as he is a hell of a keeper, and tells him to tie the cow to an olive tree. Zeus wants to save Io and assigns Hermes as he thinks that he will be the only one who can save her from Argus’ surveillance. Being as sly as a fox, Hermes approaches Argus in a shepherd’s dress and gets Argus off with his songs and stories. Hera gets in a tantrum and kills Argus who failed to keep Io and puts a hundred eyes of Argus on the tail of the peacock.
That is the way that the peacock has its epic beauty. Hera then sends a gadfly to make it chase Io worldwide who is still in the form of a cow. Io was suffering from the bites of the gadfly and she runs as fast as she can. When she passes from Asia to Europe, the valley suddenly fills with water and if forms Istanbul Strait. This is the reason that the strait is called Bosphorus which means the passage of the cow.
Public Boats for Bosphorus Tour in Istanbul
If you are just looking for the scenery and do not seek a guide to explain the facts, you may pick one of the main cruise operators like Dentur or Turyol from Eminonu or Kabatas. They leave frequently, about every hour in high season and 3 or 4 times a day in the low season. It takes more or less two hours to sail to the second Bridge towards the Black Sea and come back to the starting point. The ticket is quite reasonable around 5 US Dollars.
If you are interested in a longer trip, you may take the public boat of Sehir Hatları from Eminonu and spend all day exploring the Bosphorus. There is a break at the last stop called Anadolu Kavagi that will allow you to have lunch before heading back to Eminonu. This ride is once a day at 10:30 the cost is about the same.
There are also passenger boats of the same company that runs all day between Rumeli Kavagi and Eminonu. These long trips are also a good way of visiting all the coasts of the strait. They give people the chance to get off at the desired stop and see the local life in ordinary districts of the town.
As these boats are for public transportation, their prices are more reasonable in comparison to Bosphorus trips.
Guided Bosphorus Tours
Major travel agencies arrange full-day or half-day Bosphorus trips when the season is high. They generally serve lunch during the long-lasting one, even there is a swimming opportunity in the summertime. The half-day tours cost around 35 US Dollars and could be combined with some other tours, while the full-day ones are around 70 US Dollars.
Bosphorus Dinner Cruises
Bosphorus looks fascinating with all the illumination in the nighttime. The most common way to witness the ambiance is to take one of the dinner cruises. There are many tour operators that organize dinner cruises; the experience is quite a similar service that they provide so doesn’t matter which one you choose.
The entertainment aboard goes on all the way, starts with traditional dances, goes on with belly dancers and a singer ends with a DJ performance. The food is accepted as mediocre, even for the most reputable agencies.
So, you will be disappointed if you are looking for high-quality service foodwise. The price is fair, generally around 60-70 USD counting that the alcohol is included in the fixed menu. The package includes transportation to the quay as well. The dinner cruises sail between 7 pm and 11 pm. You get back to your hotel around midnight.
Getting A Private Yacht Cruise for Istanbul Bosphorus
The most comfortable way to be aboard is to rent a private yacht. You may pick the time and duration to spend on the water and decide what to do regarding your preferences. You may choose to be accompanied by a private guide or sail along the Bosphorus till the Black Sea and look for the best place to swim.
There are many yachts for rent for different sizes of groups but still, it could be hard to find one available during the high season, so it is always better to make your bookings in advance.
As Guided Istanbul Tours, we will be more than happy to assist you with your inquiries not only related to the Bosphorus Trips but also all your needs during your Istanbul tour. You may contact us via our website or email us regarding your questions.