Cruise in Turkey: Our Recommendations

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Cruise holidays in Turkey are fast becoming one of the most popular choices among travelers. From the eclectic Mediterranean in the south to the Aegean sea in the west and the tranquil black sea coast in the north, Turkey offers unmatched cruise experience—and all for a reasonable price.

Here are the five best cruises in Turkey for you to explore.

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1. Best of Turkey by Gulet

Marmaris is a popular destination for a Gulet cruise in Turkey.
Gulet cruises provide an intimate experience due to the compact size of the boats.

A gulet cruise in Turkey sets sail on an authentic wooden vessel, built specifically in Bodrum or Marmaris to see the most notable highlights around Turkey.

  • A 12-day gulet cruise takes you past Istanbul, Troy, Ephesus, and other west-coast highlights.
  • You must book your cruise at least two months in advance.
  • The least expensive months for a gulet tour in Turkey are May and October, while July and August are slightly more expensive.

2. Black Sea Cruise

See the rugged landscape on a cruise in the Black Sea.
Explore the landscape and visit seaside towns on a Black Sea cruise.

The north coast of Turkey stretches from Istanbul in the west to the border of Georgia in the east. Take a Black Sea Cruise in Turkey to see where east meets west.

  • From the imposing skyline of Istanbul to the underrated shoreline of Trabzon, a Black Sea Cruise is equal parts exploration and recreation.
  • There are three departure months for these tours: May, September, and October.
  • You need to book this tour at least three months in advance, as group sizes are limited and they fill up fast.

3. Aegean Cruise

Three boats are prepared for a cruise in the Aegean sea.
The Aegean sea is the route to take if you want a combined cruise in Greece and Turkey.

Spend two weeks relaxing on the Aegean Sea with Turkey to Greece cruises that include some of the most idyllic locations. The Kusadasi port will be your gateway to the ancient world after visiting the beaches of the Greek islands.

  • After visiting the sublime shoreline of Santorini and Mykonos, you will reach the fascinating locations on Turkey’s coast, including Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Izmir.
  • Turkey to Greece cruises are particularly popular and you need to book at least six weeks in advance.
  • These cruises run from March to October, with the ideal months being March, April, September, and October.

4. Bosphorus Cruise

Many cruises sail in the Istanbul Bosphorus bridge area.
See the iconic sites of Istanbul from a Bosphorus cruise.

The Bosphorus Strait is an imposing body of water carving its way through Istanbul’s Asian and European shores. Spend an afternoon on a Bosphorus cruise to admire the city’s unique skyline, or enjoy delectable traditional food.

  • Cruise along the Golden Horn to see icons like the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Rumeli Castle illuminated at night.
  • Bosphorus Cruises can be booked on the day of travel, as there are dozens of boats available. But if you want to book a smaller intimate cruise, it is better to book a couple of days in advance.

Insider's tip: The Istanbul Bosphorus Sunset Cruise is for those who are romantic at heart. In this tour, you get to admire Istanbul’s skyline as you sail on the waterway that forms the continental boundary between Europe and Asia. Immerse yourself in the calming air of the sea and enjoy the front-row view of this great historic city, away from the urban pell-mell. Besides finding a greater appreciation for the city, the tour also promises superlative services offered by an excellent cruise team. — Tugrul Gokce from Bosphorus Tour by Velena Travel

5. Family Cruise on Turquoise Coast

Fethiye is the starting point for a cruise in the Turquoise Coast.
Hop on a family cruise in the Turquoise Coast.

Head to the south of Turkey to explore the enigmatic Turquoise Coast. In this eight-day adventure you will stop at places like Kekova, Fethiye and Yassica Island, as well as visit the rugged coves and shorelines.

  • You will visit the ruins of Caunus, snorkel around the deserted Gemiler Island, and see Xanthos, the capital of ancient Lycia, in this cruise tour.
  • The tour starts from Fethiye but flights are not included in the tour price.
  • You should book this cruise tour more than three months in advance, as very few spots are available. Try arriving a day before the trip to avoid unnecessary delays.

A cruise in Turkey offers a balance between historical and cultural exploration and relaxing holiday experience at some of the most beautiful locations in Turkey. Contact our local travel experts and go on a customized cruise trip to Turkey.

Published by Tim Green, updated on June 19, 2023
Plan a trip to Turkey We offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to Turkey.
  • Kadir Ismail Kuscu
    Kadir Ismail Kuscu Travel Expert in Turkey
  • Ozgur Ates
    Ozgur Ates Travel Expert in Turkey
  • Furkan Gokcel
    Furkan Gokcel Travel Expert in Turkey
Our travel experts are recommended by:
  • BBC
  • Independent
  • Lonely Planet
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