Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey as well as a cultural center. Nestled spectacularly between Asia and Europe across the Bosphorus Strait, the city is a crossroads of Arab and European cultures – a unique blend of the two The popular religions on the planet are Islam and Christianity. The city once called Constantinople is now Europe’s most populous urban center and a major Turkish port. Famous for its tourist places, this city is worth visiting. Here are some cruises from Istanbul to finalize your Turkey stay.
10 best cruises from Istanbul
Choosing the right cruise is important and can be a matter of extreme confusion. Based on aggregate statistics, we present you the best of all cruise trips starting from Istanbul.
1. Celebrity Equinox
Celebrity Equinox Cruises is a German beauty and the second of five Solstice-class cruises. Visit some of Europe’s ancient ruins on a 7 night cruise aboard the 7-star luxury cruise liner Celebrity Equinox. Starting in Istanbul, visit the ancient ruins of the Greek Pantheon and the stunning island of Mykonos in Greece. Sit atop Mount Etna, an active volcano, experience the bravery of the Knights of the Order of St. John by visiting their fortress in Malta and finally make your way through rich Roman history by getting the chance to stop in Rome.
Duration: 7 nights
Cost: Starting from US$600
Main characteristics: Athens, Mykonos, Mount Etna, Malta, Rome
2. MS Prinsendam of Holland America
Holland America’s MS Prinsendam has been nicknamed the ‘Elegant Explorer’. This is a unique cruise journey that travels across 3 continents. Departing from Istanbul in Asia and ending in Barcelona in Europe, the main destination is Egypt in Africa. Visit the historic cities of Cairo and Alexandria and experience the beauty of Egypt. Visit the four most important ancient civilizations, namely – Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek and Roman.
Duration: 11 nights
Cost: Starting from US$1500
Main characteristics: Athens, Cairo, Alexandria, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Corsica, Pompeii, Rome and Naples
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3. Divine Crystal
This is a cruise that starts in Istanbul and ends in Istanbul but covers all the major destinations in Turkey and Greece. These two maritime neighbors offer the visitors the most delightful view across the calm and blue waters of the Aegean Sea. The ship is equipped with all the luxuries you could dream of and for its price it is a steal.
Duration: 7 nights
Cost: Starting from $1200
Main characteristics: Istanbul, Canakkale, Volos, Crete, Santorin, Mykonos and Athens
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4. Splendor of the seven seas
Seven Seas Splendor is the sister ship of Seven Seas Explorer, which was declared “the most luxurious ship ever built” by the cruise line. Board the world’s most luxurious cruise liner and explore the best of the four amazing countries of Greece, Turkey, Italy and Croatia. This cruise starts from Turkey and ends in Italy. Paradise on the sea is served up when your journey starts in Istanbul and ends in Venice – two of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Duration: 10 nights
Cost: Starting from $5000
Main characteristics: Istanbul, Lesbos, Kusadasi, Santorin, Athens, Olympia, Corsica, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice
5. Ponant’s Le Bougainville
Operated by Ponant Cruises, this tour is carried out by Le Bougainville Liner. This cruise expedition includes the best destinations in and around the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Start your cruise journey in Istanbul and end in Athens, Greece. From head to toe, this cruise ship is filled with every kind of luxury you can dream of.
Duration: 7 nights
Cost: Starts at $2680
Main characteristics: Istanbul, Lemnos, Paros, Syros, Bodrum, Symi, Patmos, Athens
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6. Regent Seven Star
Embark on a beautiful journey through Europe’s cities in the Aegean Sea, Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea regions of Europe. Receive personalized recommendations and an all-inclusive tour of European cities along with luxurious accommodations on Regent Seven Star Cruises. Start your journey in Istanbul and end it at the Piraeus port of Athens in Greece.
Duration: 8 nights
Cost: Starting from $6299
Main characteristics: Istanbul, Lesbos, Kusadasi, Rhodes, Heraklion, Gythion, Santorin, Mykonos, Piraeus
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7. Black Sea Cruise from Istanbul
This 11-night round trip cruise from Istanbul lets you experience the beautiful and serene sites of the Black Sea. Visit the many Crimean and Ottoman monuments and memorials, discover the rich Roman and Byzantine history and immerse yourself in the beauty of Europe’s black beaches.
Duration: 11 nights
Cost: Starting from $2000
Main characteristics: Istanbul, Odessa, Sochi, Sevastopol, Yalta and Burgas
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8. Istanbul, Black Sea and Greece Cruise
Embark on a wonderful journey showcasing the Black Sea system as well as the party islands of Greece. Embark on this 14-night trip and enjoy the best that Europe has to offer. Go beyond imagination and discover the natural beauty of Europe along the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts.
Duration: 14 nights
Cost: Starting from $3300
Main characteristics: Istanbul, Odessa, Yalta, Med, Athens, Santorin and Mykonos
9. Rhapsody of the Sea
Board Royal Caribbean Cruise Liners’ flagship ship and experience the beauty of Turkey, Greece and Italy. This 9-day cruise takes you to all the major cities and tourist destinations along the Mediterranean coasts of Asia and Europe. Witness the blend of Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Ottoman cultures.
Duration: 9 days and 8 nights
Cost: Starting at $906 plus tax
Main characteristics: Istanbul, Rome, Naples, Sicily, Athens, Mykonos and Sardinia
10. Budapest Cruise
Board the Scenic Crystal and explore Europe’s rivers and hinterland. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover and explore the hinterlands of Europe and Asia aboard a cruise liner, starting from Istanbul and sailing to Budapest. The cruise has a huge viewing deck that offers beautiful, panoramic views of both land and sea.
Duration: 17 night
Cost: Starting from $8579
Main characteristics: Istanbul, Canakkale, Gallipoli, Nessebar, Bucharest, Giurgiu, Silistra, Nikopol, Iron Gates, Belgrade, Osijek, Kalocsa, Budapest.
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Istanbul has always been a tourist hotspot, but with the increasing interest of sea lovers, many cruises have come under the radar. Although choosing one can be a tough task, the list above contains the best cruises from Istanbul that should definitely be on your customized holidays to Turkey.
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FAQs about cruises from Istanbul
What places does Celebrity Equinox Cruises cover from Istanbul?
You can take a 7-night cruise from Istanbul, choose this cruise that covers most of the attractions in Greece. Mount Etna, Mykonos Island, Athens and some places in Malta. You can also stay for some time in Rome and delve into Roman history.
What is the unique cruise that travels to 3 continents from Istanbul?
MS Prinsendam is the cruise ship that travels from Istanbul to 3 continents. This is the best cruise to visit the ancient sites of Greece, Rome and Egypt. It continues for 11 nights.
What is the most affordable and scenic cruise you can take from Istanbul?
Celestial Cruises is the most affordable cruise that takes you on the most beautiful trips in and around Istanbul. It has all your luxury amenities.
Where does Seven Seas Splendor take you from Istanbul?
This is one of the most luxurious ships that takes you to the most beautiful places in 4 countries. This includes several locations in Greece, Croatia, Turkey and Italy. It lasts for 10 days and comes at a reasonable price.
What is a wonderful ship in which you can travel to European cities?
Regent Seven Seas is one of the most luxurious cruise ships that comes with lavish amenities at a reasonable price taking you to most of the Mediterranean areas of Europe.
Are the toilets on all cruise ships clean?
All rooms and bathrooms on these cruise ships come with a variety of amenities and facilities in the cabins as well as the bathrooms. The cabins and bathrooms are extremely clean with daily housekeeping facilities.
What is the best time to take a cruise to Istanbul?
The weather remains pleasant from September to November and is the best time to take a cruise in Istanbul. Summers are hot and April to May is suitable for sailing. Monsoon should be avoided as Istanbul receives heavy rainfall during this season.
Are there clean toilets on the cruise?
Yes! Washrooms and bathrooms in cruises are usually small in size but efficiently maintained. Necessary toiletries are also usually provided inside these places, so you may not need to carry anything with you.
What are the major attractions located near Istanbul Cruise Port?
Some of the major attractions located near Istanbul Cruise Port are:
1. Galata Tower
2. Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
3. Tofen-İ Amire Culture and Arts Center Museum
4. Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum (Museum)
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