Istanbul is the largest city as well as the cultural center of Turkey. Sitting gracefully between Asia and Europe across the Bosphorus strait, this city is an intersection of Arab and European cultures – a unique blend of the two most popular religions on the planet, Islam and Christianity. The city which was once called Constantinople is now the most populous urban center in Europe and a major Turkish port. Famous for its tourist locations, this city is a sight to behold. Here are some cruises from Istanbul to add a finishing touch to your Turkish getaway.
10 Best Cruises From Istanbul
Choosing the right cruise is important and can be a topic of immense confusion. Based on the overall statistics, we present to you the best of all the cruise trips originating from Istanbul.
1. Celebrity Equinox
Celebrity Equinox cruise is a German beauty and the second of the five Solstice-class cruises. Visit some of the ancient ruins of Europe on a 7 night Cruise aboard the 7-star luxury cruise liner Celebrity Equinox. Start from Istanbul, visit the ancient ruins of the Greek Pantheon and the ever so charming Mykonos island in Greece. Sit atop an active volcano, Mt. Etna, experience the valor of Knights of the Order of St. John by visiting their fortification in Malta and finally make your way through the rich Roman history by getting a chance to stop in Rome.
Duration: 7 nights
Cost: Starting at USD 600
Highlights: Athens, Mykonos, Mt Etna, Malta, Rome
2. Holland America’s MS Prinsendam
Holland America’s MS Prinsendam is rightfully nicknamed as the ‘Elegant Explorer’. This is a unique cruise trip which travels to 3 continents. Departing from Istanbul in Asia and ending in Barcelona in Europe with the main destination being 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 USD 1500
Highlights: Athens, Cairo, Alexandria, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Corfu, Pompeii, Rome, and Naples
3. Celestyal Crystal
This is a cruise which starts in Istanbul and ends in Istanbul but covers all the major destinations of Turkey and Greece. These two Sea neighbors offer visitors some of the most ecstatic views in the serene and blue waters of the Aegean Sea. The ship is resplendent with all the luxuries that you can dream of and is a steal for the price it offers.
Duration: 7 Nights
Cost: Starting from $ 1200
Highlights: Istanbul, Canakkale, Volos, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens
4. Seven Seas Splendor
Seven Seas Splendor is a sister to the Seven Seas Explorer, which was proclaimed the “most luxurious ship ever built” by the cruise line. Get aboard the most luxurious cruise liner in the world and explore the best of the four amazing countries of Greece, Turkey Italy, and Croatia. The cruise starts from Turkey and ends in Italy. That’s heaven served on the sea as your journey begins in Istanbul and ends it in Venice – two of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Duration: 10 Nights
Cost: starting from $ 5000
Highlights: Istanbul, Lesbos, Kusadasi, Santorini, Athens, Olympia, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice
5. Ponant’s Le Bougainville
Operated by Ponant Cruise, this tour is done by Le Bougainville liner. This cruise expedition includes best destinations from the countries near and around the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Start your cruise trip in Istanbul and end it in Athens, Greece. From head to toe, this cruise ship is filled with all kinds of luxury you can dream of.
Duration: 7 nights
Cost: Starts from $2680
Highlights: Istanbul, Lemnos, Peros, Syros, Bodrum, Symi, Patmos, Athens
6. Regent Seven Star
Embark on a beautiful journey through the cities of Europe in the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea and Mediterranean sea regions of Europe. Receive personalized recommendations and an all-inclusive tour of European Cities along with luxurious accommodations aboard Regent Seven Star Cruises. Start your journey in Istanbul and end it at Piraeus Port of Athens in Greece.
Duration: 8 Nights
Cost: Starting from $6299
Highlights: Istanbul, Lesbos, Kusadasi, Rhodes, Heraklion, Gythion, Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus
7. Black Sea Cruise From Istanbul
This 11 night round trip cruise from Istanbul gives you an experience of the beautiful and serene places along the black. Visit the numerous Crimean and Ottoman memorials and monuments, witness the rich Roman and Byzantine History and get immersed in the beauty of the black seashores of Europe.
Duration: 11 nights
Cost: Starting from $2000
Highlights: Istanbul, Odessa, Sochi, Sevastopol, Yalta, and Burgas
Suggested Read: 9 Istanbul Restaurants For That Perfect Turkish Culinary Affair
8. Istanbul, The Black Sea, And Greece Cruise
Embark on an amazing journey showcasing the Black Sea system as well as the party islands of Greece. Take this 14-night cruise and enjoy the best of what Europe has to offer. Go beyond imagination and see the scenic beauty of Europe along the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea shores.
Duration: 14 Nights
Cost: Starting from $3300
Highlights: Istanbul, Odessa, Yalta, Med, Athens, Santorini and Mykonos
9. Rhapsody Of The Seas
Get aboard the flagship of the Royal Caribbean cruise liners and experience the beauty of Turkey, Greece, and Italy. This 9-day cruise takes you to all major cities and tourist destinations in the Mediterranean shores of Asia and Europe. Witness the medley of Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Ottoman cultures.
Duration: 9 Days and 8 Nights
Cost: Starting from $906 plus taxes
Highlights: Istanbul, Rome, Naples, Sicily, Athens, Mykonos and Santorini
10. Budapest Cruise
Get aboard the Scenic Crystal and explore the Rivers and Hinterlands of Europe. Starting at Istanbul and going all the way up to Budapest, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to discover and explore the hinterlands of Europe and Asia aboard a cruise liner. The cruise has a huge viewing deck which offers scenic, panoramic views of both land and the sea.
Duration: 17 Night
Cost: Starting from $8579
Highlights: Istanbul, Canakkale, Gallipoli, Nessebar, Bucharest, Giurgiu, Silistra, Nikopol, Iron Gates, Belgrade, Osijek, Kalocsa, Budapest.
Istanbul has always been a tourist hotspot, but with the growing interest of sea-lovers, many cruises have popped up on the radar. While choosing one can be a tough call, the list above holds the best cruises from Istanbul that should definitely be on your customized holiday to Turkey.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cruises From Istanbul
A. You can take a 7-night cruise from Istanbul choosing this cruise that covers most of the charming places in Greece. Mount Etna, Mykonos Island, a few places in Athens and Malta. You also get to hop on to Roman history, taking a few stops in Rome.
A. MS Prinsendam is the cruise ship that travels to 3 continents from Istanbul. This is the best cruise you can take to travel to the ancient sites in Greece, Rome, and Egypt. It lasts for 11 nights.
A. Celestyal Cruise is the most affordable cruise that takes you through the most scenic cruises in and around Istanbul. It has all the luxurious amenities you can have.
A. This is one of the most luxurious ships that take you through the most scenic locations in 4 countries. It covers many places in Greece, Croatia, Turkey, and Italy. It lasts for 10 days and comes at a reasonable price.
A. Regent Seven Sea is one of the most luxurious cruise ships that come with lavish amenities at a reasonable price that takes you to most of the Mediterranean regions in Europe.
A. All the rooms and bathrooms on these cruise ships come with many amenities and facilities in the cabin as well as bathrooms. The cabins and bathrooms are squeaky clean with daily housekeeping facilities available.
A. September to November the weather is pleasant and is the best time to take a cruise in Istanbul. Summers are hot and April to May is suitable for cruises. Monsoons are to be avoided as there are heavy rains in Istanbul during this season.
A. Yes! The washrooms and bathrooms in a cruise are usually small in size but are efficiently maintained. The essential toiletries are also generally made available inside these spaces so you may not need to carry any of those.
A. Some of the major attractions located near the Istanbul Cruise Port are:
1. Galata Tower
2. Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
3. Tophane-İ Amire Kultur Ve Sanat Merkezi Museum
4. Galata Mevlevihanesi Müzesi (Museum)
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