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Guide to Dinner Cruises on Bosphorus in Istanbul | Types, Prices & Tips [2022]

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show

This is our complete guide to Bosphorus Dinner Cruises in Istanbul.

Joining a scenic Bosphorus Dinner Cruise is not only a special experience for tourists but also for the locals. No wonder, it is one of the most popular activity in the city

In Istanbul, you have 2 main options of types of dinner cruises

  1. A Bosphorus Dinner Cruise in a big boat, with a lot of attractions, shows and thousands of other tourists like you.
  2. A Private Bosphorus Dinner Cruise in an intimate luxurious yacht with attractions, dj and refined food for you and your loved ones only.

Since there are dozens of boat companies in Istanbul, with different prices, and specializing in European, American or Arab visitors, it's easy to lose track.

Our guide will help you find your way through the price and dinner cruise jungle. We also answer frequently asked questions and reveal useful information.  

At the end of the guide, you will be able to make the best choice for the right Dinner Cruise Yacht to spend an unforgettable evening in Istanbul. Also enjoy of 2 options of cruises with a discount of 5 % through our partners.

Let’s start!

1. What to expect at a Bosphorus Dinner Cruise in Istanbul?

On a Bosphorus dinner cruise, you can admire the magic of Istanbul at night from the water while enjoying a unique evening packed with a variety of live on-board entertainment

As you dine, glide across the glittering Bosphorus, passing waterfront palaces, historical sites and illuminated landmarks of Istanbul such as Maiden's Tower, Dolmabahce Palace and the Bosphorus Bridge.

1.1. Timing of the cruise

The cruise takes place around 8:30 pm and typically lasts about 3 hours. The night is filled with breathtaking views, colorful entertainment, delicious food and awesome photo opportunities.

1.2. Entertainment on board

Here are the types of entertainment usually offered by the dinner cruise boats in Istanbul:

  • Turkish Folk Dance: This traditional Turkish dance show delights with Turkish folk music and folk dances from different regions of the country. These mostly include Caucasian DanceTurkish Sword Dance or Turkish Gypsy Dance.
  • Whirling Dervishes: Immerse yourself in a completely different world at the Whirling Dervishes Show. Witness the mysticism of this transcendental performance by Sufi practitioners, accompanied by mesmerizing music.
  • Belly Dance Show: The highlight of the Turkish dinner night show is the belly dancer. With her rhythmical performance, the belly dancer will take you to the world of "1001 Nights." Those who wish can tip the dancer by tucking bills on her belt when she dances from table to table.
  • Live DJ Performance: About after 2 hours, when dinner is over, the DJ will set the mood with Turkish pop music. Most of the time, the belly dancers join the party and animate the guests to dance.

1.3. Typical Dining Options

Read about dinner options here:

  • Meze: Turkish Meze culture is an important part of Turkish cuisine. Mezes are small dishes similar to tapas. These starters are served cold or hot, often in combination with fish and rakı.
  • Main Dishes: If you decide to go on a ship that offers a menu, you usually can choose between fish, meatballs or chicken. Sometimes there are also steak, vegetarian and seafood options. With an open buffet, you can choose from a wide variety of dishes to eat.
  • Salad: Seasonal salad
  • Dessert: Fresh fruits & Turkish desserts
  • Soft Drinks: Some dinner cruises offer unlimited soft drinks.
  • Alcoholic beverages: If you choose a dinner cruise with alcoholic beverages, be aware that they usually serve local brands. Some cruises even offer unlimited alcoholic beverages. 

2. Types of Dinner Cruise Ships 

Did you know that there are dozens of ship companies for dinner cruises, and dozens of luxurious yacht ready to take you on the Bosphorus for a night? The interesting think to know is that they all specialize in different groups of visitors and have different ratings.


2.1. Private Yacht Option:

The private yacht option is by far the most popular and appreciated of all by tourists of all kind. You embarque on a very intimate trip on the Bosphorus with your loved ones only and enjoy a delicious meal while watching the city's most amazing monuments, palaces, mosques and mansions. The DJ is here to make the trip fun and unforgettable, and some shows entertain your group after dinner, until the end of the trip. Without a doubt a true exceptional moment you will not forget...

2.2. Big luxurious Boat Option:

This type of boat is very large and can welcome more than 400 people sometimes. It's a very entertaining dinner, like attending a fun wedding or a show with dinner by itself. The music is sometimes loud but very entertaining, and the food is deliciously prepared by a chef that is well-known. 

This dinner cruises are primarily tailored to visitors from Arab countries or Europe. The main difference is that alcohol is served on the ships for European guests, but not on the ships for Arab guests

To help you choose the right ship or yacht for you and book the right price, we will give you an overview of all operating dinner cruise companies below:

Important: Many internet portals like GetYourGuide and Viator have offers from agencies that do not always use the correct images. So please be careful and make sure that you get on the right ship. On this page you will find the correct details and images.

3. Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Companies

3. 1. The Best Luxurious Private Yacht Company

This is a brand-new service and ideal for everyone who wants to experience a special dinner cruise on the Bosphorus, but in the privacy of a luxurious private yacht. If you prefer to have an intimate experience in a small group instead of cruising with up to 400 people on board, this dinner cruise is for you. An excellent setting for a romantic dinner with your loved one or a special evening with friends and family!

The dinner cruise on a private yacht includes a Turkish dinner, unlimited soft drinks and 2 glasses of Beer or Wine. Local shows like a belly dancer and an on-board DJ provide spectacular entertainment and upbeat vibes. And the best thing is that you can enjoy the luxury of a private yacht quite economically, because it is cheaper than renting a yacht for several people.

3. 2. Luxurious Dinner Cruise Companies

PEREME

This ship is not specialized for a particular visitor group and has mixed guests from all around the world. On this ship, you can experience the famous Turkish meze culture first hand with a 3-course dinner menu. Enjoy the mezes along with a glass of anise-flavored rakı while admiring the belly dancer group show. Other captivating show highlights are Whirling Dervish, Sword Dance, Turkish Gypsy Dance, Turkish Folk Dance and a DJ performance.

Pereme serves alcohol. Unlimited soft drinks are included in the ticket price. If you add unlimited alcoholic beverages to your package, you will get alcoholic drinks from local brands. Don't miss to try rakı, the one and original Turkish drink. 

  • Name of the Ships: Aydin Sedat, Kaptan Nazmi Alev & Riza Yusuf Girit
  • Departure Point:  Kabatas Pier
  • Departure Time: 8:30 PM
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: €50 (€47.5 with our discount)

ORIENT

Orient Bosphprus Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

The company mainly addresses the needs of Arabian guests. Orient offers three different types of Bosphorus dinner cruises. The most expensive option includes an à la carte menu with unlimited alcoholic beverages. The other two types differ in that one dinner cruise does not serve alcohol, while the other offers unlimited alcoholic beverages. 

The entertainment program is the same for all three night tours: there is Turkish classical dinner music, a belly dancer, a DJ, a whirling dervish show and various traditional Turkish folk dances such as the Kafkas show, Henna Ceremony and Turkish Halay. 

  • Name of the Ship: Orient Bosphorus
  • Departure Point: Kabatas Pier
  • Departure Time: 8:30 PM
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 35 €

SUDATUR

SudaTur Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

Sudatur stands out with its luxurious ship with a capacity of 900 guests. The company focuses mainly on Iranian guests. That's why they bring famous singers from Iran to Istanbul to perform on the Bosphorus Dinner Cruises. In fact, some of the Iranian guests are coming just to see the live concerts during the dinner cruise. Alcohol is served on the ship.

  • Capacity: 900 Pax
  • Departure Point: Kabatas Pier
  • Departure Time: 8:00 PM
  • Ticket Price: 55 €

AHLAL RAYA

Ahlal Raya Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

This company specializes in visitors from Arabic countries. That’s why their dinner cruise concept is an Arabian night with dinner but without alcohol. They offer an open buffet, including cola. Shisha, tea, dessert, fruits, snacks or cocktails are among the extras offered. The dinner show includes Arabic folklore, a light show, DJ performance, Bab Al-Hara show, Ghawar el Toshi show and 3 performing artists.

  • Name of the Ship: Semiramis 3
  • Capacity: Winter 200 Pax, summer 350 Pax
  • Departure Point: Kabataş Pier
  • Departure Time: 8:30 pm
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 40 €

SEMIRAMIS MELODY

Semiramis Melody Istanbul Dinner Cruise

Semiramis Melody offers Arabian Night Dinner Cruises, which is why they have a lot of guests from Arabic countries. The entertainment program consists of a sword show, Arabic folklore, DJ performance and 2 to 3 artists. The ticket includes an open buffet and soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages are not available.

  • Name of the Ship: Semiramis 2
  • Capacity: Winter 200 Pax, summer 350 Pax
  • Departure Point: Kabataş Pier
  • Departure Time: 8:30 pm
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 35 €

EZZEL ŞAM

Ezzel Şam Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

This company caters to the needs of guests from Arab countries. Services included are open buffet and cola. The extras on offer are dessert, shisha, tea, fruit, snacks and cocktails. The purchase of alcoholic beverages is not possible. For entertainment they offer Arabic folklore, a sword show, 3 artists and a DJ. 

  • Name of the Ship: Lüfer 6
  • Capacity: Winter 200 Pax, summer 400 Pax
  • Departure Point: Karaköy Pier
  • Departure Time: 8:30 pm
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 50 €

ARUS SHAM

Arus Sham Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

This dinner cruise ship, customized for Arab guests, stands out with an exceptional evening program. Besides the typical DJ performance, singers and Arabic folklore, there is a La Casa del Papel show, a sword show and Palestinian-Iraqi folk dances. For dinner you can enjoy an open buffet and soft drinks. Other services such as tea, desserts, fruits or sisha, are extra. Alcoholic beverages are not served on this ship.

  • Name of the Ship: Yüzen Saray
  • Capacity: Winter 200 Pax, summer 400 Pax
  • Departure Point: Karaköy Pier
  • Departure Time: 8:30 pm
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 40 €

AŞK ISTANBUL

Aşk Istanbul Dinner Cruise

Aşk Istanbul's dinner cruises include an open buffet, cola and an entertainment program with a DJ performance, two singers, Arabic folklore and a sword show. The company has adapted its dinner cruises for Arab guests. For this reason, no alcoholic drinks are served. However, if desired, you can order snacks, shisha, tea, fruits, cocktails or desserts for a fee. 

  • Name of the Ship: Keyif Style
  • Capacity: Winter 200 Pax; summer 400 Pax
  • Departure Point: Kabataş Pier
  • Departure Time: 8:30 pm
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 40 €

AL ARABIYA

Al Arabiya Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

As the name suggests, Al Arabiya caters to the needs of guests from Arab countries. The entertainment program is varied and combines Turkish and Arab performances. These feature the showman Ala Zeyno, a sword dance, a dervish show, Arabic folklore and three Turkish singers. A DJ performance completes the evening. Included in the ticket price is an open buffet with cola. Shisha, cocktails, snacks, tea, fruits and desserts are additional extras.

  • Name of the Ship: Mehmet Akyel
  • Capacity: Winter 200 Pax; summer 400 Pax
  • Departure Point: Kabataş
  • Departure Time: 8:30 pm
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 35 €

LAYALI SHAMIYA

Layalı shamiya Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

If you don’t drink alcohol and are interested in joining a dinner cruise that specializes in Arabic shows, take a closer look at this company. The program highlights are an Arabic folklore group, a Whirling Dervishes Show, a DJ, a Turkish dance group, 3 artists, a violinist and a saxophonist. The concept includes an open buffet and cola. Alcohol is not available on this ship. Available extras are snacks, shisha, tea, desserts, cocktails and fruits.

  • Name of the Ship: Tosunpaşa
  • Capacity: Winter 300 Pax; summer 600 Pax
  • Departure Point: Kabataş
  • Departure Time: 8:30 pm
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 50 €

ŞAM GECESI

Şam Gecesi Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

Şam Gecesi is a subsidiary company of Leyale Shamiye. You can experience almost the same concept for cheaper ticket prices. The entertainment program features an Arabic folklore group, a Whirling Dervishes Show, a DJ, a Turkish dance group, 3 artists and a violinist. Like Leyale Shamiye, the dining concept is an open buffet with cola and additional extras, no alcohol.

  • Name of the Ship: Aşk
  • Capacity: Winter 250 Pax; summer 400 Pax
  • Departure Point: Kabataş
  • Departure Time: 8:30 pm
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 40 €

LEYALI ISTANBUL

LEYALI ISTANBUL Dinner Cruise

This Arabian-style dinner cruise with an open buffet and soft drinks features an out-of-the-ordinary entertainment program. If you want to experience an Arabian night with great live music, this might be the right cruise for you. Leyali Istanbul impresses with its notable singers, whom the company flies in especially for the Bosphorus dinner cruise. Other show features are an Arab folklore group, a Whirling Dervishes show, a Whirling Dervishes show with LED light, a DJ, a Turkish dance group, and a violinist. Even though alcoholic beverages are not officially served, alcohol is said to be available.

  • Name of the Ship: Selamet Savfet
  • Capacity: Winter 400 Pax; summer 600 Pax
  • Departure Point: Kabataş
  • Departure Time: 8:30 pm
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price: 50 €

Conclusion

If you want to experience a real Turkish night with traditional flavors, Turkish alcohol and local entertainment with a great atmosphere, Pereme is one of the best optionsThe top priority of this company is to provide an authentic Turkish experience with a good atmosphere and high quality service.

On the other hand, if you want to experience an Iranian-style dinner show with a great Iranian concert, Sudatur is the ideal choice. The company is known for bringing in the Iran’s most famous singers.

For those who do not drink alcohol and wish to experience an Arabian-style Bosphorus dinner cruise with the best artists or best Arabian night shows, we recommend you the Bosphorus dinner cruise of Layali Shamiya or Leyali Istanbul. Both companies place a high value on the entertainment program.

Those of you who want to experience an intimate dinner cruise on the Bosphorus with an extra touch of luxury & lots of privacy should clearly opt for the newest option: the Bosphorus Dinner Cruise on a Private Yacht.

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Departure Points

COVID-19 Safety

  • Social distancing is provided by more space between tables. Since some ships have a capacity of 500 persons, there is plenty of space to keep your distance from others.
  • High-traffic areas are regularly sanitized.
  • Hand sanitizer are provided
  • Temperature checks for staff as well as for travelers upon arrival
  • Face masks are not required during Dinner, but in public areas

Please note: On many ships, you are not required to provide a PCR test or proof of vaccination or recovery. Please contact your chosen Dinner Cruise agency for specific details on that matter.

Things you should Know Before Booking a Bosphorus Dinner Cruise

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise in Istanbul
  • The Bosphorus Dinner Cruises are extremely popular and filled up quickly. That’s why we recommend you to book in advance.
  • All dinner cruises offer a pick-up service. You will usually not be picked up directly from the hotel, but from central locations such as the Old City or the Taksim district. Our Tipp: It is rush hour in Istanbul during the pickup time, so the streets are very busy and crowded. Therefore, we advise you not to take the pick-up service or a cab, but the public transport.
  • Be careful with cheap Bosphorus Dinner Cruises. They often have hidden extras. If you decide to go for a cheap dinner cruise, we recommend you to be very careful and pay attention to what is included in the package and what isn’t.
  • Do not rely on the pictures you see on various websites like GetYourGuide and Viator. 99% of the pictures that are used are not of the actual dinner cruise ship.
  • Most ships have a photographer on board. He comes to the tables and takes photos. The price per photo is about 5 €.
  • Shisha can be purchased on the upper deck of the cruise ships.
  • Smoking is not permitted inside the ship. It is allowed only in certain areas in the open air.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are Bosphorus Dinner Cruises?

On an Istanbul dinner cruise on the Bosphorus, you can admire the magic of the city at night from the water. At the same time, you can enjoy a unique dinner show evening packed with a variety of live on-board entertainment. 

What to wear on a Bosphorus Dinner Cruise?

On a Bosphorus Dinner Cruises with entertainment, people usually dress up nicely.  This event is the ideal time to impress your loved ones and take out the nicest cloth that you bought in Istanbul. However, make sure that you are not dressed too fancy. A casual-chic outfit is ideal.

How long do Bosphorus Dinner Cruises last?

A Bosphorus Dinner Cruise usually lasts about 3 hours.

Is pick up available?

All companies of Bosphorus dinner cruise & night show from Istanbul offer a pick-up service. If you decide to book the pick-up service, please note that it usually does not pick up guests directly at the hotel, but at central locations such as the Old Town or the Taksim district.

Contact Us

If you need more guidance concerning the choice of Bosphorus Dinner Cruises to book, don't hesitate to ask us your questions in the form below. We will reply in less than 48 hours.

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