• Home
  • /
  • Guide of Bosphorus Dinner Cruises in Istanbul | Types, Prices & Tips [2021]

Guide of Bosphorus Dinner Cruises in Istanbul | Types, Prices & Tips [2021]

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

Since there are a total of 15 boat companies with different prices, mainly specializing in European 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.

Let’s start with general information!

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

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show

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.

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.

Entertainment

  • 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.

Typical Dining Options

  • 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 15 ship companies for dinner cruises, which not only differ in prices, but also specialize in different groups of visitors

They 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 for you and book the right price, we will give you an overview of all 15 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.

ORIENT

Orient 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
  • Capacity: Winter ? Pax, summer ? Pax
  • Departure Point: ? Pier
  • Departure Time: ?
  • Offers Transfer: Yes
  • Ticket Price:

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.

  • Name of the Ship:?
  • Capacity: 900 Pax
  • Departure Point: ? Pier
  • Departure Time: ?
  • Offers Transfer: ?
  • Ticket Price:

PEREME

Pereme Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

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
  • Capacity: Winter ? Pax, summer ?Pax
  • Departure Point:  ?Pier
  • Departure Time: ?
  • Offers Transfer: ?
  • Ticket Price:

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: 

SEMIRAMIS MELODY

Semiramis Melody Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

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:

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: 

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:

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: 

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:

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:

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:

LEYALI ISTANBUL

Leyalı Istanbul Dinner Cruise in Istanbul

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:

Bottom Line

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.

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.

Istanbul Shopping 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

Related Articles

>