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Excellent experience! I was very worried about ambiguous directions provided but it was actually very easy to find. If you take the tram to last station of Kabatas and walk towards the gas station, you will see a ticket kiosk redeeming the voucher. The boat was a bit dirty, but spacious, has a bathroom and offers some refreshments and snacks. Second floor is an open space, so you could sit, walk around, take pictures, etc. The tour lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. There is no guide on this boat, but there is a pre-recording played in Turkish and English that announces major sites the boat is passing. It takes you through almost entire Bosphorus, so you can see glimpses of Marmara Sea on one end and Black Sea on the other. I only wish it came closer to the Maiden Tower Kiz Kulesi but it is still seen in the distance.
Very nice and affordable cruise. You get the feel of the city of Istanbul from the Bospherous River. Many people commented that location was hard to find, however, it can't get any simpler. the ferry is right behind the service station 50 m walk from is Kabatas tam station.
Our guide came and picked us up from our hotel, though it wasn't part of the price, he gave us tons of info on Istanbul, and even paid for our metro ticket. This was the most attentive tour we've ever experienced. Not only did we arrive at the dock safely, but we also learned so much more about life in Istanbul. Thank you!
Very nice Guide. Besides our sightseeing he gave us many other informations where we can have a nice dinner, can shop like a local and what I shouldt do and see else while in Istanbul
It was good, You must do it.
Perfect timing, and well organized tour.
The information on the cruise port was late, and it was hard to hear the description of the sites on the boat. However, the views from the boat are beautiful.
Our guide was good, lots of confusion about the meeting point. Also the sunset cruise started at 6pm but sunset was 8.30pm so it really was not a sunset cruise but just a cruise.
Very disappointing. No information for foreigners on how to get a ticket. Could have ended up anywhere if we got on wrong boat...nearly did. People in ticket box not helpful. Lucky for passing girl who spoke english.
First of all, there is no 'local guide.
To receive our vouchers, we were instructed to get off the tram at a particular stop, look for a red petrol station, and then hunt for a sign with a name on it. Nearby we should look for a man who would hand us our vouchers and point us in the direction of the boat.
We got to the meeting place well in advance. No one was there to meet us. Where were the other tourists, we wondered?
We called our local contact. New instructions: go to a certain building nearby, look for an office with men wearing a certain kind of uniform and speak to someone in charge there. Huh? We wasted an hour, with anxiety and confusion, hunting for our liaison, and finally got a feeble nod from an unidentified official who told us he had no voucher for us but was authorized to allow us onto the boat.
The boat filled with Turkish locals. It appears we were the only tourists. Apparently, Sunday is a day for leisure and recreation in Turkey, when families enjoy outings with their children. This would explain the many children on board, doing what kids do best: running around, laughing, screaming and causing a ruckus.
So Sunday may not be the best day for this type of public cruise.
As soon as passage was permitted, the mobs and baby strollers pressed forward in a frenzy racing to get to the upper deck where limited outdoor seating was available. Left side of the boat has the best views, by the way.
Loudspeakers blared out sightseeing highlights in Turkish, followed by English translation. The sound quality was not great, and it was difficult to catch much information above the roar of the boats engines coupled with the gregariousdin of 500 passengers sociably gabbing.
Istanbul is a beautiful, historical city and the stunning photograph advertising this excursion is a glorious testimony. This cruise, however, fails to deliver any of that sparkle.
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