Sea of Marmara

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An online cruising guide for yachts sailing around the Sea of Marmara in Turkey.

KemerKarabigaErdekBandirmaMudanyaÇinarcikYalovaPendikIstanbulŞarköyTekirdagSilivriMarmara IslandsPrinces Islands
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Chart of the Sea of Marmara - For details click on a name or an area
Sea of Marmara
World icon.png 40°43′N, 28°13′E
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Chart icon.png Chartlet

The Sea of Marmara (Turkish: Marmara Denizi, Greek: Θάλασσα του Μαρμαρά or Προποντίς, Bulgarian: Мраморно море,Hungarian: Márvány-tenger (Marble sea)), also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as Propontis (Greek: Προποντίς), is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating the Asian part of Turkey from its European part. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black Sea and the Dardanelles strait to the Aegean. The former also separates Istanbul into its Asian side and European side. The Sea has an area of 11,350 km2 and is about 150 nM (280 km) long and 43 nM (80 km) wide.

The salinity of the sea averages about 22 parts per thousand, which is slightly greater than that of the Black Sea but only about two-thirds that of the oceans. However, sea-bottom waters are much more saline, averaging salinities of around 38 parts per thousand — similar to that of the Mediterranean Sea. This high-density saline water, like that of the Black Sea itself, does not migrate to the surface. Water from the Granicus, Susurluk, Biga and Gonen Rivers also reduces the salinity of the sea, though with less influence than on the Black Sea. Almost all of these rivers flow from Anatolia: very little land in Thrace drains southward.

There are two major island groups known as the Prince's and Marmara islands. The latter group is rich in sources of marble and gives the sea its name (Greek marmaro, marble). A notable island located in this sea is İmralı, where Abdullah Öcalan is imprisoned.


224 Maramara Denizi
1005 Marmara Adasi to Istanbul Boğazi
55040 Sea of Marmara
29 Marmara Sea
291 İzmit Körfezi
292 İstanbul - Mudanya
293 Büyükçekmece - Hoşköy
294 Marmara Adaları - İmralı Adası
295 Hoşköy - Gelibolu
296 Marmara Adaları
109 Ionio-Aegeo Steno Messinis mechri Thalassa Marmara

Local Radio Nets

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Submit details of Cruiser's Nets and VHF operating/calling channels here.

Climate & Weather

See Turkey.

Arrival/Departure procedures

See Turkey.

Special Navigation Notes and transit details

The Sea of Marmara is an enclosed sea and one may be deceived into complacency, thinking that it is an easy sea to transit. The fact is that it can develop very short choppy seas which if you are going against them make a very uncomfortable and wet ride. Also the weather here can change rather abruptly and violent thunderstorms are fairly frequent during the summer resulting in very bad visibility in these waters full of large commercial shipping.

The Sea of Marmara, considering its proximity to Istanbul, is not a popular cruising ground. With the exception of an occasional regatta from Istanbul you will rarely come across another yacht.

Note, however, that during the close season for the fishing boats (May to September), many of the commercial harbours around the Sea of Marmara are filled to bursting with laid up trawlers and purse seiners. It can be difficult if not impossible to find space to moor in them during these months and a yacht is well advised to head for harbours which cater for cruising yachts, of which there are a number around the shores.

Ports, Anchorages, and Islands

Ordered from Dardanelles to Istanbul.

Key to symbols: || Port entry icon — Port of entry || Harbour icon — Harbor || Marina icon — Marina || Anchorage icon — Anchorage || Needs data icon — Needs data ||

South Coast NorthCoast Islands Groups

Routes/Passages To/From

List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.

Cruiser's Friends

Submit details/contacts of cruiser's "friends" that can be contacted in advance or on arrival - who can offer information and assistance to our cruising "family".

Forum Discussions

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

External Links

References & Publications

See Turkey.

Personal Notes

Personal experiences?

Last Visited & Details Checked (and updated here)

Date of member's visit to this Port/Stop & this page's details validated:

This is a useable page of the cruising guide. However, please sail in and help it grow further - add new notes and edit/update the existing information! GRAB THE PAGE AND BUILD IT!.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Istioploos, Atheneoflymington, Haiqu,Monterey

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