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WorldMediterraneanTurkeySea of MarmaraIstanbul
Port of Entry
41°00.817'N, 028°57.300'E Chart icon.png
lat=41.013611 | lon=28.955 | zoom=12 | y
Turkey Istanbul r.jpg
Chart of Istanbul Region

Today's Istanbul is a thriving city, and with its history and monuments one of the most fascinating places that a cruiser, or any other visitor, can visit.


224 Maramara Denizi
1005 Marmara Adasi to Istanbul Boğazi
55040 Sea of Marmara
29 Marmara Sea
292 İstanbul - Mudanya


See Turkey.



Marmara Islands Marmara Islands/wiki/Marmara_Islands
Princes Islands Princes Islands/wiki/Princes_Islands


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The approach to Istanbul and Bosphorus, the narrow channel that separates Europe from Asia from the sea is one of the most breathtaking sites one can ever see. You can see the Bosphorus Bridge, suspension bridge; Agia Sophia; the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace to the north, and the palaces and mansions which line both sides of the channel.

The traffic in the narrow channel is horrific. Boats are everywhere: large steamers coming from or going to the Black Sea, ferryboats cutting across at high speed, cruise ships, motor cruisers, small fishing boats, even a couple of sail boats all in an anarchic mess, totally oblivious of any rules of navigation regarding mutual avoidance but doing so as if by miracle. The water is also very polluted.

See also Sea of Marmara.


If you are either entering or exiting Turkey the staff of the marinas may be able to help you. But, bear in mind that these marinas mainly cater to local yachts and their staff may not be very familiar with the official procedures. The Turkish officials are in the Karaköy district. It is better to go there yourself.

For details see Turkey.


There are several anchorages near Istanbul. The two most important are the Ataköy and the Kalamis Marinas.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

West Istanbul Marina

West Istanbul Marina/wiki/Istanbul#West_Istanbul_Marina
Berth icon West Istanbul Marina [[Istanbul#West Istanbul Marina|West Istanbul Marina]] 40°57.714'N, 028°39.630'E

new and with all service, cheaper then the other marinas but far out of the city.

XX@XXX; Tel: +90 212 850 22 00; Fax: +XX XX XXXX-XXXX; VHF channel XX
Address: Yaakuplu Marmara Mah., Ulusum Cad. No:28, 34524 Beylikdüzü Organize Sanayi Bölgesi/Beylikdüzü/Beylikdüzü/İstanbul, Turkey
Hours: 8:00 to 16:00


See Bosphorus.


Water Both the Ataköy and Kalamis marinas provide water to each berthed yacht at the dock
Electricity Both the Ataköy and Kalamis marinas provide electricity outlets for each yacht at the dock
Toilets In the marinas
Showers In the marinas
Garbage There are bins around the marinas
Fuel Both the Ataköy and Kalamis marinas have a fueling dock
Bottled gas ?
  • There is a chandlery within Ataköy Marina
  • There is a chandlery near the Kalamis Marina
  • The best chandleries, however, can be found in the Karaköy district
Repairs See marina entries
Internet In the marinas and in cafés
Mobile connectivity Strong 4G signal in most places
Vehicle rentals Car rental can be arranges at the marinas, however, driving in Istanbul is not for the faint hearted


  • There are several supermarkets within walking distance from Kalamis Marina
  • A huge Migros supermarket is about 10 minutes' walk from Ataköy Marina
  • Of course, there is the Grand Bazaar where you can find almost anything

Eating out

  • In general there are numerous very good restaurants in Istanbul
  • The Darüzziyafe is a traditional Turkish restaurant near the Süleymaniye Cami (Mosque), its food is outstanding
  • The restaurant within the Kalamis compound serves excellent food
  • From Ataköy Marina, it is a 10-15 minute walk to the suburb of Yesilkoy, where there are fast food establishments, cafes and restaurants to meet every taste


  • Two International airport with connections almost anywhere in the world.
  • Links to the official Bus, Train and Ferry operators websites that contain route maps and timetables are at Public transport in Istanbul Wikipedia webpage - External Links section.



Istanbul (Εις την Πόλι - is tin Poli - to the city) the capital of the Byzantine Empire, Κωνσταντινούπολις (Constantinoupolis - the city of Constantine) or, as it is known to all the Greeks, simply as "η Πόλις" (i Polis - the City) has been dominating the history of Eastern Mediterranean for almost 1800 years. Today it is a thriving metropolis of 7,550,000 inhabitants and Turkey's largest city. It is a fascinating place where East meets West, Islam meets Christianity, and Greeks meet Turks. Istanbul started life as a modest Greek settlement, Byzantium, founded by colonists from Megara. In 330 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of his empire to Byzantium and renamed it Nova Roma (New Rome). At his death the empire was split by his sons into the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. The later evolved into the Byzantine Empire. The original language of the empire was, of course, Latin but later in the 7th century it was supplanted by Greek.

The Empire reached its peak during the rein of Justinian and Theodora (483 - 548). It was during this time that the magnificent Hagia Sophia church which still dominates Istanbul's skyline was built. Eventually the Empire went into decline and by the time of the Fourth Crusade was so weakened that the crusaders [1] captured it 1204. In 1261 the Byzantines recovered their city and the Empire, a shadow of its glorious past, lingered for over 200 more years.

In the meantime, around the 11th century a Turkish tribe, the Seljuqs started migrating and conquering lands in Anatolia. Their empire collapsed in the 13th. One of its constituent Turkish tribes, the Söğüt settled in the river valley of Sakarya and started to fill the vacuum. They became known as "Ottomans" after Osman (1258–1326) one of their early leaders who united them. By the time Mehmet I| became their sultan in 1451 they had become the major power and dominated all the former Byzantine lands. Fulfilling Murad’s (his father) dream in April 1453 he besieged Constantinople and on 29 May 1453 the city fell and the Byzantine Empire ceased to exist.

The city now was the capital of the Ottoman Empire which for dominated the Mediterranean region for the next 400 years. It was a large, cosmopolitan, and for its day fairly enlightened empire. Under it many cultures flourished. At the height of its power (16th–17th century), it spanned three continents, controlling much of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It stretched from the Strait of Gibraltar (and, in 1553, the Atlantic coast of Morocco beyond Gibraltar) in the west to the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf in the east, and from the edge of Austria, Hungary and parts of Ukraine in the north to Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen in the south. On November 1, 1922 the last emperor, Mehmed VI, following Turkey's defeat in World War I, was deposed and on October 29, 1923 the Ottoman Empire also eased to exist. It was succeeded by the Republic of Turkey with its capital in Ankara. The Republic's leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of modern Turkey, started a vast modernization campaign bringing his country into the 20th century.

Places to Visit

There are so many things to see and do in Istanbul that we cannot possibly cover but the barest essentials. It is best to consult one of the many tourist guides.

Hagia Sophia
The majestic interior of Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine Cathedral of Constantinoupolis, now a museum. It is one of the most important architectural monuments ever built and its huge dome one of the most ambitious architectural achievements of all time.

Hagia Sophia was built during the rain of the emperor Justinian and was designed by the mathematician Anthemius and the physicist Isidoros. It was completed in 537 AD. The interior is simply breathtaking in its scale and there are some wonderful mosaics, especially in the gallery (which should not be missed).

There is an admission charge, since Hagia Sofia is now a state museum. It is closed on Mondays. If you are to see only one thing in Istanbul, make sure it is Hagia Sophia.

Exterior of Hagia Sophia
Blue Mosque
Blue or Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Another architectural wonder, just across from Hagia Sophia, is the Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It is a magnificent building, completed in 1616. Its combination of ceramic tiles, stained glass windows, and colorful carpets make the visit to its interior a virtual aesthetic feast.

Topkapi Palace
The Courtyard of the Favorites in Topkapi

Topkapi Palace was the sultan's (Ottoman Emperor’s) residence from 1465 to 1853. Construction of the palace was started in 1459 AD under Sultan Mehmed II. At one time it housed about 4,000 people.

Now it a museum where you can see magnificently illuminated manuscripts, the Prophet's bow and sword, the famous emerald-encrusted dagger of Mehmed II (remember the Topkapi movie with Melina Merkouri and Peter Ustinov), the Spoonmaker's Diamond, etc.

You can also visit the harem section which was opened to the public just a few years ago. The harem has some of the most beautiful tilework to be found anywhere in Turkey as well as some wonderful stained glass. It is really hard to see how about 400 women were kept indoors, prisoners for life, in such a small, although gilded, cage. From the harem one has access to a lovely garden overlooking the Sea of Marmara.

The Crown Prince’s quarters, Topkapi Palace
Istanbul Archaeological Museum
The famous Alexander Sarcophagus

Often overlooked by visitors to the Topkapi Palace (in the grounds of which it lies) is the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. A visit here should not be missed. Among the most interesting exhibits are several Hellenic sarcophagi excavated in Sidon (now in Lebanon), including a breathtaking carved marble one (known as the Alexander Sarcophagus) showing Alexander the Great at the battle of Issus on one side and Alexander hunting lion and deeron the other. Another enchanting sarcophagus shows a series of mourning women in poses which might have come straight from a pre-Raphaelite painting. The museum has a good collection of Hellenic and Roman statuary, including some beautiful statues excavated at Miletus, such as one of Apollo with his lyre. The museum also displays relics from Hittite, Assyrian and earlier Asian civilisations in a separate building.

Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolma Baçe, on the bank of the Bosphorus, was the palace of the last Ottoman Emperors from 1853 to 1922. It is interesting to visit for its gross opulence as it tries to imitate the Palace of Versailles. The palace was built between 1842 and 1853 during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid.

Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar, in Turkish Kapali Çarşi, is the largest Istanbul market. It is also one of the largest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 streets and 6,000 shops, and has between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors per day.

One can wonder for days in its endless vaulted alleyways and narrow streets, dodging the all too eager vendors. Everything from jewellery to lokum (Turkish delight) is on sale here.

Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar, in Turkish Misir Çarşisi, is close to the Yeni Çamii (New Mosque) and is also well worth a visit. Smaller than the Grand Bazaar, it hosts a wide range of shops, many of which specialize in exotic spices from all over the world. Outside the Spice Bazaar to the SE is the small but charming flower and pet bazaar, where every conceivable kind of flower seed, pets and luxury pet foods are on sale.

The Spice Bazaar
The Pet and Flower Bazaar
Basilica Cistern
The Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is a most impressive underground cistern. It was built during the reign of emperor Justinian I in the 6th century. It is an underground chamber of 143 by 65 metres with 336 marble columns. It is easy visit as it is right across from Hagia Sophia.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


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



See Turkey.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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