Two Continents in One Afternoon: A Cruise Along the Bosphorous
Istanbul: one city, two continents. It’s an honor no other city in the world can claim, and a visit would be incomplete without a cruise down the thin stretch of water that makes this possible. The Bosphorous bridges the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea and a guided afternoon cruise gave us a completely different perspective of the city, amazing photo ops and even a little history lesson.
There are a million options for cruises, but we chose one that included lunch, a stop on the Asian side, and get this, the chance to swim in the Black Sea! Awesome right!? We boarded near Sultanahmet and after a solid Turkish lunch set off around the Golden Horn, back up the Bosphorous, beneath the two bridges connecting Europe and Asia, and finally a stopover at the port of Poyrazkoy on the Asian side.
Sounds perfect right? But here's the catch: we found out just before docking that we had to choose between exploring the port on the Asian side OR swimming in the Black Sea-we thought both were included in the itinerary. Well, there was no way we could decide, so …we didn’t. We ran off the boat as soon as it touched the dock in Asia, took a picture, then hopped back on before it left again so we could swim too. Boom!
The guides who miraculously were already in their swim trunks, pulled out of Poyrazkoy, turned off the motor, turned on the Top 40 and then leapt off the top railing of the boat into the sea! No information, no safety lesson, no life jackets, nothing…just hop overboard! We couldn’t help but think how this would never happen in the States, but hey, when in Istanbul…
Aside from an uber-swift current that almost killed Jeff (no joke) and a couple of jelly fish, this was one of the best times we had in Istanbul. For one surreal hour, we jumped off the boat, floated, lounged, and listened to Rhianna before finally heading back to the Asian port to pick up the other passengers.
On the way back, we relaxed in the sea breeze and late afternoon sun as our guide pointed out the palaces, monuments, and gazillion-dollar houses that lined the The Bosphorous’ shores.
It was such an amazing way to spend an afternoon and absolutely a ‘must-do’ for anyone traveling in Istanbul!