Frequently Asked Questions
What is the name of the yacht I will be on?
You will be on “Bella Bosphorus”, a 24.5 meter long flybridge motor-yacht which we own and operate. She is the yacht shown in all the photos on this website. Please check out our photo gallery here.
For small groups of up to 12 guests, we do also organise smaller yachts, please just email us for all the details in such case.
Will there be anyone else on the yacht with us?
No, It’ll just be you and your chosen guests (plus the crew and service staff) on board, nobody else, as all our cruises are a private charter.
Will my privacy be respected?
Yes, our crew and service staff are accustomed to entertaining all kinds of guests on board including prominent ones. The professional and attentive staff are discreet and will maintain a low profile waiting on you from the moment you board appearing when needed, disappearing when you want privacy. Confidentiality is an important part of the service we offer.
How Much Does It Cost?
Depending on the type of event, the size of your group and your individual requirements, a detailed price quote and suitable options will be forwarded to you. To get started, please just email us to request a quote, or fill in the “Get A Quote” form on our website. Our English-speaking office team in Istanbul reply all requests within one business day and will be happy to work with you for revisions and modifications.
What is a yacht charter?
A yacht charter is a party, event, or milestone celebration aboard a private luxury yacht that has a fun, festive, and glamorous atmosphere just for you and your chosen guests, nobody else. It offers a unique and charming venue with custom dining options, a professional and friendly service staff, as well as a professionally-trained and certified captain and marine staff.
Sightseeing along the Bosphorus shore’s historical landmarks, such as the Ciragan, Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, Bosphorus Bridges and Andolu & Rumeli Fortresses, while sailing between the Two Continents of Europe & Asia ensures the views during a yacht charter event are spectacular.
Because your event is on a private yacht, you choose the menu from a selection, when you prefer to board and sail, and the dock location from several convenient points in Istanbul. This means that you get to choose where the boat will sail from, when the boat will sail and return, when and where the cocktail hour takes place (rooftop or cocktail lounge), and what type of service you’d like (plated, buffet, or cocktail reception.)
The entire event is customized to suit your needs. We can assist with flowers, photographer, music, entertainment, bellydancer and almost anything else to ensure the perfect yacht charter.
A private charter is ideal for anyone wishing to hire a space for a private party, special occasion, family reunion, wedding, social function, meeting, conference, event, seminar, formal dinner, corporate dinner, sightseeing tour, educational or charity groups.
I’ve never done this before – is it hard to plan a party on a yacht?
We make it extremely easy to plan your event aboard our yacht, Bella Bosphorus, with all-inclusive packages that take care of all your needs. We relieve any event planning anxiety by being on hand for support from beginning to end, throughout the planning stages and on board with your group. We are always available to answer your questions and happy to work with you to make sure the event runs the way you have in mind.
How do I know your yacht is the perfect one for my event?
We are unique in having over 15 years of experience in the tourism and yachting industry in Istanbul. As both tourism professionals and vessel owners, we are sure that our yacht will be perfect for your event – it has been a custom-built for social and corporate group functions exactly of this kind. We will be happy to discuss with you the nature of your event, how many guests you anticipate, and the goal of the event. Based on your needs, we will share with you the menus, pricing and table/seating styles on board that will be right for you. We will also be happy to show you around our yacht for a private viewing/site inspection at the dock.
What about all the details?
It’s easy to plan an event on Bella Bosphorus. We provide the highest-quality linens, chairs, china, glassware, silverware, service staff and crew. The experienced staff sets up the yacht according to your specifications, serves your guests, and cleans up once the event is over.
With our guidance, you get to do the fun part: selecting the menu and beverage options, deciding the timing of boarding and sailing, and which point of departure in Istanbul.
If you’d like anything else for your cruise event, just ask—we can assist you with almost all your needs as a one-stop-shop.
What type of events are usually held on your yacht?
Yacht events range from upscale and elegant—to fun and relaxed. In over 15 years of planning events, we have seen all types of events, including corporate events (from client entertainment and new product launch to team-building and employee recognition), weddings , anniversaries, reunions and special milestone celebrations , fundraisers , galas, school proms and project graduations. Any event you can hold on land is one that can be held on a yacht —with added fun and novelty to make your event shine.
How long does a party on your yacht last?
Our cruises range from 2 hours for short sightseeing and cocktail cruises, to 3-4 hours for lunch, dinner, wedding and event cruises. Longer cruises are possible according to your request and can also include a visit to the Princes’ Islands or Black Sea mouth.
Where does your yacht sail?
Our yacht cruises along the Bosphorus, to the Princes Islands or Black Sea Mouth. Of course, the highlight of the cruise is the Bosphorus between Europe and Asia, where there are stunning photo opportunities of Istanbul’s most famous historical attractions from the water, such as the Bosphorus Bridges, Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, Andolu and Rumeli Fortresses and Seraglio Point with Topkapi Palace, Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
What kind of food is served?
The cuisine on our yacht is similar to the best land restaurants—just on the water. We offer a range of innovative Turkish menus freshly prepared and including some gourmet ingredients. Buffet service, sit-down service, cocktail receptions, lunches, brunches and dinners are all popular choices.
Can I have my own caterer or vendor?
Our yacht has a professionally equipped state of the art kitchen, executive chef and trained and experienced service staff. To ensure a smooth and co-ordinated service, all food and beverages are usually provided by us.
It is possible to have additional services provided your own preferred vendor, such as Wedding Cakes, Cup Cakes, Champagne etc. Please contact us with your requests.
How far in advance should I book my yacht charter?
As early as possible would ensure that your preferred date is available, however, we can also put together your event in a very limited timeframe too, if still available.
Weekends and holidays tend to book up early as the Bosphorus is the preferred place to be and there is local demand from Turkish groups as well as foreign visitors.
Once Bella Bosphorus is booked for a particular date and time, the yacht is no longer available for others to book for that time, including a couple of hours before and after for the necessary preparations.
How much will an event on a yacht charter cost?
Cost is determined by many factors, including the duration of cruise, number of guests, selected dining package, any additional requirements and the time of year for your event. We thoroughly walk you through the selection process by sharing menu and entertainment options and full information about the event —keeping you informed with an exact break-down of cost. And you can relax seeing how affordable an event on a luxury yacht is.
Where can I have my overnight guests stay before/after?
Our yacht sails from conveniently located departure points in the centre of Istanbul. Some hotels have their own docks such as Four Seasons Bosphorus and Ciragan Palace Kempinski, while others within a close walking or driving distance. Please contact us and we’ll advise the nearest dock or arrange transportation to collect you from your hotel.
How early can my vendors set up?
Your musical entertainment, wedding cake and other vendors are usually permitted onboard 1-2 hours prior to sailing, but can make arrangements to come aboard earlier that day if necessary.
As the yacht may be docked at different points during a day or be out on another cruise, it is important for your vendor to co-ordinate exact delivery time and location in advance with the office.
What is your smoking policy?
Smoking is not permitted inside the yacht, however, you may smoke on the outside deck areas. Substances that are illegal on land are also illegal on board.
Is it possible to have my event on your yacht without it sailing?
Taking advantage of all sights that Istanbul & the Bosphorus has to offer is part of the special experience of a yacht event. However, you’re certainly welcome to choose a dockside event if that better suits your needs. You will still have the unique setting of a yacht on the Bosphorus with views of both Bosphorus Bridges either side of our dock, as well as the convenience of a waterfront restaurant and a memorable experience.
Do you sail in rainy weather?
Absolutely. Our yacht is fully enclosed and climate-controlled with centralized heat and air conditioning for maximum comfort. We sail—rain or shine—365 days a year. The Bosphorus is a sheltered strait being enclosed on 2 sides by the shore, like a large river, so it offers calm cruising all year around. Most weather will not affect the cruising conditions. In the rare event of unsuitable weather/marine conditions, the Captain will make a well-informed decision to sail or remain at the dock for the duration of an event. The safety of the passengers is always the primary concern.
What does a typical cruise feel like?
The yacht cruises on calm sheltered waters enclosed within the Bosphorus Strait and the yacht itself is extremely stable. It is specifically designed to be comfortable in all kinds of weather conditions, and is fully climate controlled for year-round parties and events. We haven’t known someone to be seasick yet!
Is Gratuity included for the crew?
Gratuity is not included for the crew/service staff of your event. Gratuities are optional and at your own discretion. You are welcome to offer a gratuity at the end of the cruise if you wish, or it can be conveniently included in your contract.
Can I have a land based wedding in Istanbul and my reception afterwards on your yacht?
Absolutely! Some of our brides will get married on land and then cruise through the reception onboard our yacht. We can coordinate everything for you, be it a full wedding ceremony or reception on board, cocktail reception, venue to venue yacht transfer, an after-party or a post-wedding lunch the following day.
Can I have both my ceremony and reception on board?
There’s nothing more convenient or stress-free for you and your guests than hosting both the wedding and reception in one location. Our open air decks offer a flexible space to say “I Do” as the sun sets over the Istanbul skyline, and stay onboard as you celebrate on all three indoor and outdoor decks. Our professional office team will help you arrange all the details.
What happens if it rains during my wedding and reception?
The size and stability of the yacht provides a comfortable cruise experience even if it rains. If you are hosting your Istanbul wedding with us, we can move the ceremony from the open air sky decks to the indoor climate-controlled room, which features extra large windows for unlimited panoramic views to offer the perfect dining and celebration experience regardless of weather.
Do I need to arrange for the cake, photographers, flowers and other details of my wedding?
Your wedding is unique and it is up to you to make those personal decisions. Our experienced team will be happy to arrange some of these or recommend vendors they have worked with in the past, who are familiar with our wedding boat in Istanbul and can accommodate different budgets.
How Do We Board The Yacht:
Our yacht offers easy “walk-on/walk-off” boarding access at the front bow and extra wide stairs for your comfort and ease of access between each level. This means you can literally walk on directly from the dock to front of the yacht. Please note that some walking and a few steps are required for guests to use the yacht. Once on board guests can sit down on comfortable seating on any of the decks and relax throughout the cruise, making a yacht cruise ideal for older guests too.
What drinks and alcohol are served on the yacht?
Yes our yacht offers 2 well-stocked bars for your convenience, one indoors on the first level, one outdoors on the second level. Both offer domestic and imported beers, gin, whiskey, vodka, rum, brandy, raki, a selection of wine served by the bottle or the glass, cocktails, soft drinks, fruit juices, tea and coffee.
Depending on your preference and selected dining/beverage package, there may be unlimited local drinks included with your menu with unlimited local beer, wine and cocktails for your guests, specialty drink bar packages, open bar packages, or guests can purchase their own drinks. Please let us know your requirements.
Do I need to arrange catering?
No, our experienced team and executive chef can offer an elegant & delicious range of menus for you to choose from in advance of your function or event. All food is freshly prepared on the day, ensuring an exceptional culinary experience.
What food presentation options do you offer?
We offer several options including seated dining, buffets and food stations. The type of cruise package you choose usually dictates the presentation options available to you.
Can you accommodate special dietary requirements?
Yes, we can accommodate most special dietary needs for your function or event. Please forward these well in advance in writing or at time of booking, as last minute changes to menus may not be possible.
We will do our best to offer alternative meal choices or your preferred beverages where possible. All catering and beverages are subject to availability and season.
Please note that catering is only available on board when reserved at booking time or well in advance. If you have already booked a cruise and would like to add food/beverage package, please just email us. Subject to availability and advance arrangement.
What travel insurance do I need?
Guests should have their own personal travel and health insurance. We hold professional indemnity and public liability insurance for the yacht and all guests while on board.
What Forms of Payment do you accept?
We accept bank transfers, Visa, MasterCard of AMEX.
What is required to make a reservation?
A signed contract and a deposit secures your date and arrangements. All necessary information including how to make a reservation is emailed to you with your quotation.
Please do drop us an email or pick up the phone if you have any questions or need help with booking.
What Happens After I Book?
After you have confirmed you date with a deposit we will send through a full confirmation, itinerary, our 24/7 mobile number and an invoice if needed.
In the months prior to your reception we will be on hand to assist you with all the planning, table settings, timings, decorations and suppliers to make your event run smoothly.
We look forward to having you cruise with us!