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Imperial caiques on the Bosphorus

Once upon a time, the Ottoman sultans travelled down the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus in magnificent imperial caiques, or Sultan's Boats.

The imperial caiques were in use throughout most of the Ottoman period, from the time of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror right through to Vahdettin, Sultan Mehmet VI. Following the fall of the Empire, they faded into history. After a long hiatus, these stunning vessels are back in service. Today, you too can cruise down the waters of the Bosphorus in a caique fit for a Sultan.

From John Nash to Naomi Campbell
The Bosphorus is easily one of the most beautiful and evocative waterways in the world. The Sultan's Boats allow you to relive the splendour of imperial Constantinople. No cruise on a modern boat, no matter how grand or hi-tech, can compare to the delights of an elegant, intricately carved imperial boat manned by real oarsmen.

The Sultan's Boats are exact replicas of the Ottoman originals. They were constructed in Kastamonu and shipped to Istanbul. In the past, the imperial caiques were powered by oarsmen. Today, the boats are motorised. The oarsmen man their oars at the beginning and end of the tour purely for show.

The Sultan's Boats offer two tours. The 30-minute tour of the Golden Horn departs at 18.30 on weekdays and at 13.30 and 18.30 on weekends. The tour features 'fasıl' music and complimentary Turkish Delight. The one-hour Bosphorus tour departs from Dolmabahçe at 19.30 on weekdays and 13.30 and 19.30 on weekends. The Bosphorus tour features live music and complimentary beverages. A tour of the Golden Horn costs 20 million TL and a Bosphorus tour 35 million TL. In addition, 35 million TL buys you a package tour that includes admission to the Dolmabahçe and Beylerbeyi palaces plus a transfer between the two on a Sultan's Boat.

The Sultan's Boats are also available for private hire for special occasions such as weddings, marriage proposals, birthday parties and starlight tours. You can also request vendors of traditional Turkish snacks such as 'şerbet' and 'macun' to come on board to add an air of nostalgic authenticity to the occasion. Wine, beer and cocktail snacks are also available.

The Sultan's Boats have proven to be immensely popular with locals and foreigners alike thanks to their unique charm and romance. Celebrity guests include John Nash and Naomi Campbell.

Tel: +90 212 296 52 40

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