While I would recommend a Bosphorus cruise as a good way to see Istanbul, I hope this helps you avoid the trap we fell into. We bought a private boat cruise (short) for 20 euros from a tout because the starting point was walking distance from our Sultanahmet hotel rather than the further away piers near Galata bridge from where the other ferries leave.The private cruise left from a small jetty at 4.30pm and returned at 6.15 pm. The boat was overcrowded and so viewing and seating was limited. We doubted there were enough life jackets on board for everyone. Being winter (Jan) the upper outdoor deck was not a comfortable weather option. The crew did their best but it was not worth the premium price. I subsequently found a blog recommending against the more expensive and dubious private tours and instead recommending the official ferries that leave from the piers near Galata Bridge and which are less expensive.
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