Homepage Press Releases Viking Sky Arrives To Galataport Istanbul, A Sign of Revitalized Cruise Tourism

Viking Sky Arrives To Galataport Istanbul, A Sign of Revitalized Cruise Tourism


Galataport Istanbul, welcomed a second ship, Viking Sky, on Friday, October 15th, in a sign of revitalized cruise tourism at Turkey’s newest cruise port and social, cultural and lifestyle destination, located on a three-quarter mile stretch on the Bosphorus.


Carrying approximately 500 passengers, Viking Sky arrived from Kuşadası, Turkey-Greece, before arriving to Galataport Istanbul at 3:00 pm local time on October 15th. The ship will depart Galataport on Monday, October 18th at 6:00 pm local time for Kuşadası-Greece. 

“Our Galataport Istanbul Cruise Port continues to welcome new guests to our main port and lifestyle destination,” said Figen Ayan, Galataport Istanbul Chief Port Officer. “The arrival of Viking Sky is the result of many entities working together over many months to make this moment a reality, and we are grateful to our partners who helped bring this day to fruition and we are thrilled to be able to introduce this world-class cruise and lifestyle facility to passengers.” 

Home to state-of-the-art cruise facilities including the world’s first underground cruise ship terminal, Galataport Istanbul can accommodate three ships and 15,000 passengers a day, including oasis class cruise ships with 8,000 passengers including crew, and features a 29,000 sqm Galataport Istanbul Cruise Ship Terminal designed with a unique hatch system that creates a temporary customs area while a ship is in port. The hatch system converts Istanbul’s port into a promenade in an area that has been closed to public access long time. After the ship departs, the coastline is left free. Upcoming calls for 2021 at Galataport Istanbul include Seven Seas Splendor, Spirit of Discovery, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Getaway, Viking Venus and Astoria Grande. 

“Throughout the last period, MedCruise worked intensively to make this development happen,” commented MedCruise President Aris Batsoulis. “Among others, I have met and briefed the authorities and national administrations in Greece and Turkey in detail. We also organized and participated in technical site visits of the EU Healthy Gateways joint action team in Galataport Istanbul and Kusadasi. Both ports have established and maintained a public health emergency contingency plan based on the European and International, high standards and have all capacities to provide appropriate public health emergency response. During this process, instrumental has been the role of the Galataport Istanbul Chief Port Officer, Ms Figen Ayan, the Regional Director Eastern Mediterranean of Global Ports Holding, Mr Aziz Gungor, and the Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA). This decision illuminates that ports together can achieve more than anticipated.” 

The $1.7 billion Galataport project is designed to revive and redefine Istanbul’s historic port as an exciting lifestyle destination and is projected to welcome 25 million visitors per year. Galataport Istanbul will serve as an exciting lifestyle destination offering, arts and culture, gastronomy and shopping, as well as visitor and resident attractions and amenities including a Renzo Piano-designed new museum building of Istanbul Modern, the first contemporary and modern arts museum of Turkey founded in 2004, as well as Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture. Located in between these two museums, Tophane Square, with a specially restored Tophane Clock Tower dating back to 1848 as its centerpiece, will be the first museum square of Istanbul. Additional historical buildings are undergoing restorations that will preserve the heritage and authenticity of the region and in 2022, a 177-room The Peninsula Istanbul hotel will welcome guests.

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About Galataport Istanbul 

Covering 1.2 km of coastline on Bosphorus, Galataport Istanbul is one of the world's most prominent projects with an investment cost of $1.7 billion. Galataport Istanbul brings together several functions in a single project, which makes it unique not only in Turkey but also worldwide. The project hosts the world’s first underground cruise ship terminal with a unique hatch system, connected to an underground terminal, both of which have already received great global praise. Thanks to this innovation, Karakoy’s unique coastline will be open to public access after 200 years and become one of the most special promenades of Istanbul. Galataport Istanbul welcomes residents and visitors of Istanbul as an iconic intersection of the old and the new. Accessible and low-rise buildings, neighborhood concept in harmony with the historical texture of the area, and alternative means of transport among other amenities of the project offer its guests a breath of fresh air in a healthy and safe spot for art and culture, shopping, gastronomy and working. Heritage buildings within the project site have been restored to embellish the city once again. The oldest building on the pier, the Paket Postanesi (The Post Office Fashion Galleria) will be a landmark of the project with its characteristic slated roofs and exterior facades. Three heritage buildings, namely the Merkez Han, Karakoy Passenger Terminal and Çinili Han are also undergoing restorations to serve as the location of the Peninsula Istanbul hotel. Part of the Peninsula Hotels brand, which has investments in 10 prestigious locations across the globe, the 177-room Peninsula Istanbul will be situated right across the city’s historical peninsula. Galataport Istanbul houses the finest works of art in Turkey with the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture, both of which are located inside its premises. Also undergoing landscaping work under the project, the historical Tophane Square will be the first museum square of Istanbul. The Tophane Clock Tower located in the center of this square, which dates back to 1848, is renovated with a special technique that involves lifting the tower. Galataport Istanbul is expected to receive 25 million visitors including 7 million foreign guests and also draw about 1.5 million cruise ship passengers and crew to Istanbul.

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