Istanbul’s new cruise terminal, Galataport, is due to open this month, with the first cruise ship due to call on September 25th.
Holland America Line’s Eurodam will be the first cruise ship to use the new Galataport cruise terminal in Istanbul.
The new port is part of a US $1.7 billion development that seeks to become a “social, cultural and lifestyle destination” according to a press release.
Galataport is located in Istanbul’s Karakoy district, on nearly a mile of coastline on the Bosphorus and is intended to welcome 25 million visitors per year – including 7 million tourists and 1.5 million cruise passengers and crew.
It features the world’s first underground cruise terminal. The 29,000 sqm facility is designed with a unique hatch system and creates a temporary customs area while a ship is in port, which converts Istanbul’s port into a promenade in an area that has been closed to public access for 200 years.
Galataport Istanbul can accommodate three ships and 15,000 passengers a day.
After Eurodam in late September, October will be a much busier month, with Costa Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Viking, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania, Sea Dream and other due to sail from the port.
When not operating as a cruise port, Galataport Istanbul will serve as a lifestyle destination offering arts and culture, gastronomy and shopping, as well as visitor and resident attractions and amenities.
There will be a Renzo Piano-designed new museum building of Istanbul Modern – Turkey’s first contemporary and modern arts museum founded in 2004, as well as The Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum and the Tophane Square, the first museum square in Turkey.
Historical buildings within the development have also been restored, including the Merkez Han, Karakoy Passenger Terminal, Çinili Han and Peninsula Istanbul, which presents the city with a new ballroom with a guillotine glass exterior wall that opens in 90 seconds.
The 177-room Peninsula Istanbul hotel will welcome guests in 2022.
Galataport had planned to receive its first cruise calls in March last year, but the temporary pause in cruise operations due to the outbreak of the pandemic forced the date to be pushed back.