ticket office from Haydarpasa ferry station
taken with pentax zp1-p
Ferryboats sail on 15 lines serving 27 seaports on the shores of Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara. The 20 older ferryboats carry 61 million passengers yearly. In the 1980’s 150 million people were transported. For modernization purposes, the Maritime Co. was handed over in 2005 to İDO, which operates the sea buses in Istanbul.
The first steam ferries appeared on the Bosphorus in 1837 and were operated by private sector companies. On January 1, 1851, the Şirket-i Hayriye (literally The Goodwill Company, as the Istanbul Ferry Company was originally called) was established by the Ottoman state. The Şirket-i Hayriye continued to operate the city’s landmark commuter ferries until the early years of the Republican period; when they went under the direction of Türkiye Denizcilik İşletmeleri (Turkish State Maritime Lines). Since March 2006, Istanbul’s traditional commuter ferries have been operated by İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri (Istanbul Sea Buses) which also operates the high speed catamaran Seabus.
The current design of the Istanbul ferries, as we know them today, was largely created by the Fairfield Shipbuilders of Glasgow, Scotland, which also built the largest amount of Istanbul ferries since 1851. The companies which designed and built the traditional commuter ferries of Istanbul include the White Shipbuilders of East Cowes, England (models of 1854-1860); the M. Wigram Shipbuilders of London, England (models of 1863-1869); Maudslay & Sons of London, England (models of 1870-1872); R. & H. Green Shipbuilders of London, England (models of 1872-1890 and 1894-1896); J. W. Thames of London, England (models of 1890-1893); Napier, Shanks & Bell of Glasgow, Scotland (models of 1893-1894); Fairfield Shipbuilders of Glasgow, Scotland (models of 1903-1906, 1910-1911, 1914-1929, and 1938-1962); Armstrong Shipbuilders in Newcastle and Glasgow, United Kingdom (models of 1905-1907); Atl. & Chantier de France in Dunkerque, France (models of 1907-1911); Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. in Newcastle, England (models of 1911); Kinderdijk L. Smith & Zoon Ltd, Holland (models of 1951); Cantieri Navali di Taranto SPA, Taranto, Italy (models of 1952); and Hasköy, Camialtı, and İstinye Shipyards in Istanbul, Turkey (models of 1929-1938 and 1962-1989).