Spending the New Year between Two Continents

I rang in 2013 in quite a unique way – on a boat between two continents! A small group of Turkish and expat friends got together and purchased tickets to a special New Year’s Eve cruise on the Bosporus, the strait splitting the city of Istanbul in two and separating Europe from Asia. It started and finished at the docks in Kabataş.

The cruise wasn’t fancy at all but everyone had a good time. It had a lower level with music, an all you can eat buffet dinner, and bad wine and drinks. The upper level was outdoors. It was quite cold with the wind blowing, so we could only tolerate it for short periods.

The boat on New Year's Eve in Istanbul, Turkey

The boat

We crossed under two bridges, the Boğaziçi Köprüsü (Bosporus Bridge) and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü. We also saw many historic sites along the Bosporus beautifully lit up.

Boğaziçi Köprüsü on New Year's Eve in Istanbul, Turkey

Boğaziçi Köprüsü

Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü on New Year's Eve in Istanbul, Turkey

Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü

Rumeli Hisarı in Istanbul, Turkey

Rumeli Hisarı

I honestly don’t remember much about the celebration after midnight. Too much cheap wine did me in early. I do remember expecting a grand fireworks show, perhaps the Bosporus Bridge exploding in a fantastic manner like the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, or huge explosions over the old city. We got neither. It was quite mediocre and disappointing:


In the end, celebrating the New Year with friends on a boat between two continents turned out to be the most unforgettable New Year I will never remember.

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