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Tour Highlights

  • Guarantee your place in the world-famous Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim in Istanbul

  • Swim from Asia to Europe as one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world is closed for this once-a-year event

  • Join open water swimmers from all over the planet for this truly memorable swimming experience

  • Enjoy the lively atmosphere and friendly nature of the dynamic Bosphorus race village

  • Soak up the history and culture of the fascinating city of Istanbul

Take part in one of the most iconic open water swimming events in the world as SwimTrek offers you GUARANTEED entry into the 2018 Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim. Complete the crossing from Asia to Europe as the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul comes to a standstill for the duration of the event.

As a provider of guaranteed places into the event, we take the lottery out of being accepted as one of the limited international swimmers to be granted entry into this heavily over-subscribed race. Join more than 1,500 competitors from all around the world as swimmers take over the Bosphorus waters and one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world is temporarily closed to traffic.

Please note that the deadline for booking a place on this unforgettable trip is Thursday 21 December 2017.

Who is this trip for?

The Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim is a significant open water swim and conditions during the race may be challenging. A good experience of swimming in all sea conditions is essential and you should have relevant open water knowledge to be confident if such conditions do arise.

Please note that Turkish passport holders are unable to register for this event through SwimTrek and must apply through the official Turkish Olympic Committee ballot.

This trip is only available to be booked through SwimTrek as a complete package (i.e. including accommodation). Anyone who would like to take part in the race only must apply through the official Turkish Olympic Committee ballot.

What's included?

  • Guaranteed entry into Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim Race
  • Two nights accommodation
  • Two breakfasts
  • Transfers to and from race registration and boat tour the day before the event
  • Guided boat tour of official Bosphorus Race route the day before the event
  • Transfers to and from the race village before and after the event
  • A dedicated SwimTrek guide staying at your hotel to assist with transfers, questions and any other issues which may arise

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Lunch and evening meals

Related Links


Day 1

Arrive in Istanbul and check in to your hotel ready for a good night's sleep.

Day 2

In the morning we head to the race village to complete local registration in the event village. Please note that the race registration is compulsory. Failure to attend this will mean you will be unable to enter the swim. During race registration, all competitors will be given their swim hats, badges and timing chips in preparation for the swim

In the afternoon, we have an option to join the official boat tour of the race course, learning the importance of which route to follow during the swim. The boat tours are organised by the Turkish Olympic Committee and are for accredited swimmers only (i.e. not supporters).

After this you will have the option of taking some time to relax in preparation for the following day's race or take this opportunity to book an optional sightseeing tour of Istanbul.

Day 3

The Main event! At 08:00, all swimmers meet at Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Park ready to board the ferries that take us north to the race start point. The race starts at around 10:00 and we swim down the 6½km course, taking in the sights of the city of Istanbul while having the swim of a lifetime!

The race and awards ceremony is expected to be over by 13:00, giving us time to catch an evening flight or enjoy the hospitality of Istanbul.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Istanbul, Turkey

Start Date: 20 July 2018

Finish Point: Istanbul, Turkey

Finish Date: 22 July 2018

Date Notes
20 July Hotel Check In
Early Race Registration Opens
Welcome Drinks
21 July Transfer from Hotel to Race Registration
Registration - Compulsory (unless registered earlier)
Boat Tour Of The Race Course (Accredited Swimmers Only)
Return Transfer to Hotel
Optional Sight Seeing Tour Of Istanbul (Additional Booking Required)
22 July Transfer from Hotel to Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Park
Bosphorus Swim
Awards Ceremony
Return Transfer to Hotel

Final Trip Schedules

Please note that the itinerary should be used as a guide only and a final Trip Schedule with confirmed timings for all events and activities will be forwarded to all guests prior to the start of the trip.

Important Paperwork

Profile Details

The race organisers require certain information in order to accept an application; without this we cannot guarantee your place in the event. You MUST complete your SwimTrek profile details within 48 HOURS of making your booking in order to secure your place on this trip. In order to complete the required profile fields, please login to your SwimTrek account and fill out the ‘My Social Profile’, ‘My Travel Details’, ‘My Health Details’ and ‘My Contact Details’ sections. Insurance details can be provided closer to the event.

IMPORTANT: Please note that the name on your SwimTrek account must match the name in your passport in order to successfully register for the event.

Pre-Event Medical And Other Paperwork

The Turkish Olympic Committee produces a set of race forms for each registered athlete which will be sent to you after you have made your booking and completed the required profile information on your SwimTrek account. These forms will be forwarded to you directly by the SwimTrek office in January 2018 when we have received them from the Turkish Olympic Committee.

Forms which will be sent out and which will need to be returned to the SwimTrek office include:

  • Form to be completed and signed by a certified medical practitioner (including diploma/registration number)
  • Photocopy of passport (photo page only)
  • 2 x passport photos (less than six months old)
  • Proof of fitness to swim.

*IMPORTANT: A qualified swim coach will be required to sign off your registration form in order to confirm that you are ‘Fit for participation’ in the Bosphorus swim. A copy of this coach’s qualification (e.g. certificate from national governing body) will also need to be submitted with your official paperwork in order to register for the event. If you do not have a swim coach, it is your responsibility to enquire with local pools or swimming clubs in order to find a suitable person to assist with this process.

NOTE: All of the above information is required by the Turkish Olympic Committee and no exceptions can be made. The only photocopy which is accepted is the copy of your passport and coach's qualification. All other paperwork must be original.

Please note that this paperwork MUST be completed and sent back to SwimTrek by 15 March 2018, otherwise we cannot guarantee your entry into the event.

Turkish Passport Holders

Please note that Turkish passport holders are unable to register for this event through SwimTrek and must apply through the official Turkish Olympic Committee ballot.

Swimming Information

Equipment to bring along with you

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costumes (x2) Waterproof Sun Cream
Swimming Goggles* (x2) Towel
Sunhat and Sunglasses Small Daypack

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

NOTE: Due to the nature of the event and the mild water temperature, wetsuits are not allowed. Jewellery and watches, of any kind, are also strictly prohibited during the race. Compulsory swim hats and ankle bands will be given out by the event organisers. You should bring a swim costume, goggles and towel.

Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim

The world’s most concentrated shipping lane is closed to all traffic as we participate in this annual race. You can either race to win it or just go along at your own pace. You should note, however, that conditions during the race may be challenging. Therefore, we advise that you should have relevant open water experience and be confident if such conditions do arise.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance
Bosphorus 6½km (Swim is current assisted, which is approximately equivalent to 4km)

There is a time limit of two hours to complete the 6½km course. The Turkish Coastguard will remove swimmers from the water if they do not finish the crossing within this time.

Race Organisers

Please be aware that whilst SwimTrek organise the tour part of the package, the Turkish Olympic Committee are the event organisers and are fully responsible for race safety decisions and logistics.

SwimTrek Transfers

We provide transfers between your accommodation and the race village for registration and the boat tour on Saturday 21 July, as well as to the race meeting point on Sunday 22 July.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
July 23-25˚C l 73-77˚F 28-30˚C l 82-86˚F

*Please note that temperatures are based on 2016 and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. In the event of bad weather and the swim being cancelled, there are no reserve/alternative times or days available.

Getting There

Istanbul is a popular travel destination and there are a wide range of scheduled flights operating to the city’s two main airports, Istanbul Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, from all around the world. From either airport you can then take a private transfer to your accommodation.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. We always recommend checking www.skyscanner.net prior to making a booking. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Getting there via Atatürk Airport

A small selection of the airlines which fly into Atatürk from various cities are included below:

Airline Destination Airport
Aeroflot Moscow, New York via Moscow, St Petersburg
Air France CDG Paris Charles de Gaulle
Atlas Global London Stansted, Paris
British Airways London Heathrow
Turkish Airlines Dublin, Edinburgh, London Gatwick, Malaga, Manchester, Moscow, Munich, New York (JFK), Paris

Private Transfer

If you would like to arrange a private transfer from Istanbul direct to the hotel, this can be arranged through the Wilusa website, www.wilusa.net. If you are happy to share the transfer, it would be best to speak to other swimmers on your trip discussion page prior to booking to save costs.

When arriving the meeting point is on the left hand side of the arrivals gate, when walking out you will see on the ceiling a big sign with ‘Meeting Point One’, this will be where your driver will meet you holding a SWIMTREK / WILUSA sign.

Getting There Via Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

A small selection of the airlines which fly into Atatürk from various cities are included below:

Airline Destination Airport
Turkish Airlines Berlin Tegel, CDG Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, London Gatwick

Private Transfer

If you would like to arrange a private transfer from Istanbul direct to the hotel, this can be arranged through the Wilusa website, www.wilusa.net. If you are happy to share the transfer, it would be best to speak to other swimmers on your trip discussion page prior to booking to save costs.

When arriving the meeting point is on the left hand side of the arrivals gate, when walking out you will see on the ceiling a big sign with ‘Meeting Point One’, this will be where your driver will meet you holding a SWIMTREK / WILUSA sign.

Practical Information

Accommodation

We have booked two nights’ accommodation on Friday 21 July and Saturday 22 July at 4-star and 5-star hotels in the Sisli area of Istanbul. Accommodation is based on twin share rooms with en suite facilities, on a bed and breakfast basis. There are a limited number of single supplement rooms which can be reserved during the booking process, subject to availability.

The choice of hotels for 2018 are the following:

Hotel Website
4-Star Divan City Istanbul www.divan.com.tr/divan-istanbul-city/en
5-Star Point Hotel Barboros www.pointhotel.com/point-hotel-barbaros-home.aspx
5-Star Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/istbo-renaissance-istanbul-polat-bosphorus-hotel

If you wish to extend your stay please contact info@wilusa.net for more information on booking additional nights.

Supporters Package

There are a limited number of supporters tickets available which include shared accommodation with a race participant and all SwimTrek transfers. Please note that, on the day of the event, supporters will be at the finish line and will not be able to see the start of the race.

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as dinners, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. The local currency in Turkey is Turkish Lira (TL). Cash machines, bars and restaurants are plentiful in Istanbul city centre. In addition to the race and accommodation, those that would like to take advantage of an organised city tour can book through our partners (at an additional cost). Please contact info@wilusa.net for more information on prices and availability.

Passports and Visas

Turkey is not part of the European Union. Non-residents of Turkey require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries require a visa to enter Turkey, however, some there are some exceptions.

For a full list of visa requirements by country, please visit: www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa

If you do require a visa to enter Turkey, you can apply for this via: www.evisa.gov.tr.

Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Health Information and Recommended Vaccinations

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to Turkey, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit ElectricalOutlet.org.

  • It was one of the most iconic experiences of my 66 year old life and I would recommend to all those who enjoy swimming to give it a place on their bucket list.

    Duncan M, UK - 2017
  • Outstanding experience to swim in such an epic race. Would not have done it without SwimTrek.

    Keith E, UK - 2017
  • The Bosphorus Swim is a great event in a spectacular location in one of the world's most beautiful cities. Unbeatable

    Clinton L, UK - 2017
  • Great swim, great location, brilliant organisation and wonderful people.

    Nicola L, UK - 2017
  • It was an incredible weekend - a wonderful swim in an iconic location, with some really lovely people who will remain friends for years to come. Thanks SwimTrek for making it happen!

    Claire R, UK - 2017
  • My second Bosphorus Swim with Swimtrek was even more relaxed enjoyable than the first and I can highly recommend a repeat trip to all swimtrekkers.

    Holger H, Austria - 2017

Enter guest details to see which departures can accommodate your party:

Dates Availability Special Type Price From
20 Jul -
22 Jul, 2018
Available
4-Star Divan Istanbul City Hotel £420 Book Now
20 Jul -
22 Jul, 2018
Available
5-Star Point Hotel Barbaros £450 Book Now
20 Jul -
22 Jul, 2018
Available
5-Star Renaissance Hotel £480 Book Now

Accommodation

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Divan Istanbul City

Centrally located in the centre of Istanbul’s modern business district, Divan Istanbul City combines clean, modern style with a functionally elegant approach to accommodation. The 4-star hotel in Istanbul offers travellers friendly and efficient service and outstanding value for money.

Barbarous point small
Point Hotel Barbaros

The Point Hotel Barbaros, the first 5 star Art-Tech hotel of Turkey, is located between Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa Boulvard and Esentepe. In addition to the different artworks in each room, 265 contemporary works of art, including unique sculptures, installations, video art pieces, paintings and photographs, are displayed all around the hotel.

Renaissance istanbul bosphorus small
Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel

Offering stunning views of the Bosphorus, the magnificent Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel is located on the European side of Istanbul, in Besiktas. The rooms are spacious and well equipped. There is a restaurant, a bar and a bistro in the hotel.