Car ferries operated by Gestaş cruise across the Dardanelles hourly
(weather permitting), connecting Çanakkale with Kilitbahir (15 minutes) and Eceabat
(25 minutes), and Gelibolu with Lapseki (25 minutes)(map).
With ticket purchase and waiting time to board, plan on at least an hour for your crossing.
If you are driving from Europe,
Greece or Bulgaria to the Aegean
Turkey, it makes sense to
car ferries rather than to brave the
intense (and unpleasant) traffic of
One-way/single fare for a car and driver is TL25, for a pedestrian or car passenger TL2.50
per person; round-trip/return fares are twice these amounts. At Gelibolu, in addition to the ferry fare, the municipality levies a TL4 per-car usage fee for the port.
Kilitbahir—Çanakkale Car Ferry
Çanakkale-Kilitbahir is the shortest distance and voyage time ( 12 to 15 minutes) in crossing of the Dardanelles. Sailings are at least every 30 minutes from 08:00 am to 19:15 (7:15 pm), hourly thereafter until 00:15 (12:15 am). There are no sailings between 00:30 (12:30 am and 06:30 am. Use the Eceabat or Gelibolu ports in the middle of the night.
Eceabat—Çanakkale Car Ferry
Departures from Eceabat are
at 02:00 am and 04:00 am, then every
hour on the hour from 07:00 am until
24:00 (midnight), year-round. In
summer, there are sailings every
30 minutes between 07:00 am and 24:00
The voyage takes about 25 minutes.
Departures from Çanakkale are
at 01:00 am, 03:00 am and 05:00 am, then
every hour, on the hour, from 07:00
am until 24:00 (midnight). In summer,
there are sailings every 30 minutes
between 07:00 am and
Gelibolu—Lapseki Car Ferry
Departures from Lapseki (30
km/19 miles northeast of Çanakkale)
and from Gelibolu (40
km/25 miles northeast of Eceabat—map)
are supposedly every hour on the hour, 24 hours
a day, but in fact boats seem to load all the time and to sail as soon as filled. Several boats may be filling at the same time. They all sail to the same destination.
Tickets & Boarding
If you are going by car, in the busy summer season, especially on weekends and holidays, be
at the dock at least a half hour
before departure time and get in line for boarding.
Walk-on passengers should buy their
tickets 15 minutes before departure. Off season, drive up and (usually) drive on.
The Gestaş website is poorly designed and difficult to use, with unreliable information. (In November 2014 it advertised "Winter 2011" schedules—I assume because they had not changed in years.) Most of the useful information on the English-language version of the website is in Turkish. Here's a sample of the text that's in English:
"Note: Canakkale-Eceabat line is no charge for our passenger car. Strait line to use the ticket for passengers Gökçeada as stated in the Islands of the passengers are requested strongly."
—by Tom Brosnahan