Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

102 INTERVIEW Born of the sea, Istanbul in Turkey is located next to the Haliç, the Bosphorus, the Princes Islands, the Black Sea and Marmara Sea shores, all of which have made it a hub for sea transportation throughout history. The city possesses a boundless maritime heritage upon which Istanbul Deniz Otobüsleri (IDO) has built its extensive ferry operations. IDO started operating in 1987 with two sea buses each offering capacity for 449 passengers. By 1994, the number of sea buses in the fleet had reached 14. Today, IDO serves 35 million passengers and 11 million vehicles annually on 16 different lines using a total of 49 vessels, including five large fast ferries, 24 sea buses and 20 car ferries. It sails from 22 piers in the Marmara Region in northwest Turkey, an area that straddles Europe and Asia across the Sea of Marmara. “As İDO, we transport both foot and vehicle passengers from the Anatolian and European sides of Istanbul to Yalova with four fast catamarans,” says Murat Orhan, managing director of IDO. “We also transport foot passengers from both sides of Istanbul to piers such as Bursa, Bandırma, Kumla, Çınarcık, Armutlu, Avşa Island and Marmara Island with sea bus services. “In addition, we carry foot and vehicle passengers between Gebze and Yalova using 20 car ferries that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Sirkeci-Harem line is another line we serve for foot and vehicle passengers between the Anatolian side and the European side of Istanbul. Finally, we have one fast ferry with capacity for 1,000 passengers and 200 vehicles, which is used for zero-kilometre automobile logistics transportation.” IDO is one of Turkey’s leading operators, which can be attributed to the fact it takes a dynamic approach to management and delivers customer satisfaction-oriented services. “As the sector leader of ferry transportation in Turkey for more than 35 years, despite many difficulties, we have continued our services without refraining from making any sacrifices,” says Orhan. “We have always acted to involve all our stakeholders in the process of creating A reliable and comfortable service Turkey’s Istanbul Deniz Otobüsleri serves 35 million passengers per year. Murat Orhan tells Justin Merrigan how the brand is continually developing itself to meet passenger expectations