The Halas71 was built in 1914 byt he Fair field Shipping Co. in Glasgow originally as a passenger ferry.
She was refitted first in 1984 as a motor yacht and again by her new owners when they purchased her in 2009. She is now available in the summer for private charters for leisurely cruises in the turquoise waters of the Southern and Western coasts of Turkey, and in the winter as a boutique hotel and for special events and tours of the Bosporus.
Built in 1914 as a passenger ferry, the Halas was originally named the M/Y ReshidPasha.
The Halas 71 has a long and rich history which runs parallel to that of the final years of the Ottoman Empire and the founding of the Turkish Republic. Initially purchased in March of 1914 by the Ottoman Government, for strategic reasons relating to the ongoing World War I, the British Government refused to allow her delivery and in November of the same year seized her and changed her name to the M/Y Water Witch. She was first used to transport coal and later as a mine ship. It was only after the signing of the Armistice of Montreux in 1918 at the end of WWI that she arrived in Turkish waters. However, for the first four years she was in Turkey, during the Allied occupation following WWI, she was used by the British Allied Headquarters.
On 6 October 1923, she was handed over to the Government of the newly established Republic of Turkey and her name was officially changed to Halas, meaning deliverance.
The Halas was used as a passenger ferry on the Bosporus for 65 years. She was the largest ferryboat with a capacity of 1053 passengers in summer and 961 passengers in winter. She was popular with school children especially during the summer holidays when she was their favorite picnic boat. In 1984, the Halas was bought by Iltur Ileri Turizm ve Yatçılık A.S. and was converted into a 15 cabin luxury cruiser. Over a four – year period, the Halas was completely refurbished and fitted with the most up-to-date machinery and equipment while preserving her original character. In 2009 she was sold to her new owners who put her through a two year total renovation. She now has 12 cabins and is available for charter as a luxury cruiser and for special events and day cruises on the Bosporus in winter.
Since 1988 she is a fully-licensed luxury coastal cruiser available in Istanbul and along the Southern and Western Coastlines of Turkey. The Halas has hosted numerous international VIPs including members of the British Royal family ranging from Prince Charles, Princess Margaret, the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, as well as the late Turkish president Turgut Özal, former US Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton and then First Lady Hillary Clinton, the late French President Francois Mitterrand, Syrian President Bashir Al-Assad and his wife Esma Al-Assad. She is frequently used by the President of Turkey to host visiting heads of state.