BLUE CRUISE TURKEY INFO
GULET CABIN CHARTERS – GROUP CRUISES
WHAT IS IT LIKE ON A BLUE CRUISE?
A traditional cruise in a gulet is nothing like taking a cruise on a large cruise ship. The blue cruise does not involve any open sea cruise. It is an outdoors event, which combines the sea, sun, nature, history, people, fun and great food. The gulets cruise by motor and rarely set sails. The cruising time is usually limited to 2-3 hours per day. Gulets cruise very close to the shore and most of the time in bays or coves, so you rarely encounter rough waters. The gulet usually anchors overnight in tiny coves about 20-30 meters from the shore. During a normal one- week cruise 2 or 3 nights are spent docked in the marina of a coastal town where you can shop, dine at restaurants or enjoy the nightlife. During the blue cruise, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, swim and snorkel in the clean blue waters, sunbathe or go to the shore and trek or explore ancient ruins around. Water sports are available for an extra fee such as water ski, jet-ski, windsurfing and banana boat. In the daytime, we cruise for a few hours and may sail if the wind allows. Near lunch and dinnertime, we approach the shore and drop anchor in a solitary bay, near ruins, a small village or off an island. There will be at least two interesting stops each day where there is the opportunity to swim, fish, snorkel, windsurf, sunbathe, take a trip ashore or just read under the shade of the sun awning. The main goal is relaxation and recreation. The evening on the gulet will start with a delicious dinner or sometimes a grill. Often the captain and crew plan some surprise entertainment, such as competitions, music and song, so that the guests can have fun and get to know each other better. Gulet cruises are open to people of every nation, and likely you will meet people from a different country or countries while taking the blue cruise.
WHICH GULET WILL I BE ON?
For nearly all cabin charters you do not know which gulet you will be on until the last minute. You will be offered a standard gulet normally with 4-8 Cabins or an A/C gulet if you are taking charter with a more luxurious gulet. Gulets of the fleet are being rented out not only for group charters, but also for private charters. The gulet you will be is most likely going to be the one located closest to the start of the cruise prior to cabin cruise departure.
HOW ARE THE CABINS ON THE GULET?
Most gulets have double cabins only. It is very difficult to find twin or even triple cabins, due to the shape and size of the cabins. The size of the beds in the gulet cabins is not standard queen size and normally also a bit wedge shaped unless you are in a master cabin on a ketch. All cabins feature private toilet and shower with 24 hr hot water. Some gulets have pump (marine toilets) and others have flush toilets.
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU ON THE CRUISE
Since you will be spending most of your time in a bathing suit, it is a good idea to bring at least two. There are no washing facilities on most gulets, but the captain will certainly lend you a bucket for a hand-wash, and there may be some opportunities to get clothing washed, but you will find that you really do not need so much in the way of clothing. We recommend a pair of long pants/slacks for land exploration as many of the trails and ancient sites are not cleared and you will be following goat trails with some prickly brush. Both a long and short-sleeved shirt are recommended, as well as a visor or head covering. Evenings may be cool, especially during the early or late season, so you should bring a pullover and windbreaker. Normal street shoes are not acceptable on board a gulet or yacht. Bring soft-soled shoes or go barefoot. Pack your beach towel, plenty of sunscreen, prescription medication, and sunglasses. You may also want to bring your own snorkels, flippers and goggles if you plan on doing lots of snorkeling, but they are normally provided on a gulet.
Bed linens and towels for use in the cabins are provided on the gulet. You may expect only a set of sheets on the bed during high summer, and a bottom sheet and thick cotton sheet during the spring and autumn months. If you would like to sleep beneath the stars on deck, pack a sleeping bag. We suggest you bring your belongings in a collapsible bag, rather than a suitcase, as bags are much easier to stow away. Pack light, as cabin space is limited, and bring a light daypack for shore excursions.
Your friendly and attentive crew will consist of a captain, a cook and either one or two seamen in most cases. Their job is to ensure that you are comfortable, well fed and entertained. Your Turkish crew will most likely know the common words in a variety of languages but may not have a thorough knowledge of English, so you may want to take a small traveler's dictionary along with you for the cruise. Besides being understood more easily, it is also a great way of picking up a few words of Turkish.
ORIGINS OF THE BLUE CRUISE IN TURKEY
Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, a political writer who spent a number of years in Bodrum, can be called the founder of the modern Blue Voyage or Blue Cruise. Around 60 years ago, CevatSakir, who ironically was exiled because of some of his writings, found paradise on the southwest coast of Turkey, so he settled in Bodrum and adopted the name, the "Fisherman of Halicarnassus", writing stories about the town and its fishermen. Cevat went on many cruises with the fishermen of Bodrum until he knew the coves and bays of the Gulf of Gokova very intimately. When friends from Istanbul dropped in, he took the opportunity to introduce them to the fisherman's way of life, and the word started to spread about this undiscovered paradise. Now you too can experience this type of unique sea voyage with a traditional Turkish gulet.
BEST MONTHS TO TAKE A BLUE CRUISE
If you are the type who wants to be in Turkey when the action is, you will want to visit in high season between the end of June and the beginning of September. The Mediterranean and Aegean coastal areas are getting full with thousands of visitors coming daily. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs are in full swing. In July and August the days are long and hot and the nights are warm. Prices for the gulet cruise and accommodation is the highest at this time. If you want more peace and quiet, yet splendid weather, try a visit in June or September. The water in September can be especially warm in certain places. The off-season of late April, May and October offer excellent sailing conditions and the opportunity to go trekking or fishing. It is still warm enough to swim in most places.
ABOUT THE GULETS
A gulet is a wooden-hulled boat, which evolved from the traditional fishing and cargo vessels into its present form with a broad beam and a wide deck. Gulets are constructed mainly in the shipyards of Bodrum, Bozburun, Marmaris and Istanbul, but also along the Black Sea coast. Gulets are equipped with motors as well as fully functional rigging but rarely sail and cannot be considered to be a sailboat. The number of passengers a gulet carries depends on the boat's size, although most of them accommodate between eight and twelve people. Yachts are generally 14 - 32 meters long and have 3 - 10 cabins,with berths for up to 20 people. The crew sleeps and uses the facilities of their separate quarters. The gulet will typically be made of pinewood with teak interior. Gulets are equipped with one or two masts, but because of their weight, they are in fact more suitable for cruising than for sailing. Gulets cruise well, and are very comfortable, usually with large living areas and wide sundecks.
Gulet cabins have either a double berth, or a double berth lower and a single upper (bunk-berths). Every cabin has a wardrobe for hanging clothes and a number of drawers. There is also room for stowing bags and bulky items. Double berths are not the same size as double beds and due to the shape of the gulet; the bed may be narrower at the foot. Gulet cabins are equipped with private WC and shower with hot/cold water. The shared living areas on a gulet consist of an indoor sitting or dining area (some have an aft area that may be covered), an aft deck for dining and lounging in the shade of a sun awning and a forward deck with sun-beds. All yachts have a tender with either oars or an outboard engine. Those yachts that offer optional water-skiing have powerful out- board engines, while the outboards of others are designed purely for getting to shore and back.
All yachts are equipped for safety, have a VHF radio, a stereo cassette player and a selection of cassettes. Many of the newer vessels have a cellular telephone, a TV, a video player and a CD player. Standard yachts used on cabin charters do not have air-conditioning, but there are air-conditioned gulets available for private charter. The electricity of most yachts runs at 12 V / 24 V. Please consider this if you wish to bring battery-operated or electric shavers, videos, portable PC's, etc.
A yacht's galley is always well equipped and the cook takes pride in creating tasty dishes using fresh fish, meat and vegetables. Gulets have refrigerator and deep freeze. Please inform us if you have any preferences, allergies or special dietary requirements. The cook will then try to fulfill your requirements as far as possible.
BLUE CRUISE ROUTES
We offer programs starting from Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye that cover 4 days and 3 nights or 8 days and 7 nights. There are also programs that go to the Greek Islands. We can offer both cabin charter and private gulet tours.