Saturday, October 8, 2011

Whats a gulet anyway? Blues Cruise 10-4-11 to 10-7-11

                                                                                                                                                                        The yacht company picked us up promptly at 9:30am and took us to the harbor. We were excited and curious to embark on our voyage. Neither of us are very familiar or comfortable with boats so this should be interesting.
Blue Cruise Itinerary This 4 day/3 night is the perfect length of time for someone to "try" out the yachting experience. For those of you that already know you are a sailing enthusiast there are also week long adventures. If you are lucky enough to travel with a larger group of family and friends you can charter your own gulet. Seems like about 16 ppl can sleep on one and the price was about 400 usd a day to do so.
For just a few ppl on a limited budget the cabin rental option was much more affordable. It costs around 180 usd pp for this but that is not including beverages or alcohol. They do let you bring snacks and a few btls of water aboard though.

We stopped at various small ports of call and there were not any huge cruise ships in sight. You are not the only gulet in these ports though and most times we took a small zodiac into these crowded ports. Not to difficult to get on and off of but when you factor in the choppiness of the waves it was a little daunting at times. Also you never know who your shipmates are going to be, you could get stuck with a hard partying group or they could be stuck with you. We had an eclectic mix of German, Turkish, Australian, Canadian, American, UK and Jordan and in such  cozy surroundings we all meshed into fast friends.
The Captain followed the itinerary posted on the companies website, however there is a note that says subject to change depending on weather conditions. You could see ppl paragliding but we were only at that port an hour or so so weather didn't permit us to try it. The main attraction is swimming, you can swim in most every port we anchored at. I think they should post a daily schedule so ppl can follow it because the days. If I dressed for swimming we went to town and vice versa. I of course had to strike a "titanic" pose on the bow of the ship.

The waters of the Mediterranean sea are truly amazing. They are not just blue, they're a combination of cerulean, azure, turquoise and indigo. In the evening even the surrounding mountains take on an eerie blue hue similar to that of the blue ridge mountains. Most of the water was warm but at one of our stops it was bracingly chilly from the naturally fed springs. On board the yacht there is even a bin of snorkel gear for those that wish to snorkel. The water is very clear but its also very deep in most areas and I didn't see much when I tried it. People even swam to the nearby rocks, climbed up them and jumped off. I was happy just to jump from the top of the steps.

One of our stops was "Butterfly Valley", the zodiac dropped us off on the beach. You could pay a small fee to hike inland to see a small waterfall  and see a butterfly or two. It was about a mile in and we were only there for about an hour. I sat on the beach, walked along the shore and collected some colorful rocks and enjoyed a cold drink from one of the vendors on the shore. There were 4 ppl that did the hike, 2 were in their late 50's but fit and the other 2 were in their 30's. They did not make it all the way to the waterfall and saw maybe 2 butterflies.

There even was a "Rock Bar" literally made from rocks and you had to
climb some narrow steep rock stairs to get there. It was not a bad beach just anything you wanted to use towels or anything you had to bring with you from the boat.

The forward sun deck was a lovely spot to view the sunset or try the national drink of "raki" an anise flavored alcohol.

My favorite spot on the yacht, located on the rear deck. Perfect for lounging about after a long hard day of swimming and exploring.

The crew slept here at night and passengers could sleep on the upper padded sun deck if they wished.

Several vendors came up to the boat with crafts, scarfs, jewelery. This one was actually making a crepe like pancake and served it with the topping of your choice.

 Breakfast was simple yet tasty and very Mediterranean. It consisted of bread, cheese, olives, mortadella, tomatoes, cucumbers, turkish sausages
and hard boiled eggs with turkish tea or coffee. Lunch was vegetarian dishes and dinner was either grilled fish or meat and fruit for dessert. Plus there was afternoon tea with crackers or cookies.

This was an old castle atop a hill with a quaint village below it. We had 2 hours there and we explored the quaint village.There were several buses of tourists there as well as a lot of other yachts.

Turkish island with Greek island in the back ground. We were able to go swimming at this point. There was also a jet ski that came around in case you wanted to rent it to go for a spin.

One of the many quaint villages we got to explore. There was shopping and restaurants but no ATM machine.

Pirates cove, the bow of the boat got so close we all thought they were going to run into it. Unfortunately no swimming was allowed here. It would have been neat to go inside. In the evening after we anchored a water taxi came by and said there was a pirate disco ship if anyone wanted to go party on it. A few younger ppl were going to go but when the water taxi came back to pick them up no one was around so they missed the boat.

A really terrific swimming spot where the water wasn't so deep and you could see some interesting things if you went snorkeling. They said there was some broken pottery on the bottom with small fish about.

We got off the boat in Demre one stop before the final destination. Olympos was to be the final stop but there was no bus station there and we were going on to Antalya. All in all it was an interesting excursion, more relaxing and laid back than a large cruise ship. I'm glad I did it but I'm also glad I didn't do a week long cruise. If you do go for the week long cruise do the Bodrum to Gokova route, there is more to see and do.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Blue Cruise, is the best way to spend your holidays in Turkey. It offer a wide range of gulets in various sizes and outfit, from standard to luxury along the turkish coast. Blue cruise presents you an unforgettable experience. When the Aegean winds fill your sails you lounge on the deck and relaxing with quite. Thanks a lot...

    Gulet Cruising Turkey