WELCOME TO THE BLUE CRUISE
The Mediterranean, Aegean, and the Black
Sea, as well as the Sea of Marmara, surround Turkey to the north, west and south. With
over 8,333 kilometers of coastline and four seas, Turkey is a treasure chest of coves,
inlets, bays and beaches from which yachtsmen can choose a different and always private
anchorage each night.
The sailing paradise of Turkey is home to the Blue Voyage. This
idyllic cruise means sailing with the winds, into coves and over the seas and becoming one
with nature. It is also an experience of the history of man from the perspective of the
sea rather than from the land, a journey which carries you to the private beach of Cleopatra,
the eternal fires of Mt. Olympos and the myriad archaeological remains
of ancient civilizations. For lovers of the active life, sailing in clear waters provides
great opportunities for swimming, fishing, skiing, surfing and diving.
Sailing in Turkey also allows you to experience a truly enriching
cultural exchange with the hospitable and gracious people of the coastal villages and
towns. The tempered winds which generally blow from the west and northwest make the long
summers ideal for yachting, and seem to encourage an appreciation of nature. From some of
the turquoise coasts unspoilt and sheltered bays you can see mountain peaks rising to
almost 3,000 meters above sea level.
Fortunately, Turkey's modern facilities and comfort have not
overshadowed her ancient hospitality and slower pace of life. The pleasure of yachting in
Turkey will tempt you back again and again, to explore yet another stretch of coast and to
relive the luxurious ease of life on the sea.
Yachting remains a popular activity for residents as well as visitors
to Turkey. Over the past 40 years the industry has grown, and today a large number of
marinas dot the coastline between Istanbul and Antalya. These provide supplies,
easy access to the shore at major resorts and safe harbors, as well as often becoming
local entertainment venues in themselves.
In İstanbul, yachtsmen will delight in splendid natural
landscapes, open seas and magnificent sunsets, as well as a CRUISE through Byzantine and
Ottoman history as they sail past the impressive castles, palaces and mosques. After
navigating the breathtaking Bosphorus and sailing under the two enormous bridges which
span Europe and Asia or meandering along the mosque-fined Golden Horn or cruising in the
coves and bays of the Princes' Islands, you can return to one of the two large marinas in
the area. Ataköy Marina on the European side and Kalamış (Amiral Fahri
Korutürk) Marina on the Asian side both offer 24-hour service. From the North Sea
through the European interior, yachters can sail down the European channel system and the Rhine
and Danube Rivers into the Black Sea harbors and to the İstanbul-Boğaz
and İstanbul marinas - a safe and short way to go to the Turkish Mediterranean
coast and marinas. The Black Sea coast provides yachters with a lush green coastal band
where the environment is protected and virginal. There are frequent coves and fishing
harbors along this coast, and the weather is mild during the summer and winter.
Turkey's most established marinas lie on the southern Aegean and
Mediterranean coasts at İzmir, Çeşme, Kuşadası, Bodrum, Datça, Bozburun,
Marmaris, Göcek, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kaş, Finike, Kemer and Antalya. In
these well-equipped harbors, yachters can find the services and provisions they require. Antalya,
Dalaman, İzmir and İstanbul airports provide quick links to all of
Turkey's marinas; after an easy flight you can board your yacht and sail off all within a
ENJOYMENT ON TRADITIONAL CRAFTS
The singular design of the gullets, Turkey's indigenous
sea-going vessel, blends practicality and tradition in a relaxed style that embodies a
Blue Voyage. Over the years gullets have evolved from traditional crafts for fishing and
transport into their present profile with a broad beam and wide deck.
Constructed mainly in shipyards in Bodrum, Bozburun, Marmaris
and İstanbul, and along the Black Sea Coast, the boats are equipped with
motors as well as fully functional rigging. The number of passengers a gullet carries
depends on the boats size, although most of them accommodate between eight and twelve
people. These vessels offer their passengers separate accommodations, and chartering one
includes services and entertainment. Modern gullets are comfortably equipped with all of
the amenities of home and encourage an environment in which you are expected to do nothing
but enjoy yourself. The closeness of the small group of people on board promotes an
atmosphere of friendship and sharing; relations among passengers and crew tend to be
relaxed and casual.
Travel agencies can arrange charters and fixed tours for a specific
group of people or for you individually. Unlike cruises on large ocean liners, on a gullet
you can explore the secluded and often deserted bays and coves of the coastline. The small
harbors and settlements offer an intimate view of coastal life which large ships cannot
replicate authentically. In many ways a gullet is like a full-service hotel where every
room has a sea view and the scenery changes constantly.
BARE-BOAT CHARTER AND FLOTILLA CRUISES: WHAT A WAY TO ROUGH IT!
Bare-boat charter has recently been introduced as another form of yacht
hire in Turkey. The charters are undertaken by representatives who are responsible for
puffing the passengers on board, looking after them and seeing that they return safely to
port. Maintenance crews keep these yachts in optimum condition, but it is the people who
undertake the charter themselves who crew the boat. Of course, an experienced skipper
accompanies the vessel, but once on board the people who undertake the charter perform all
of the tasks - the handling of the sails, the seaman's chores, meal preparation and
housekeeping. For those who want to escape all kitchen duties on their holiday, there is
at least one restaurant at every anchorage; eating out remains an option.
The more adventurous and experienced sailors can charter and pilot
smaller (9 to 10 meter) motor yachts. Before setting sail, bare-boat companies generally
brief their clients on the navigational characteristics of the environment, meteorological
conditions, where and how to restock provisions, how to act in an emergency and any other
Flotilla sailing, or sailing with a group of yachts led by one boat, is
another great adventure on the sea. Although an experienced sailor skippers the lead boat,
the navigation of each individual boat is left to its crew.