Imagine being at sea, skimming along a forested rocky coast, sunning on gleaming golden beaches and snorkeling in aquamarine waters; your dream is a chartered Blue Coast cruise holiday.
Families dreaming of exploring the ancient sites and hidden coves of the Turquoise Coast can live their fantasy aboard a traditional wooden yacht known as a gulet (pronounced goolet). Private boats crewed by professional seafarers follow custom itineraries in the eastern Mediterranean, sailing the turquoise blue Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, waters that are considered quite safe.
Turkey Welcomes Families Back
Gulet Blue Coast small ship cruises typically stop at Bodrum (a fun port with a 15th-century castle, shops and nightlife), lively Marmaris with its marina and waterfront cafes, and the hidden swimming lagoon at Fethiye.
According to Aymen Bouhlemi of Goolets LTD, “The situation in the country has calmed tremendously and almost all parts of Turkey are considered safe for travelers. Turkish authorities do a very good admirable job of providing safety… and you should feel safe as long as you follow the advice from local authorities.”
Blue Coast cruise ports along the Aegean are not only safe to visit, they’ve become the most desirable ports of call for major cruise companies like Norwegian and Viking.
Now, your family can do them on your own private yacht.
Choosing a Yacht Vacation
Depending on your fantasy itinerary, family needs and special requests, companies such as Goolets LTD, established in 2004 by Mitja Mirtic and his wife Alenka, assist you in choosing the perfect boat, the right route, shore excursions, compatible crew and farm-to-galley menus that cater to every passenger’s taste.
In Turkey’s temperate climate, yachting season runs April to October with the June and July school break being the busiest time to sail. However, these months boast daytime temperatures in the 90s, so sunblock and hats are a must. The good news is that the Aegean is calm and warm, and the conditions are so ideal that these trips are known as Blue Cruises for the vivid colors of the sky and sea.
Goolets LTD pride themselves on personalized service. In the past 15 years, their Turkey Luxury Gulet division has organized more than 650 gulet charters – 80 percent for guests from North America. Experience with local captains and crews, plus feedback from past guests, guarantee that your family’s Mediterranean cruise will be hassle-free.
There’s also 24/7 support from a land-based concierge who works with the onboard crew to ensure smooth sailing.
Selecting the Right Yacht for your family
After inspecting hundreds of boats, the experts at Turkey Luxury Gulet selected 50 vessels to build their Blue Coast cruises. A gulet expert will ask about the age of the passengers, their interests and the ports and sights you want to experience before recommending the perfect boat.
Among the mid-range gulets, for example, White Soul and Double Eagle are popular with family guests. Double Eagle is 128-feet (39 meters) in length with five guest cabins. These family gulets have more spacious decks and optional extra netting to add to deck fencing if little ones are onboard. Some gulets are fitted with swimming platforms that make it easier for those with mobility issues, and inflatable rafts and platforms can be added to your package.
Family amenities on all gulets include personal flotation devices fitted to each guest’s size, spacious cabins to accommodate cribs and a personal chef who prepares special food on request. Each salon is stocked with board games; there’s no better place to introduce the kids to star-gazing than Turkey’s dark skies.
Staying busy or relaxing at sea
Blue cruise itineraries typically include time each day for swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing while docked. Gulets have fixed stairs that lead to the water where the crew will ready fishing rods, water skis, a banana boat or wakeboards.
For active exploration of the shoreline, where a lesser known archeological site may be hidden, gulet guests can use standup paddleboards, canoes and kayaks.
Adrenaline junkies can take out the jet skis, dinghy or a personal motorized Seabob to explore farther afield.
Planning a Family Blue Cruise
Planning where to go is the greatest pleasure. A favorite itinerary is the weeklong sail from Bodrum to Gokova and back because it provides a balanced mix of action and relaxation, with many stops to show off Turkey’s natural beauty, cities, and islands.
You’ll have time for meals in port, exploring with the family, or just strolling the carpet shops with the friendly locals to admire the handiwork. Some nights are spent moored offshore for a peaceful sunset viewing and early morning dip in the sea. Your gulet expert and concierge can also book land excursions if want to see more of the archeological sites.
A gulet cruise is much more affordable than you imagine and everything is taken care of for you. Weekly rates on the Double Eagle for example, start at US$31,765 ($47,650 during the high season) for a yacht that sleeps 12, a crew of five, and all ship, crew, fuel and port taxes – that comes out to about $2,660 per person for a weeklong cruise. You can select your preferred food and beverage package when you plan menus and routing with the concierge.
The objective of Turkey Luxury Gulet experts is to provide an unforgettable experience with high-end services, the luxurious ambiance of the best gulets available, and personalized attention to your family’s comfort and safety onboard. For more information and to work with a gulet cruise expert, please visit Turkey Luxury Gulet.
This post was sponsored by Goolets LTD to assist family vacation planners with information about gulet charters in Turkey.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.