Blue Cruise a.k.a. Blue Voyage (“Mavi Yolculuk” in Turkish) is a term used for recreational boating tours along Turkey’s southwestern coasts and Greek Islands, with connotations in tourism and literature. The term is used by Turkey’s tourism industry. It was derived from the title of a 1957 book by Azra Erhat.
The term was first introduced into the Turkish literature by a handful of Turkish writers. These writers were Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı -alias The Fisherman of Halicarnassus, Sabahattin Eyüboğlu as well as his circle of family and friends, especially artists, Azra Erhat, the translator into Turkish of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and others united around the literary revue “Yeni Ufuklar” (New Horizons) in the 1950s and especially the 1960s.
A full Blue Cruise generally starts in Didim, or Kuşadası, although the tours often depart from Bodrum. They usually terminate in the port of Antalya. The term may also be used to refer to shorter tours along the southwestern Turkey shore.
An attraction for people for many years, what really is a blue voyage?
It is time to set yourself free from the maddening crowd of the city and the walls surrounding you at your workplace or your home and to reach out for the sea. What would you say if we suggest that you had an adventurous voyage along the most beautiful Aegean and Mediterannean bays where thousands of shades of blue and green are mingled in a unique natural atmosphere. Is it possible to say ‘No’? Especially, if you know that you will be spending this precious time on a beautiful yacht where you will be together with your friends, enjoy your days and nights together and entertain yourselves…
You are right! We are talking abut Blue Voyage. It has been a great attraction for many people for years, but do you really know what it is? Blue Voyage is to experience the most beautiful sunset; to eat the most delicious fish and savour the unforgettable taste of various drinks and appetisers. It is to have the chance to read the book that you had longed for and get carried away with it. And last but not least, it is to be side by side with your loved one, to cruise along the deserted bays, lie down on the beach and swim in the cool tranquil waters.
“Blue Voyage” will take you away to the unexplored bays on the Agean and Mediterranean coasts and on to the Greek Islands where you can swim, fish, do water sports, and also to the archeological remains which you can only reach by boat. To meet the culture and undisturbed character of this fascinating part of the world, “Blue Voyage” is a valuable opportunity and will be an unforgettable memory.
The Legend Says…
The story of blue voyage starts in the Gulf of Gökova. In 1925, the historian, translator and novel writer Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli (alias Fisherman of Halicarnassos) was sent to exile to Bodrum because of an article he wrote in the magazine “Resimli Hafta” by the Court of Independence. He was sentenced to three years of exile; however, the days he spent in Bodrum were a blessing rather than a punishment so he was ordered to come back to Istanbul in order to complete the rest of his punishment. After the exile was over Cevat Şakir immediately moved to Bodrum. Inspired by the name of Bodrum in ancient times he adopted the alias “Fisherman of Halicarnassos” and succeeded in writing numerous well known literature work.
In his writings, Cevat Şakir tells us about his trips around the Gulf of Gökova, people he met and pieces of different lives. He also chartered the boat ‘Yatağan’ of a sponge hunter and made some adventure trips to the Agean coast, which was immortalised by Homeros.
In 1960s he set sail with his friends to the Gulf of Gökova and he named these very humble trips “Blue Voyage”.
Bodrum port, the ancient Halicarnassus, is at the meeting point of the Agean Sea and the Mediterrenean Sea. In Bodrum, which is also a navigation centre, you can also see St. Peter Castle which was built by the Knights of Rhodes and has been well-protected. This castle was later on turned into a museum and is now hosting the underwater archeological museum. Since its establishment, Serhatbey Yachting has become quite experienced and confident about organising ‘Blue Voyage’ tours.
Where Does The Story Go?
The most extensive part of a blue voyage covers the Agean and Meditarennean coastline between Bodrum and Antalya. Indeed, it is also possible to set the journey from İstanbul and extend it to Antalya; however, the unique taste of Blue Voyage is in anchoring at bays which are not far from each other. Today, “Blue Voyage” is realised with 15 – 30 meter long gulet type wooden vessels with 4 to 8 cabins with private shower and toilet ensuite and as long as the wind allows, the vessels are powered with engine although sometimes the sails are also hoisted. The main reason behind anchoring at a number of bays which are close to eachother is that it is not possible to bear the sound of the engine more than three hours a day. These charter tours including at least one of the following; Gulf of Gökova, Hisarönü and Sömbeki or the Gulf of Fethiye, attract great attention …
We can classify the Gulets in four quality groups; Standart without airconditioning, Air-conditioned, Luxurious and De luxe yachts. It is possible for you to charter a gulet suitable for your budget. For further information and to see the pictures, details and prices of our vessels please check Private Yacht Charter
Tours Departing From Bodrum
There are three routes for the tours starting from and finishing in Bodrum. One of them includes the Gulf of Gökova, and the second one covers the Gulf of Güllük (Mandayla). The third route includes the Gulf of Hisarönü which also covers Datça and Knidos. Moreover, it is possible to set off from Bodrum and visit the Greek Islands; you can even reach Marmaris or the Gulf of Göcek with a weekly one direction route. If you wish you can also go for a two week one direction route and visit most of the bays between Bodrum and Antalya.
In a Gökova Gulf Tour, which is the classic route of Blue Voyage, most of the time is spent at the bays embroderied around the middle and eastern part fo the gulf and the route to Mandalya Gulf, the tour includes a visit to the ancient Karia cities like Didim, Milet, Priene, and Lassos covering both historical and natural beauties of the region.
Tours Departing From Marmaris
Tours leaving from Marmaris can follow two different routes. One destination basically includes the Gulfs of Hisarönü and Sömbeki and Datça penninsula, and the other one covers the Gulf of Fethiye. In the latter one, one day is spared to visit Dalyan and the ancient city of Caunos and the rest is spend on the small islands and bays scattered around in the Gulf of Fethiye. In Datça route, the city of Knidos is also visited besides the small islands and bays.
As Serhatbey Yachting, we are well aware of the dificulty of gathering a group for a “Blue Voyage”. So, we give you the opportunity to make a “Blue Voyage” alone with your spouse or your friends. It is also possible for our guests to join the weekly cabin tours and to meet sealovers of different nationalities. For further information please also see “Cabin Charter“.
Time To Pack
On the boat, most of the time is spent in swimsuits (or bikinis) and pareohs. It should be sufficient if you also bring a pair of trainers for the short walks you will make on the land, several t-shirts, a pair of cotton trousers or a pair of bermuda shorts. Depending on the season, it might also be good to bring a sweat-shirt or a pullower for after the sunset.
Do not forget to bring a sea-towel, an extra swimsuit, sun cream (high protection), sun-glasses, a hat, snorkel, pallets, medicine and your favorite books.
If you believe that it could be boring to sleep in the cabin, you are welcome to bring along your sleeping bag. Do not pack in huge suticases; there will not be room to fit them in anyway. Blankets, bedsheets, coverlets and hand towels are already available on the boat. If you have not closed your suitcase yet, you can also put some board games like monopoly, taboo, or scrabble to entertain yourself with your friends. And last but not least do not forget to bring your digital camera or video camera.
Summary of a day
On the boat, the day starts with a lovely breakfast in the cool and peaceful morning. Usually, breakfast is served at the bay where the night was spent, and right after breakfast it is time to hard to port… The aim is to reach the next destination before noon when the sea is silent and as calms as a millpond. After lunch, there is enough time for everyone to spend the time as his/her wish; resting, swimming, diving, surfing, water-skiing, etc. When the sunset is close, a new excitement is in the air becaue it is time to watch the “sun set” accompanied with a glass of drink. In the evening, if you are lucky enough, you will the fish you have caught. When it strucks midnight, you close your eyes under millions of stars to wake up for a brand-new day..
On our gulets, you can find simple fishing rods, snorkels and pallets. On some of them even equipment for wind surf, cano and other water sports are available. You will find the opportunity to use jet-ski, water ski, banana and other water sport equipment for reasonable prices at the bays on our route. Depending on your wish, we can also provide you with a jet-ski or water ski during your journey.
At our anchorrage grounds, our guests can take a short walk through the pine forests, visit the archeological remains or stroll along the beautiful coastline. Another option would be to fall asleep while reading under the tend accompanied by the soft breeze. Natrally, sealovers will also enjoy swimming, diving with the snorkel and sunbathing. There are also some optional inland tours to the surrounding towns, historical places and natural attractions.
It Is High Time
Get in contact with us immediately and make your reservation. Try to bring together your friends with whom you would like to spend a week on the same boat. If you cannot manage, join our pre-planned brochure tours leaving from Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye or Antalya..
Let the blue tranquil waters cool you down and let the wind refresh you as the boat moves….
The crew on our gulets consist of 2 to 5 local people including a captain, a cook and the mariners. All crew members are highly qualified. Captains are selected from a group of experienced and licensed mariners with a vast amount of knowledge on the seas and nearby coasts. Our cooks are crafty experts specialised in local and international cousines. Crew members (depending on your boat selection) can speak basic to advanced level of English. Some of them can also speak German, French, or Italian. Our crew do their best to provide our customers with a comfortable and pleasant voyage. You will see that they are really friendly and enthusiastic about assiting you with your needs and wishes.
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How to come?
Our tours leave from Bodrum, Marmaris, Gocek, Fethiye, Kemer and Antalya. There is an airport close to almost all the marinas. Below you will find a table which shows the distance between the airports and the marinas.
|Distances Between the Airports and the Marinas.|
|BODRUM (BJV)||30 km|
|IZMIR (ADB)||250 km||260 km||290 km||350 km|
|DALAMAN (DLM)||180 km||100 km||45 km||60 km||235 km|
|ANTALYA (ANT)||225 km||50 km||20 km|
USEFUL INFORMATION ON BOARD
Welcome on board,
You can find below some simple but very useful information which will help and facilitate your life during Blue Voyage.
SHOES: Please do not wear shoes on board. For your personal safety and in order to avoid any injuries, please watch out for the ropes, porthole edges, wires, sets on the deck, propellers and screws.
SMOKING: Smoking in the cabin is dangerous and forbidden. As a fire precaution please do not lock your cabin doors. For safety, if you wish you can give your valuables to the captain in return of a signed document.
ON THE DECK: You should keep an eye on your belongings on the deck because on some days the wind can be very powerful and might blow them to the sea. Crew can not be deemed responsible for any object blown into the sea. Please respect the rules and decisions of your captain concerning the cruise, weather, wind and anchorage ground and pelase keep seated in a safe place while the crew is dealing with cruising.
HOT WATER: Water is possibly heated either by the boat engine or with an electrical heater. If it is heated by the engine, water will be heated shortly after the engine is started and will remain hot for a long while. If another heating system is used, once you make a request to one of the crew members they will turn on the system and soon water will be heated.
TOLITE PAPER: Please deposit toilet papers in the dustbin provided; otherwise, toilet paper thrown in the toilet bowl will block the drain way and you might encounter some problems in your toilet system. The dustbins will be emptied by the crew on a daily basis.
FOOD: All meals will be served in the tween decks. Time of the food service might change according to the overall time schedule but your captain will inform you about such changes.
DRINKS: Drinks can be purchased from the bar on the yacht in return of a receipt. At the end of each day you will be asked to sign a receipt which shows the amount of your consumption and this amount will be added to your overall bill. You can pay the final amount at the end of the tour.
LIGHTS: Please turn off the lights when you are not in your cabin so that we can save the batteries on the boat and at the same time we will avoid mosquitoes.
PORTHOLES: Please keep the portholes closed while the boat is in motion so that your beds and other belongings will be saved from getting wet.
WATER SPORTS: Please stay within sight or inform someone where you are going so that you can easily be reached incase of trouble.
DIVING AND JUMPING: Do not dive or jump off the boat when the engine is working. The captain may manoeuvre and might not see you. For your own safety please wait until the engine is stopped and jack ladder is available. Do not climb up or jump down the masts.
BOAT: On each vessel there is a small boat. This can only be used by the crew members for the purpose of safety or rescue.
LIFE JACKETS: You will find life jackets in your cabin for your safety.
TIPPING: It is a tradition of the yachting world to tip the crew at the end of the cruise, so if you are content with the service you can give your tip to your captain. Then this money will be equally distributed among the crew members.
As the last word, we would like you to enjoy the cruise as much as possible; therefore, if you have any further questions, problems or wishes concerning the gulet, please do not hesitate to talk to your captain. The itinerary might change at very short notice due to some unforeseeable factors, please keep in mind that the captains decision is binding in all cases.
Now sit back and let the crew get the ropes, enjoy your journey!
Bodrum is the ancient city of Halikarnassos (1200 BC), birthplace of Herodotus and site of the Mausoleum of King Mausolus (350 BC), reckoned to be one of the Seven Wonders of the world. According to historic sources, it was established by Dorians, lived under Karian, Lykian, Persian, Macedonian, Egyptian and Roman sovereignties, and was captured by the ‘Rhodes Knights’ in 189 B.C. The city came under Ottoman domination when Kanuni the Magnificent in 1522, captured the city along with the Island of Rhodes. An impressive medieval castle built by the Knights of Rhodes, the imposing Castle of the Knights of St. John, guards the entrance to Bodrum’s dazzling blue bay, in which the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas meet, and where the picturesque historic Harbour is home to elegant yachts and gullets. The beautifully preserved Antique Theatre nearby will also delight you.
Bodrum is less than a two hour drive from Virgin Mary’s house near Selçuk where she arrived accompanied by St. John, and the city of Ephesus where St. Paul once preached to the Ephesians. Ephesus where another of the Seven Wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis, stood is now restored to mirror its classic splendour. Bodrum is a friendly place just to stroll. A walk down the winding alleys past the typical white houses takes you past artisans who still craft according to traditions centuries old. The old Castle houses the world-famous Marine Archeology Museum displaying a unique collection of vestiges dating from 2000 BC, and the oldest known shipwreck.
Surrounded by pine-clad hills, Marmaris is located on the site of ancient Phykos of which nothing at all remains since the modern town sits atop the ruins. There are however numerous examples of Ottoman architecture from the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent since Marmaris was taken by him as part of his campaign against the island of Rhodes nearby. Among the buildings that may be seen are the castle built in 1521; a caravanserai built in 1545; Tashan, also built in the 16th century; and the Mosque of Ibrahim Agha, dated 1789.
Marmaris is deservedly better known for its natural beauty: the lace-like coastline is embellished with coves and inlets where one may go swimming, diving, or fishing. The sheltered bay is excellent for windsurfing. Accommodations, restaurants, and cafes are plentiful and tours are available to coves like Içmeler, Kumlubük, Turunç, and Kadirga. Nearby is a sea cavern called Fosforlu (Phosphorescent). The forests of fragrant storax trees around Marmaris offer tempting picnic spots. Marmaris is a calling place on the Blue Voyage and boats may be hired here to go to Bodrum and Fethiye. Boat tours are also available to the nearby ruins of ancient Caunos. Good highway connections make it easy to visit more distant places like Knidos, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, and even Ephesos. The Marmaris marina is amply provided with everything a yachtsman might need.
Heavily forested region that offers occasional glimpses of the sea and an islet or two basking in total seclusion. The Gulf of Göcek and its friendly marina is one of the Mediterranean’s best sailing spots. Dotted with islands and indented with many coves, its land and seascapes are irresistible. The ruins of Arymaxa, an ancient city at the southern tip of the gulf, lie at the edge of the azure waters. Opposite, on Tersane Island, stand Byzantine ruins, including those of the ancient shipyards.
The popular resort Fethiye, 135 km southeast of Marmaris, boasts an important marina at the head of a beautiful bay strewn with islands. A hill crowned by the ruins of the crusader fortress built by the Knights of Rhodes overlooks the little port. Above the town, (called Telmessos in antiquity), numerous Lycian rock tombs, reproducing the facades ancient buildings, were cut into the cliff face. The Tomb of Amyntas, which probably dates from the fourth century B.C. is the most remarkable.
The city has been open to settlement since paleoantic age. It has been under the throne of prevailing lidas in the 7th.cen.b.c. of persians in 546b.c., of alexander in 333b.c., during the king attalos era of bergama, a new city was constructed named attelia. Antil the 4th .cen.a.d. it remained dependent to roman empire. In the 7th cen.a.d. it has been devastaded by arabian incursions. It has been invaded by seljukians in 1207a.d. the most important ruins of the city are; hadrianus gate, city walls, kesik minarete and yivli minaret mosque which is a accepted as the city symbol.