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Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

Melbourne
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Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

Can anyone advise me on a reputable company? There are so many options on the internet.. I am hoping for a week-long sailing trip departing from Fethiye, preferably towards Olympus. I am also a single, so looking or a company with a minimal single supplement.. Thank you

Fethiye
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1. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

I can recommend fethiyerental.com

You may send an email and get a quote

Regards

Cirali / Antalya
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for Antalya, Cirali
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2. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

Just to add my 2 cents worth...I would highly recommend V-Go and Alaturka over Olympos yachting when it comes to customer service...

I have never been on this 3 day cruise but I have had both experience with my guests comments and also in dealing with each company on an individual basis..

Last summer I had to clean-up a situation for a guest between Olympos yachting...that had promised months ago a departure date ( confirmed by email and in writing ) and then the day before the guests we told NO there were no dates...

anyways to make a long story short..they ended up cancelling with Olympos yachting ( after waiting hours for a refund ) and taking the departure from V-go.

I cannot comment on the types of cruises that they are...but so be aware that over the summer months there are more student travellers on these cruises therefore maybe a bit more of a party boat..but you wll never know which type of travellers you will get until the boat departs....it can be a very nice mix of people...

As for my experience dealing with each company I found both V-Go ( Katia ) and Alaturka ( Ned ) far more professional....

there are many companies for you to explore;

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=blue+cruise+turkey

you can try V-go or alaturka

http://www.bluecruisesturkey.com/

http://www.alaturkacruises.com

and sorry to say this but the summer months are prime time for the party boats as the schools are either already out in some countries or just getting out..

Melbourne
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3. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

Thanks very much for the suggestions.. :)

Melbourne
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4. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

I have found a good deal with Albatross Yachting with a good price for a single, however i notice there has been a bad review for them a few years back. Has anyone used this comply more recently?

Many thanks

Fethiye, Turkey
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5. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

every company has bad revıews noone can say that a company very well albatros yachting is very good and well known company in fethiye andthis area dont worry

Los Angeles
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32 posts
143 reviews
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6. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

Alaturka Cruises - not as represented. Stay away.

We took the Fethiye to Olympos route on a cabin cruise (you book cabins as opposed to having to buy the whole boat for a week). Our cost was 175 Euros per person. 4 days, 3 nights. Half the people on our boat got it for half price through some travel service in the UK for students and backpackers.

If you are going to take a blue cruise, I am not sure Alaturka is the way to go. it appeared to us that Alaturka and V-go were related, but I am not positive about that.

Little of what Alaturka represents on their website was provided. The photos on their website look like nice, clean, modern ships, large rooms and space, with a feast of different foods to eat. And the descriptions sound like a wonderful experience. Our experience was quite the opposite. I certainly cannot recommend them nor would I think anyone else on my boat would, since we all complained to each other. Comments in the forums about their travel services and lack of what is represented taking place, seems to be consistent with what we found on our cruise. I will say Ned was always very friendly and helpful in our emails before the trip, and on meeting him at his hotel before our cruise. But providing something so far off from what was represented is unprofessional, if not a bait and switch.

If you are looking simply for a boat to get you from point A to point B along the coast, don’t care about the accommodations ,crew or itinerary, then Alaturka (or probably anyone) is fine, albeit expensive for what you get.

Here is what the Alaturka website said, and what we got:

The boat – it was not one of the ones listed on the website, nor looked like any of them. It was very small, and old. Although the website shows and lists rooms with twin beds, double beds, etc, our boat only had a large futon spread over a cabinet. . (I had booked 6 months ahead and specifically asked for two rooms with twin beds because my boys wont sleep together in the same bed, but of course did not get that….not that we ended up sleeping in the room anyway). Our room had little room to stand (about 18 inches square) but you wanted to avoid being in the room anyway as it was very hot and smelled from the bathroom. Bathroom smelled like an outhouse and even backed up from the main cesspool, smelling up the very hot room. The boat did not have a generator and one night it started to run out of battery power so we had to cut back on usage to a few light bulbs. The boat did have a nice covered area, as well as an uncovered sun deck, and respectable lounge cushions.

English Speaking crew – not on our trip. Was very hard to communicate anything. However, we did quickly learn that when the captain said “nine” he meant don’t do that. And pantomimes helped sometimes to convey what we wanted.

Three to four person crew – nope. We had a captain and what appeared to be his teenage son. Because the captain was also the chef, we could not travel when he was cooking, and many times had very late lunches or dinners, or a breakfast not being done till 10 or 11 followed a couple hours later by lunch and then 8 hours till dinner. We also ended up being late to leave our stops, then rushing to get to the next stop and skipping many of the places on the itinerary. (I will say our crew, of the Kaptain Murat, were very nice, cooked great food, were very friendly, and tried really hard. This review is not about them at all).

“BBQ every night” – nope. Not once.

“Fresh fish, chicken, Turkish meatballs, with traditional Turkish rice, and vegetable dishes. A number of fresh salads are also served. It’s a feast!” - Not quite. The photos on the website show multiple dishes. Our captain cooked great but simple, and clearly on the cheap, food. No such thing as a feast, nor multiple salads, or even more than two dishes (one type of stew, rice or pasta, and a mixed salad). Spaghetti with a vegetable stew 3 of the 4 lunches, Turkish meatballs (small fried hamburgers) , fried trout and a chicken stew for the dinners. He did make terrific stuffed peppers. The bread after a couple of days got so stale we all started to joke about it.

“It's tea / coffee time in the afternoon, with cookies and biscuits. “ – did have it once. And one other afternoon the captain made some cheese crepes.

“We also serve fresh seasonal fruits throughout the day and night.” - nope. But we did have it at a couple of meals.

“Bar and great music system” – does a cooler count? We did have music, but a “great music system” is a stretch. The teenage crew member plugged his laptop into the sound system, and someone plugged their ipod in too.

Snorkel gear available – not exactly. Of the few pieces there were, they were so old they literally fell apart in your hands, and were covered in such dirt and dust they looked like they had not been used in years. All of us on our boat bought our own (at 25YTK per person) at the first stop we could.

Reasonable (inexpensive) drinks – I guess that is subjective but having prices two to three times retail and at the higher end of restaurant prices is not my idea of inexpensive or reasonable. (beer you could buy at a mini mart for 2.5 YTL but it was 5 YTL on board, and water was 0.75 YTL at a store and 2.5 YTL on board.)

Hot water – some times. Usually for a few seconds or so. I think it was the little water that was near the engine that got hot.

Itinerary – skip that. The posted itinerary talks about numerous stops and things to do. The photos on the site look great. Too bad we did not stop at most of the places listed or shown. Everyone on our boat was complaining to the captain about can we stop here or will we stop there. Problem was he spoke little English so we basically got nowhere. We only stopped at two towns along the way, skipping over most of the listed sites. Butterfly valley he pulled into the cove never stopped and turned around. Oludeniz we stopped for lunch but away from the beach and never had a chance to explore. St Nicholas island, never got there. Etc. It appeared our crew was not familiar with the schedule as they kept looking at the V-go brochure. The trip even started off schedule, as Ned did not have the mini bus to take us to the boat until 1hour after we were supposed to leave, and then the mini bus drove us for an hour to a cove some distance from Fethiye (Ned said the boat was not able to make it all the way to Fethiye the night before for some reason, but I think it was so we could not complain to him once we got on the boat).

There was more (or rather less) but you get the idea.

All that said, as a cruise, putting aside the boat, it’s a wonderful experience and should not be missed. Just skip Alaturka.

Bodrum
Destination Expert
for Bodrum City
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7. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

As both a gulet owner and manager of a blue cruise agency in Turkey, I feel the need to step in to this discussion, even if it stirs the nest a bit!

Regardless of the company, a cabin charter is not a Blue Cruise, and it is extremely difficult for a company to please most clients who book a cabin charter. Thus it really isn't about which company does or doesn't deliver a good cabin charter. The product itself is flawed. Here's why:

Only the bottom end boats will accept a cabin charter contract; boat owners always prefer selling private trips instead of trying to coordinate a group of people with completely different expectations. Therefore you can pretty much guarantee that the cabin charter gulet is not going to be of a high standard, and certainly not going to look anything like the photographs on a website.

Let's say you've booked your cabin charter in cabin 1. The itinerary states that the boat leaves at 16:00. But your flight doesn't arrive until the evening. Cabin 2 arrived at noon and is really eager to get out of hot harbor and start swimming. But wait - cabin 3's flight doesn't arrive until 3 a.m. because it's a charter flight. What is the captain to do? And we haven't even talked about cabins 4, 5 and 6. Ditto for the departures.

As cabin 1, you have carefully researched and booked an idyllic holiday, cruising from bay to bay, seeing antiquities, swimming and relaxing. Ah, but cabin 2 has just graduated from university and mum and dad have paid for their party holiday and they really like rap music. Cabin 3 has smuggled all their alcohol on board and begin breakfast with Jack Daniels. Cabin 2 is very bored with all the beautiful anchorage and wants to go exploring discos in lively ports every evening. Cabin 1 wants to sleep in a quiet bay under the stars. Cabin 3 is unconscious all over the back cushions and has never used a razor. And we haven't even talked about cabins 4, 5 and 6 yet.

You in cabin 1 have heard about how exquisite Turkish cuisine is and are anticipating beautiful mezes, local fruits and vegetables and fresh fish. Cabin 2 doesn't eat fruit unless mum and dad have peeled it for them as children and the only fish they have eaten are fish sticks. Cabin 3 is still unconscious. Cabins 4,5 and 6 have been sold at a last minute 75% discount so the captain hasn't been given enough money to properly provision the boat. He lamely tries to catch some fish in between all of the on board politics because he doesn't make enough money to have a proper crew on his low end gulet. More spaghetti is served.

Cabin 3 comes back from its bender and starts to talk politics and religion over another spaghetti lunch. Cabin 1 is the 'other' country in the last war as well as the 'other' religion. Things get heated. Cabin 2 doesn't understand either language and is trying to get the captain to take them to a local tatoo parlor.

Did I mention that cabins 4, 5 and 6 have been booked by one family with 4 children under ages of 10?

To summarize - please understand what the product is and and isn't. A cabin charter is a great introduction to the beautiful coastline and can be a wonderful incentive to return on a private gulet. But it is difficult to please all of the guests on board. Think of it as a hostel, not a hotel.

To those who ask why the local operators don't offer upmarket cabin charters, the simple answer is it's not profitable and again, all of the above still apply.

What is the alternative to a cabin charter? Book your own, small gulet with your own group.

I hope this helps.

Hebden Bridge...
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8. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

Well done scbc.

Absolutely excellent post!

We have tried this in the past, and your sketch is so,so true to life.

We now go via bareboat charter as a private group around the Turkish Coast on an annual basis, and find it is so much better when you are with a group of your own friends/family.

Los Angeles
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32 posts
143 reviews
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9. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

With all due respect, had the boat simply been a lower end boat, I could have accepted that. Had the itinerary missed one or two places, I could have accepted that. My point is that little of what was represented was provided. The list of so many omissions is too long to justify as simply they messed up on one or two things out of their control. The differences point to misleading customers on their website as to the nature of the cruise.

Gocek, Turkey
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10. Re: Best Gullet Cruise in Turkey?

I'd also like to endorse scbc's brilliant analysis of what a cabin charter gulet can be like.

We were fortunate enough to take our first gulet cruise before the "Olympos cabin cruise" had become fashionable and happened across a gulet in Kas with a young owner who was doing cabin charters. We had a marvellous time - helped by very good food and company - and went back pretty well every year thereafter, more or less fitting in our holiday with his schedule.

We were mostly fortunate with the fellow guests - we had a great time with an extended German family who were happy to agree with us going along - we didn't have such a good time with a group of car-fixated young Germans who tried to keep all the food away from us and a great young Belgian couple!

As the business grew and he acquired more boats, the owner gave up cabin charters completely and apart from a long weekend a few years ago when we went out with an Anglo/Turkish couple and the Turkish parents - also delightful company - we're now limited to meeting up for a drink or a meal when his boat's in Göcek.

The only way we're likely to do another gulet cruise would be if we can somehow organise one with our siblings and their families - but we're not holding our breath!

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