The Turkish cruising season runs from early May through the end of October. The most pleasant months afloat are May & June and September & October
The preferred courses follow Turkey's southwestern coastline between Bodrum and Antalya. Scores of archaeological sites, some accessible only by sea, and small sheltered inlets make this route a favorite with yachtsmen. Because it would take 12-15 days to cover that entire stretch, most voyagers choose to sail between, say, Bodrum and Fethiye or between Gocek and Antalya.
Bodrum, Marmaris, Gocek, Fethiye, and Antalya are Turkey's main yachting centers. While the boats we charter are spread among these ports, we begin most of our charters in Bodrum and Gocek, which are served by nearby airports.
Gulets, traditional wooden-hulled motor sailers (double-masted ketches), are the favored boats. Generally, our gulets range from 60 to 110 feet. Many of the boats are skippered by their owners. The spirit of the crew and attention to maintenance are never better than when the boss is aboard!
Each boat has at least 3 crew members (captain, first mate, & cook, who have their own quarters) and 6—8 double guest cabins, each with its own shower & toilet. The cabins are "double," with either twin or double beds. For the ultimate luxury, some of our clients like to allot one full cabin to each adult even though a cabin will comfortably accommodate two people.
Longer craft or those with more cabins are not necessarily more luxurious. Our priorities in choosing boats for our clients are the professionalism and hospitality of a crew and the maintenance, safety, and appointments of the boat itself. All our boats have air-conditioning, attractively furnished interiors, and excellent crews with wonderful cooks. We personally inspect each vessel and interview owners and crew.
Estimated daily charter rates have a wide range, depending on the season and features of the individual yachts. Currency fluctuations and fuel prices may also effect rates. Sample 2009 prices below are for an entire yacht (not per person). Our gulets fall into roughly three categories: Good Value, Deluxe, and Superior Deluxe. (Prices are exclusive of VAT.)
May & Oct: $1500-1800 US per day June & September: $1800 - $2100 per day July-Aug: $2300-2500 per day
These Superior Deluxe yachts are the equivalent of the five-star hotel penthouse. More than we need, they are nonetheless tastefully appointed and just right for the sybarites among us who want to celebrate something significant. On board all of our yachts, we figure roughly $50—$60 per person per day for three lavish meals of local specialties (including soft drinks, bottled waters, and beer). Our cooks also enjoy baking; they serve lovely tea-time spreads. At the end of a voyage, a gratuity to the crew (5-10% of the charter's cost) is customary. Many of you have asked about smaller, 3 or 4-cabin boats. Although they are available, there is greater choice among 6-8 cabin boats, which tend to be newer and more stylishly furnished. The price difference between the smaller and larger boats is small (sometimes as little as $100 per day). Smaller boats have much less deck space, and since most of your time is spent topside, any sacrifice of deck-space should be carefully considered. I encourage clients to assemble their own parties, but in certain instances, I will try to help singles and smaller groups link up with prospective fellow travellers willing to share a boat. Our Asia Minor Tours website offers two scheduled tours for 2009: