Blue voyages in the Turquois coast of Asia Minor

Blue voyages

Blue voyages and so-called blue cruises are essentially the same: luxurious vacations along the Turquoise coast of Turkey or the Dodecanese islands of Greece. These cruising vacations take place on gulets, the traditional wooden fishing boats that are local in these waters. Yet, these motorsailers are by no means an anachronism, they are modern built, preferably new of just a few years old and are equipped for all sorts of luxury and comfort. Naturally these blue voyages fall in the category of the fully crewed yacht charters, much like superyachts.

The history of the blue voyages mirrors also the history of the modern Turkish Republic.
A critic called Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli found himself exiled after writing a negative story on the army, yet the judges choose Bodrum as his place of exile. Indeed, in the eyes of the citizens of Istanbul, Bodrum was hostile and remote. Yet, Kabaagacli soon discovered the truth about the Carian coast: it offered an agreeable climate, friendly people and wonderful scenery. His punishment turned out a blessing in disguise. Not only were the local fishermen a great inspiration to him. He also became aware of the incredible beauty of the turquoise bays, coves and charming villages around Bodrum, when he was a guest on their fishing boats.

The writer was the first one to enjoy the blue voyages and was keen to treat the Istanbul' intelligentsia and his old friends to his cruising lifestyle when they paid tribute by visiting him in his paradise.
These artists and scholars then brought the concept of the Blue Voyages back to Istanbul.

Bodrum still remains the primary port for gulet cruises or blue voyages, but Kos, Rhodes, Marmaris, Fetiye are important ports as well. Unfortunately, you won't find many of these motorsailers in the Cyclades. Also, the Greek versions are often more expensive, in the Aegean gulets are known simply as motorsailers or crewed charters, but the Greek equivalent is called a caique, but this name is also used for the ubiquitous tripper boats that take tourists from the main ferry port on an island to swimming bays and beaches on that same island. Often caiques serve only as water taxis and totally lack the luxury of the true blue voyages! The more comfortable ones are still only used for day trips, for instance dolphins or whale watching trips, and are therefore a totally different league than the Turkish de luxe gulets!

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