Blue Cruise has a rich history dating back to the mid-20th century. It originated in Turkey as a way for intellectuals, artists, and writers to explore the stunning Turkish coastline on traditional wooden gulets. This unique concept quickly gained popularity and became a beloved yachting holiday experience. Today, Blue Voyage continues to offer unforgettable journeys, combining the beauty of the sea with cultural exploration and relaxation.


The inception of the term “Blue Cruise” in Turkey’s tourism industry traces back to its roots in Turkish literature, stemming from Azra Erhat’s book title. Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, also known as The Fisherman of Halicarnassus, and a few other writers introduced this term. Kabaağaçlı, exiled to Bodrum in 1925, embarked on trips with friends aboard local sponge divers’ sailing boats, termed gulets, which led to the inspiration behind the local culture and natural beauty. These excursions became known as “Blue Voyages.”

Notable literary figures like Sabahattin Eyüboğlu, along with family and friends, engaged in Blue Cruises, contributing to its promotion. The literary review “Yeni Ufuklar” (New Horizons) in the 1950s and 1960s played a role in popularizing the Blue Voyage, while several guidebooks, in Turkish and German, presented romantic portrayals of the journey. Consequently, cruise tourism burgeoned, significantly impacting the local economy and transforming Bodrum from a fishing village to a holiday hotspot.

Cruise Itineraries

Blue Cruises encompass routes ranging from short trips to a few coves for a couple of days to extensive voyages spanning weeks along the Turkish Riviera. Departing from destinations like Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, and Antalya, these cruises cover smaller villages and coves such as Dalyan, Gökova, and Kekova, which constitute popular segments of the route. Additionally, travelers have the option to explore Greece and its surrounding islands.

The Turkish coast offers a diverse range of landscapes and experiences. From secluded bays with crystal-clear waters to ancient ruins and picturesque fishing villages, every stop along the Blue Cruise route has something unique to offer. Travelers can immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of the region while enjoying the tranquility of sailing on a traditional gulet.

Choosing the perfect gulet for your journey

To navigate these routes effectively, selecting the appropriate sailing vessel is crucial. Traditional wooden yachts, especially gulets, stand out as the most fitting boat type for a Turkish sailing holiday. These motor sailers, available in three distinct types – gulet, ketch, and tirhandil – offer different features catering to comfort and enjoyment during the voyage.

Gulets are spacious and comfortable, providing ample room for relaxation and socializing. They typically have multiple cabins with en-suite bathrooms, a cozy lounge area, and a spacious deck where passengers can soak up the sun or dine al fresco while enjoying breathtaking views of the coastline. Gulets often come equipped with modern amenities such as air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and water sports equipment, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all passengers.

Ketches are another popular choice for Blue Cruises. These two-masted sailing vessels offer a unique sailing experience while still providing the comfort and amenities of a gulet. With their distinctive design and elegant appearance, ketches are a favorite among sailing enthusiasts who appreciate the art of traditional sailing.

Tirhandils are smaller wooden boats with a single mast. They are perfect for those seeking a more intimate and authentic sailing experience. Although they may have fewer amenities compared to gulets or ketches, tirhandils offer a sense of adventure and closeness to the sea that is hard to replicate on larger vessels.

When choosing a gulet for your Blue Cruise adventure, it is important to consider factors such as group size, desired level of comfort, itinerary preferences, and budget. With a wide range of gulets available for charter in Turkey, there is a suitable option for every traveler.


Blue Cruise offers a unique way to explore the beauty of the Turkish coastline. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or simply relaxing on pristine beaches, a Blue Cruise journey provides an unforgettable experience. From its humble beginnings as a way for writers and intellectuals to connect with nature and find inspiration, Blue Cruise has evolved into a thriving tourism industry that continues to captivate travelers from around the world. Embark on a Blue Cruise adventure and discover the magic of sailing along the stunning Turkish Riviera.

Previous The Bodrum Cup 2023