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Blue Cruise
8 days
Turkey - Trip code CE

Blue Cruise

On this relaxing sailing holiday we cruise along the beautiful Turquoise Coast on a traditional wooden 'gulet'. Departing from Fethiye Harbour we explore small bays and islands, discover ancient relics, and swim and snorkel in the warm clear waters that give the coastline its name. We visit the hillside village of Kalkan, the harbour town of Kas and the submerged ancient city of Kekova. There are also opportunities to walk in Saklikent Gorge and visit historical sites such as Patara (the birthplace of Saint Nicholas).

Trip highlights

  • Sailing on a traditional style wooden gulet - Seven nights cruising along the beautiful shoreline of Turkey's Turquoise Coast
  • Swimming and snorkelling - In the warm azure sea in quiet coves
  • Kekova - Discover this stunning bay, with its white washed coastal villages, sunken ruins and Medieval castle
  • Kas - Explore this pretty harbour town. Enjoy some retail therapy or a cool drink in a local cafe
  • Ancient ruins, beaches and walks - Relax or explore as much as you like
Accommodation grade:
Simple
These are often small, family run establishments or campsites which provide a no-frills experience with adequate amenities and service standards. Sleeping arrangements are simple, sometimes with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Relaxed
You can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences on these Relaxed pace tours, with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings, but still come home feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Group Size:
10 - 16
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Fethiye

Our trip starts at Fethiye harbour where our boat will be moored for the night. Here we board our gulet and meet the crew. Fethiye is a market town that can trace its history back to the ancient Lycian city of Telmessos built around the harbour in the 5th or 6th century BC. Reminders of the town's past include Lycian rock tombs on the hillside and a Hellenistic theatre.

Our traditional gulet is hand built in teak and pine, with a spacious and partly shaded foredeck and comfortable indoor and outdoor lounge areas. Traditional Turkish meals are prepared on board by the boat chef. The cosy cabins are all en suite with a toilet and shower. Although during warm nights you may prefer to sleep under the star on the deck.

Accommodation: M/S Sobek(or similar)

Simple Boat
Meals Provided: Dinner
Day 2 - Set sail to Kalkan with the chance to visit Patara and Saklikent Gorge

This morning we'll get our first chance to try a traditional Turkish breakfast which usually consists of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and occasionally fruit. Along with a variety of yogurts, cheese and bread. We sail this morning to the attractive port of Kalkan, a small fishing village built into the steep slopes of the seacliff. Kalkan offers a perfect chance to explore an old village and harbour front. From here there is the chance of an optional excursion to see the ancient city of Patara and amazing Saklikent Gorge. Patara is the birthplace of Saint Nicholas (Father Christmas) and is situated on the largest sandy beach in Turkey. After the visit to the site you might like to have a swim in the refreshing surf. Saklikent Gorge, situated high in the mountains above Fethiye was created by icy cold water cutting through the mountains over thousands of years. A natural wonder, the resulting canyon is 300 metres deep and 18 km long. Saklikent in Turkish means 'Hidden City'. The walls are so high they cut out most of the sunlight and the fresh spring waters that flow through are freezing cold! A great refuge on a hot summer day.

Accommodation: M/S Sobek(or similar)

Simple Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3 - Sail to Kekova with the option to walk to Simena Castle

Sailing east along the coast towards the deserted island of Kekova, we come across a picturesque scene where ancient ruins line the coast. Overlooking these stunning views is Simena castle, set in beautiful surroundings. We can take a walk up to explore its tiny theatre, hollowed out of the rock, and the surrounding medieval walls and tombs. This afternoon there's the chance to join your Explore Leader for an optional walk to discover the ancient coastal trails. Afterwards, heading the short distance to Gokkaya island, a sheltered bay dotted with small islands, channels and several anchorages. In the port area there are a group of islands and small coves, where we'll find a good place to anchor.

Accommodation: M/S Sobek(or similar)

Simple Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4 - Cruise to Demre Cayagzi; opportunity to visit ancient Arycanda or Myra

Sailing eastwards, we reach Cayagzi harbour. We recommend a side trip to Arycanda, one of southern Turkey's most dramatic sites, with a magnificent setting on the slopes of the Taurus mountains. The ruins are extensive, with a city stadium, large and small theatres, aqueducts and public baths. On our return, we will moor in Camlica cove, another peaceful and blissful spot in the region.

Accommodation: M/S Sobek(or similar)

Simple Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 - Heading for Kas via Ucagiz there's the chance to go sea kayaking

Today we start sailing west to Ucagiz village. This morning we highly recommend doing a sea kayaking trip at Kekova. Here, submerged streets and buildings are visible in the crystal waters. Lycian sarcophagi (tombs) lie in the harbour bottom at Simena. This afternoon we continue sailing west to the harbour of Kas. This picturesque coastal town is one of the most beautiful of the Turkish Riviera, backed by steep cliffs covered with dense green forest. You'll have time to enjoy soaking up the atmosphere at one of the many lively cafes near the picturesque harbour.

Accommodation: M/S Sobek(or similar)

Simple Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 - Sail to Soguksu Cove; option to visit ruins devoted to Father Christmas

We sail from Kas to Soguksu Cove then Gemiler island. In the afternoon, we will have an opportunity to land on Gemiler Island where we visit the extensive ruins dedicated to Father Christmas. In the early ages of Christianity, the island was an important shelter for the pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem. The top pf the island offers superb views over the lovely Mediterranean coast.

Accommodation: M/S Sobek(or similar)

Simple Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 - Cruise to Tarzan Bay to relax and swim in the turquoise waters

As we sail to Tarzan bay getting close to Fethiye, we will admire the wonderful views of turquoise seas. A last chance to relax and unwind before the trip ends.

Please note that there may be situations where, due to operational reasons, we have to motor to Fethiye Harbour and moor up there.

Accommodation: M/S Sobek(or similar)

Simple Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8 - Continue to Fethiye where the trip ends

Early in the morning we return to Fethiye. Our trip ends in Fethiye harbour. If your flight is departing later in the day then it will be possible to leave your baggage either on board the boat or at the boat office in Fethiye. Please speak to your Explore Leader or the boat captain to make the necessary arrangements.

Please note that the itinerary may vary due to weather and sailing conditions.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Why book this trip

Unwind cruising around the Turquoise Coast on a traditional wooden gulet. Why not extend your trip and combine the 'Blue Cruise' with either 'Walking the Turquoise Coast', 'Treasures of Turkey', 'Active Turkey' or 'The Lycian Way' for a longer 14 day adventure.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 7
  • Lunch: 6
  • Dinner: 7
Transport
  • Bus
  • Boat
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Boat Crew
  • Driver(s)
Accommodation
  • 7 nights simple boat

Trip information

Country information

Turkey

Climate

Evenings and early mornings can be cool in the early and late season (before mid May and after early October). During the winter, temperatures usually hover between 0 and 10 degrees, but are usually wet, particularly around the coast. Summers are hot and dry with refreshing sea breezes and clear waters, great for boat trips. It is often cooler on higher ground and in the mountains and can be cold at night, even in the summer. The best time for walking in Turkey is Mid May, June and September, with pleasant temperatures and clear blue skies.

Time difference to GMT

+3

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Islam, Christian

Language

Turkish

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Patara and Saklikent Gorge - excursion by minibus/taxi from Kalkan £16.00
Kas - sea kayaking £25.00-80.00 dependent on numbers
Arycanda - attractive ancient site in the Taurus foothills £14.00 (transport and entrance)
Simena Castle - hike to Simena Castle near Kekova £3.50

Clothing

The long Turkish summer can be hot, though much of the Mediterranean coastline is freshened by sea breezes. A warmer sweater or light fleece and long trousers are advisable for the evenings in early and late season. Dress on the gulet is informal.

When visiting mosques, women should cover their head, shoulders and knees, so it's handy to pack a scarf. Men should also ensure their knees are covered.

Footwear

Footwear is generally not worn on the boat, which is recommended as you get much better grip with bare feet. A pair of old or plastic shoes is useful for walking on rocks and wet beach landings.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so
don't overload yourself.

Space is limited in the gulet cabins so luggage should be kept to a minimum. A soft holdall is recommended rather than a hard suitcase.


Equipment

Useful equipment includes a water bottle, small torch, high factor suncream, insect repellent, sunglasses, and a snorkel and mask for keen swimmers. Whilst towels are provided you may want to bring your own for drying down after swimming.

Qualified scuba divers wishing to dive should bring their diving certificate and log book.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow £15.00 for tipping.

In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.

Please note that if you would like to offer tips to the local staff and/or your Explore Leader then it is best to bring this with you in cash before you board the gulet as cash machines are not easily found during this trip.
Local fees
Tea and coffee will be provided on board the gulet at meal/tea times and water is provided at meal times also. You cannot bring your own drinks on board the gulet, but they can be purchased on the boat at the following approximate rates:

Wine (70cl): £10.00
Water (small): £0.35
Beer (small): £2.00
Soft Drinks: £1.10
Raki: £2.65
Spirits: £2.65

It's not possible to pay by credit/debit card or travellers cheque on board. Cash machines also aren't easily found during this trip.
Country Information

Turkey

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£7
Dinner price
£13
Beer price
£2.7
Water price
£1
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Turkish Lira.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Major foreign currencies such as US Dollars, £Sterling and Euros can easily be changed. We advise against travelling with Travellers Cheques as commission rates are high. Other currencies can be exchanged in larger cities. We advise you to change money in Turkey as rates tend to be better.
Where To Exchange
Most major towns - your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
ATMs are widely available throughout Turkey. To avoid large queues at the airport exchanges, you may wish to xchange some lira before arriving.
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat

Accommodation notes

Booking a Single Room

All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation. Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date. For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.


Our traditional gulet is hand built in teak and pine, with a spacious and partly shaded foredeck and comfortable indoor and outdoor lounge areas. Meals are prepared on board by the boat chef and enjoyed in the shaded aft deck.

There are four twin and four double cabins, all with an en suite toilethower. The cabins are cosy and can get warm in summer as there is no air-conditioning, so you may find it preferable to sleep above deck although port holes can usually be opened. There are plugs available in each cabin, so it is possible to charge cameras and phones.

There is some snorkelling equipment available aboard the gulet. If you are a keen snorkeler, you may prefer to bring your own mask and snorkel with you.

The gulet may moor in a quiet bay near the night stop to minimise disturbances in the evening, especially in large urban areas/ports.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Turkey: Visas are required by UK citizens. We recommend that you obtain your visa online, prior to arrival at https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/

This will cost US$20.00 and you will need a blank page in your passport for the stamp. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Non refundable permits

Turkey

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, typhoid, infectious hepatitis and polio. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
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