I had always wanted to go on a cruise but didn’t quite know where to. Being Caribbean born, I clearly wanted something different. After some research and traveling I discovered Turkey was the perfect destination. I traveled around Turkey by car and got to know the Aegean Coast. That little bit I got to see was enough for me to fall in love with the place and want to go on a Turkish cruise.
Where to go? This will depend on what you want to see and your budget of course. You can pick from whitewashed homes, archaeological sites, impressive ruins, and mountain peaks amongst other things. The amount of places and cities you can visit will depend on the time you have. These are some of the cities I personally recommend you add in your Turkish cruise:
-Istanbul: start off at Istanbul and learn about Byzantine and Ottoman history by visiting Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. Walk down Grand Bazaar and live the bargaining experience.
-Gallipoli: this city is known for its battle sites. This peninsula is the site of extensive First World War battlefields and memorials on the north bank of the Dardanelles Strait.
-Canakkale: at Canakkale you can travel to the ancient site of Troy.
-Pergamum: The main sites are divided in Upper Acropolis and Lower Acropolis. From the Upper Acropolis don’t miss out on the reconstructed Temple of Trajan or the Hellenistic Theater. Visit the Library of Pergamum, which was the second best in the ancient Greek civilization. From the Lower Acropolis I recommend the Temple of Demeter, the Sanctuary of Hera and the House of Attalus.
-Ephesus: travel down the Aegean Coast stopping at Ephesus. You cannot miss out on the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Visit the Temple of Hadrian and the columned Celsus Library.
-Bodrum: you can start your cruise in this city and take off to the Gulf of Gokova. You can also start in Bodrum and head to Mamaris, which is famous for sailing and diving. It is located between two intersecting sets of mountains by the sea making incredibly beautiful.
Types of Cruises: There are large traditional cruises or smaller more private cruises, depending on how many days you will be traveling and on your budget.
-Traditional Cruise: this is the cruise we usually hear of and are more familiarized. It’s a great option when traveling with kids since they have all sorts of activities on board. These cruises can last from 3 to 10 days or more. 19 different types of cruise ships depart from Turkey. There are cruises all year round.
-Gulet: the Gulet is a traditional Turkish wooden sailboat. These cruises offer passengers chartered trips. These sail boats come with captain, first mates and cooks.
Tip! Before booking your cruise don’t forget to apply for an online visa. You will need a visa for Turkey. In my opinion the best options to obtain a visa are with iVisa https://turkishvisa.com/ or with the government website e-Visa website. I personally recommend iVisa. It is simple and straightforward. With iVisa you obtain your visa in three simple steps and in less than a day.