Sailing the Turkish coastline allows thousands of passengers every year to experience the culture of the people while enjoying the beautiful weather that the Mediterranean summer has become famous for. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the small cruise boats have been known to be one of the most relaxing places to be during a vacation.
Cruises along the Turkish coast and on the waters between Greece and Turkey do not use the commonly thought of ocean liners as they cannot reach the small islands and harbours with the use of shuttle boats. Instead, this part of the world still uses a traditional boat called a gulet.
This traditionally designed boat would have once been a working vessel, sailing the ocean doing various jobs for the crew to earn for their families. The shape and build of these boats made them versatile as many different jobs. Some of the boats would have been cargo vessels for short-range deliveries, to the other nearby harbour towns that may not have had the capacity for a large vessel or too close to need one. Thanks to the abundant amount of fish in the waters many of these crews would have sailed the waters fishing for various sea creatures, including shellfish as well as the different types of fish. Natural sponge, like today, was a sought-after commodity and a few of the crews with their knowledgeable captains would sail and free dive down to collect these precious items, and occasionally would come back with other treasures the floor of the ocean provides.
Today the gulets are still being used but their roles have changed, Alaturka Cruises uses the traditional gulets to give passengers an authentic feeling while sailing the coast visiting bays and islands that were and still are popular destinations. Although the design of the gulet still conforms to the traditional style, modern elements and ideas have altered the boat to aim for a more comfortable and luxurious cruise.
The large front deck that would have once held fishing nets of cargo still remain in place however they are now more for relaxing, with sunbeds and sofas to take in the sea breeze while getting a tan in the superb summer weather. Some elements have remained the same, such as the rear of the gulet where dining in the shade the best place is still, where the surrounding views of the turquoise waters gently rock the boat while food is served. The cabins are now designed for comfort more than as a personal space.
These cruises take many routes that the original sailors would have taken, visiting the ancient towns and small villages. As with today, some gulets would have sailed to the nearby Greek islands that lay between these two Mediterranean countries. Some of these are famous for their harbours and their history.
Rhodes is one of the most famous islands that lay off the Turkish coast, this island has always had visitors from Turkey and its ancestors. The old town built during medieval times has both churches, as the Greeks follow Christianity and a Mosque for those who follow Islam. The castle here was also hosts to knights that followed the crusade and helped defend the island.
All across Turkey, it is easy to find history that shows the co-operation and travels between the nearby cultures. This ability to take a cruise from Turkey and visit the Greek culture and well as see ancient ruins on both sites makes this region a must see for any holidaymaker. The summer weather and getting that stunning tan is a perfect added bonus.