Gulet cruises from Bodrum

I plan to take a 7 day Gulet cruise from Bodrum, Turkey. Has someone taken one and could pass on positive or negative reviews. Thank you!

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

My family just did one a couple weeks ago. We loved it. WE did a cabin rental (actually 3) through a French tour operator that we trust. We were put on a boat with 5 other people. In addition to one in our family, we had 3 others who paid the single supplement, so we were on a ship with a total capcity of 16, but only 10 of us sailing. (We have no idea why the last cabin wasn't booked.) For us, the biggest positive was just the life on the boat. We would wake up for breakfast at 8:30. Start navigating around 9:30 and then have several hours for naps, reading, snorkeling or taking the small boat ashore. Lunch onboard around 1:00pm. A little more navigation in the afternoon, tea time at 4pm, and usually an evening hike. Dinner wasn't until 8 or 8:30pm (but we had an apero before) and then we all usually retired by 10:30. Totally relaxing. Beautiful scenery including crystal clear, turquoise water. WE had weather in the 80s every day and sunny (we got super lucky). Also very peaceful being anchored off the shore of an uninhabited island. Staring at the stars was fun. We went a bit early in the season, and the water was, uh, refreshing. We were so glad we bought shorty-style wetsuits for snorkeling. (They also made us super buoyant in the salty water) I would think early June would be a great time to go.

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

Now for the negatives: You must buy all beverages except tea at breakfast and water at other meals. Luckily, they weren't outrageously priced. 1€ for a large bottle of water, 3€ for a beer and 12€ for a bottle of wine. The cabins are teeny, tiny (we expected this) and you can get a bad diesel-fuel odor in them after a bit of navigation. Our operator offered a cruise that went up to the Greek Isles, and the reviews for that are more negative, mostly because they never got the odor out of the cabins (due to a lot more timem spent navigating). The bathrooms on our ship were essentially a shower with a sink and toilet in them. They were extremely tight, always wet, and kinda gross. We just overlooked them because everything else was good. If you do a cabin rental (vs whole ship charter), you never know who you are going to be with. I will say that one of the men on our ship was someone we would absolutely not associate with off the ship. We also had a person who was Muslim, and a couple making fun of the call to prayer we heard while docked in Bodrum. It was a bit uncomfortable. We've said that we would love to do this again, but charter a boat and bring along friends. I think it could be an absolute great vacation that way.

Posted by Gretchen
Andover, MA, USA
289 posts

Hi Pam, I would echo everything that Dina already mentioned! It was there in early July last year (actually for the 4th) and it was a fabulous experience but the cabins and bathrooms were tiny. Our boat didn't have quite the diesel smell that Dina's did though (it did a little bit). I would recommend going with family and/or friends. I went with 6 friends so we had the boat to ourselves. It was awesome!!! Have fun. Our captain turned out to be the guy who started doing the 'industry' of boat cruises there in the 60s and70s -what a character! He had some amazing stories about how he used to do diving for sponges. That's how he made his money and then he started doing the cruises. It was great!

Posted by Pam
Bath, Maine, US
3 posts

Thank you for all of your replies re: a gulet cruise out of Bodrum, Turkey. However, I am still looking for recomendations about specific cruise companies. Trip Advisor has good words fpr the Barbarosa Cruise Company. Any other recomendations?

Posted by Laura
Santa Barbara
34 posts

I've gone on two gulet cruises, both arranged through tour companies with a guide as well as the captain and crew. If I were to go again, I would go directly to the captain of the 2nd trip I was on and I would arrange a trip. He does most of his booking through a booking agency, but I think can give a better price on his own (because no fee goes to the agency). He is a wonderful captain and has a great crew. The boat couldn't be any nicer! I'm hoping to go again sometime in the next few years. Below is a link to his boat through an agency.
You can contact him personally, rather than the agency, through Zeus Bodrum on Facebook. (I think his son, who speaks better English, manages that Facebook page.) http://www.sjyachting.com/zeus-gulet-rental.php If you want to have other contact info, I think I can get it through a friend who has traveled on Zeus several times. Have fun!

Posted by Laura
Santa Barbara
34 posts

I think Zeus, cabins and bathrooms and all, is a nicer boat than what the other person who commented was on. Zeus has 6 cabins total, 2 of them very large for a sailboat. It was the best vacation I've ever been on.
But the other passengers are a crucial part of this! The first gulet trip I took, I did not like the captain or the boat nearly as much. Also, there were two passengers that I did not care for. Makes a big difference!