“Welcome to Here”

Blue Cruise from Fethiye to Olympos: 20-23 June 2015

A Blue Cruise takes you along the southern coast of Turkey through the Mediterranean on a beautiful, wooden gullet for “4 days and 3 nights”… But it’s more like 3/3. For those of you interested, we went with V-Go Travel and it was 229 Euros (NOT Turkish Lira) per person with all meals (not drinks) included. After all the conversions and math, it worked out to be about 50-60 USD per day/night. Totally worth it.

After an exhausting school year, this was EXACTLY what I needed. We were a LITTLE nervous when we noticed a collection of Aussies and a family with teenage boys boarding with us because, well, Aussies are louder than Americans and teenage boys are teenage boys… But everyone on our boat was great, especially that one family we initially feared and the three crew members manning the sails. Every time our gullet stopped somewhere, our captain would say, “Welcome to Here!” Oh, Captain Bey (Bey is not a name. It is like saying Mr. in English). We love you.

Here’s why you need to go on a Blue Crusie right now:

1. You don’t have to take care of ANYTHING!

Need to eat? Done. All your meals are prepared for you. And those meals are INCREDIBLE. I’m talking traditional Turkish meals, meat and fish off the grill, the whole nine yards! Hopefully your chef is as boss as ours was. Your ONLY responsibility is to relax. Which we did. A lot. I read! I can’t tell you the last time I read…

Now, I should note out of ABSOLUTE respect, that we went on our cruise during Ramadan. I was amazed at how hard Captain Bey worked without eating or drinking after being in the sun all day long (the very reason I had decided not to continue my Ramadan experience while traveling). When someone first offered him something to munch on, he said, “No, thank you. I am Ramadan.” Props to you, good sir. I respect you and your faith!

2. Sleeping on the Deck

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Yes, you are assigned a cabin, but why would you spend any time in the cabin unless you are ill or need to use the toilet? You can sun bathe from the deck, jump into the sea from the deck, and most importantly (in my opinion) SLEEP on the deck. Grab your pillow and blankets, claim a mattress, and make yourself comfortable so that you can enjoy…

3. The Stars

You’ve never seen so many stars in your life. And when you wake up in the morning, you’ll see a glorious…

4. Sunrise

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What’s more peaceful than floating on the sea and watching the sunrise? No one is awake. No boats are moving. It’s only you and the sounds of nature.

5. Swimming

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Your cruise will drop its anchor several times a day to let you dive into the sea. You’ll settle in the most beautiful bays with the most clear, turquoise water… After warming up on the deck, jump in to cool down! After waking up, jump in to refresh yourself! Fancy jumping from a cliff? You can do that, too.

6. Excursions

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I’ve never been on another cruise, but it’s my understanding that there are always optional excursions. The Blue Cruise is no different. We got to watch a beautiful sunset from St. Nicholas Island one night. Sadly, my paragliding excursion fell through, but we did go kayaking (note to self: put sunblock on thighs) around Kekova (The Sunken City) and others went snorkling in Kaş.

Now, in my opinion, it is not worth paying for a tour to Kekova. Since I didn’t do a tour, maybe I’m missing something, but you’re not allowed to swim in the ruins, and there isn’t that much to see. That said, it WAS fun to kayak around the ruins. I recommend that if you have the time. Plus, we spotted lots of giant turtles!

* * *

Little memory for my own sake: “What’s the wimper back there?” Elisabeth said after she slowed our kayak down for the forty-seventh time. “You never let me go fast…” I sadly answered.

7. No Shower Necessary

After you swim, you hose yourself down with freshwater before toweling off. This doesn’t quite replace a shower, but it did make me feel less guilty about avoiding all my packed toiletries. There didn’t seem to be any offensive odors on our gullet, so I think the sea took care of us… Other than the rat’s nest that became of my hair…

The ONLY thing I would have changed is the music. I don’t know who had their iPod plugged in, but they need to let go of the Eminem. I want happy music on my happy cruise. Everything else was PERFECT.

Our cruise ended in Demre where we were bussed to Olympos and stayed in the Bayram’s Tree Houses for three (Alex and Elisabeth) or four (me) more nights. We kept saying, “I miss the boat!” We’re certain that you will, too!

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