Blue Cruises in Turkey: 10 tips for getting a deal

 

Fancy a fantastic blue cruise in Turkey? This post is provided by the team at Alaturka Yachting

Alaturka-2-Gulet-Charter[1]

Turkey’s southern coast is considered to be one of the most exotic and beautiful spots in the world to travel. Its rich history and culture coupled with its breathtaking natural beauty offers travellers an experience matched by no other.

Blue cruises on the southern coast are the most popular way for travellers to experience this beauty. Cruising on a traditional Turkish gulet guests can visit secluded bays, and beaches, sites entrenched with thousands of years of Turkish history, experience the best adventure activities and most importantly visit natural wonders inaccessible by land.

It’s not a surprise that taking a blue cruise has become one of the most popular tours Turkey has to offer. Consequently, the companies to travel with have grown, prices have increased and there are many more itineraries to choose from. Rather than getting stuck paying extremely high prices, here are our top 10 tips on how to get the best deal on blue cruises in Turkey while maintaining trip quality.

1.  Book early

Like every tour, flight and holiday package it is best to book as early as possible. For blue cruises it is best to book in the European winter for the upcoming summer period and cruise season. Most cruise companies close down for the winter, and have no to minimal cash flow but still have outgoing costs as they renovate their gulets. Don’t be surprised if there are already exceptional deals running for peak season when you book this early but don’t be afraid to ask your tour operator for a further discount especially if travelling in a group.

 2.  Last minute deals

If you are travelling on a whim, this can also work in your favour. Turn up at the tour operator’s door, ask when the next free tour is and land a deal. It can be that easy if you are willing to push on price especially when a boat is relatively empty, you are travelling in low season (April, May & October) and you can be flexible with departure port. Be open about your budget, Alaturka staff want nothing more than for you to have a good time on their cruise – so they will do whatever they can to make it happen. Buy a last-minute cruise and have your spontaneity rewarded with big savings!

3.  Save your money with a tour operator

In Turkey, there are a number of tour agencies selling boat trips on behalf of the tour operators. It‘s not a surprize that these agencies need to collect their commissions. Buying a package from an agency will almost always be more expensive than buying from the company that operates the cruise itself. Take your time and do research the desired tour company. If the company is based in Istanbul it’s unlikely it is the operator. Normally the companies, based in towns along the southern coast, are more likely to run their own tours and not sell for commissions.

 4.  Be flexible on departure port

Flexibility on departure port can save you time and money. Fethiye and Marmaris, the most popular ports on the southern coast of Turkey, are always busier and therefore also more expensive. In peak season if considering departing from Fethiye, it may work out cheaper to actually depart from the opposite direction, particularly Olympos and Demre. In the locations that less people are travelling, they will offer higher discounts to fill their gulet instead of sending a half full boat along the coast.

 5.  Midweek – the best time to depart

The day of the week you travel can make a big difference in the price you pay for your cruise. Weekends will always sell out, and therefore cruise companies will not lower the price for these days. Play smart and leave on a weekday, so you can expect to be the winner of the best blue cruise deal. Wednesday and Thursdays tend to be quieter for cruises and flights into the area are also cheaper midweek.

 6.  Consider a private charter

Are you travelling with a larger group? If so, it is worth considering a private charter. Private charters offer you and your party complete exclusivity, flexibility and savings. Travel out of peak season, and you may be able to secure a private charter with close companions for the same price as a cabin charter that is usually shared with complete strangers.

 7.  Negotiate pre departure free accommodation

Many of the tour operators, based in towns along the charming southern coast, also operate their own tourist-friendly hostels, guesthouses and hotels. If the tour operator is unwilling to move on price for your desired cruise, it is worth trying to negotiate free or discounted accommodation. This will actually save you more money than getting a discount on the cruise and in most cases you will also receive a free transfer to the boat from this accommodation on the morning of your cruise.

 8.  Work with a cruise operator

Some blue cruise operators, including Alaturka are happy to work with professional, established travel bloggers.

 9.  Follow on Facebook

Another word of advice is to follow your desired tour operator on facebook or their other social media pages. As an example, Alaturka Yachting announces all of their last-minute specials and super deals via Facebook. Be ready to grab the best deal first, as more often than not many of these super deals are gone within days and even hours of being posted. Being a follower of the cruise company’s Facebook page gives you a unique advantage over other travellers trying to nab a deal.

 10.  Be mindful of local holidays

Knowing when to depart on a cruise is as important as knowing when to buy your cruise. Turkish travellers also tend to holiday in their own country and will flock to the southern coast of Turkey during their summer and public holidays. Be mindful of when Bayram falls in the year as this is when prices will increase, cruises will be booked months in advance and it will be almost impossible to find a gulet to travel on.

So there you have it – our top 10 tips on finding the best blue cruise deal. We hope this guide helps you find cheap deals, and more importantly travel to our beautiful country – Turkey.

Visit our website to get the best blue cruise deal

Happy and safe travels.

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