Are there any better ways to explore the Turkish coastline in the Mediterranean Sea than living on board a traditional Turkish Gulet for an 8 Day Sail Turkey cruise? Well we didn’t think so when we first booked our trip and hopefully our Busabout Sail Turkey review will help you choose your next adventure too.
Busabout Sail Turkey Review
Before we booked we did hold a few reservations. We had heard stories from friends about how Sail Croatia, which we were tossing up whether to do or not, can be a real booze cruise. While we love having a few cold ones as much as the next Kiwi we were not that keen on blowing all our money on booze. Plus we didn’t want to spend our days hungover not being able to enjoy some travel adventures.
So when we booked we expected that this would be quite similar. Especially considering we had just been to ANZAC Day in Gallipoli and knew there would be lots of Kiwi’s and Aussies heading to the Turkish coast to lap up some sunshine.
Busabout Sail Turkey Pre-departure
This is the first year that Busabout have run the Sail Turkey adventure and so at the moment it is really cheap.
We were on the first trip of the season as well so £299 per person is great value in our opinion considering that you get 7 nights of accommodation and all of your meals included.
Booking through Busabout proved to be really easy and they were wonderful to deal with. We especially like that you can go on the Busabout website and see who else is on your trip through their MyTrip tab. It allows you to send messages to the other travellers to arrange things like airport transfers or meet ups before your trip if you want.
They also have options through their partner, V-Go, in Turkey. Although we stayed elsewhere in Fethiye which worked out a bit cheaper. It seemed like most people stayed there before their trip although we met a bunch of travellers before we went at our accommodation too.
The trip is from Saturday afternoon to the following Saturday morning. With the last night actually parked at the docks in Fethiye harbour so you really only have 6 nights along the Turkish coastline.
The Busabout Sail Turkey Trip
We met up with everyone at 4pm at the Busabout headquarters in Fethiye and they split our group of 35 into two groups. Each Turkish Gulet, which is a traditional two-masted wooden sailing vessel, has a crew of three and sleeps 18 guests on board. As a couple we were lucky that we had our own double bed in a room while some rooms had to share with three people on bunk beds.
Every room comes with an ensuite. Just be careful that you don’t flush your toilet paper down the loo because just like on land in Turkey the system cannot handle it. You have to place everything in the waste bin next to the toilet.
The rooms are tiny but who wants to spend time in their rooms when you are on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea?
Every night we expected to park up next to the other boat and tie up together. This didn’t happen though and instead we would park about 100m apart. I guess for safety reasons but it would have been nice to be able to mingle with the other boat properly every now and then.
However it was probably for the best because we definitely were on the quieter boat. Sure we enjoyed a few beers every night and had a couple of bigger party nights but we didn’t go overboard (excuse the pun). In comparison, the other boat drank up a storm. There were a couple of dudes crushing beer cans at the breakfast table!
The mornings would usually begin slowly with the Captain getting an early start driving us to another bay along the Turkish coastline. As we would all slowly emerge on to the deck into the bright sunlight we would be dropping anchor somewhere new for our breakfast usually around 8.30am.
For a couple of hours we would lounge around on the decks playing backgammon or cards. Or just relax with a good book in hand. Once it got too hot for us to lie out in the sun we would spend the time diving off the boat and cooling off in the pristine turquoise waters.
The afternoons would be spent visiting one of the small villages dotted along the coast or again go exploring the shoreline from the water. Evenings would again bring us all together over a few beers. We couldn’t get any more relaxed if we tried!
The Food onboard
Simple but delicious is the only way to describe the food on the boat. We were just stoked it was mostly traditional Turkish food. For example the breakfast would be cheeses, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggs, bread, honey and jam. Not to mention the tea and coffee on demand.
Lunches and dinners were fairly similar and would usually be rice and pasta with really tasty roast vegetables or stews. Stuffed roasted capsicums and couscous! My mouth is watering just reliving the meals. We were also lucky to have fresh fish a couple of nights which was awesome.
All our meals were served around the huge dining table at the back of the boat. It was one of our favourite times as we would all come together every few hours and jokes would fly and shit-talked.
As we said, this was definitely one of the best trips we have ever done so far on our adventures around the world however it wasn’t all smooth sailing:
- We wish there had been more information about the optional excursions. Nearly every day we were offered the chance to visit small villages, try adventures like Para-sailing or explore Turkish historical sites. Unfortunately with the limited English from the crew we had no idea the costs of the activities or what was involved.
Note: At least Busabout has assured us that following our feedback they have now included more information on each boat about these activities.
- As before, we wish we had a chance to socialise with the other boat a little bit more. Not every night but a few nights during the trip would have been good.
- “Sail Turkey” should probably be called “Motor Turkey” as there is not a lot of sailing involved. Didn’t really bother us as the crew couldn’t handle it. But it would have been great to do a bit more than the two hours we did.
- The final negative is that on the second-to-last day our Captain was fired. We still don’t know the reason why or what happened but it sucked as we all thought our Captain was awesome. Not really Busabouts fault either as it wasn’t their decision but actually the company they lease the boats from.
Like we said, not too many negatives!
Make sure you check out some of our favourite Busabout Sail Turkey photos from our trip here as well to check out the sights. And if you want to book a Sail Turkey trip or any other Busabout adventures then click our affiliate link below.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the Busabout Sail Turkey cruise, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.