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? 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.
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 an actual booze cruise. While we love having a few cold ones like 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 pretty similar. Especially considering we had just been to ANZAC Day in Gallipoli and knew there would be lots of Kiwis and Aussies heading to the Turkish coast to lap up some sunshine.
Busabout Sail Turkey Pre-departure
This is the first year that Busabout has run the Sail Turkey adventure, and so at the moment, it is cheap.
We were on the first trip of the season as well, so £299 per person is excellent value, considering that you get seven nights of accommodation and all of your meals included.
Booking through Busabout proved to be easy, and they were terrific 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 other travelers 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. However, we stayed elsewhere in Fethiye, which was cheaper. It seemed like most people stayed there before their trip, although we met a bunch of travelers before we went to our accommodation.
The trip is from Saturday afternoon to the following Saturday morning. With the last night parked at Fethiye harbor’s docks, you only have six nights along the Turkish coastline.
The Busabout Sail Turkey Trip
We met up with everyone at 4 pm at the Busabout headquarters in Fethiye, and they split our group of 35 into two groups. Each Turkish Gulet, a traditional two-masted wooden sailing vessel, has three crew and sleeps 18 guests onboard. As a couple, we were lucky to have our 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, 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?
We expected to park up next to the other boat and tie up together every night. 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 mingle with the other boat properly now and then.
However, it was probably for the best because we were on a 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 onto the deck into the bright sunlight, we would be dropping anchor somewhere new for our breakfast. Usually, around 8.30 am.
We would lounge around on the decks playing backgammon or cards for a couple of hours. Or relax with a good book in hand. Once it got too hot for us to lie out in the sun, we would dive off the boat and cool 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 traditional, primarily 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 relatively similar and would usually be rice and pasta with tasty roast vegetables or stews. We stuffed roasted capsicums and couscous! My mouth is watering, just reliving the meals. We were also lucky to have fresh fish for a fantastic couple of nights.
All our meals were served around the vast dining table at the back of the boat. It was one of our favorite times as we would all come together every few hours, and jokes would fly and shit-talked.
As we said, this was 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 of 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 socialize with the other boat 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. It didn’t 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 why or what happened, but it sucked as we all thought our Captain was excellent. Not Busabouts fault either as it wasn’t their decision but the company they lease the boats from.
Like we said, not too many negatives!
Check out some of our favorite Busabout Sail Turkey photos from our trip here to check out the sights. And if you want to book a Sail Turkey trip or any other Busabout adventures, click our affiliate link below.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the Busabout Sail Turkey cruise. However, our thoughts on our adventure travel blog are our own.