If you are truly interested in some of the very interesting info about gulet cruises in Turkey read this interview I made with president & chairman of the Board of travel agency Barbaros Yachting (one of our long term partners) from Turkey (Bodrum).
What else you will find in this article:
a) How many gulets are exactly in Turkey?
b) What are TOP 5 MOST BEAUTIFUL places in Turkey to visit with a gulet.
c) In which direction gulets will be going in next 15 years?
d) What impact did the global recession have on gulet business in Turkey?
I meet with Mr. Barbaros several years ago in London on one of the biggest travel fairs where they were promoting agency Barbaros Yachting. He was just presenting their new gulet cruise catalog and even thought I heard about this company before we never get the chance to sit down and talk business.
Out of curiosity, we sat down, he explains everything about their organization, gulets, logistics, commission and what kind of special conditions they can provide for us…and since then we are in cooperation.
I was surprised to see they handle EVERYTHING FOR THEIR GUESTS!
a) they have their own food & beverage company
b) they manage fuel for their gulets
c) if the gulet is good and they crew is strange on a particular gulet, they even provide the gulet with their own crew
d) and much more than this
As a person that is very experienced and in this business almost since he was born, I was sure he can provide several useful info for our readers. And he sure can.
Read this interview below as you will find lots of very interesting info about gulets in general.
Enter is Mr. Barbaros Gunes (First name: Barbaros Last name: Gunes (I figured that out after 2 years working together :-))
1) Who is Barbaros Gunes? When have you started this business?
As a matter of fact, I have grown up doing this business. That’s why I can say I am doing this business both as a graduate of this subject (University of 9 Eylul Tourism Enterprises) and by working on boats as a deckhand since my childhood which gave me great advantages. I have been in this business since 1990.
2) NOBODY KNOWS EXACTLY HOW MANY GULETS ARE IN TURKEY AVAILABLE FOR CHARTER. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA?
In fact, we now can provide the exact numbers for the gulets in operation in Turkey, the state that “no one knows” has changed 🙂
Since all the boats that need to be operated commercially in Turkey now have to have “Charter Licenses”. That’s why the Ministry of Tourism has the exact numbers.
I can easily say according to their inventory that in 2011, 872 Turkish flagged boats and 451 foreign flagged boats have had their operations in Turkey.
The total number for the berth was 9.091.
3) DID THE WORLD RECESSION MAKE ANY PROBLEMS FOR TURKEY BLUE CRUISES?
Yes, the recession has caused problems. Even though the boats did not remain empty, the budget that the European guests have had for this type of vacations decreased seriously. Especially the Italians who are very much used to having that kind of vacations and take it every year has lowered their obsession on that. Spanish and the Portuguese were to follow them in a row.
4) WHAT ARE FOR YOU TOP 5 MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN TURKEY AND WHY? IF YOU WOULD GO ON A CRUISE TO TURKEY FOR 7 DAYS, WHERE WOULD YOU CRUISE AND WHY?
In my opinion, people who will have their very first “Blue Cruise” should begin by exploring the Gulf of Gokova. The first reason I would say is that here is the place that the first Blue Cruise was invented by the “Fisherman of Halicarnassus – Cevat Sakir”. Even though there is a large gulf surrounded by the covers like a lace, this place does not let in even a bit of wind and that gives you the feeling of you are traveling in a pool on a gulet J The region is rich in culture. There are so many places in this region that can be combined with land tours as in Marmaris, Dalyan Caunos and etc. apart from the cultural and natural beauties of the city of Bodrum itself.
In my opinion, the most “awesome” place in the Gulf of Gokova is the Sedir (Cedrea) Island also known as Cleopatra Island. Rather than the historical places on this island, the most amazing place is the Cleopatra Beach. The sand here cannot be found anywhere else but in Turkey in this place only! It is also forbidden to take even a handful of it out of this beach. According to the legend, Antonius had brought this sand via ships from North Africa for Cleopatra only. This sand has an organic structure which is said to have consisted of animal bones.
Another place in this gulf I strongly recommend is Ingiliz Limani (English Harbor) which has taken its name as the fleet of British docked here on WW II.
Another significant region that I would suggest is Oludeniz (Dead Sea). The place called “Gemiler Adasi (Island of Ships)” is the best place to spend the day & the night. The water, the nature and the city of St. Nicholas on the top of the hill is a must see!
5) DO YOU KNOW WHAT ARE AT THIS MOMENT TOP 5 MOST LUXURIOUS GULETS IN THE WORLD?
I do not have any idea about the world. I know about my own country and to me, the best boats are my own boats 🙂
6) WHERE DO YOU SEE THIS BUSINESS (GULETS IN GENERAL) TO BE IN 10 YEARS FROM NOW? WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THIS MARKET IN THE FUTURE?
First of all, I would like to mention that a “gulet” is a unique product in the whole world. A Gulet is totally boutique and tailor – made product. You cannot compare it even with luxury hotels because this product is being designed according to your liking only from Alpha to Omega including the food. If you do a Private Rental the whole gulet is exclusively yours with a special service being given to you only. You may think that the same thing goes for Motor Yachts too. But you are mistaken. A gulet is a traditional wooden hand – made boat. The warmth of the wood and the tranquil sailing embraces the unique beauties of nature.
Thus, this is a very special product which is high on request and for that reason, I can see this product to excel the Motor Yachts in the next 10 years.
The most important issue here is that we have to preserve the world treasure coves as these covers are under a lot of pressure by the hotel builders and we are trying to oppose to that with all of our power. Unless in 10 years no such natural beauties to show will remain and the gulet business cannot move forward.
7) YOU ARE DOING LOTS OF GREEK CRUISES WITH TURKISH GULETS. DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE MORE AND MORE GULETS FROM TURKEY GOING TO GREECE OR THE TREND WILL NOT CONTINUE?
In my own gusto, the best tourism product is the combination of the Turkish coastline along with the Greek Islands. This is the best region for the natural beauties and the historical places to visit.
So, we as “Barbaros Yachting” family have been focused on the combination of Turkish Coast and the Greek Island for the last 10 years and there is a huge request. The request in Domestic Market is growing steadily for this product/itinerary. Hence, I strongly believe that this trend will continue.
8) IN TURKEY MORE AND MORE PEOPLE FROM TURKEY ARE CONSIDERING TO BRING GULETS TO CROATIA. WHAT ARE YOUR PROJECTIONS ON THIS?
For the time being, we deal with the Greek Islands and do not have a project for Croatia yet.
9) SOMEBODY THAT NEVER CRUISED WITH A GULET BEFORE AND IS CONSIDERING TURKEY BLUE CRUISE AS HIS NEXT HOLIDAY, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE HIM? WHERE TO START AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR?
The same answers can be found on number 4.
President & Chairman of the Board
As a result of a good partnership with Barbaros Yachting we are happy to tell you we have the privilege to get from this agency:
a) very good support
b) very competitive prices
c) very good advice
d) all the info we need, to determine what kind of gulet would be the best for you as a client, according to you being a Family, Seniors, Couples, Party group or Adrenalin enthusiast.