Gastronomic Gulet Cruise of the Carian Coast, Turkey

The Sunworld IX docked in a quiet bay on the Carian Coast
The Sunworld IX docked in a quiet bay on the Carian Coast

The history of a people is often closely tied to its cuisine, so the combination of gastronomy and archeology on this cruise itinerary had strong appeal.  Run by Peter Sommer Travels, this expedition has been earning rave reviews.  It is a unique experience and adds a few new layers to cruising.  Sailing on an ancient form of boat, the Turkish gulet (rhymes with ‘you bet’), re-invented for modern cruising, we will be experiencing the authentic flavours and character of Turkey, on a personal and intimate tour.


Getting There


This is the first step on our cruise along the southwest coast of Turkey, and it involved a long travel day to get from North America to Istanbul.  


Comfort class seat on Turkish Airlines
Comfort class seat on Turkish Airlines

This time, travel was a breeze.  We flew on Turkish Airways and everything went like clockwork. The plane was super clean and the seats were spacious- Comfort Class is well worth the extra cost, and Business Class has flat bed seats that I like much better than pods.  The meals were surprising – fresh and delicious, some of the best food I’ve had on a flight.


Several airlines offer direct flights to Istanbul from North America, including Air Canada, but Turkish Airways is very convenient if you are flying on to another city in Turkey, as we were. Using Turkish Airways the whole way meant we didn’t have to worry about collecting luggage in Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.


We had a short layover in Istanbul, then took the one hour flight to Bodrum, landing just as the sun set.  A sleek and shiny black Mercedes 350 CLK was waiting for us, courtesy of the Kempinsky Barbaros Bay, and we were whisked through the night to our hotel. 

Turkish specialties on board Turkish Airlines
Turkish specialties on board Turkish Airlines


In no time, we were tucked into our beds in a lovely room overlooking the pool and the ocean.

Looking forward to exploring the hotel and coastline in the daylight tomorrow.  It makes travel so much less stressful if you allow a few days of downtime to adjust to time changes and jet lag.

Photos by Barbara Ramsay Orr

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