24 May 2014 - 31 May 2014
Our group was made up of 13 passengers (accommdates up to 16) and 3 crew members. The ages ranged from 19-31 but everyone got along great and we quickly became a family.
The crew was great. Some review said that they have limited English. Yes English is not their first language but they are very socialble and it does not stop them from talking with you and joining in the activities on and off the boat.
Transfers with Contiki are not included and upon arrival I luckily met up with two other Contiki travelers and we shared a taxi to the pier. It is about a 40 min taxi ride and a flat rate of 110 Lira for the one way. There is also a bus that runs from the airport to the bus station, which is 14 Lira. The bus station is about 5 block from the ship. Most of us didn't know about the bus so didn't use it on the way there but used it for our transfer back to the airport.
Upon arrival it said to look for the Barbados booth. None of us found the booth however while wandering the pier we were met by a local who asked if we were from Contiki and led up to the boat. The boat has a contiki flag and the walkway a contiki sign so I recommend just looking for the Conitki signage.
I flew in the day the tour started and flew out the day the tour ended. If you have the time I would highly recommend extending your trip and spending an extra night in Bodrum. Most of our group did extend their stay in Bodrum and it was sad to be one of the only ones departing and leaving our family. Borum has a number or ruins and a castle to explore. I have also been told that jewelry shopping is best in Bodrum, better than Istanbul. Not the tourist market but actual stores. The tourist market is the same as in Istanbul. Don't know that the about the actual jewelry stores since I didn't have a chance to go shopping.
Meals on board the ship are DELCICIOUS!!! We never have left overs. Memet, the chef, is AMZAING! Always a variety of dishes to try.
Excursions - The Mudbath was the best part of the day excursion. After doing it, I don't know I would do it again. I would have rather spent the day enjoying the sun on the boat.
The Marmais night is a definate must. It was amazing. The club they took us to, The Arena, was fantastic. Just outside the club is a place that has amazing kebobs for cheap, a great snack before heading back to the boat. Everyone on our ship went on this excursion and loved it.
Packing - I completely overpacked! We pretty much lived in our swim suite so I really only needed a couple swim suites, a pair of shorts and a tank top or two, clothes for our two nights out and warm clothes for at night (as it does get cold) and in case of rain. Space is really limited so if you have a large suite case it makes getting around in your cabin quite difficult.
One thing that none of us packed is Aloe. I definately recommend packing some as if the weather is nice you will need sunscreen and aloe.
I can't say anything bad about this trip. It was so amazing. I would definately do it again. It was so relaxing. The perfect way to unwind after 10 days of traveling throughout Turkey.
Review written Jun 2014event 0.3
03 May 2014 - 10 May 2014
Just got back from this trip (May 3rd trip) and loved every bit of it.
The boat was really nice and had plenty of deck space to walk around/ sunbathe on. It was only the beginning of summer though so it was a little cool at times, but that didn't stop us sleeping on the deck at night. The boat crew provide extra rugs etc and you basically just make one massive pile up of people and rugs and pillows and on deck to fall asleep under the stars (really, really cool).
The crew were so friendly, there were three of them and they always got involved with what we were doing and they got us into some really, really really cool clubs. Definitely recommend paying for the optional extra of a night out in marmaris, and the mud baths trip are worth the 50 euro. If you're worried about how much money you'll spend, drinks on the boat cost about 2/3 euro for non alcoholic and 3/4 for the alcoholic ones. Water costs 0.35 for a bottle. When you don't go on land, all you pay for are drinks on the boat. Drinks on shore are a lot more expensive when you go to a club. We never saw any drinks cheaper than 5 euro, and they were usually at about 10 euro for cocktails and stuff. I was on a really tight budget and managed to give myself 25 lira a day (9 euro) and then 6 euro for drinks. So about 15 euro. It was a VERY tight budget but some days you don't get off the boat/ there's nothing to buy so you just save loads that way.
The rest of the team were great and we all got along really well- and while the whole trip was relaxing and time to wind down, there was no shortage of going out/ singing "i'm on a boat" an excessive amount of times.
I should probably also mention that this part of turkey is really beautiful and friendly- quite a lot of us had family + friends who were worrried about us going to turkey but this side of the country is absolutely fine and quite westernised. You can walk round in shorts and a t-shirt and not be frowned upon or anything. Also, as there are so few flights into bodrum I recommend joining the meet up once you're booked on the trip because you're almost guaranteed to be on the same flight as someone on your trip, so you can split a taxi to bodrum (costs about 110 lira so 35 euro. Apparently there's also a coach that goes from the airport which costs like 5 euro or something, so it's worth looking into that.
I totally recommend this trip- at the end you'll realise how quick it goes and you'll be envious of the next people getting on the boat just as you're getting off it!
Review written May 2014event 0.3
21 Jun 2013 - 29 Jun 2013
If you want to UNWIND for a week on the most gorgeous water you'll ever see, this is the trip of a lifetime.
I so enjoyed relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, jumping off the boat, sleeping on deck in the fresh air, getting to know the Captain and crew, and exploring places of Turkey only accessible by boat. I absolutely loved it. Every morning I woke up to the sun shining down on me in a new, gorgeous Turkish harbor.
Accomodations were clean but cramped and VERY hot. Two people in a very small cabin with a private toilette/shower. Most travellers chose to find a sleepig spot on deck in the fresh sea air. The July temperatures were prime for this. Not many people get the opportunity to do this in their lifetimes, and I really liked it.
Each meal was exquisitely fresh and scrumptious. Mostly simple dishes, but they were made with such fresh ingredients that they were really good. Everyone is served the same thing for each meal -- there are no options, so this could be a challenge for picky eaters or people with food allergies.
The crew were SO helpful, although they spoke very little English, they kept the boat immaculately clean.
There were two party nights on the town, which was great. We found some very enchanting clubs and bars. Highly recommend the Catamaran Club on Bodrum. Otherwise VERY laid-back tour.
It was fun having only 14 passengers total. We were like a family. All of our meals were together. If you need, you can find a private space for some alone time, but everyone got along really well and I personally didn't lack for privacy.
If you want an action-packed, thrill-a-minute experience, this is NOT the tour for you. But if you seriously need to get away from it all, and not have to plan anything or think about anything except what bathing suit to wear, this trip is AMAZING. Did I mention I really loved it? That said, there are lots of exploring opportunities are available, so you can choose how active you want to be.
Would highly recommend taking advantage of the additional cultural and shopping opportunities offered. They're reasonably priced for what you get to see and do.
WiFi was available the entire time we were aboard, which was a great surprise. It has a cost, as do ALL of the drinks. Bottled water was $0.30, sparkling water $0.50, soda $2.00, Beer $3.00, bottles of wine $14 - 20.
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3
24 May 2013 - 01 Jun 2013
This trip was easily one of the best weeks of my life. We had 15 people on the trip plus 3 crew members. Everyone was incredible and we bonded so well. We had a range of people from ages 24 – 32 with some who partied hard and others who were more low-key. The crewmembers were fun and joined in on all of the action with us. They even did a midnight jump into the water with us! ALL of our meals were included, and delicious, which made the trip affordable and so easy. The weather was nothing less than PERFECT. While the views from the boat were amazing, every time we dropped anchor we saw essentially the same thing.
The optional day trip to the Mud Baths and Turtle Beach and the night trip to Marmaris were SO WORTH IT. It was a full day out, but after spending so many days just hanging out on the boat, it was great to get out and see some historical sights. The nightlife in Marmaris was incredible and unexpected. Don’t forget to try some waterpipe when you are there and grab a late night Doner Kebab!
What to bring:
DON’T pack a large suitcase. There’s little room for “extras” on the boat. All you need is bathing suits and a few “going-out” outfits anyways, so you don’t need too much.
Make sure to bring a towel, sweatpants/sweatshirt (it can get cool at night, especially if you sleep up on the deck like we did), and sunscreen. A great mix on your ipod is good too – the boat has speakers!
I would recommend tacking on a few days in Istanbul before or after the trip as the city is not to be missed. I had the greatest week ever and I am already planning my next Contiki! I only wish I discovered these trips in my 20’s so I didn’t get aged-out so soon!
Review written Jun 2013event 0.3