Blue Voyage

How about escaping modern civilization and the busy city life for a few days? How about leaving the office, picking up your luggage and catching the next plane to Bodrum, Dalaman, Antalya or Izmir? What about helping to weigh anchor just a couple of hours later or enjoying with your best friends an evening deck drink while the sun is setting on turquoise waters, thousands of miles away from the office, watching pinewooded gentle hills where once, millennia ago, incredible ancient civilizations flourished?

These enticing sensations are exactly what UNIVERSAL proposes your client to experience and enjoy. Yes, "sensations", because, as Azra Erhat, famous Turkish author and one among the few who initiated and baptized the journey with the beautiful name of "Blue Voyage", once put it, "it is difficult to describe the Blue Voyage; it is something that must be lived".

Taking the littoral southerly down Kusadasi to Antalya, or up the other way round northerly, the Blue Voyage is not an ordinary yacht cruise. Sailing on a gulet, the traditional Turkish vessel chosen for Blue Voyages, with no great luxury but reasonable comfort means some roughing for those who would like to participate in the navigation experience itself, and active sporting opportunities for all those who would swim, fish, ski, surf and dive in crystal clear waters. And those who wish to do absolutely nothing are also encouraged to do so!

Leisurely from cove to cove, from pristine waters of one secluded bay to a sunken city of the Antiquity, and over the seas again, with pine forests reaching down to the turquoise shore, the journey will carry you to ancient Halicarnassus Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, to Cleopatra's private beach, the impressive Lycian rock tombs of Caunos and Myra, the "Caretta Caretta" beach at Dalyan, to the lagoon of Oludeniz, a national reserve, to Patara, the birth place of St. Nicholas, to the eternal fires of Mt. Olympos (Chimaira) and to the myriad other archeological remains impossible to enumerate here.

Gulets, sea-going wooden vessels built in Turkey, blending practicality with tradition so typical of a Blue Voyage, are essentially kin to the traditional fisher and transport boats of the Mediterranean. In time, their design evolved to have a broader beam and a wider deck, and the interior was totally rearranged to accommodate their guests, naturally with WC and shower. The result is reasonable comfort usually with 6 to 8 cabins, normally with 2 berths each, with totally separate quarters for the crew. These motorboats are equipped with all necessary navigational and safety aid, a music system, snorkles, fishing tackle and a dinghy, and also windsurfers but only if requested with the booking.

Gulets have a friendly crew of 2 or 3 , consisting of a captain, one or two shipboys and a skilled cook who prepares delicious Turkish food.

Traditional guletting is made either by privatly renting a gulet or for individual requests, booking only a cabin on weekly scheduled boats. Cabin charter booking can be made only from Saturday to Saturday for understandable practical reasons. Private guletting has no limitation in length of time, starting from minimum 1 week Both forms of guletting are on full board basis.

The usual sailing time is about 4 hours a day, the rest of the time left for sports, exploring or doing nothing, with the gulet at anchor. Hereafter a sample itinerary is presented to give a basic idea.

Please click here to see a sample blue voyage itinary.

Appreciated Appreciations

Thank you so much for EVERYTHING you did to help make our tour to Turkey such a big success. Your support and assistance is greatly appreciated and valued. The group really enjoyed their tour and we now have another 32 disciples who will spread the word about Turkey for us.

Rob Chaplin / The Golf Travel Company /

On behalf of the Rosebank Union Church group I want to thank you most sincerely for all you did to make our tour of Turkey unforgettable. I came home not only with a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, particularly those relating to the Seven Churches, but also with an appreciation of and admiration for the country of Turkey. I was particularly fascinated by Istanbul, and hope to spend more time there in the future exploring the riches of that most fascinating city. I also loved the fertile valleys through which we travelled, the sight of the snow-capped mountains, and the friendliness of the people we met as we walked the streets of those smaller towns along the way.

Leigh Robinson / Rosebank Union Church /

Moreover, the history of Turkey is impressive, not only the recent history but the ancient history which confirms the history of our Bible. I have not visited Greece, Israel or Italy or other countries mentioned in the Bible but think that Turkey is more central to the history of the Bible.We are also amazed at Turkey and what it achieved. It is evident that this would not happen without sound work ethics and commitment by the whole population.

Piet Zeeman / /

One of our very best trips we have ever taken. Turkey was full of memorable moments along with a fascinating history and culture. Thanks for helping plan such an extraordinary trip!!!

Karen & Bruce Levenson / /

There are not enough superlatives in English to describe our trip to Turkey. Most amazing, most friendly, most interesting, most beautiful are just a few that come to mind. We want to thank you for organizing one of the best trips we have ever had. Flights, accommodations, guides and drivers, everything was perfect! Benjamin and Bulent were the most knowledgeable, friendly, and fun people ever. Mustafa was an excellent driver. The sites we visited in Cappidocia and Ephesus were fabulous. To paraphrase General MacArthur: "We will return!" Thanks again.

Jim and Barb / /

Rosemary and I (and, I'm sure, all the others in the party) thouroughly enjoyed the time spent in your beautiful Country. The planning and arrangements laid on were superb. There was a good balance between the secular and the religious aspects, the accommodation and food was great, and the transport went of without a 'glitch'. Halit is, with doubt, a superb guide and his knowledge of so many facets of history, polotics, economic, geography etc is outstanding. He instantly struck a good rapport with the group, and was a real pleasure to be with, and was definitely one to whom listening was not a problem. We came away from the eight days having learnt a tremendous amount both Biblically and about modern and ancient Turkey (as well as other parts of the world).

Lin / /

Over the span of 25 years Universal Travel Services has provided five star service to our 19 tour groups totaling over 500 travelers. Universal and their fine staff have worked with me to develop a series of tours focusing on the biblical and Christian Church history sites in Turkey. One of the most consistent traveler responses in their evaluations of our tours has been, "Great value for the money." Thank you Universal for a quarter century of truly outstanding service.

Donald Cornell / USA / Lutheran Pastor

Apart from all the usual items - hotels/meals/sightseeing etc.. it was the way in which the additional services were handled and your ability to get things done and implement frequent last minute changes which was most impressive...

N.C. / Riyadh, K.S.A. / Regional Manager

...There are not enough good words to describe the extraordinary services that Universal arranged on my behalf upon my request to them regarding the change in my itinerary. I know that you are aware that the hospitality of the Turkish people is greater by tradition than other European Countries. The services and hospitality provided by Universal to me was of this tradition, more than just good business relations...

H.H. / San Diego, CA U.S.A. /

... I would like to extend my appreciation for making our 21th birthday celebration a memorable night...