A Blue Cruise, also known as a Blue Voyage ("Mavi Yolculuk" in Turkish), is a term used for recreational voyages along the Turkish Riviera, on Turkey's southwestern coast. The term Blue Cruise, which is used in Turkey's tourism industry, has its origins in Turkish literature, deriving from the title of a book by Azra Erhat. The term was first introduced into Turkish literature by a handful of writers, such as Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı (alias The Fisherman of Halicarnassus). The author, who had been exiled to Bodrum in 1925. He began taking trips with his friends on the sponge divers' sailing boats, called gulets. These excursions became known as "Blue Cruises". Author Sabahattin Eyüboğlu (together with his circle of family and friends) participated in Blue Cruises, as did Azra Erhat. The literary revue "Yeni Ufuklar" (New Horizons) in the 1950s and 1960s contributed to the publicizing the Blue Cruise and guidebooks have been published in Turkish and German.
The boat cruises realized by these well-known, humanist writers which were made in serenity and exploration in the 1950’s, have become an alternative type of holiday in our days. Until the 1980’s that type of holiday was only being realized by a wealthy minority. Nowadays, the increase in the number of the boats and the decrease in the prices have raised the interest of both domestic and foreign tourists in that concept of holidays.
In our days, Blue Cruise is a type of holiday being made in 5 to 15 days, on board, on a route around the coastal areas in serenity and in nature which gives you tranquility.
“If you ask what it is to be a Blue Cruiser, I would say it is a work of consciousness. This consciousness gives to the one a privilege, a feeling of superiority, but does not tear the passenger apart from the environment; on the contrary, it gives you morality and makes you want to pass it on to other people too. The biggest success of a Blue Cruiser is to arrange a Blue Cruise themselves and make their friends to live the adventure of the Blue Cruise.”
The story of Blue Cruise
The judges, who sentenced Cevat Sakir to a number of years in the remote port, knew nothing of its lifestyle which ,as Cevat Sakir found out, was something like paradise. He settled down and adopted the name “Fisherman of Halikarnas”,writing stories about the town and its locals- in particular, the fishermen. On his regular outings with fishermen, he gradually got to know the various coves and bays in the Gulf of Gokova. When visiting intellectuals from Istanbul dropped in, he took the opportunity to introduce them to the fishermen’s way of life. Together they constructed a theory of culture which embraced the cultures of all the people who lived in Asia Minor. Sakir’s tours of the Gulf of Gokova became famous and were given the name, “Mavi Yolculuk” or “Blue Cruise”, and at this point. What they have taken with them during these Blue Cruises were; Feta cheese, water, rusk of Kos, tobacco and rakı. They would never take newspapers with them nor listened to the radio. The purpose was to get away from the world and be away from the civilization in tranquility. They used to stay at the sea for weeks and went on land only to provide their basic needs.