What is a Gulet Charter?
Gulet is a traditional wooden motor-sailing vessel meant for comfortable cruising. The history of gulets is somewhat veiled in secrecy. It remains uncertain how gulets got their name - whether it comes from the Italian word "guletta" or the French word "goullette". This schooner type of vessel is used as a sweeping net, trawl net or sponging vessel in Turkey in the Aegean and Mediterranean.
Gulets we know today are known as the Bodrum type of schooners. They date back to the beginning of the 1970s when they were created as a result of the need to carry tourists who began visiting the Aegean region and especially Bodrum and Marmaris at the end of 1960s, to nearby bays. These gulets had chambers and seating on the back of the deck as opposed to gulets used in fishing or sponging till those years.
Although gulets do sail when the winds allow, they are most of the time propelled by engine power. They are configured as motor-sailers, with diesel engines to provide primary power, while sails offer additional strength.
Gulets have a raised bow, a broad, flat stern, the main foremast and secondary mast aft. Their broad beam provides plenty of deck space and spacious cabins below decks.
Gulet charter types and services
Gulets come in many sizes, ranging from small 15-meter-long craft to luxurious 33-meter air-conditioned vessels with every possible convenience and luxury. Charter gulets offer hotel-like accommodation in comfortable air-conditioned cabins with bathrooms and enough storage for all your luggage. Charter gulets also have plenty of communal space - a large salon with a bar, lots of deck space for sunbathing and other activities, as well as an outside dining and lounge area at the stern. Gulet's stern deck is broad with a wide cushioned bench perfect for lounging, and a large table for games, drinks and meals. The salon is spacious and high enough for somewhat taller guests, with enough table space to seat all travelers for meals, meetings or evening entertainment.
Charter gulets have an experienced and very professional crew that comprises of a captain, sailors, and a chef. Their job is to take care of your safety and provide you with comfort during your cruise, while the chef will prepare you fresh meals with high-quality local ingredients.
Types of gulet charters
There are two guletz charter types - a private gulet charter and a cabin charter. A private gulet charter offers you ultimate comfort and privacy, as well as high flexibility regarding the menu, itinerary, and provisioning. A charter gulet's crew is wholly dedicated to you and your party.
A cabin gulet charter is a cheaper and more convenient alternative to chartering the entire boat since you do not have to have company to charter a cabin. This is a pleasurable way of vacationing that gives you an opportunity to meet different people. However, you do not have complete freedom since the itineraries and ports of embarkation and disembarkation are fixed and cannot alter.
Gulet charter holidays
By chartering a gulet, you get a different kind of a sailing holiday. It is a very comfortable and carefree cruising on a boat that offers quality accommodation, as well as privacy and the best service possible. Another benefit of chartering a gulet is to make your itinerary according to your wishes.
Gulet charters vary in size, boat quality, service, and equipment. The higher the price, the more you get for your money. Charter gulets usually have three to eight cabins providing accommodation for up to sixteen guests. Typical gulet charter agreement includes the gulet, crew, insurance, fuel for 4-5 hours of sailing per day without port taxes and fees. Half board is in many cases included in the price.
Typical day on a gulet charter
A typical day on a gulet ship is not as different from a day on board a sailboat. Except there is less sailing done. The first day on board a gulet looks like this.
Upon the arrival of the gulet, you are assisted into your cabin. Once you settle, there will be a welcome meeting held on deck. This meeting will also include the briefing regarding the route, as well as security briefing about life on board.
The cruise starts right after the meeting, or the following day, depending on the weather conditions and guests arrival times. The usual duration of cruising is 3 to 4 hours per day. Gulets usually visit a bay or two every day. The best part of the day is spent sunbathing, swimming in some lovely bay, using the boat's fishing equipment, water-skiing, snorkeling or something else, depending on what is the gulet equipped with. You can also spend time reading or playing games. If you moor in a port, you can spend the day sightseeing and explore the shore around the port. Dining is normally outdoor, on the aft deck, in a port or anchored in some secluded bay, depending on the guests’ wishes.
Evenings are spent moored in a port or anchored outside the harbor, depending on the availability of places in port and preferences of the guests. Guests can also spend the evening outside the gulet, exploring the port town, having dinner in a restaurant or enjoying the local nightlife.