Things to Consider BEFORE Booking A Gulet Cruise

Gulet cruises are a popular vacation activity in the Mediterranean – but planning a trip can be overwhelming for first time cruisers. There are literally thousands of boats to choose from. Ask for words of wisdom from experienced cruisers, they will regale you with stories ranging from "the best vacation ever" to "the worst vacation ever", and everything in between. How do you narrow down your choices?

guests playing backgammon on the back deck of a gulet

Click to expand.

Here are some things to consider that will make the next step in your holiday preparations (picking the perfect gulet cruise) a snap!


This may seem obvious, but make sure your holiday schedule coincides with the gulet cruise season. In Turkey, gulet season generally runs from May through October.

Month Air Temperature Water Temperature Weather Price
May Mild days, chilly nights Cold Occasional storms with wind and rain Low
June Warm days, cool nights Cool, but warming Rain early in the month Mid-range
July Hot Warm Sunny High
August Hot Warm Sunny High
September Warm days, cool nights Warm Rain later in the month Mid-range
October Mild days, chilly nights Warm, starting to cool Occasional storms with wind and rain Low

Weather can impact your enjoyment of a cruise and can also impact the itinerary. (Every captain on every boat retains the authority to alter the route to ensure the safety of the vessel and occupants.)

storm alert on mobile phone

Click to expand.

Prices and availability for cruises vary throughout the season – with increases generally coinciding with bank and school holidays and religious celebrations. Booking well in advance is recommended if you have specific schedule requirements during peak holiday season.


Let's face it, unless you're movie-star-wealthy, you probably need to consider your budget when booking a yachting holiday. And cruise pricing can be confusing. Here are some terms that will help you interpret gulet holiday costs.

Cabin Charter versus Private Charter

When booking a Cabin Charter (also called a Shared Charter, you effectively rent a cabin on the crewed gulet and share the common space with other passengers during the cruise. Prices are typically listed "per person" or "per cabin", with conditions like "based on double occupancy" or "single supplements apply".

Cabin Charters are a great way to meet other travellers and are a fabulous option if you want to split costs with other travellers!

compilation of photos of Turkish gulet Arkadaslik

Click to expand.

When booking a Private Charter, you effectively hire the entire gulet (and services of the crew) for your group's exclusive use. The boat will have a maximum capacity, but the price is the same, regardless of the number of people in your party.

Private Charters allow you to pick your travelling companions and are often a less expensive option when vacationing with a group of friends or extended family. And, because your group has exclusive use of the boat, the schedule and route can be customized to your specific requirements.

Standard, Luxury and VIP gulets

Like hotels, gulets fall into several very broad classes of accommodation based on their set-up, amenities and level of service.

Surprisingly, the price doesn't always reflect the boat's classification – there are many affordable luxury class gulets and some over-priced standard gulets out there! (Sadly, every VIP boat that I'm aware of also comes with a VIP price tag.)

compilation of gulet photos

Click to expand.

Accommodation Requirements

Meals and Drinks

Practically everyone who's taken a gulet cruise mentions the quality (and quantity) of food and drinks they consumed during their trip. In fact, most will agree that the food was a critical part of their experience. For this reason, it's a good idea to think about your group's specific requirements beforehand.

five women raising champagne glasses in a toast

Click to expand.

Depending on which boat you charter, meals and drinks may be included in the cruise price, or might be charged extra.

compilation of cruise guest activity photos

Click to expand.

Note: At first glance, the option to provision the boat yourself may appear less expensive than the other options mentioned in this article. Don't forget that you're required to purchase enough food and drink for the boat's crew and all consumable supplies, including drinking water, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, charcoal, spices and condiments, etc. The costs can add up surprisingly quickly.

Cabin Types

In addition to determining the number of berths (beds) you need for your holiday, it's important to figure out the optimal cabin configuration to help narrow down your search for the perfect boat.


This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you've got your heart set on a sailing holiday, it's important to pick a gulet with functional sails. Likewise, if air-conditioning is a necessity, you need to focus you search on boats that are suitably equipped.

gulet with three sails raised

Click to expand.

One of the most complimented (or criticized) "amenities" on a gulet is the bathroom facilities. While all gulets have private ensuites for their passengers, there's significant variation in size and functionality. Ranging from the smallest of WCs with hand-pump toilets, tiny wash basins and hand-held showers to luxuriously appointed bathrooms with Jacuzzi bathtubs, and everything in between, many people like to know what they're getting themselves into when booking a cruise. If nice bathrooms are important to you, don't hesitate to ask for recent photographs of the facilities before booking.

As far as other amenities go, identify your "must haves" and your "nice to haves" now, so you aren't overwhelmed by possibilities when it comes time to actually pick a boat for your holiday.

compilation of photos from various blue cruise destinations

Click to expand.


And finally, identify your preferred itinerary.

compilation of photos from various blue cruise destinations

Click to expand.

compilation of cruise activity photos

Click to expand.

A little pre-planning goes a long way in preparing for your gulet vacation. Consider your holiday schedule, budget, accommodation requirements and basic itinerary to simplify the next phase of your holiday planning, which we'll address in the next article in this series – "How to Pick the Perfect Gulet Cruise".

If you have any questions about this article, or would like more information about gulet cruising in general, we're always happy to help. Feel free to contact us any time for assistance.