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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, 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.

Tourists from Italy often take this cruise.There are many options to start a voyage in the Turkish Riviera. Bodrum, Marmaris,Fethiye and Antalya are popular locations and the route is usually limited with Bodrum – Antalya area as well as surrounding Greek islands. It is possible to visit Greece if visitors travel visas are suitable. In these trips, mostly traditional wooden ships are used such as gulets, caiccos, schooner and motorsailors. “Carian Cruise” is the term used as a synonym by a number of sources internationally, by the name of much of the same region of south-west Turkey in ancient times: Caria. This term generally defines the starting point and terminus of the tours with more precision, with Bodrum as departure point, and its coverage of the whole coastline to Antalya will actually also include the region known in ancient times as Lycia.

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