Blue Water Holidays
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Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500

Turkish Coast Cruises

The spectacular and diverse Turkish coast offers a wide variety of history, culture and scenery

Sail from Athens to pretty Greek Islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes and Patmos before heading up the Turkish coast to Istanbul, calling at picturesque Turkish resorts like Dikili, with its thermal springs and pine forest, and Cannakale, gateway to the ancient city of Troy.

  • Istanbul
  • Ephesus in Turkey

About Turkish Coast Cruises

In Istanbul you will find some of the world's greatest buildings and works of art. Visit the 6th century cathedral of Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque. Explore and haggle in the Grand Bazaar and visit the Archaeological Museum, see the Suleymaniye mosque and the Byzantine masterpiece of the Church of St Saviour in Chora. Alternatively, take a Bosphorus boat tour.

A major port of call on the Turkish coast is Kusadasi, the port for visiting Ephesus, the best preserved classical city of the Eastern Mediterranean. The stunning façade of the Celsus Library, Hercules Gate, the Stadium and the Temple of Hadrian are just a few of the impressive remains. Ephesus is also sometimes visited from Izmir.

Bodrum is another fascinating port, with its long sandy beaches and Mausoleum of Halikarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Turkey's Turquoise Coast is a holiday paradise, with its sparkling blue seas and endless golden beaches. Our Turkish Gulets explore the area between Marmaris and Kekova, visiting small fishing ports, bustling tourist destinations, and secluded coves for swimming and snorkelling.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul Marmairs

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020

Turkish Coast

All of our Turkish Coast cruises are shown below. Tick the boxes to filter by date, duration and type.

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  • Southern Cyclades and Turkish Coast

    7 Nights - Athens and Back

    Star Flyer Star Flyer

    Sail to picturesque Greek Islands and Turkey's Turquoise Coast with the opportunity to see the famous Lycian tombs in Dalyan and explore Santorini and the small island of Hydra 2019 - May, Jun, Aug 2020 - May, Jun, Aug Save 10% on 2020 departures PLUS exclusive £50pp discount on all departures!

    Hydra Cruise Only
    From £1322pp
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  • Northern Cyclades and Turkey

    7 Nights - Athens and Back

    Star Flyer Star Flyer

    Join Star Flyer on this 7-night sailing voyage visiting the archaeological jewels of Patmos, fashionable Mykonos and Kusadasi in Turkey for Ephesus 2019 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug 2020 - May, Jun, Sep Save 10% on 2020 departures PLUS exclusive £50pp discount on all departures!

    Star Clipper Cruise Only
    From £1322pp
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  • Classical Greek Isles

    8 Nights - Piraeus and Back

    Azamara Journey Azamara Journey

    This luxury holiday aboard Azamara Journey is the chance to see the best of the Mediterranean's treasures in Greece and Turkey from the iconic blue domes in Santorini to the ancient ruins of Ephesus 2019 - Oct

    Acropolis, Athens Cruise Only
    From £2799pp
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  • Adriatic and Aegean Allure

    10 Nights - Venice to Athens

    Riviera Riviera

    This unique 10-night luxury cruise explores the stunning coasts of Italy, Croatia and Montenegro before discovering the magical gems of the Greek islands. 2019 - Jul Free Internet PLUS a Choice of a Free Beverage Package, 6 Free Shore Excursions or $600 Shipboard Credit!

    Venice Cruise Only
    From £2879pp
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Turkish Coast Highlights


The delightful town of Antalya has an ancient Roman harbour, now restored and alive with cafes and pleasure boats. There are a superb collection of artefacts in the museum, Ottoman mansions, Byzantine churches and mosques, and a popular Water Park. Hadrian's Gate was once part of walled defenses against pirates and invaders, and below the arch are grooves left behind by carts over the centuries.

Antalya (Turkey)


Bodrum is a lively port on the Aegean Sea overlooked by the Crusader castle of St Peter. It is a successful combination of modern holiday resort and ancient sites. The hillside is dotted with whitewashed houses, and along the coast are sandy beaches backed by pines and olive groves. Bodrum is home to the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Bodrum (Turkey)

Istanbul (Turkey)

It is often said that Istanbul is where east meets west, and there are numerous places of interest in the Old City, opposite the port. The highlights are the Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and the landmark of the city, the Blue Mosque, which is decorated with blue Iznik tiles and houses a market, public kitchen and theological school. The palace of the Ottoman Sultans, Topkapi, houses sacred Muslim relics including the Prophet Mohammed's cloak and sword.



Izmir is surrounded by mountains on Turkey's scenic Aegean coast and has some of the region's best beaches. Below the modern skyline along the waterfront are Gustav Eiffel's Konak Pier and the attractive Pasaport Quay. Founded by Alexandra the Great, there are many interesting sights, including the Agora, the lovely Clock Tower near the pier, the old Kemeralti bazaar and the castle of Sancakkale.

Izmir (Turkey)


The large port of Kusadasi is also a tourist resort, and has a lively nightlife, a long palm-lined boulevard and numerous sandy beaches offering watersports, including the best-known, Ladies Beach. Calls to Kusadasi usually include a visit to the magnificent and well-preserved site of Ephesus, 18 kilometers away.

Kusadasi (Turkey)


The lively resort and modern port of Marmaris is based around the original Old Town and its fort. Along the seafront is a promenade, and several marinas offering sailing and diving facilities. The Old Town area has a traditional Grand Bazaar, Turkish Baths in the Cami Aylu district and a small caravanserai, an old inn for travellers and their animals. Marmaris Castle was built by Suleyman the Magnificent and now houses galleries and exhibition halls.

Marmaris (Turkey)

Blue Water Reviews

Athens to Istanbul on Aegean Odyssey - Cruise Review

Fri 1 Nov 2013

Discover archaelogical treasures in Turkey and the picturesque Greek islands on a cruise from historic Athens to cosmopolitan Istanbul. Read Ann's review about her cruise on board Voyages to Antiquity's small ship Aegean Odyssey.


I was very excited about my cruise on board Aegean Odyssey as this was my first time on a small ship, and I was not disappointed in any way. The journey started with BA flights from London Heathrow which is the preferred airlines for Voyages to Antiquity. After a smooth flight we landed at Athens and were swiftly transferred to Pireaus ' the port for Athens.

The Aegean Odyssey looked extremely small compared to all of the super-sized ships but it is true, good things do come in small sizes!

On boarding I was shown to my cabin, which was lovely and light and near to the reception area. It had a very comfortable bed, which was great after a busy day of excursions, and the bathroom was quite large, compared to some of the larger cruise ships. It had a walk in shower which would suit elderly passengers and those with mobility problems.

The ship had a lovely feel to her and every area was easily accessible as there was a lift to all decks. I had a look around and found the well equipped library with books on the various destinations that we were visiting, along with daily newspapers and magazines. There was something to suit all tastes! There was also a Spa, small gym, hairdresser and Internet area on board which were all well used.

Dinner that night was in the Terrace Caf' where you could choose from the extensive buffet or from the A La Carte Menu. The food was absolutely delicious, so much so that I tried quite a few dishes! Wine is served with dinner however if you wish to choose a different bottle then you can do so for a charge. After dinner we adjourned to the Charleston Lounge where there was live music. They played something to suit all tastes and some dancing was involved!

When I returned to my cabin for the night the bed was turned down, the bedside light on and a chocolate was on my pillow ' lovely touches!

The itinerary was geared around the ancient Roman, Greek and Turkish history, taking in places that are not normally accessible to larger cruise ships. They also had lecturers on board and gave information and lectures on the next port of call in the Ambassador Lounge.

Aegean Odyssey Spacious cabin on board Aegean Odyssey Enjoy superb cuisine on board Enjoy live music in the lounge Relax on deck Discover the ruins on the Greek island of Delos Whitewashed houses of Mykonos See the famous windmills on the island of Mykonos Explore the ancient city of Ephesus Discover the ruins of Ephesus Visit the magnificent ampitheatre at Ephesus Explore the picturesque Greek island of Lemnos


Our first stop was the island of Delos, via tender. What an amazing place! The guide made the ruins come to life and the 'Quietvox' meant that you could wander off to look at something of interest and not miss what the guide was saying. In the afternoon we visited Mykonos with its lovely white-washed buildings, narrow streets and small harbour. We missed the resident pelican but did see the famous windmills and 'Little Venice'.

All of the guides allocated to the included excursions were very knowledgeable and passed on the information in an interesting way, even if you didn't know much about the area before.

Our group were lucky enough to have cocktails and dinner with the Captain in the Marco Polo restaurant which is a little more formal with the A La Carte menu. All of the staff and crew on board were extremely friendly and helpful with nothing being too much trouble.


The next morning we visited Ephesus which was an amazing place. The work and excavation that has been done is astounding and the guide gave us a good insight as to what life was like there. After returning to the ship we went into Izmir city in the afternoon ' what a contrast! The bazaar with the 2500 shops is a very bustling and busy place with the shopkeepers doing their best to get you to buy something!


On our final day we visited the picturesque Greek island of Lemnos in the morning, another port of call not normally on other cruise itineraries. It was lovely to see unspoilt areas and see the locals in the shops and restaurants rather than a lot of other tourists.


I was sad to leave and felt very at home on the ship. Hopefully I will make a return to the Aegean Odyssey.

Blue Water Blog