Turkish gulets come in all sizes, designs and prices. But the local operators are wise enough to group them under several categories so that you know what to expect when you see a Luxury, Deluxe, Ultra Deluxe or VIP gulet. You just need to get familiar with the wording.
In another culture or an industry you’re not familiar with, words can be tricky. For example, what comes to mind with ‘luxury boat’ in the western world can be somewhat different from the listings you’ll see when you’re trying to book a gulet holiday in Turkey. You probably know by now that gulets are very different from each other. Not only in size and design, but in terms of the quality of service and comfort they provide, which includes the level of English your crew is capable of. With gulets, the saying ‘what you pay is what you get’ is true.
The most detailed list of gulet standards we can come up with has five categories, starting with the basic standards and going all the way up to the most luxurious gulet you can find. The list goes:
4. Ultra or High Deluxe
Before we detail what all these gulet categories mean, we must make one point very clear: No matter what boat you choose, destinations are the same. So even with a Standard gulet, your experience with crystal clear waters, breathtaking coves and historical sites remains top quality.
Standard gulets are where you don’t expect much from your boat but focus on the beauties of your destination, the sun and the sea. The boats can be of smaller size and cabin numbers, you may not have air conditioning in the cabins and your crew may not be able to speak more than a few words of English. But you can still expect the standard cleanliness with the way the boat is kept and the cooking.
This is probably the most confusing category especially for western charterers because the class ‘Luxury’ does not really describe what it implies. It comes right after Economic/Standard and just before Deluxe, which means that it describes standards ‘just a bit above’ Economic. You can find air conditioning and an en suit in each cabin. A clean boat, nice Turkish dishes, maybe a kayak, amateur fishing gear, snorkeling masks and reasonably English-speaking crew are among what you can expect. But luxury gulets are usually older built models. If you find any new ones, they are probably smaller than the common 6 or 8 cabin boats. If you decide to go for a low-end luxury boat, you might discover that it is not very different from a Standard gulet.
Well... The sky is the limit: State of the art boats, maximum privacy, culinary cooking, a crew fluent in English or the language of your choice, high-end electronic equipment and all you can think of, up to the point where you can’t afford it any more. The key to using all these opportunities is knowing what you want and customizing accordingly. Your charter operator will be more than happy to discuss options and guide you all the way.
If you have any story, insights, advice, tips or experience to share with fellow sailors, please write it down and email to [email protected]. We will publish it on our pages with your name!