The cruise season has begun in Turkey, with the three Turkish cruise ports operated by Global Ports Holding (GPH), the world’s largest cruise port operator, seeing increased levels of activity. This improving trend is supported by the most recent data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (Turkstat), which stated that tourist numbers for Q1 2018 rose 26.4% over the same period last year.
As the cruise season kicks off in Turkey, Ege Port- Kuşadası, Antalya Cruise Port and Bodrum Cruise Port are looking forward to welcoming some inaugural calls and returning ships over the course of the cruise season.
Antalya Cruise Port welcomed its first cruise ship of the season, Serenissima, on March 26th. This was shortly followed by Mein Schiff 1 on March 30th. The port is located near the Antalya International Airport and is in close proximity to attractive beach resorts and hotels. Transit passengers can take shore excursions to nearby towns and historic locations including Aspendos, Perge and Side.
On the western coast of Turkey, Serenissima visited Ege Port - Kuşadası on March 30th, with Celestyal Majesty arriving on March 31st, while later in the season it is set to welcome the returning Oceana and Regent Seven Seas. Azamara Cruises will have its first 2018 call to Kuşadası with Azamara Journey on May 15th. The Port is close to historic sites such as Ephesus, which is among the most visited ancient sites in the Mediterranean. While all passengers will get to experience the completely renovated Scala Nuova Village, which offers authentic local shopping among a picturesque array of Aegean village-like streets, with exotic, colorful shops, chic cafés, bars and restaurants and all tailored for cruise passengers.
Bodrum Cruise Port, situated in the heart of the popular vacation city, is also set to be busier this year with a number of inaugural calls. These include Thomson Cruises' TUI Discovery 2 on May 22nd, Mein Schiff 4 (TUI Cruises) in the first week of October and Ponant's Le Laperouse calling in the second half of October. They will all be greeted with Plaque Ceremonies and the warmest welcome.
On April 29th, Bodrum Cruise Port hosted the 5th edition of the Global Run Bodrum. Global Run is held at GPH ports every year to promote people travelling to different countries and getting to know new cultures, surroundings and cuisine, while keeping fit.