“Cruising to the Cyclades” is Peter Sommer Travels’ first cruise in Greece in 2018. This year, to give an impression of the experience, we are providing a diary of sorts on our blog, following last year’s precedents in Crete and the Dodecanese and this year’s in the Peloponnese. Rather than describing every day in detail (you can check our itineraries on www.petersommer.com for that), every day we will pick one image we took that day, accompanied by some explanations and thoughts.

Day 1:

My first day on a gulet this year, as every year, is the beginning of our “Cruising to the Cyclades” itinerary, now in its 7th year and running for the ninth time. It would be logical to assume that routine is setting in, but far from it: this trip ends up a little different every time it runs. That is due to many factors, such as accessibility and opening times of sites, public holidays, events and other external factors, but most importantly the two big ones: the weather and our groups, both of which lead to a subtly or substantially different experience from tour to tour.

This year the cruise begins in Bodrum, a busy resort centred on a Medieval castle on the western coast of Turkey. We know Bodrum very well, as it has been the start and end point of many of Peter Sommer Travels’ cruises for about twenty years, but this year, we have to contend with an extra factor: today, May 19, is a national holiday, the Commemoration of Atatürk and Youth and Sports Day (quite a mouthful), characterised here by a series of parades, a lot of music and copious partying. We choose to see it as a joyful and exuberant celebration, an expression of the country’s deep respect for its modern founder, combined with a Mediterranean flair for social gatherings…

Day 1 of the first cruise in the year is always especially exciting for us, as it is a day that entails many final preparations, many hellos to familiar or new crew members, many initial decisions and many reminders of the great experience that is awaiting us. For our guests it also includes their first familiarisation with the boat and ourselves, unless they are returning guests. Today, we were thrilled to greet our most faithful guest of all, on his sixteenth tour with Peter Sommer Travels, his eleventh with me and – most unusually – his fifth on our “Cruising to the Cyclades” itinerary! We’d better make sure the trip is as exciting and enjoyable as ever…

Tomorrow, we will set out for Greece, namely for the island of Kalymnos, a place of many surprises!

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