Daily boat trips have been one of the most popular activities to do in the bustling seaside town of Marmaris. Each year thousands of tourists visiting Marmaris have embarked on boat trips leaving from the newly redesigned Marmaris harbor to visit the nearby bays and small coves along the shoreline. Places of interest during these tours have include the oh so beautiful Cleopatra beach and further along, the ancient village of Assos, Kumlubuk bay and Kadirga Bay near the charming town of Turunc.
Over the years repeat visitors to Marmaris have become regular guests on board these wooden boats, which have later turned into friendships and their favored choice in daily boat trips year after year. Until recently guests had a choice in which boat they could go on for these fantastic daily excursions.
These boats are a part of a cooperative, an organization that rules in the how to operations for the daily trips. Upon suggestive demand by many of the boat owners, recent changes have been made in operations and how visitors can board these boats for their daily tour of the bays. Before, guests could have a choice in boat and bargain a price for an all inclusive trip. However this method had left many boat owners with insufficient number of customers to keep up the operation of their boat during the season. There has also been an over capacity problem, where a boat seating 30 would take on board over this number; hence leaving the other boats empty. Now there is no choice in boats. Guests will line up and board – as each vessel gets filled the customers will move on to the next boat and so on.
“This system is going to do well I think”, states boat owner Serdar of the Monte Carlo. “We never usually had any problems with our boat filling up during the season, but others who weren’t so fortunate would stay docked in the harbor for the better part of the summer. This system is fair for all of us”, he claims. ”There will be a better quality of service, better food as we used to just have the pasta, chicken and some salad on the plates; we now have better meals and have added Kofte (Turkish meatballs) and other items to the menu. The price per person from any boat for the daily tour is 25 Liras, lunch included, drinks excluded. Before the prices changed from one boat to the other. This system will help regulate how we all operate and how much we charge. We all make money with this system”, states Serdar.
We asked how he feels about his regular customers who prefer to go on his boat and no other. Now they don’t have a chance in choosing his boat for the boat trips. “The system works in alphabetical order. We are “M” and the line ups start from boats that begin with the letter “A” and work their way over to the boats that start with “Z”. ”If our customers let us know in advance that they wish to go on a tour, we will know where we stand on the list and can inform them that our turn is coming up so that they have a good chance in ending up on our boat”, he replied.
Not all boats are obligated to this system. “We did not join this system even though we are a part of the cooperative as we also do private daily boat trips too. It is not mandatory that private boats enforce this rule. It does not actually apply to them. Our capacity is 30. If a group of guests would like to take a private tour of 30 or less, we can cooperate a fair price and take them; and our price is based on the number of people”, claims Serdar.
So if you are looking to go on a boat trip this year in Marmaris, you can either prearrange one with a boat owner or just show up and stand in line. Some hotels and tour operators can assist in helping you reserve a boat trip for a day as well.
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