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Greek Isles in the Summer

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The first Swan Hellenic Mediterranean cruise traveled to the Greek Islands in 1954, and in 1983, P&O purchased the company and furthered its development as a destination-rich cruise line, visiting numerous international ports of historical and archeological interests.  Since 2004, Swan Hellenic is part of the Carnival Corp, along with the Yachts of Seabourn, Cunard, NCL, Princess, Costa and Windstar. However, Swan Hellenic is a distinctive product and a premium brand. Perhaps the first thing guests notice when they step onboard the 600-passenger Minerva II is the richly-appointed furnishings and interiors set in a cozy, country-club atmosphere reminiscent of an English manor house. Thankfully devoid of the distasteful aspects of conventional cruising, there are no long lines onboard the Minerva, nor are there raised voices, piped elevator music, or glitzy atriums wh... (more)

Divan Palmira Hotel in Bodrum, Turkey: The End of an Era?

This 4th of July marked my sixth consecutive visit to the Divan Palmira Hotel in Bodrum, Turkey. My visit this year prompted me to write this review. The Divan Palmira Hotel is located in the Golturkbuku region of Bodrum. Two recent cover stories published last year in The New York Times Travel Section called this Aegien Sea summer destination The St. Tropez of Turkey. For those readers who would like to know more about Bodrum, especially the village of Golturkbuku, there is plenty of well written reading material (including these two 2006 New York Times travel write-ups). In this review, I will try to stay focused specifically on my most recent trip, the hotel, the changes which took place at this hotel this year and the highlights of my trip. The New York Times - Jan / 2006 The New York Times - Aug / 2006 Our Arrival on Saturday, June 30, 2007 When I emailed the hotel... (more)

Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadon Should Be Removed From Power

Turkish Riviera, the Turquoise Coast Magazine After publishing my blog entry about the mayor of Bodrum yesterday, I received a number of feedback emails. After reading them, I realized perhaps this man should even be removed from his post. I still would like to give Bodrum mayor Mehmet Kocadon until Tuesday, June 30, 2009 to clean up the shore in the Aquarium region of the town. If this is not done by the mayor and the city, I will organize a group of volunteers to do the clean up. The same group of volunteers will also continue their volunteer work to remove the mayor from power. Here is an email I received today from a Bodrum area resident: "Salvatore ciao :) "Just read your article on the subject today and you are fully CORRECT ... I live in the peninsula since 12 years of which six years now have been in Ortakent where the mayor Kocadon was in power before Bodrum.... (more)

Bodrum Mess and a Mayor Missing in Action

Yacht Charter Blog Dear Salvatore, I thank you very much for taking the time to bring to everyones attention the mess in Bodrum and the lack of action from the Mayor of Bodrum, Mehmet Kocadon. I live in Chicago and have a summer/retirement home in Yalikavak and I have to admit I have been amazed at how much the Mayor of Bodrum is getting away with. He is only available for photo shoots and media blitz but when it comes to hard work the man is a ghost... I am glad that people like you bring this up to the attention of the general public. I only hope that they will react to this type of constructive criticism. The area is absolutely beautiful but needs to be managed better. I commend you for your work. Thank you. Hal ... (more)

M/Y Starfire: Seven-Day Charter From Palermo to Catania

We invite you to spend seven days of luxurious relaxation aboard the magnificent Starfire. From the historic bay of Palermo, we will leisurely explore the enchantment of Sicily’s dramatic northern coastline. We will sail on to experience more remote Mediterranean islands, such as Ustica, Lipari, and Stromboli, as we make our way to the northeastern coast of Sicily, visiting the chic destinations of Portorosa, Taormino, and Messina.  Keep in mind that itineraries are only guidelines, and they are not etched in stone!  The following outline for your journey is subject to change, as we are dependant on favorable winds and seas. However, we know the area very well and will have a contingency plan! Our Starfire crew will ensure you see all the highlights while offering the ultimate in personal service and guest care.  Welcome aboard! Day 1: Pick-up Palermo On arrival at the ... (more)

Katerina Moutsatsos, Kayikci and SOA World

After almost three months of traveling, I returned home today. When I flew around the island before I touched down, it was one of the most beautiful November days in the Caribbean. I had left home Labor Day weekend and traveled through Greece and Italy for most of October. It was one of the best seasons in Athens and Capri. Last Tuesday I was on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to New York. They must have bought new planes, still Airbus but with a personal entertainment system on every seat with huge plasma touch screens - beats JetBlue big time. This flight is almost 12 hours. For a 36-hour stay in Istanbul, you better try your best to rest before you land in JFK, otherwise the remainder of your day will be completely shot. After going through "Two and Half Man" and the rest of the TV sitcoms, all popular movies including Oceans 13, I continued playing aroun... (more)

Vasil Kadifeli Launches "Greek Isles in the Summer" Magazine on Ulitzer

Greek Isles in the Summer Magazine Vasil Kadifeli launched today "Greek Isles in the Summer" magazine on Ulitzer.com. Kadifeli, a native of Istanbul, Turkey, is a leading expert on Greek Islands travel and hot spots. Visitied more than 100 islands in the Aegian Sea, Vasil is introducing a new paradise on Earth every day. The Greek islands are traditionally grouped into the following clusters: The Argo-Saronic Islands in the Saronic gulf near Athens, the Cyclades, a large but dense collection occupying the central part of the Aegean Sea, the North Aegean islands, a loose grouping off the west coast of Turkey, the Dodecanese, another loose collection in the southeast between Crete and Turkey, the Sporades, a small tight group off the coast of Euboea, and the Ionian Islands, located to the west of the mainland in the Ionian Sea (one of these islands, Kythira, is off th... (more)

Kaputaş Beach, the Real Turqoise Color in the Mediterranean

From the Turkish Riviera Magazine Kaputaş beach is on the Kaş-Kalkan highway in the southwestern Turkey on the Mediterranean sea coast. The beach is on the 7th km after Kalkan and some 20 km before Kaş at a cove running out of an extremely narrow valley of steep cliffs coming down from the Taurus mountains. It is probably the most photographed beach of Turkey. You have probably seen its photo on some poster or elsewhere relating to Turkish tourism as it has been featured in many holiday brochures.   It is a very popular place as the region has an untouched natural beauty and a great view overlooked from the Kaş-Kalkan highway running above, quite high from the sea level. It is also one of the stopping places of the Blue Voyage Yachts. The sea gets deep very short near the beach as it is on the foot of mountains but it is very good for swimming and calm most of the ... (more)

The Lycian Way

From the Turkish Riviera Magazine Lycia is the historical name of the Tekke peninsula on the southern coast of Turkey in the Mediterranean sea. It is a place where steep mountains rise directly from the sea, woody coasts, small but lovely bays mostly accessible by the sea, beautiful views and very suitable for trekking.  The Lycian cities in the history were democratic and their people were of independent nature. They developed a unique art style, and a high standard of living. They absorbed the Greek culture, and later were conquered by the Romans. Their graves and ruins abound on the peninsula and the walk passes many remote historical sites. The route is a 509 km way-marked footpath around the coast of Lycia from Fethiye to Antalya. The route is graded medium to hard and it is not level walking as it has many ascents and descents especially when it approaches a... (more)

Yacht Charter Croatia Magnum Nautica News

Ulitzer Travel Magazine Magnum Nautica, Croatia’s first and foremost Luxury yacht charter Croatia Company has announced a number of new additions that plan to take the firm to the top on the list of Europe’s best luxury charter companies. At a recently held press conference, Mrs. Dragica Gadzo, Spokesperson for the company, told reporters and guests about the latest addition to the fleet, an Azimut Jumbo 100, which currently has the honor of being the largest luxury charter yacht sailing the Adriatic waters. Magnum Nautica is a premier Luxury yacht charter Croatia service. Backed by Austria’s reputed Real4You Investment Corporation, the Croatian Magnum Group caters to luxury tourists through its luxury yacht charter service, the Magn um Nautica, and its luxury hotel subsidiary, Magnum Hotels which owns the Opatija, Bristol, Astoria and Apoksiomen in Croatia. The c... (more)

Gumusluk, a Traditional Fishing Village

From the Turkish Riviera Magazine Gumusluk is a traditional fishing village on the Bodrum peninsula in the south west end of the Aegean part in the Turkish riviera. Bodrum or the ancient city of Halicarnassus of Caria is a well known center of tourism and yachting. Bodrum peninsula is also well known for the lovely bays and coves with the suitable and very clean waters for sailing and swimming. Gumusluk, some 25 km away of Bodrum is a peaceful village to relax and is also a place offering opportunities for walking.  The shore-line of the village have sandy beaches and plenty of fish restaurants to make your holiday a memorable one. To reach Gumusluk you can take a mini bus, dolmus in Turkish, from Bodrum and it takes about 50 minutes to get to Gumusluk. If you have your own car or if you have chosen to rent a car, it is a 40 minutes drive from Bodrum. Drive toward... (more)