Highlighting the misconception that cruises are an expensive holiday option, Bahadır Şaf pointed out that contrary to popular belief, cruise vacations can actually be more affordable than resort hotel stays. With increased port investments and more companies including Türkiye in their itineraries, cruises have become more economically accessible, he explained.

Cruises at half the price of Antalya resorts

Şaf recalled that a week-long, all-inclusive hotel stay for a family of three in Antalya could reach up to 100,000 TL. He contrasted this with cruise tours, which offer a 7-night full-board stay, including transfers and guide services, covering 3-4 countries, all for half that price.

He revealed that 7-night full-board cruises departing from Istanbul to the Greek Islands are being sold for 15,000 TL per person, with prices expected to rise to around 20,000 TL during the June-August period.

Icon of the Seas has started its maiden voyage Icon of the Seas has started its maiden voyage

Increased interest among young people

Bahadır Şaf shared that in 2023, the demand for cruise tours exceeded expectations, noting that these tours, traditionally favored by those aged 50 and above, have become economically attractive to the younger, white-collar demographic as well.

More Türkiye-departure cruises expected

Şaf emphasized the bright future for cruise tourism in Türkiye, stating, “Once you reach a level of 100,000 passengers in cruise tourism, you move up to a different category. Türkiye has this potential. We predict that the momentum starting in 2024 will turn into a major surge by 2025. The focus of cruise companies on Türkiye is increasing year by year. Next year, we expect to see an increase in routes through the Aegean, Adriatic, Red Sea, and the Black Sea. The diversity of destinations will directly reflect on the industry's growth in the Turkish market.”

Bahadır Şaf also announced that Touch Cruises is taking a risk by targeting a capacity of 6,000 international guests in 2024, with the current capacity across Türkiye being around 50,000 people.

Editor: Haber Merkezi