Iris and Selda from Blue Cruise were on hand to guide us onto the next stage of our trip. They provided us with a useful booklet and Map of Fethiye and some tips on what to do and how to get out and about, before steering us to our transfer vehicle.
Martha greeted us at reception and checked us into the ECE Saray, where first impressions certainly lived up to its billing as a luxury boutique hotel. Our room was a nice size and had all the things we'd need for our stay, king size bed, in room safe, kettle etc., but the wow factor came from the amazing view from our Juliet balcony, looking out over the Marina. An absolute fleet of attractive boats of all shapes and sizes sitting in the still waters of the Mediterranean, backed by the impressive Taurus mountains. The same view was to be had from the breakfast terrace and if it wasn't the most wonderful place we've had to eat our breakfast, then it's right up there. A great selection of items were available from the buffet and cooked items served to your table, including a very passable full English. Dinner is served from the adjacent restaurant building, with tables and chairs set out on the decking to enjoy the nighttime views of the Marina. We found that the food was very nice, tasty, albeit a small menu and the service polite and attentive. One thing to mention is that cats are allowed to roam the decking between the tables and whilst this isn't a problem in itself, if you are uncomfortable with cats it's worth noting.
Clothes shrinkage, particularly in the belt area, could be avoided by regular use of the on site gym, spa and pool. The latter of which had some very comfy loungers and a handy pool bar. Whilst there were many ramps about the hotel site and lifts to the bedroom, the breakfast terrace and pool could only be reached by 18 and 25 steps respectively, so anyone with mobility issues should check with Blue Cruise or the hotel that their needs can be accommodated. Fethiye is a great base to explore the area, with many places e.g. Kayakoy (ghost village) but Tuesday was market day and we caught the Dolmus (share taxis) up to the Sali Pazari close to the sports centre. Roughly split into a fruit and veg, then everything else you could imagine. There was a massive number of British customers on hand, amongst the large number of people at the market. Top marks for the traders who had learnt we hate to be hassled, so each stall greeted customers with "come and browse, no hassle" or the like. The better comedians would add "very cheap, Turkish Primark" or similar but my prize goes to Jimmy who's stall was "cheaper than shoplifting". We then worked our way behind the mini bus station and up pretty steep hill to the Amynthas Rock Tombs, carved into the southern hills above Fethiye. The main tombs have an Ionian column frontage and are said to date back to the 4th century BC. They are also set in the residential area of the town, so it's nice to be away from the tourist spots and to see where the locals live.
Whilst in Fethiye I took a trip to the boat yard where the latest addition to the Blue Cruise portfolio is being built. Blue Cruise have used their 20 or more years of experience to specify the Lycian Queen and continue its pioneering in this market. Hand crafted by local tradesmen, who have had their boat building skills passed from generation to generation, it is primarily made of Sapelli wood imported from Africa. It's similar to Mahogany but is easier to bend into the voluptuous contours that make up the new ship. Layer upon layer of wood is glued together and formed to give it strength. The shape and size is easy to see now. The Lycian Queen aims to take its unique place as an 8 cabin, including 2 master cabins, Gulet at the luxury end of Blue Cruise's range. When she is launched the fulfilment of one man's dreams will result in sweet dreams and fond memories for many of her passengers. Silver Travel Bag (picture) gave the thumbs up after this inspection visit.
Blue Cruise is the market leader and has a very high percentage of returning customers. Having experienced one of their cruise and stay packages for ourselves, we can clearly see why and they can add another two disciples to their following.