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Gulet Cruises from Peter Sommer Travels

Peter Sommer, a British archaeologist, offers cultural cruises (some with walking tours) aboard wooden motorsailers in Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

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ABOVE: A gulet of Peter Sommer Travels is moored in the yacht harbor of Symi, Greece.

When I learned about Peter Sommer Travels from Peggy Bendel, a fellow member of the Society of American Travel Writers, my first reaction was "Dad would have loved this." My father was an amateur Biblical scholar and a lifelong fan of ancient history, and an archaeological discovery tour in Turkey, Greece, or Italy would have been right up his alley.

As a naval officer, Dad would have been especially interested in a gulet cruise--a one- or two-week cultural adventure along the Turkish, Greek, Italian, or Croatian coast aboard a handcrafted wooden vessel with only four to 12 cabins. Peter Sommer, a British archaeologist and documentary filmmaker, offers such cruises with a fleet of more than a dozen two-masted vessels, each designed for comfortable cruising with modern features such as private bathrooms, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi Internet access.

On a typical voyage, the gulet cruises for about three hours a day, with stops for swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking as time and geography permit. Meals are mostly prepared and served on board, using fresh ingredients from local markets, with the occasional lunch or dinner at a taverna or other shoreside restaurant.

Each gulet's crew includes a captain, a chef, and able seamen. An expert tour guide organizes daily activities and leads visits to towns, villages, and archaeological sites.

  • In addition to standard gulet cruises, Peter Sommer Travels offers holidays that combine cruising with overland walking to archaeological sites.

  • Gulets are also available for charter, and the company will design custom itineraries on request.

We haven't cruised with Peter Sommer Travels, so we can't vouch for the company's offerings from firsthand experience, but the reviews that we've seen have been overwhelmingly positive. If you're interested in ancient history, archaeology, and the chance to explore the Mediterranean on a traditional sailing vessel, see the Gulet Cruises page at www.petersommer.com.

More photos:

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ABOVE: Aegean Clipper moors along the Lycian coast of Turkey. The newly-refitted gulet has five double and six twin cabins, accommodating 22 guests.


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ABOVE: Sunworld IX is an eight-cabin gulet that cruises in Turkey and Greece. The 30-meter (98.5-foot) has berths for up to 20 guests.


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 ABOVE: A gulet cruise can be as active or passive as you like. When you've had your fill of swimming, shore excursions, and other activities, you can curl up with friends and a good book.


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ABOVE: Passengers work up an appetite for lunch by launching themselves into the sea.