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The Rising Star of the Mediterranean – Marmaris Cruise Port

The town where the Aegean kisses the Mediterranean, and a port with a view…

Why Marmaris?

Marmaris is a hidden paradise for all cruise liners in Turkey and the Aegean. A sheltered, natural harbour provides superb protection from all wind and sea conditions, making for a pleasant and safe berth all year round. Two well-fendered quays of 305m and 134m, each 15m wide with draft up to 11m, are able to accommodate all mega cruise ships.

The mild climate, turquoise sea, scenic pine-clad mountains, unique architecture of the old town, typical Turkish bazaar, traditional Turkish restaurants, and above all the warm, hospitable people of Marmaris make it a perfect and unforgettable stop in the Mediterranean.

The quay is situated adjacent to a large, modern yacht marina within easy walking distance to the colorful marketplaces (bazaars) and unspoiled beaches. There are also many exciting opportunities for shore excursions, including the ancient port of Caunos and Lycian rock tombs at Dalyan, golfing at a brand new luxury golf and spa venue, the Greek island of Rhodes, jeep safaris, rafting expeditions, a visit to a traditional Turkish bath, local village and culture tours and not forgetting the possibility of fun days out for the family at a nearby water park.

Marmaris Cruise Port operated an innovative shore excursion model in 2008 for Carnival, where guests stepped off their ship and straight onto a fast catamaran ferry that took them to the Greek island of Rhodes for the day, delivering them back to the pier in Marmaris in time for their ship’s departure, and enabling them to have seen 2 ports with 1 call!

Similar ease of transit was recently experienced by MS Europa guests, when they embarked traditional Turkish wooden “gulets” moored on the quay right next to their ship for a relaxing day sailing around unspoiled local bays.

Recent History

Marmaris Cruise Port Inc. leased the rights to manage the port of Marmaris from the state in 2001 for a period of 30 years. The shareholders are all local business people who are involved in tourism, travel and hotel related enterprises. Since 2001 the company has invested heavily in improving the infrastructure of the facility, including the passenger terminal, and has also expanded the pilotage, towage and waste collection services as well as achieving ISPS compliance. Perhaps most importantly however, a strong marketing campaign has increased cruise traffic. Up until 2001, there were only 3 or 4 cruise ships calling annually at Marmaris. Since privatization, cruise ship visits have snowballed consistently every year.

International Hub

The port is the main gateway for Marmaris town as an international connection hub, with excellent air and land connections as well as frequent ferries between Marmaris and the Greek island of Rhodes, carrying as many as 120,000 passengers a year. Marmaris is also a regular port of call for cargo ships engaged in the yacht transport trade, who use Marmaris as their Eastern Mediterranean loading base.


Marmaris Cruise Port is now commencing another busy summer season, with numerous maiden calls making up just some of the 90+ cruise ships due to call in 2009, a 24% rise in cruise traffic from 2008.

Marmaris receives surprise calls like this frequently due to the protected nature of the bay and lack of obstacles near the pier, making it easy to berth even in heavy weatherMaiden Calls 2009


Costa Concordia also made an unexpected maiden call in January when adverse weather conditions meant she diverted from Rhodes at the last minute and instead berthed in the sheltered natural harbour of Marmaris. Marmaris receives surprise calls like this frequently due to the protected nature of the bay and lack of obstacles near the pier, making it easy to berth even in heavy weather. This is also one of the reasons why Marmaris has numerous scheduled winter calls, whereas almost all other ports in Turkey have little or no activity during the winter months.

Looking Forward to 2010

Marmaris Cruise Port is excited to become the new homeport for the Thomson Celebration in 2010!

David Selby, Director of Cruising, TUI UK & Ireland said: “Our new summer 2010 programme reaffirms our belief that the Eastern Mediterranean is the next cruising hotspot for the UK market, it reflects our ongoing commitment to our customers and what we believe they are looking for when booking a cruise holiday. The launch of a brand new full season of cruises from Marmaris in Turkey with flights from 12 UK airports offers our customers easy access to an exciting and popular area of the Mediterranean.”

Around 100 cruise ships are expected in 2010, carrying almost 125,000 guests, including 26 turnarounds by the Thomson Celebration and The World returning for an overnight stay in May.

And to the Future

Plans to develop new annexed pier of 300m are underway and awaiting final approval from the Turkish Ministry of Tourism. This project will increase capacity from 1 mega + 1 medium vessel to 3 mega + 1 medium cruise ship able to dock simultaneously. Once final permission is granted, construction will begin immediately and is expected to take around 10 months to complete at an approximate cost of 8 million US$. Refurbishment of the passenger terminal is also scheduled for winter 2009.

Marmaris is already a popular tourist resort in close proximity to Dalaman airport, a major European flight hub for mass tourism operations. Geographically Marmaris is situated where the Aegean meets the Med and where the Eastern Med begins, which enables ships originating their cruises from Marmaris to offer numerous itinerary alternatives, e.g. Eastern Med & Middle East, Aegean, Istanbul & Black Sea, Ionian & Adriatic. Marmaris is situated within weekly cruising proximity to all these destinations. In 2010 Thomson Celebration home-porting here will be a good example of a cruise line utilising this opportunity and Marmaris Cruise Port hopes to receive more home-porting vessels in the future.

Last but not least…

Didim Cruise Port “Gateway to the Land of Oracles”

Didim Cruise Port, a new port of entry into Turkey, is also managed by Marmaris Cruise Port. Didim is situated on the south-west Aegean coast of Turkey between Bodrum and Kusadasi. It is a sheltered bay, ideal for anchoring ships, with a golden, sandy beach within easy walking distance from the pier for cruise guests. Also, a regular fast-ferry connection runs during the summer months to the Greek islands of Kos, Patmos and Samos, all of which are within a radius of 30 nautical miles. The pier at Didim Cruise Port is currently only suitable for ferries and tenders. The passenger terminal is new and the whole facility is of course ISPS compliant.
Didim Cruise Port will be pleased to also welcome Club Med 2, as well as Sea Dream 1 and Arion on maiden calls in 2009, from where their guests can visit famous sites such as the ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Didyma and the ancient Ionian cities of Miletus and Priene, not forgetting of course the ancient metropolis of Ephesus and nearby house of the Virgin Mary, also within easy reach.

 Marmaris Cruise Port - Marmaris Liman Isletmeciligi
Address: Gunnucek Yolu Marmaris Limani 48700 Marmaris Tel: +90 252 412 03 03 (Pbx) Fax: +90 252 412 82 12
E-mail: info@marmariscruiseport.com

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