Wonderful week onboard Salamander

We have just finished our wonderful week onboard Salamander. We had such a special time with all the family and feel very lucky that it happened considering COVID and all the travel disruption it has caused.

The crew were fantastic. Imir was an amazing chef providing an array of healthy colourful options at every meal. We have left feeling very well fed….in fact I wanted to take him home with me, but his 3 children were a bit of a dealbreaker! Captain Erkan was a great guy and ran the team so well, mucking in when he needed to. The games night he organised was such great fun and it was a real pleasure having him as our Captain. Gokhan made sure everything ran smoothly, meeting us at Hotel Su on the Friday night, then again when we were all onboard on Sunday morning, calling to ensure everything was ok in the middle of the week then ensuring we had a safe departure on Saturday. We felt well looked after throughout. 

We hope that one day we’ll be able to return and have another great trip on Salamander.

Michele Rea. | UK September 2020

Outstanding as always

It’s Tuesday morning so I thought I’d report in. All is splendid. Travel was hassle-free, all transits successful, Salamander looking super, Gokhan, Erkan and crew on great form. Food outstanding as always. We even had a grandmother on water skis this morning.

In sum: all is well; and the COVID dramas in the build up are probably adding to the collective enjoyment of actually being here.

Nick Houghton. | UK August 2020


What a truly wonderful week we had on Salamander.  Our joy and wonder that with the world still under so many C19 restrictions we were able to take off and come out to Turkey continues to amaze us all.

We were waited upon hand and foot and we felt completely safe:  Imir’s cooking was unbelievably delicious – the sight of the table laid with abundance was heaven (especially after months of home cooking – we felt very spoiled). We did indeed chill out – on all those comfy cushions, relaxing and sunbathing, chatting, gazing out to sea …

Then safely anchored everyone was straight into the water- jumping, diving off the stern gangplank and into the kayaks and paddle boarding.  

Sleeping on the aft deck was popular but our cabins were reasonably cool, with the fans – the whole experience was just so exciting and it seemed important not to miss even gazing at the starlit sky.

We certainly have had a memorable week on Salamander.  

Meanwhile thank you to you and the crew of Salamander- unforgettable.

Liz Workman. | UK August 2020

A wonderful holiday

We had a wonderful holiday, thank you very much.

The captain found us fantastic sheltered bays and moved at the right time (which was important because it was very windy our week). The food was good/excellent. The boat was great and the layout excellent.

We would definitely recommend you to our friends.

Jim Hearne. | UK August 2020

Another spoiling week

Thank you both for another spoiling week on Salamander. We had such a restful time and it was wonderful not to be in the kitchen post lockdown !

Take care and look forward to the next trip.

Cara Bradley. | UK July 2020

Again next year

We had a truly wonderful time on Salamander and definitely want to do a gulet trip again next year with our full group who will number at least 17 please!

Michelle Leitch. | UK July 2020

An unmitigated success

Safely back at the Tower. Bottom line is that the week on Salamander was an unmitigated success. Hugely enjoyed. The crew were outstanding and it was the quality of their kindness, jollity and attention that was the true discriminator of an exceptional week. Maggie and I mostly enjoyed witnessing the remarkable reaction of our motley crew who were genuinely gob-smacked by the quality of the whole experience. Many thanks. Best wishes for now.

Nick and Mags. | UK May 2019

What a Fabulous Holiday

Dear Tessa, Just a note to say what a fabulous holiday our (“Eaton”) family party had on Salamander, consisting of myself, 2 brothers and their wives, and 3 Australian cousins. The yacht is lovely, and the crew fantastic. Kaptan Erkan was experienced and expert and efficient, Imir an amazing chef who produced meal after meal of absolutely delicious dishes, and Can and Gengis were helpful, quietly efficient and organised, and all of them friendly and yet unobtrusive. I told them that Salamander and its crew is the best in the Aegean! It was stunning along the Turkish coast, and we also went to Symi, but no other Greek islands, because of unfavourable weather there, and we also had to drop off a brother early, which dictated where we could go. It is probably helpful for you to have some feedback, and also to know that we were a very happy group, and delighted with everything about Salamander. Yours sincerely,
Penelope Kirkwood | September 2019

A very friendly, tranquil & happy time!

Hallo Tessa, Peter, Jenny & Gokhan, And a huge thank you from me…a marvellous crew all round and a truly beautiful yacht on which to spend such a relaxing time catching up with our cousins… as well as being so completely looked after!! Loved Turkey and its friendly people … the coastal waters are stunning and it was perfect having the two weeks … one would not have been enough!! All the organisation, transfers and everything so much appreciated – a very friendly, tranquil & happy time! Very many thanks and all the best to you all, Cheers

Judy | 2019

Superb time aboard

Hi Tessa, Peter and Jenny, This is a very belated ‘thank-you’ for our superb time aboard your beautiful boat ‘Salamander’.  We found the boat most comfortable and well fitted-out, with everything we could possibly need!  Also Turkey was a wonderful destination for our ‘cousins get together’. We all thoroughly enjoyed the holiday – being so spoilt by the quiet attentiveness of the crew.  We felt absolutely confident in Kaptan Erkan, who took us to the most beautiful places and anchorages with great safety!  Chef Imirs’ cooking was delicious – such variety – and so healthy too! – though, always too much!!  Gengis and Can were confident, reliable crew – and after a couple of days knew our favourite ‘tipple’!  The Turkish wines were very enjoyable too!  The crew were all such lovely, friendly people, making us feel so welcome. I hope there will be a next time, not too far away!

Coco (Carole) Pollitt | 2019

Everything ran like clockwork

Dear Tessa, Peter and Jenny, We all had the most fantastic time and, as I said before, everything ran like clockwork and the crew could not have been more friendly and helpful. Captain Erkan managed to find some lovely spots for us while at the same time as catering for those who can be prone to seasickness. The only slight disappointment was that we were only able to get the sails up on two occasions during the two weeks but we did understand that the prevailing winds were not suitable. Of course we all ate far too much though we did try to justify it by saying it was mostly (delicious and healthy) fruit and vegetables. Imir is a genius working in a comparatively confined galley. Gengis and Can were fantastic too – always on hand with whatever we needed while still working really hard with the deck duties and the “hotel” aspect. We all agreed that it was the perfect scenario for the relatives get together (fortunately we all get along very well) and we all thought it was probably the most relaxing holiday any of us have ever had being able to relax in comfort on the deck with moving scenery to keep us interested. We were probably very boring as far as the crew were concerned! We were pleased we went for the two week option as we were able to cover quite a bit of ground. We all thought a week would fly by too quickly and we would have been limited with the itinerary. On a lighthearted note the only complaint we could think of was the milk jug did not pour very well! Thank you once again for making Salamander available to us and we will certainly sing her praises whenever we can – though we don’t want to make her too popular otherwise we may not find a slot to go again! If we do a get together next year we may have to head nearer to Oz but certainly in two years time we would be very keen to do a repeat on Salamander- maybe from Gocek heading east if possible. I gather Peter is going out in a couple of weeks so hope he has a wonderful time. Many, many thanks once again. Kind regards.

Chris | 2019

The most AMAZING week

Dear Tessa, We had the most AMAZING week on Salamander. Erkan, Amir, Ghengis and John looked after us unbelievably well. We were completely spoilt by endless delicious food and drinks and a fantastic itinerary. We sailed, swam with turtles, water-skied, doughnuted, snorkelled, paddle-boarded, canoed and generally relaxed to our hearts content! It was a very special holiday, thank you. Best wishes,

Alice Wingfield Digby | August 2019

Am not sure quite how to top this

Hi Tessa, The holiday was fantastic. Your boat and crew were terrific and the organisation of transfers etc first class. Since our return I have gone into PR overdrive for you guys with anyone who will listen! My only problem from the trip – am not sure quite how to top this as an anniversary celebration next August! Best

Luke | August 2019

Cannot be described as anything other than fantastic

Hi Tessa, We have moored in a bay around the coast from Datca, just wanted to let you know how much we are enjoying ourselves. Erkan and the team are just great, Imir’s food is amazing and just having such a relaxing time. I will want to speak upon our return about another booking next year. The whole experience so far cannot be described as anything other than fantastic. Regards 

David Davis | June 2019

We want to repeat next year!!

Dear Tessa, We had the most fantastic experience on Salamander!  A beautiful gullet (we saw nothing to compare with her beauty), an excellent Captain, chef and two deckhands.  They were charming, helpful and discreet.  The food was outstanding and more than plentiful.  Playing with the toys was great fun and clearly all the crew new exactly what to do to launch this or that toy, water ski, sailing, canoeing etc.  We all felt very safe in their capable hands. We noted that whenever there was an idle moment (not many!) the crew were always setting about maintenance and cleaning.  Everything was clean, neat and tidy. You are fortunate to have such a diligent crew. We want to repeat next year!! We wait to hear from you about possibilities for Bodrum-Bodrum first or second week August.  Thanks for the best holiday ever! Best wishes

Peter and Shanie Henderson | July 2019


Hi Tessa, We all loved the holiday sooo much, everything and everyone was fantastic.   I’ll get round to reviewing it on trip advisor but in meantime we are singing your praises to anyone who will listen. We are already having chat about going same thing for our 75th. Thanks again

Libby | 2019 – SADRI USTA 1


On behalf of our group a big thanks for a most memorable week aboard the Salamander. The response from all the group is “great fun and better than expectations”. We were blessed with perfect weather which of course is a huge plus on such a week.The Salamander was presented in very good order or shipshape and Bristol fashion! I have spent some time on yachts over the year and can appreciate the attention to detail and how the captain and crew presented the vessel. She may not be new but she shows extremely well. Like a fine claret. You are very lucky to have such a fine captain, chef and crew. They really were fantastic. 5 stars. I suspect I have interest in securing a week with you in June 2019. Maybe in Montenegro.

Chris Gardiner | June 2018

Exceeding High Expectations

Peter,  our party has just returned from our two weeks on Salamander.  I have to tell you that our expectations were high, but they were certainly exceeded in all respects. We all had the most wonderful time on your beautiful boat.    We did not do quite as much sailing of Salamander as we might have expected because of the wind direction and our schedule, which was not a problem, but the Zests were a huge success and we used them continually with 6 dinghy sailors aboard.Your team were superb.     As experienced sailors, we never had anything except total confidence in our captain Erkan and his gentle manner and ready smile were a delight.  We were particularly impressed with his unobtrusive vigilance at all times – gently making sure that our mixed age party was safe and under control at all times!     The crew worked incredibly hard all the time and we wanted for nothing except perhaps bigger stomachs to consume all of Imir’s super food.   

Turner Family | July 2018

Never experienced this type of holiday before…

On behalf of myself and my fellow ‘sailors’ from the cruise Göcek to Bodrum, 7th to 12th October ’18, we would like to thank you and your crew, of Capt. Erkan, Chef Emir  and cabin staff of Yacub and Gengis for giving us such an excellent holiday. It was fabulous. We now know what you meant by it being a tight schedule, but Capt Erkon was very much the expert on movement. All meals were exceptional and cabins and ship were kept tidy and clean. None of our party had any experience of a holiday of this nature, but everyone expressed an interest in repeating this type of holiday in 2 years time.

Alan & Didim| October 2018

What a memory! 

It is hard to describe or indeed measure our enjoyment of the Salamander experience suffice to say we are still downloading our memories and will soon upload the booking for our second Salamander experience.This was our first Salamander experience and we enjoyed stunning Aegean sailing waters and visiting sites of ancient Turkey from this special luxury gulet. We experienced a unique voyage in an onboard environment of continuous and ever changing relaxation cycles alien to the constant demands of our busy lives. I was surprised that by the end of the week Facebook and Google had shed their addictive hold. Cuisine on board was light and healthy infused with subtle Ottoman and Arab flavours and we were soon into the rhythm of anticipating the next delicious offering from Imir the talented chef whose skills included fishing for the table.The delicious Salamander food experience was complimented by wines chosen with expertise by the owner from Turkey’s stunning new wave of wineries, perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised as Turkey was the birthplaces of wine. The gracious Captain   and his friendly crew created an unobtrusive yet high level of service which facilitated a sense of relaxation and peace punctuated, in our case, by swimming in idyllic coves with turtles and enjoying the sailing dinghies, canoes and paddle boards. The post dinner sing song and story telling ensured sleep came to us easily and soon it was time for the sunrise swim and the cup of freshly brewed coffee awaiting  us as we reboarded refreshed and ready for a tasty breakfast.

Dr Len O’Hagan, CBE

We are in heaven and never felt so relaxed…

Just wanted to write and say how absolutely wonderful the Salamander and its crew are. We are in heaven and never felt so relaxed. Totally spoilt and to watch our exhausted children and their partners unwind is such a pleasure for us. We will be a very good advertisement for the Salamander back in NZ as we know a lot of people and we will rave. The kids are already planning their next voyage as we are. New Zealanders are such hard workers and really appreciate the attention from the crew. We feel very lucky.  ​Thanks again and wish we had done it earlier. 

Robyn Carr | July 2017, NZ

A week of maximum pleasure together in a brilliant environment

Tonight is our last night on Salamander  and tomorrow we hand over the reins to Erkan and his team for the benefit of you and your family. I wanted to make it absolutely clear to you what a fabulous week we have all had and we want to thank you so much for going so far to ensure we have had such a good holiday. You have created a marvelous mix for your customers and have thought about all sorts of little details down to taking the trouble to choose decent linen and pillows. Of course Salamander herself may not be in the first flush of youth but she is the most fabulous craft and you and the crew have worked consistently hard in keeping the boat up to the best possible condition. Your success is ultimately down to the wonderful quality of your crew. They all contributed so fully to ensuring that we all had such a great time. Erkan your Captain is a brilliant team leader and was expert at leading us through the islands and guiding us in the most charming and patient manner. Emir is a supreme chef preparing all meals with consummate skill and originality. All meals were beautifully and thoughtfully prepared and the standard achieved was consistently high and inventive despite the restraints of a minuscule galley.  The two youngsters Burak and Musa worked extremely hard to ensure that we enjoyed our experience to the highest level and for such youngsters behaved with remarkable maturity in carrying out their duties with good humour, hard work and patience. It was a great pleasure to be in the company of the 4 members of the crew and each of them was always at hand to help whenever necessary. Well done everyone! You have all achieved the success of ensuring that 8 friends have shared the enjoyment of a week of maximum pleasure together in a brilliant environment.​

Clive & Nelida, Mike & Glyn, Charlie and Wendy & Peter and Bumble | June 2017, UK

Wonderful, August 2015

Peter, Just a little email to thank you and Gokhan for such a wonderful week. We loved every minute of it. So much so that we would love to do it again next year! I know all the reviews talked about the food, but Emir was fantastic and created such a variety of beautiful food. The crew were great. Very hospitable. Thanks Peter. I was right to have such a good feeling about your lovely boat! The toys on board were great. We were wondering if you could put a smaller / shorter water ski on board so that the kids can learn. That would be amazing. 

Cara Bradley UK

Ridiculously spoilt​

Dear Peter and Gokhan, just a brief email to thank you both for making our holiday so, so memorable! We all absolutely loved our week on Salamander, and we felt ridiculously spoilt by the crew from day one… They are a great team ,and we can’t praise them more highly, they are very professional, and we felt totally at ease in their care all week long. The food was really exceptional, and we were constantly amazed by what Paddington produced out of that galley kitchen…really impressive! The only problem now is coming back to reality…and not having Musa offering chilled drinks at every turn!!! Salamander is a very comfortable and easy boat to live in… we had lots of space, and at no point did we feel overcrowded which is always a concern on a boating holiday, especially with one’s own family!! it just couldn’t have been more comfortable. For me seeing Turkey for the first time was a bonus. What an incredible coastline, and what fabulous spots we stopped in. All in all a perfect dreamy and VERY spoiling week. Thank you to all.

Beatrice, Countess of Dundonald UK

So relaxing…

A short email to let you know how we travelled on Salamander in September.  We all had a wonderful time on Salamander the Crew were wonderful and looked after us with lots of attention and care – the food was delicious but of course we over-ate.  The wines were good as well.It was so relaxing to sail the coast of Turkey again my husband and I love Turkey and have sailed the Lycian coast as well. We hope to return one day!!

Louise Duffy Australia, | September 2018

Never experienced this type of holiday before…

On behalf of myself and my fellow ‘sailors’ from the cruise Göcek to Bodrum, 7th to 12th October ’18, we would like to thank you and your crew, of Capt. Erkan, Chef Emir  and cabin staff of Yacub and Gengis for giving us such an excellent holiday. It was fabulous. We now know what you meant by it being a tight schedule, but Capt Erkon was very much the expert on movement. All meals were exceptional and cabins and ship were kept tidy and clean. None of our party had any experience of a holiday of this nature, but everyone expressed an interest in repeating this type of holiday in 2 years time.

Lulu Hutley | August 2018

Simply marvellous!

All the reviews and comments you made meant we arrived with high expectations and they certainly were met and exceeded. We had a simply marvellous time. Gokhan, Erkan, Emir, Jacob and Genghis were fantastic. Quiet efficiency along with discretion and smiling faces. Given it was relatively late in the season it was even more remarkable that they have the staying power. The standards of cleanliness above and below were fantastic and certainly not something we observed on other vessels. It was also incredible seeing how Erkan manoeuvred Salamander in some really tricky harbour situations. I shan’t go on about the food. You have heard it all before. But it WAS FANTASTIC.​ We saw many amazing things: dolphins, turtles, ruined amphitheatres and much more. Marvellous to have had the sails up several times. This really made the trip. And the toys were great for us all, with quite a few “firsts” for some of our team

Sarah UK | Sept 2018

That Quake…

We had a wonderful week – very well looked after by Gokhan, Captain, chef and all the crew.We were mostly a bunch of newbies and all of us loved the trip ( “best holiday ever” from the 3 youngest ) and intend to come back and do it again. We had no idea of the earthquake and when we got back to Bodrum all looked to be operating as normal. Thank you Peter for organising a great trip. All very professionally run – and we appreciated the phone calls from Gokhan to double check that all was well and that we were happy with everything. All the best Martin

Martin Trowbridge | July 2017, UK

Spectacular trip, July 2016​

Hi Peter and Gokhan, Just had to let you know that we’re having a wonderful time. Your crew are all great but the chef is outstanding. This has become a culinary cruise. We’re all saying that your next adventure should be a Salamander cookbook. I would love a copy-particularly the stuffed eggplant, the zucchini fritters and the 4 hour lamb. Oh… and the meat balls. It truly was a spectacular trip and I hope to do it again.. and again.

Dr Suni Borraston, Canada

Gallipoli-at Anzac Cove at dawn on 25th April 2015 for the centenary of the landings

Hi Peter, Back in Sydney – safe and sound. This is just a short note to thank you and your Turkish operation very much for a job so well done. In addition to yourself (and your tireless efforts over the past two years), I would like to thank your Turk partner Gokhan Bas, Captain 1 Sinan Kirbiuik, Captain 2 Erkan Madak. Chef extraordinaire Emir Gerok and exemplary rouseabout Güven Alper. The (literally) last minute lifting of the ‘6 nautical mile exclusion zone’ surrounding ANZAC Koyu, made the whole enterprise worthwhile.

Barry Poole, Australia

Time of our lives!

Hi Peter and Gokhan, Just a note to tell you that the Bolca party is having the time of their lives! Emir is creating the most fabulous meals. Guven and Musa both cater to our every whim and Captain Erkan brings us to wonderful anchorages skillfully. We can’t believe that we are already halfway through our week at sea.

Sherry & Asim Bolca, USA

3 generation BIG birthday 

Dear Peter, All I can say is ‘WOW’. We had such a brilliant time on Salamander. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we couldn’t have wished for more. Your crew certainly bent over backwards to make us happy. We ate, swam, sailed, kayaked, water skied and had a happy time every day. Florence the 2 1/2 year old became a water baby and loved the sea. Henry the baby shouted a lot! However, he loved his paddling pool and much appreciated the high chair. I do hope we may make it back for our 50th wedding anniversary in 2018. Please convey our grateful thanks to everyone.

Lucy Allison, UK

Why Salamander is better

Dear Peter, Having been on a number of gulet holidays with different providers, I wanted to let you know why we find yours smoother, more personal and more relaxing. The reason is simple, everyone’s lives are so busy and stressed today, so arranging and enjoying great holiday should not involve either. Uniquely the Salamander formula requires no filling in of menus for every meal (months in advance), no need to decide what your wine quantities are or to argue about sale or return, or choose a brand of soap, no constant badgering about medical insurance, no need to collect copious quantities of Turkish lira to pay for extras when trying to pack for departure in a hot Bodrum, and above all no need to decide your itinerary in advance with insufficient information available. Hallelujah! Your excellent team deal with all of this locally with enthusiasm and without fuss. Your prices are inclusive of almost everything. Each meal offers endless choice of dishes, the wines are inclusive, and we were able to choose our favoured itineraries and flex them as we went, whether in Turkey or Greece. Salamander is a great and beautiful boat with excellent food and a professional and friendly crew and thus a fantastic holiday. We relaxed all the more because we had no decisions to make! Keep doing what you are doing please. Happy days, happy holidays

The Earl of Caledon, UK