Tourists Being Carried by Lifeboats Because There is No Cruise Port
Over a thousand tourists visited Fethiye from four different cruise ships in September and October. Tourists, the elder mostly, were carried by lifeboats from their ships as there is no cruise port and even a towboat.
The environmental impact assessment report has been taken for the cruise port project with the initiatives of Fethiye Council, and yet, the Ministry of Transportation has not approved the project for 7 years. Tourists from American and European countries visiting our country by cultural and historical tours cannot visit Fethiye because there is no cruise port yet. For this reason, Fethiye cannot get a good share from cruise tourism. If the cruise port is built in Fethiye, it will bring significant values to national tourism, however, the project of Fethiye Council has not been approved in Ankara yet, it is reported. Despite the lack of a cruise port, several tourists pass from Greek Islands to Turkey and visit Fethiye as well. The port of the municipality had been built after the earthquake in 1957 but it is small for cruise ships. The area is also shallow and there is no towboat to guide the cruise ships either, so the cruise ships near Fethiye have to dock around the Knight Islands and cannot approach port Fethiye. The council cannot get any fees from these cruise ships for these reasons and passengers have to use lifeboats. The elder tourists mostly visiting touristic and historical sites of Fethiye hardly get in and off from these lifeboats. These tourists are taken to rock tombs, Ancient Telmessos Theatre, Kayaköy, Cadianda, Ölüdeniz, Tlos, Saklıkent, Ancient Letoon Town and İztuzu Beach in Dalyan and then they are carried by lifeboats to reach their ships when they return. The agencies of cruise tours passing by Fethiye daily complain about a lack of cruise port in Fethiye.
RICH TOURISTS OF MS EUROPA 2 CARRIED BY LIFEBOATS AS WELL
German and English passengers of Malta flagged MS Europe 2, 42.830 gross tons and at a length of 207 m, were also carried with lifeboats to Port Fethiye due to a lack of a cruise port.
A group of tourists from MS Europe 2 were taken by buses and had a chance to visit fantastic historical and touristic sites of Fethiye while another group went on a tour to Göcek bays by boats. Most of the tourists staying in the ship were carried by lifeboats and did shopping in Paspatur. These tourists enjoyed the magnificent view of Fethiye on the coastline and took many photos.
387 German and English passengers came from Enosis Island in Greece to Fethiye by a regional promotional boat tour and said they were happy to be in a cultural tour, the home of Lycian civilization, and Fethiye was a beautiful town. They were also happy to enjoy the lovely weather in the middle of October and amazed by the blue waters of Fethiye and Ölüdeniz and also fantastic Kayaköy and spectacular Tlos Ancient Town.
PROJECT OF CRUISE PORT KEPT WAITING AT THE MINISTRY, SAYS SAATÇİ
Fethiye Mayor Behçet Saatçı stated that the project for cruise port still waits for the approval of the Ministry of Transportation and said, “The project to be implemented with build operate transfer model is to be built across the highways and we have been waiting for the approval for almost 7 years. Unfortunately, both cruise port and dock project for yachts wait for approval for years. The current port had been built in Fethiye after the earthquake in 1957. A cleaning activity is required in the harbour for the cruise port. Tourism potential of Fethiye will increase if the cruise port is built. Since this project could not be implemented, our country loses foreign currency every year. For history, culture and nature tours, tourists visiting Fethiye by the sea use other ports. Despite the lack of a cruise port in Fethiye, cruises dock near the waters of Fethiye and tourists are carried by lifeboats. We are rather distressed by this. This is not only the loss of Fethiye but also a significant loss for our country.”