After a long pause, Ege Port Kusadasi has welcomed its first cruise vessel, the Blue Sapphire sailing for Turkey-based cruise line, Selectum Blu Cruises. The ship was formerly known as the Saga Sapphire sailing for Saga.
The Blue Sapphire carried 300 guests as it arrived at Kusadasi port, which is part of Global Ports Holding network of ports.
According to a press release, the ship was welcomed with a grand water salute by Ege Port Kusadasi’s tugboat and an excited crowd at the port. The call of this cruise ship has marked the start of the cruise season in Kusadası and Turkey.
The cruise passengers were welcomed by Ege Port Kusadasi with a great show of a marching band and folk dance team courtesy of the Municipality of Kusadasi. Kusadasi Chamber of Commerce presented local souvenirs to the passengers.
“We are delighted to see a cruise ship with passengers after such a long break here in Kusadasi. It has been a tough two years for those in the travel industry of Turkey and today the wait is over. We are finally welcoming our cruise guests with delightful festivities,” commented Ege Port Kusadasi General Manager and Global Ports Holding Regional Director for East Med, Aziz Güngör.
“We will be hosting the Blue Sapphire for the next 13 weeks at our port. This is not only a major starting for us but for all of Kusadasi. The cruise industry in Turkey creates many economic benefits. It is not only a key part of the travel industry but also the main support to local merchants, both small and large. As Ege Port Kusadasi, we hope to welcome more cruise ships and passengers and continue to represent the city of Kusadasi and Turkey,” Güngör added.
Ege Port Kusadasi, one of the busier cruise ports in the Eastern Mediterranean, is the gateway to the ancient city of Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary. According to the press release, since 2021, the port has been awarded Safe Travels (WTTC) and Safe Tourism (TÜV) certificates, as well as has established protocols to secure the health and safety of all its passengers and visitors.