This article was written for Fethiye Times by Sian Midgley

Have you ever wondered what the summer day cruise boats do over the winter? Do they sail aimlessly around the bays looking for lonely holiday makers? Do they head off to somewhere tropical and carry on where they left off? Do they find themselves a quiet spot, put their feet up and have a well deserved nap?

Well, don’t be daft you silly sausage, of course they don’t. This is the time of year when the hard working boats get a much needed make over.

I caught up with Dawn, who’s husband, Umit owns and runs the well known Dragon Boat out of Ölüdeniz with his partner, Turhan, to get the lowdown on what they are doing over the next few months.

What is the Dragon Boat?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Dragon Boat; it’s an awfully large one, disguised as a pirate ship, which offers daily and sunset cruises for those that like to dance the day away and get covered in foam. Not my cup of tea I must admit – I’m more of a sit back and relax with a book all whilst letting Brad Pitt rub some suncream in to my back kinda girl (I’m still working on the Brad Pitt bit if anyone knows him). But, clearly I’m in the minority as Dragon Boat carried in excess of 27,000 passengers last season alone. Plus it has just been voted Boat Tour of the Year in Muğla Province at the 2019 Travel & Hospitality Awards.

It’s probably also worth a mention that the foam isn’t just Migros’ own brand bubble bath – it’s a specially formulated foam from Antalya that isn’t harmful to eyes or the sea and those in it.

Tell Brad I'm Waiting...

Umit and Turhan have owned Dragon Boat since finding it in Alanya in April 2016. They weren’t the first pirate ship in Ölüdeniz, but they were the only one operating at that time although now there is a lot of competition with at least three others working out of the bay.

A Bit of Spit and Polish

Anyway, back to the subject in hand – Dragon Boat has taken up residence in the Fethiye boat yard where it will stay until the new season kicks off.

Tell Brad I'm Waiting...

In previous years they’ve had to replace all sorts of things such as engines and gangplanks, but this year it’s the relatively straightforward job of clearing the barnacles from the bottom of the boat, sanding it down then finishing off with a bit of repainting and varnishing here and there and bish, bash, bosh, job done.

Tell Brad I'm Waiting...
Umit & Turhan working on the boat
Tell Brad I'm Waiting...

After that, it’s the final and rather mammoth task of getting it back in to the sea in time for the season to start at the end of April 2020. Judging by this year’s clientele, they are expecting to see a lot of the Chinese and Asian market on board as well as members of their loyal fanbase who return year after year to join in the fun.

Fancy A Trip On Board Dragon Boat?

If you fancy having a go next season, day trips will be £15 and sunset trips will be £5 – all include food and transfers and, of course, foam.

You can book via their webpage , their Facebook page , message or call them, or simply take a chance and get tickets on the beach on the day, although there are unlikely to be any spare tickets during the height of the season.

And if you happen to spot Brad Pitt on board could you possible tell him he’s on the wrong boat…

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