The newly opened cruise port of Didim in Turkey has started to attract more cruise ships. After welcoming Windstar ships and The World last year, the port has recently seen maiden calls from Club Med 2 and SeaDream 1, and is expecting two further maiden calls from MV Columbus and MV Arion later in the year. It seems that Didim Cruise Port will be a popular call for small ship cruise lines and niche cruise operators.

The port was a hive of activity this week with two maiden cruise ship calls; Club Med 2 and SeaDream 1. Passengers were met on the pier by girls in traditional Turkish costume handing out flowers and Turkish delight as well as posters and souvenirs of the town and its nearby historic sites.

Club Med 2 brought 262 passengers and 2 days later SeaDream 1 cruised in with 107 passengers, many of whom took advantage of the port’s proximity to Ephesus (100km) to see the Temple of Artemis, one of The Seven Wonders of the World, whilst others chose to visit the nearby ruins of Didyma and the oracle shrine of Apollo, Miletus, cradle of ancient philosophy, and Priene, another member city of the Ionian league.

Crew members and some passengers from both ships also came into town to take advantage of the golden sandy beach of Altinkum, just a few minutes’ walk from the pier, as well as the bustling shops and markets of Didim town. Some cruisers remained onboard and took advantage of the ships’ water sports facilities whilst anchored in the calm bay which is ideal for waterskiing, kayaking and more.

Managed by Marmaris Cruise Port, the port of Didim is situated on the south-west Aegean coast of Turkey. It is a sheltered bay, ideal for anchoring ships as the pier is currently only suitable for ferries and tenders. The passenger terminal is new and of modern design, and the whole facility is ISPS compliant.